Selecting the Most Relevant Brain Regions to Classify Children with Developmental Dyslexia and Typical Readers by Using Complex Magnocellular Stimuli and Multiple Kernel Learning

Sara Mascheretti, Denis Peruzzo, Chiara Andreola, Martina Villa, Tommaso Ciceri, Vittoria Trezzi, Cecilia Marino, Filippo Arrigoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Increasing evidence supports the presence of deficits in the visual magnocellular (M) system in developmental dyslexia (DD). The M system is related to the fronto-parietal attentional network. Previous neuroimaging studies have revealed reduced/absent activation within the visual M pathway in DD, but they have failed to characterize the extensive brain network activated by M stimuli. We performed a multivariate pattern analysis on a Region of Interest (ROI) level to differentiate between children with DD and age-matched typical readers (TRs) by combining full-field sinusoidal gratings, controlled for spatial and temporal frequencies and luminance contrast, and a coherent motion (CM) sensitivity task at 6%-CML6, 15%-CML15 and 40%-CML40. ROIs spanning the entire visual dorsal stream and ventral attention network (VAN) had higher discriminative weights and showed higher act1ivation in TRs than in children with DD. Of the two tasks, CM had the greatest weight when classifying TRs and children with DD in most of the ROIs spanning these streams. For the CML6, activation within the right superior parietal cortex positively correlated with reading skills. Our approach highlighted the dorsal stream and the VAN as highly discriminative areas between children with DD and TRs and allowed for a better characterization of the "dorsal stream vulnerability" underlying DD.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalBrain Sciences
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 28 2021

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