Comparative research on neural dysfunction in children with dyslexia under different writing systems: A meta-analysis study

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2022 Jun;137:104650. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2022.104650. Epub 2022 Mar 31.


Developmental dyslexia is a special learning disorder which is prevalent in all languages. A central question in dyslexia is whether the neural mechanism of their defects is universal or distinct in different writing systems. Using meta-analytic approach, we created meta-images using activation abnormalities in Chinese and alphabetic children with dyslexia to find convergence and divergence under different writing systems. The results revealed that dyslexic children have a universal attention-related dysfunction with hypoactivation in the left inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) under different writing systems, in spite of differences of degree and spatial extent in those regions. Alphabetic dyslexic children additionally showed hypoactivation in the left occipito-temporo-parietal regions. Chinese dyslexic children showed specific hyperactivation in the right postcentral gyrus, the left rectus, and the right middle temporal gyrus. The present meta-analysis for the first time showed both shared and distinct abnormalities in children with dyslexia under Chinese and alphabetic writing systems.

Keywords: Alphabetic languages; Children; Chinese; Developmental dyslexia; Functional magnetic resonance imaging; Meta-analysis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping
  • Child
  • Dyslexia*
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Reading*
  • Writing