Neural systems for reading in the sighted and in the blind.

Др. Швед Марчин Филип
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Лекция профессора Ягеллонского университета г-на Шведа Марчина Филипа состоится 4 декабря 2013 г в НИУ ВШЭ (Москва) в 19ч , по адресу: ул. Мясницкая, д.20 (центральный офис)в аудитории №309

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Neural systems for reading in the sighted and in the blind.

Reading is a remarkable feat. It operates extremely fast – 200 words per minute in mature, fluent readers - and it is acting in parallel over all the letters of a word. My research approach combines behavioral tools developed for the study of reading, state of art functional MRI, and the study of people that are special in ways interesting for the neuroscience of reading: adult illiterates, Chinese immigrants who haven’t yet mastered the alphabetic script, epileptic patients with intracranially implanted electrodes, or the congenitally blind people. Using the above methods, our lab has been asking the following questions:

1) is there a dedicated “reading area” in the brain, or can reading achieved by a multi-functional visual recognition area?

2) What is the neural correlate of the remarkable speed of adult reading – up to 250 words per minute?

3) Which brain areas which are used for reading in the blind?

The classical view predicts that Braille reading should be carried out by the somatosensory cortex reflecting the tactile nature of the task. Alternatively, the metamodal theory, which suggests that brain areas are responsive to a specific representation or computation regardless of their input-sensory-modality predicted recruitment of the very same brain areas as in the sighted.