Brain, Biology and Behavior, Center for


Date of this Version


Document Type



2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved


Brain Res. 2014 September 25; 1582: 34–44. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2014.05.034


The Simple View of reading emphasizes the critical role of two factors in normal reading skills: word recognition and reading comprehension. The current study aims to identify the anatomical support for aspects of reading performance that fall within these two components. Fractional anisotropy (FA) values were obtained from Diffusion Tensor images in twenty-one typical adolescents and young adults using the Tract Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS) method. We focused on the Arcuate Fasciculus (AF) and Inferior Longitudinal Fasciculus (ILF) as fiber tracts that connect regions already implicated in the distributed cortical network for reading. Our results demonstrate dissociation between word-level and narrative-level reading skills: the FA values for both left and right ILF were correlated with measures of word reading, while only the left ILF correlated with reading comprehension scores. FA in the AF, however, correlated only with reading comprehension scores, bilaterally. Correlations with the right AF were particularly robust, emphasizing the contribution of the right hemisphere, especially the frontal lobe, to reading comprehension performance on the particular passage comprehension test used in this study. The anatomical dissociation between these reading skills is supported by the Simple View theory and may shed light on why these two skills dissociate in those with reading disorders.