Abstract

Research on the neural correlates of developmental dyslexia indicates atypical anatomical lateralization of the planum temporale, a higher-order cortical auditory region. Yet whether this atypical lateralization precedes reading acquisition and is related to a familial risk for dyslexia is not currently known. In this study, we address these questions in 2 separate cohorts of young children and adolescents with and without a familial risk for dyslexia. Planum temporale surface area was manually labeled bilaterally, on the T1-weighted MR brain images of 54 pre-readers (mean age: 6.2 years, SD: 3.2 months; 33 males) and 28 adolescents (mean age: 14.7 years, SD: 3.3 months; 11 males). Half of the pre-readers and adolescents had a familial risk for dyslexia. In both pre-readers and adolescents, group comparisons of left and right planum temporale surface area showed a significant interaction between hemisphere and family history of dyslexia, with participants who had no family risk for dyslexia showing greater leftward asymmetry of the planum temporale. This effect was confirmed when analyses were restricted to normal reading participants. Altered planum temporale asymmetry thus seems to be related to family history of dyslexia.

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