The interactive account of ventral occipitotemporal contributions to reading

Trends Cogn Sci. 2011 Jun;15(6):246-53. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2011.04.001. Epub 2011 May 5.


The ventral occipitotemporal cortex (vOT) is involved in the perception of visually presented objects and written words. The Interactive Account of vOT function is based on the premise that perception involves the synthesis of bottom-up sensory input with top-down predictions that are generated automatically from prior experience. We propose that vOT integrates visuospatial features abstracted from sensory inputs with higher level associations such as speech sounds, actions and meanings. In this context, specialization for orthography emerges from regional interactions without assuming that vOT is selectively tuned to orthographic features. We discuss how the Interactive Account explains left vOT responses during normal reading and developmental dyslexia; and how it accounts for the behavioural consequences of left vOT damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dyslexia / pathology
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Occipital Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Occipital Lobe / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Reading*
  • Speech Perception
  • Temporal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology*