What: Mapping the neural correlates of reading with representational similarity analysis
Where: BCBL auditorium
Who: Simon Fischer-Baum, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Rice University, Houston/TX, US
When: 12 PM, noon
There is agreement about the neural regions involved in reading, but disagreement about the function of those regions. I will present several recent studies from my lab that use representational similarity analysis (RSA) as a novel technique for linking brain activity from neuroimaging experiments with different levels of representation in the cognitive reading system. RSA is based on the assumption that stimuli whose mental representations are similar to each other elicit similar patterns of brain activity, with similarity depending on level of representation. The word DOUGH is similar to TOUGH orthographically, BREAD semantically and SEW phonologically. Therefore, regions that respond similarly to DOUGH and BREAD, but not TOUGH or SEW are argued to be regions that process semantics. I will present results showing how RSA can be used to address longstanding questions about the function of different brain regions in the reading network, how it can provide a tool for mapping the reorganization of reading following brain damage, how it can address cognitive science questions about the nature of reading representations and how it can be linked to individual differences in reading.