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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Consistency and variability in functional localisers


Much of research surrounding reading difficulties is based solely on behavioral analyses.A child’s early and correct diagnosis is imperative to insure that they receive adequate resourcesand support which can severely affect equal opportunities for success in the future. Afterstudying different methods of diagnosis for reading difficulties, we saw most of these tests couldnot assert significant differences between children with and without reading difficulties. Thiscontributes to diagnoses being heavily reliant on behavioral observations. Since statisticallysignificant distinction can’t be made with behavioral tests, researchers are pushed to exploredifferent approaches.In order to explore more concrete approaches to diagnoses, we then looked at fMRI datato determine if we could accurately attribute functional localizations in the brain to responses towords and pictures. Through this, researchers aimed to use specific neuroanatomical images todetermine how the brain activity of a person without reading difficulties corresponds to wordandimage-processing. We compared data between two runs of the same subject as well asbetween subjects in order to determine consistency of the study. Although we could not findconsistency between subject, we were able to explore possible ways to optimize fMRI studies forfuture diagnoses. We hope to one day optimize the data collection system in order to use thelocalization of brain activity to diagnose children with reading difficulties in an unbiased,systematic way.

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