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Research on cross-linguistic comparisons of the neural correlates of reading has consistently found that the left middle frontal gyrus (MFG) is more involved in Chinese than in English. However, there is a lack of consensus on the interpretation of the language difference. Because this region has been found to be involved in writing, we hypothesize that reading Chinese characters involves this writing region to a greater degree because Chinese speakers learn to read by repeatedly writing the<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0168414">doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0168414</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27992505">pmid:27992505</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PMC5161366/">pmcid:PMC5161366</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/release/dlxn6xz64bgopdslwzvowa6epu">fatcat:dlxn6xz64bgopdslwzvowa6epu</a> </span>
more »... racters. To test this hypothesis, we recruited English L1 learners of Chinese, who performed a reading task and a writing task in each language. The English L1 sample had learned some Chinese characters through character-writing and others through phonological learning, allowing a test of writing-on-reading effect. We found that the left MFG was more activated in Chinese than English regardless of task, and more activated in writing than in reading regardless of language. Furthermore, we found that this region was more activated for reading Chinese characters learned by character-writing than those learned by phonological learning. A major conclusion is that writing regions are also activated in reading, and that this reading-writing connection is modulated by the learning experience. We replicated the main findings in a group of native Chinese speakers, which excluded the possibility that the language differences observed in the English L1 participants were due to different language proficiency level. Procedure Behavioral training and testing. As reported in Cao et al (2013), the English L1 participants learned 30 Chinese characters in each of two training conditions (i.e. character writing and pinyin writing) for 5 consecutive days. The characters were selected from the participants' Chinese textbook and had not been taught prior to the experiment. A pretest confirmed that the participants knew none of the 60 characters. In each training session, all 60 characters were taught. During a training trial, each character was first presented alone in the center of a Greater Involvement of Writing in Chinese Reading than English Reading PLOS ONE |
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