Neural changes following remediation in adult developmental dyslexia

Neuron. 2004 Oct 28;44(3):411-22. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2004.10.019.


Brain imaging studies have explored the neural mechanisms of recovery in adults following acquired disorders and, more recently, childhood developmental disorders. However, the neural systems underlying adult rehabilitation of neurobiologically based learning disabilities remain unexplored, despite their high incidence. Here we characterize the differences in brain activity during a phonological manipulation task before and after a behavioral intervention in adults with developmental dyslexia. Phonologically targeted training resulted in performance improvements in tutored compared to nontutored dyslexics, and these gains were associated with signal increases in bilateral parietal and right perisylvian cortices. Our findings demonstrate that behavioral changes in tutored dyslexic adults are associated with (1) increased activity in those left-hemisphere regions engaged by normal readers and (2) compensatory activity in the right perisylvian cortex. Hence, behavioral plasticity in adult developmental dyslexia involves two distinct neural mechanisms, each of which has previously been observed either for remediation of developmental or acquired reading disorders.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Brain Mapping
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / blood supply
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Dyslexia / physiopathology
  • Dyslexia / rehabilitation*
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Language Tests
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Phonetics
  • Physical Stimulation / methods
  • Reading
  • Remedial Teaching / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Verbal Behavior / physiology


  • Oxygen