Interhemispheric connectivity during lateralized lexical decision.
ABSTRACT: The well-established right visual field (RVF-lh) advantage in word recognition is commonly attributed to the typical left hemisphere dominance in language; words presented to the LVF-rh are processed less efficiently due to the need for transcallosal transfer from the right to left hemisphere. The exact stage for this hemispheric transfer is currently unsettled. Some studies suggest that transfer occurs at very early stages between primary visual regions, whereas other studies suggest that transfer occurs between the left visual word form area and its right hemisphere homolog. This study explores these conflicting accounts and finds evidence for both. Participants conducted a lateralized lexical decision task with both unilateral and bilateral display conditions. Connectivity analyses were conducted from magnetoencephalography signals that were localized to the left middle occipital gyrus (LMOG), right middle occipital gyrus (RMOG), left visual word form area (LVWFA), and right visual word form area (RVWA). Results from unilateral trials showed asymmetrical interhemispheric connectivity from the RMOG to LMOG and symmetrical interhemispheric connectivity between the LVWFA and RVWFA. Furthermore, bilateral presentations led to reduced interhemispheric connectivity between both homologous region of interest pairs. Together, these results suggest that lateralized word recognition involves multiple stages of interhemispheric interactions and that these interactions are reduced with bilateral displays.
Project description:Vertebrate brains display physiological and anatomical left-right differences, which are related to hemispheric dominances for specific functions. Functional lateralizations likely rely on structural left-right differences in intra- and interhemispheric connectivity patterns that develop in tight gene-environment interactions. The visual systems of chickens and pigeons show that asymmetrical light stimulation during ontogeny induces a dominance of the left hemisphere for visuomotor control that is paralleled by projection asymmetries within the ascending visual pathways. But structural asymmetries vary essentially between both species concerning the affected pathway (thalamo- vs. tectofugal system), constancy of effects (transient vs. permanent), and the hemisphere receiving stronger bilateral input (right vs. left). These discrepancies suggest that at least two aspects of visual processes are influenced by asymmetric light stimulation: (1) visuomotor dominance develops within the ontogenetically stronger stimulated hemisphere but not necessarily in the one receiving stronger bottom-up input. As a secondary consequence of asymmetrical light experience, lateralized top-down mechanisms play a critical role in the emergence of hemispheric dominance. (2) Ontogenetic light experiences may affect the dominant use of left- and right-hemispheric strategies. Evidences from social and spatial cognition tasks indicate that chickens rely more on a right-hemispheric global strategy whereas pigeons display a dominance of the left hemisphere. Thus, behavioral asymmetries are linked to a stronger bilateral input to the right hemisphere in chickens but to the left one in pigeons. The degree of bilateral visual input may determine the dominant visual processing strategy when redundant encoding is possible. This analysis supports that environmental stimulation affects the balance between hemispheric-specific processing by lateralized interactions of bottom-up and top-down systems.
Project description:Increasing efforts have been denoted to elucidating the effective connectivity (EC) among brain regions recruited by certain language task; however, it remains unclear the impact of handedness on the EC network underlying language processing. In particularly, this has not been investigated in Chinese language, which shows several differences from alphabetic language. This study thereby explored the functional activity patterns and the EC network during a Chinese semantic task based on functional MRI data of healthy left handers (LH) and right handers (RH). We found that RH presented a left lateralized activity pattern in cerebral cortex and a right lateralized pattern in cerebellum; while LH were less lateralized than RH in both cerebral and cerebellar areas. The conditional Granger causality method in deconvolved BOLD level further demonstrated more interhemispheric directional connections in LH than RH group, suggesting better bihemispheric coordination and increased interhemispheric communication in LH. Furthermore, we found significantly increased EC from right middle occipital gyrus to bilateral insula (INS) while decreased EC from left INS to left precentral gyrus in LH group comparing to RH group, implying that handedness may differentiate the causal relationship of information processing in integration of visual-spatial analysis and semantic word retrieval of Chinese characters.
