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ISSN
0898-929X
E-ISSN
1530-8898
2014 Impact factor:
4.69

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

February 15, 2002, Vol. 14, No. 2, Pages 145-159
(doi: 10.1162/089892902317236803)
© 2002 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Neural Specialization for Letter Recognition
Article PDF (1.04 MB)
Abstract

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to estimate neural activity while subjects viewed strings of consonants, digits, and shapes. An area on or near the left fusiform gyrus was found that responded significantly more to letters than digits. Similar results were obtained when consonants were used whose visual features were matched with the digits and when an active matching task was used, suggesting that the results cannot be easily attributed to artifacts of the stimuli or task. These results demonstrate that neural specialization in the human brain can extend to a category of stimuli that is culturally defined and that is acquired many years postnatally.