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Data from: Selective visual representation of letters and words in the left ventral occipito-temporal cortex with intracerebral recordings

Citation

Lochy, Aliette et al. (2019), Data from: Selective visual representation of letters and words in the left ventral occipito-temporal cortex with intracerebral recordings, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6s39h64

Abstract

We report a comprehensive cartography of selective responses to visual letters and words in the human ventral occipito-temporal cortex (VOTC) with direct neural recordings, clarifying key aspects of the neural basis of reading. Intracerebral recordings were performed in a large group of patients (n = 37) presented with visual words inserted periodically in rapid sequences of pseudofonts, nonwords, or pseudowords, enabling classification of responses at three levels of word processing: letter, prelexical, and lexical. While letter selective responses are found in much of the VOTC, with a higher proportion in left posterior regions, prelexical/lexical responses are confined to the middle and anterior sections of the left fusiform gyrus. This region overlaps with and extends more anteriorly than the visual word form area typically identified with functional magnetic resonance imaging. In this region, prelexical responses provide evidence for populations of neurons sensitive to the statistical regularity of letter combinations independently of lexical responses to familiar words. Despite extensive sampling in anterior ventral temporal regions, there is no hierarchical organization between prelexical and lexical responses in the left fusiform gyrus. Overall, distinct word processing levels depend on neural populations that are spatially intermingled rather than organized according to a strict posteroanterior hierarchy in the left VOTC.

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