Fast dynamics of cortical functional and effective connectivity during word reading

PLoS One. 2014 Feb 14;9(2):e88940. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088940. eCollection 2014.


We describe for the first time the fast dynamics of functional and effective (causal) connectivity during word reading. Independent component analysis of high-density EEG recorded during a word reading task recovered multiple sources of electrical brain activity previously identified by fMRI and PET. Results confirmed the ventral occipito-temporal cortex (vOT) as a central hub for word reading, showing a progression of theta-band (3-7 Hz) and gamma-band (30-50 Hz) phase synchronization and directed theta-band and gamma-band information flow with both early visual areas and high-level language-processing areas. These results highlight the interplay between local and long-distance neural dynamics involved at each stage of the reading process. Moreover, these measures of functional and causal connectivity dynamics may be used as a benchmark for comparison with clinical populations (e.g. individuals with developmental dyslexia), such that disturbances in connectivity dynamics may provide insight as to underlying neurological problems with language processing, and their potential remediation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Behavior
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Entropy
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Reading*
  • Time Factors
  • Vocabulary*
  • Young Adult

Grants and funding

This research was supported by a Discovery Grant (A9958) from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada ( to LMW. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.