The role of the left fusiform gyrus in reading: An examination of Chinese character recognition
Master of Arts thesis
The left fusiform gyrus is hypothesized to be selectively involved in visual word processing. Nevertheless, the particular components of reading to which this area responds is the subject of much controversy. In Experiment 1, activity in the left fusiform gyrus was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while subjects performed a phonological task with regular and irregular Chinese characters. Results exhibited greater activity for irregular than regular characters in the left fusiform gyrus, suggesting that this region is involved in the direct route of the dual-route model. In Experiment 2, activity was measured using fMRI while subjects performed phonological, semantic, and orthographic tasks with irregular Chinese characters. The left fusiform gyrus exhibited greater activity during the orthographic task than during the phonological and semantic tasks, which did not differ, suggesting that this region is involved in orthographic processing to a greater extent than phonological or semantic access.