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Accessing orthographic representations from speech : the role of left ventral occipitotemporal cortex in spelling
AuthorLudersdorfer, Philipp ; Kronbichler, Martin ; Wimmer, Heinz
Published in
Human Brain Mapping, Hoboken, 2015, Vol. 36, Issue 4, page 1393-1406
PublishedWiley, 2015
Document typeJournal Article
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubs:3-6464 Persistent Identifier (URN)
 The work is publicly available
Accessing orthographic representations from speech [0.49 mb]
Abstract (English)

The present fMRI study used a spelling task to investigate the hypothesis that the left ventral occipitotemporal cortex (vOT) hosts neuronal representations of whole written words. Such an orthographic word lexicon is posited by cognitive dual-route theories of reading and spelling. In the scanner, participants performed a spelling task in which they had to indicate if a visually presented letter is present in the written form of an auditorily presented word. The main experimental manipulation distinguished between an orthographic word spelling condition in which correct spelling decisions had to be based on orthographic whole-word representations, a word spelling condition in which reliance on orthographic whole-word representations was optional and a phonological pseudoword spelling condition in which no reliance on such representations was possible. To evaluate spelling-specific activations the spelling conditions were contrasted with control conditions that also presented auditory words and pseudowords, but participants had to indicate if a visually presented letter corresponded to the gender of the speaker. We identified a left vOT cluster activated for the critical orthographic word spelling condition relative to both the control condition and the phonological pseudoword spelling condition. Our results suggest that activation of left vOT during spelling can be attributed to the retrieval of orthographic whole-word representations and, thus, support the position that the left vOT potentially represents the neuronal equivalent of the cognitive orthographic word lexicon.

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