Structural properties of the ventral reading pathways are associated with morphological processing in adult English readers


Morphological processing, the ability to extract information about word structure, is an essential component of reading. Functional MRI studies have identified several cortical regions involved in morphological processing, but the white matter pathways that support this skill remain unknown. Here, we examine the relationship between behavioral measures of morphological processing and microstructural properties of white matter pathways. Using diffusion MRI (dMRI), we identified the major ventral and dorsal reading pathways in a group of 45 adult English readers. The same participants completed a behavioral battery that included a morphological task and measures of phonological and orthographic processing. We found significant correlations between morphological processing skill and microstructural properties of the ventral, but not dorsal, pathways. These correlations were detected primarily in the left hemisphere, and remained significant after controlling for phonological or orthographic measures, suggesting some level of cognitive specificity. Morphological processing of written words thus appears to rely on ventral pathways, primarily in the left hemisphere. This finding supports the contribution of morphological processing to lexical access and comprehension of complex English words.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Uncontrolled Keywords: Derivational morphology,Diffusion imaging,DTI,Morphological processing,Reading,White matter tractography,Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology,Experimental and Cognitive Psychology,Cognitive Neuroscience
Publication ISSN: 1973-8102
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2024 08:09
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 07:35
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Related URLs: https://www.sci ... 59a5f9aeaa92ffb (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2019-07-01
Published Online Date: 2018-07-03
Accepted Date: 2018-06-25
Authors: Yablonski, Maya
Rastle, Kathleen
Taylor, J.s.h. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-1109-8539)
Ben-shachar, Michal



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License: Creative Commons Attribution

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License: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

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