The Brain Connectome for Chinese Reading

Neurosci Bull. 2022 Sep;38(9):1097-1113. doi: 10.1007/s12264-022-00864-3. Epub 2022 May 16.


Chinese, as a logographic language, fundamentally differs from alphabetic languages like English. Previous neuroimaging studies have mainly focused on alphabetic languages, while the exploration of Chinese reading is still an emerging and fast-growing research field. Recently, a growing number of neuroimaging studies have explored the neural circuit of Chinese reading. Here, we summarize previous research on Chinese reading from a connectomic perspective. Converging evidence indicates that the left middle frontal gyrus is a specialized hub region that connects the ventral with dorsal pathways for Chinese reading. Notably, the orthography-to-phonology and orthography-to-semantics mapping, mainly processed in the ventral pathway, are more specific during Chinese reading. Besides, in addition to the left-lateralized language-related regions, reading pathways in the right hemisphere also play an important role in Chinese reading. Throughout, we comprehensively review prior findings and emphasize several challenging issues to be explored in future work.

Keywords: Brain connectome; Chinese reading; Functional connectivity; Reading comprehension; Structural connectivity; Word recognition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Mapping
  • China
  • Connectome*
  • Language
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Reading*