Significant relation between MR measures of planum temporale area and syllable perception in dyslexic children

Research Area: Research Year: 2003
Type of Publication: Article
Authors: Hugdahl, Kenneth; Heiervang, E; Ersland, Lars; Lundervold, A; Smievoll, A I
In the present study, we investigated differences between dyslexic and normal reading children in asymmetry of the planum temporale area in the upper posterior part of the temporal lobe and dichotic listening performance to consonant–vowel syllables. The current study was an extension of previous studies in our laboratory on the same participants, now including also girls and left-handers. There were 20 boys and 3 girls in the dyslexic group and 19 boys and 4 girls in the normal reading group. The age of the participants was 10–12 years for both groups. The participants were screened from a population of 950 students in the fourth school grade in the greater Bergen district. The planum temporale area was measured in sagittal magnetic resonance (MR) images. Mean left and right area and asymmetry index were compared between the groups. Dichotic presentations of consonant–vowel syllables made it possible to separately probe left and right hemisphere phonological function, and to correlate this with planum temporale area. The results showed a significantly larger left than right planum temporale area for both groups. However, while the right planum temporale area was similar for the dyslexic and control groups, the left planum temporale was significantly (one-tailed t-test) smaller in the dyslexic group. Both groups also showed a significant right ear advantage to the consonant–vowel syllables in the dichotic listening test. The relation between planum temporale and dichotic listening asymmetry showed a significant correlation for the dyslexic group only, indicating a positive relation between brain structure and function in dyslexic children. The results are discussed in terms of important subject characteristics with regard to brain markers of dyslexia.
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