NASET News Alert

How Left Brain Asymmetry is Related to Reading Ability

April 15, 2022

Researchers led by Mark Eckert at the Medical University of South Carolina, United States, report that two seemingly opposing theories of language processing are both correct. Publishing in the open-access journal PLOS Biology on April 5, the study shows that greater left-brain asymmetry can predict both better performance and average performance on a foundational measure of reading ability, depending on whether analysis is conducted over the whole brain or in specific regions. Being able to fluently convert written symbols into speech sounds is a basic aspect of reading that varies from person to person and is difficult for individuals with conditions like dyslexia. While structural asymmetries between the right and left sides of the brain seem to be related to this ability, exactly how remains a mystery. Using structural MRI from over 700 children and adults, along with a reading test of pseudo-words and a mathematical method called persistent homology, the new study tested two opposing theories of how brain asymmetries should affect phonological processing. Read More