Project description:The human brain integrates hemifield-split visual information via interhemispheric transfer. The degree to which neural circuits involved in this process behave differently during word recognition as compared to object recognition is not known. Evidence from neuroimaging (fMRI) suggests that interhemispheric transfer during word viewing converges in the left hemisphere, in two distinct brain areas, an "occipital word form area" (OWFA) and a more anterior occipitotemporal "visual word form area" (VWFA). We used a novel fMRI half-field repetition technique to test whether or not these areas also integrate nonverbal hemifield-split string stimuli of similar visual complexity. We found that the fMRI responses of both the OWFA and VWFA while viewing nonverbal stimuli were strikingly different than those measured during word viewing, especially with respect to half-stimulus changes restricted to a single hemifield. We conclude that normal reading relies on left-lateralized neural mechanisms, which integrate hemifield-split visual information for words but not for nonverbal stimuli.
Project description:The mechanisms underlying interhemispheric integration (IHI) remain poorly understood, particularly for lateralized cognitive processes. To test competing theories of IHI, we constructed and fitted dynamic causal models to functional magnetic resonance data from two visual tasks that operated on identical stimuli but showed opposite hemispheric dominance. Using a systematic Bayesian model selection procedure, we found that, in the ventral visual stream, which was activated by letter judgments, interhemispheric connections mediated asymmetric information transfer from the nonspecialized right to the specialized left hemisphere when the latter did not have direct access to stimulus information. Notably, this form of IHI did not engage all areas activated by the task but was specific for areas in the lingual and fusiform gyri. In the dorsal stream, activated by spatial judgments, it did not matter which hemisphere received the stimulus: interhemispheric coupling increased bidirectionally, reflecting recruitment of the nonspecialized left hemisphere. Again, not all areas activated by the task were involved in this form of IHI; instead, it was restricted to interactions between areas in the superior parietal gyrus. Overall, our results provide direct neurophysiological evidence, in terms of effective connectivity, for the existence of context-dependent mechanisms of IHI that are implemented by specific visual areas during task-driven lateralization.
Project description:In this paper we demonstrate the application of new effective connectivity analyses to characterize changing patterns of task-related directed interaction in large (25-55 node) cortical networks following the onset of aphasia. The subject was a left-handed woman who became aphasic following a right-hemisphere stroke. She was tested on an auditory word-picture verification task administered one and seven months after the onset of aphasia. MEG/EEG and anatomical MRI data were used to create high spatiotemporal resolution estimates of task-related cortical activity. Effective connectivity analyses of those data showed a reduction of bilateral network influences on preserved right-hemisphere structures, and an increase in intra-hemispheric left-hemisphere influences. She developed a connectivity pattern that was more left lateralized than that of right-handed control subjects. Her emergent left hemisphere network showed a combination of increased functional subdivision of perisylvian language areas and recruitment of medial structures.
Project description:The interhemispheric transfer of information is a fundamental process in the human brain. When a visual stimulus appears eccentrically in one visual-hemifield, it will first activate the contralateral hemisphere but also the ipsilateral one with a slight delay due to the interhemispheric transfer. This interhemispheric transfer of visual information is believed to be faster from the right to the left hemisphere in right-handers. Such an asymmetry is considered as a relevant fact in the context of the lateralization of the human brain. We show here using current source density (CSD) analyses of visually evoked potential (VEP) that, in right-handers and, to a lesser extent in left-handers, this asymmetry is in fact dependent on the sighting eye dominance, the tendency we have to prefer one eye for monocular tasks. Indeed, in right-handers, a faster interhemispheric transfer of visual information from the right to left hemisphere was observed only in participants with a right dominant eye (DE). Right-handers with a left DE showed the opposite pattern, with a faster transfer from the left to the right hemisphere. In left-handers, albeit a smaller number of participants has been tested and hence confirmation is required, only those with a right DE showed an asymmetrical interhemispheric transfer with a faster transfer from the right to the left hemisphere. As a whole these results demonstrate that eye dominance is a fundamental determinant of asymmetries in interhemispheric transfer of visual information and suggest that it is an important factor of brain lateralization.
