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Journal Article

Learning to read alters cortico-subcortical crosstalk in the visual system of illiterates


Skeide,  Michael A.
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;


Huettig,  Falk
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, External Organizations;
Psychology of Language Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
The Cultural Brain, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Skeide, M. A., Kumar, U., Mishra, R. K., Tripathi, V. N., Guleria, A., Singh, J. P., et al. (2017). Learning to read alters cortico-subcortical crosstalk in the visual system of illiterates. Science Advances, 5(3): e1602612. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1602612.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-EADA-1
Learning to read is known to result in a reorganization of the developing cerebral cortex. In this longitudinal resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study in illiterate adults we show that only 6 months of literacy training can lead to neuroplastic changes in the mature brain. We observed that literacy-induced neuroplasticity is not confined to the cortex but increases the functional connectivity between the occipital lobe and subcortical areas in the midbrain and
the thalamus. Individual rates of connectivity increase were significantly related to the individualdecoding skill gains. These findings crucially complement current neurobiological concepts ofnormal and impaired literacy acquisition.