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Cerebral Asymmetry in the Fusiform Areas Predicted the Efficiency of Learning a New Writing System


There are great individual differences in learning abilities, but their neural bases, especially among normal populations, are not well understood. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and a training paradigm, the present study investigated individual differences in cerebral asymmetry in fusiform regions when processing a new writing system and their correlation to subsequent visual character learning. Twelve Chinese adults underwent a 2-week training to learn 120 Korean characters and they were scanned before and after the training. Results showed that left-hemispheric dominance during the pretraining task was predictive of better posttraining performance. These results have significant implications for our understanding of the neural basis of language learning, especially in terms of individual differences.

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