Table of Contents

HK J Paediatr (New Series)
Vol 10. No. 2, 2005

HK J Paediatr (New Series) 2005;10:131-139

Special Section

The Neuroanatomical System Underlying Chinese Reading and Its Constraints on Second Language Learning

LH Tan


This paper reviews our recent brain imaging studies that indicate that the left middle frontal gyrus plays a crucial role in explicit Chinese character recognition and reading. The left middle frontal gyrus seems to serve as a neural system for coordinating and integrating visuo-orthographic information with phonological and semantic elements in written Chinese, as seen in several paradigms including word generation, homophone decision, and semantic judgment (all relative to fixation baseline). This neural system is responsible for the orthography-to-phonology conversion as well as the orthography-to-semantics mapping. Neuroimaging research with Chinese-English bilinguals indicates that Chinese bilinguals apply the neural system for native language to the learning of English.

Keyword : Chinese reading; Dyslexia; fMRI; Neuroimaging; Second language learning


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