Brain activity in struggling readers before intervention relates to future reading gains

Tehila Nugiel, Mary Abbe Roe, W. Patrick Taylor, Paul T. Cirino, Sharon R. Vaughn, Jack M. Fletcher, Jenifer Juranek, Jessica A. Church

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Neural markers for reading-related changes in response to intervention could inform intervention plans by serving as a potential index of the malleability of the reading network in struggling readers. Of particular interest is the role of brain activation outside the reading network, especially in executive control networks important for reading comprehension. However, it is unclear whether any intervention-related executive control changes in the brain are specific to reading tasks or reflect more domain general changes. Brain changes associated with reading gains over time were compared for a sentence comprehension task as well as for a non-lexical executive control task (a behavioral inhibition task) in upper-elementary struggling readers, and in grade-matched non-struggling readers. Functional MRI scans were conducted before and after 16 weeks of reading intervention. Participants were grouped as improvers and non-improvers based on the consistency and size of post-intervention gains across multiple post-test measures. Engagement of the right fusiform during the reading task, both before and after intervention, was related to gains from remediation. Additionally, pre-intervention activation in regions that are part of the default-mode network (precuneus) and the fronto-parietal network (right posterior middle temporal gyrus) separated improvers and non-improvers from non-struggling readers. None of these differences were observed during the non-lexical inhibitory control task, indicating that the brain changes seen related to intervention outcome in struggling readers were specific to the reading process.

LanguageEnglish
Pages286-302
Number of pages17
JournalCortex
Volume111
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

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Reading
Brain
Executive Function
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Parietal Lobe
Temporal Lobe

Keywords

  • Development
  • Executive control
  • fMRI
  • Intervention
  • Reading comprehension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

Nugiel, T., Roe, M. A., Taylor, W. P., Cirino, P. T., Vaughn, S. R., Fletcher, J. M., ... Church, J. A. (2019). Brain activity in struggling readers before intervention relates to future reading gains. Cortex, 111, 286-302. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2018.11.009

Brain activity in struggling readers before intervention relates to future reading gains. / Nugiel, Tehila; Roe, Mary Abbe; Taylor, W. Patrick; Cirino, Paul T.; Vaughn, Sharon R.; Fletcher, Jack M.; Juranek, Jenifer; Church, Jessica A.

In: Cortex, Vol. 111, 01.02.2019, p. 286-302.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nugiel, T, Roe, MA, Taylor, WP, Cirino, PT, Vaughn, SR, Fletcher, JM, Juranek, J & Church, JA 2019, 'Brain activity in struggling readers before intervention relates to future reading gains', Cortex, vol. 111, pp. 286-302. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2018.11.009
Nugiel T, Roe MA, Taylor WP, Cirino PT, Vaughn SR, Fletcher JM et al. Brain activity in struggling readers before intervention relates to future reading gains. Cortex. 2019 Feb 1;111:286-302. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2018.11.009
Nugiel, Tehila ; Roe, Mary Abbe ; Taylor, W. Patrick ; Cirino, Paul T. ; Vaughn, Sharon R. ; Fletcher, Jack M. ; Juranek, Jenifer ; Church, Jessica A. / Brain activity in struggling readers before intervention relates to future reading gains. In: Cortex. 2019 ; Vol. 111. pp. 286-302.
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