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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

February 2009, Vol. 21, No. 2, Pages 222-229
(doi: 10.1162/jocn.2009.21002)
© 2008 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
On the Functional Neuroanatomy of Visual Word Processing: Effects of Case and Letter Deviance
Article PDF (174.38 KB)

This functional magnetic resonance imaging study contrasted case-deviant and letter-deviant forms with familiar forms of the same phonological words (e.g., TaXi and Taksi vs. Taxi) and found that both types of deviance led to increased activation in a left occipito-temporal region, corresponding to the visual word form area (VWFA). The sensitivity of the VWFA to both types of deviance may suggest that this region represents well-known visual words not only as sequences of abstract letter identities but also includes information on the typical case-format pattern of visual words. Case-deviant items, in addition, led to increased activation in a right occipito-temporal region and in a left occipital and a left posterior occipito-temporal region, which may reflect increased demands on letter processing posed by the case-deviant forms.