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Abstract #1777

Anatomical connections of the Visual Word Form Area

Florence Bouhali 1 , Michel Thiebaut de Schotten 1,2 , Philippe Pinel 3 , Cyril Poupon 3 , Jean-Franois Mangin 3 , Stanislas Dehaene 4 , and Laurent Cohen 1

1 Brain and Spine Institute, Paris, France, 2 Natbrainlab - Institute of Psychiatry, Paris, France, 3 Neurospin, Paris, France, 4 Collge de France, Paris, France

The visual word form area (VWFA), a region systematically involved in the identification of written words, occupies a reproducible location in the left occipito-temporal sulcus in expert readers of all cultures. Such a reproducible localization is paradoxical, given that reading is a recent invention that could not have influenced the genetic evolution of the cortex. Here, we revealed that the VWFA recycles a region of the ventral visual cortex that shows a high degree of anatomical connectivity to perisylvian language areas, thus providing an efficient circuit for both grapheme-phoneme conversion and lexical access.

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