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Visual word recognition has been proposed to rely on a hierarchy of increasingly complex neuronal detectors, from individual letters to bigrams and morphemes. We used fMRI to test whether such a hierarchy is present in the left occipitotemporal cortex, at the site of the visual word-form area, and with an anterior-to-posterior progression. We exposed adult(More)
Fluent readers recognize visual words across changes in case and retinal location, while maintaining a high sensitivity to the arrangement of letters. To evaluate the automaticity and functional anatomy of invariant word recognition, we measured brain activity during subliminal masked priming. By preceding target words with an unrelated prime, a repeated(More)
Recent evidence has suggested that the human occipitotemporal region comprises several subregions, each sensitive to a distinct processing level of visual words. To further explore the functional architecture of visual word recognition, we employed a subliminal priming method with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during semantic judgments of(More)
Does literacy improve brain function? Does it also entail losses? Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we measured brain responses to spoken and written language, visual faces, houses, tools, and checkers in adults of variable literacy (10 were illiterate, 22 became literate as adults, and 31 were literate in childhood). As literacy enhanced the(More)
Fast, parallel word recognition, in expert readers, relies on sectors of the left ventral occipito-temporal pathway collectively known as the visual word form area. This expertise is thought to arise from perceptual learning mechanisms that extract informative features from the input strings. The perceptual expertise hypothesis leads to two predictions: (1)(More)
How are word recognition circuits organized in the left temporal lobe? We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to dissect cortical word-processing circuits using three diagnostic criteria: the capacity of an area (1) to respond to words in a single modality (visual or auditory) or in both modalities, (2) to modulate its response in a top-down(More)
Understanding how language emerged in our species calls for a detailed investigation of the initial specialization of the human brain for speech processing. Our earlier research demonstrated that an adult-like left-lateralized network of perisylvian areas is already active when infants listen to sentences in their native language, but did not address the(More)
A new simple method is proposed to detect, using PET and [(11)C]raclopride, changes in striatal extracellular dopamine concentration during a rewarded effortful task. This approach aimed to increase the sensitivity in detection of these effects. It requires a single-dynamic PET study and combines the classic kinetic compartmental model with the general(More)
Many people exposed to sinewave analogues of speech first report hearing them as electronic glissando and, later, when they switch into a 'speech mode', hearing them as syllables. This perceptual switch modifies their discrimination abilities, enhancing perception of differences that cross phonemic boundaries while diminishing perception of differences(More)
The functional organization of the perisylvian language network was examined using a functional MRI (fMRI) adaptation paradigm with spoken sentences. In Experiment 1, a given sentence was presented every 14.4 s and repeated two, three, or four times in a row. The study of the temporal properties of the BOLD response revealed a temporal gradient along the(More)