Three Brain Pathways to Reading

The frontal reading system has been implicated in phonological processing and semantic processing (word analysis). This is also where Broca’s area is found. Broca’s area is involved in language processing, speech production, and comprehension. Neuron activation is increased in this area when words are spoken (Devlin, Matthews, & Rushworth, 2003).

The ventral posterior processing system (located in the occipital and temporal lobes) is most associated with orthographic processing (visual-phonological connections) of the pattern and form of words. Th is system is hypothesized to be the location of visual word pattern recognition because this region is activated when more experienced readers recognize whole words automatically. However, this brain region is not purely a place of visual word recognition, as it responds to any pronounceable printed letter string of both real and nonsense words (McCandliss, Cohen, & Dehaene, 2003).


This ventral posterior processing system is more activated in English-language readers than readers of Chinese and other languages with complex characters. This diff erence may imply that the spelling-sound correspondence is more important for decoding English than it is for decoding Chinese, which uses characters that require more visual-spatial recognition (Siok, Perfetti, Jin, & Tan, 2004).

The dorsal posterior reading system encompasses parts of the parietal and temporal lobes, especially the angular, supramarginal and posterior superior temporal gyri. Th is system has been implicated in word analysis through the integration of visual features of printed words (visual-spatial recognition) rather than whole word recognition. This appears to be an area of the brain used by early readers when they analyze words by linking letters to sounds (Price, Moore, & Frackowiak, 1996).


Folksonomies: education teaching literacy reading

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 Teaching the Brain to Read: Strategies for Improving Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Willis, Judy (2008), Teaching the Brain to Read: Strategies for Improving Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension, Retrieved on 2017-06-20
Folksonomies: education reading