Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (ER-fMRI) was used to investigate how the human brain processes phonology and transforms a word's visual form (orthography) into phonological form during reading in logographic Chinese, a writing system that differs markedly from alphabetic languages. We found that reading aloud of irregular words produced larger MR signal intensity changes over extensive regions involving left infero-middle frontal cortex, left motor cortex, right infero-frontal gyri, bilateral anterior superior temporal areas, and anterior cingulate cortex. Right superior parietal lobule, the cuneus in bilateral visual cortex, and thalamus participated in the processing of irregular, but not regular, words. These ®ndings were discussed in comparison to neuroimaging ®ndings from alphabetic languages, as well as in relation to models of reading. NeuroReport 12:83±88 & 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.