Date of Award

January 2011

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)



First Advisor

Bennett A. Shaywitz

Subject Area(s)



Dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in learning to read. Dyslexics experience difficulty parsing a written word's phonology. Although impairment of phonology is the cardinal feature of dyslexia, dyslexics may also be identified by slow, laborious, and inefficient reading of text (dysfluency). Dysfluent readers can be divided into those who have attained adequate skill in decoding, and those who lack both decoding accuracy and fluency. This study of 144 right handed children: (67 girls and 77 boys; ages 7-12 years, mean 9.0 years) is the first fMRI study to compare the neural pathways related to reading in dyslexics identified using dysfluency criteria. I focused my research on the design of anatomical Regions of Interest (ROIs) to compare their usefulness in localizing brain activation patterns in reading to the standard approach using functional ROIs. We hypothesize that the neural systems of reading differ in nonimpaired and dysfluent readers and that dysfluent readers who are accurate decoders may engage neural systems that differ systematically from their counterparts who are dysfluent and inaccurate decoders.