Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

Robert Fulbright


Recent studies in the field of dyslexia have used magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to explore neurochemical manifestations of neurobiological differences in the brains of dyslexic adults compared to controls. This study examines the potential relationship between functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) BOLD (blood oxygen level demand) activation scores in response to cognitive tasks and MRS-measured levels of a metabolite and a neurotransmitter, N-acetylaspartate (NAA) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) respectively, in the occipital region of brains of seven-year old children. Preliminary results from this multi-arm, longitudinal study indicate a significant positive correlation between fMRI BOLD signal elicited in response to picture-cues in the occipital region of interest bilaterally, and both GABA (R2=0.477 p=0.05, 2-tailed) and NAA (R2=0.587 p=0.01, 2-tailed) levels. The results suggest that the functional neuroanatomical circuitry involved in a cognitive task also has neurochemical indicators.