Project description:The impact of learning to read in a mixed approach using both the global and phonics teaching methods on the emergence of left hemisphere neural specialization for word recognition is yet unknown in children. Taking advantage of a natural school context with such a mixed approach, we tested 42 first graders behaviorally and with Fast Periodic Visual Stimulation using electroencephalographic recordings (FPVS-EEG) to measure selective neural responses to letter strings. Letter strings were inserted periodically (1/5) in pseudofonts in 40 s sequences displayed at 6 Hz and were either words globally taught at school, that could therefore be processed by visual whole-word form recognition (global method), or control words/pseudowords eliciting grapheme-phoneme (GP) mappings (phonics method). Results show that selective responses (F/5, 1.2 Hz) were left lateralized for control stimuli that triggered GP mappings but bilateral for globally taught words. It implies that neural mechanisms recruited during visual word processing are influenced by the nature of the mapping between written and spoken word forms. GP mappings induce left hemisphere discrimination responses, and visual recognition of whole-word forms induce bilateral responses, probably because the right hemisphere is relatively more involved in holistic visual object recognition. Splitting the group as a function of the mastery of GP mappings into "good" and "poor" readers strongly suggests that good readers actually processed all stimuli (including global words) predominantly with their left hemisphere, while poor readers showed bilateral responses for global words. These results show that in a mixed approach of teaching to read, global method instruction may induce neural processes that differ from those specialized for reading in the left hemisphere. Furthermore, given their difficulties in automatizing GP mappings, poor readers are especially prone to rely on this alternative visual strategy. A preprint of this paper has been released on Biorxiv (van de Walle de Ghelcke et al., 2018).
Project description:Our aim was to determine the direction of interhemispheric communication in a phonological task in regions involved in different levels of processing. Effective connectivity analysis was conducted on functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 39 children (ages 9-15 years) performing rhyming judgment on spoken words. The results show interaction between hemispheres at multiple levels. First, there is unidirectional transfer of information from right to left at the sensory level of primary auditory cortex. Second, bidirectional connections between superior temporal gyri (STGs) suggest a reciprocal cooperation between hemispheres at the level of phonological and prosodic processing. Third, a direct connection from right STG to left inferior frontal gyrus suggest that information processed in the right STG is integrated into the final stages of phonological segmentation required for the rhyming decision. Intrahemispheric connectivity from primary auditory cortex to STG was stronger in the left compared to the right hemisphere. These results support a model of cooperation between hemispheres, with asymmetric interhemispheric and intrahemispheric connectivity consistent with the left hemisphere specialization for phonological processing. Finally, we found greater interhemispheric connectivity in girls compared to boys, consistent with the hypothesis of a more bilateral representation of language in females than males. However, interhemispheric communication was associated with slow performance and low verbal intelligent quotient within girls. We suggest that females may have the potential for greater interhemispheric cooperation, which may be an advantage in certain tasks. However, in other tasks too much communication between hemispheres may interfere with task performance.
Project description:Cerebral asymmetries result from hemispheric specialization and interhemispheric communication pattern that develop in close gene-environment interactions. To gain a deeper understanding of developmental and functional interrelations, we investigated interhemispheric information exchange in pigeons, which possess a lateralized visual system that develops in response to asymmetrical ontogenetic light stimulation. We monocularly trained pigeons with or without embryonic light experience in color discriminations whereby they learned another pair of colors with each eye. Thereby, information from the ipsilateral eye had to be transferred. Monocular tests confronting the animals with trained and transferred color pairs demonstrated that embryonic light stimulation modulates the balance of asymmetrical handling of transfer information. Stronger embryonic stimulation of the left hemisphere significantly enhanced access to interhemispheric visual information, thereby reversing the right-hemispheric advantage that develops in the absence of embryonic light experience. These data support the critical role of environmental factors in molding a functionally lateralized brain.
Project description:To investigate lateralized differences in limbic system functional connectivity between left and right temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) using graph theory.Interictal resting state fMRI was performed in 14 left TLE patients, 11 right TLE patients, and 12 controls. Graph theory analysis of 10 bilateral limbic regions of interest was conducted. Changes in edgewise functional connectivity, network topology, and regional topology were quantified, and then left and right TLE were compared.Limbic edgewise functional connectivity was predominantly reduced in both left and right TLE. More regional connections were reduced in right TLE, most prominently involving reduced interhemispheric connectivity between the bilateral insula and bilateral hippocampi. A smaller number of limbic connections were increased in TLE, more so in left than in right TLE. Topologically, the most pronounced change was a reduction in average network betweenness centrality and concurrent increase in left hippocampal betweenness centrality in right TLE. In contrast, left TLE exhibited a weak trend toward increased right hippocampal betweenness centrality, with no change in average network betweenness centrality.Limbic functional connectivity is predominantly reduced in both left and right TLE, with more pronounced reductions in right TLE. In contrast, left TLE exhibits both edgewise and topological changes that suggest a tendency toward reorganization. Network changes in TLE and lateralized differences thereof may have important diagnostic and prognostic implications.