White matter network connectivity deficits in developmental dyslexia

Chenglin Lou, Xiting Duan, Irene Altarelli, John A. Sweeney, Franck Ramus, Jingjing Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


A number of studies have shown an abnormal connectivity of certain white matter pathways in developmental dyslexia, as well as correlations between these white matter pathways and behavioral deficits. However, whether developmental dyslexia presents broader white matter network connectivity disruption is currently unknown. The present study reconstructed white matter networks for 26 dyslexic children (11.61 ± 1.31 years) and 31 age-matched controls (11.49 ± 1.36 years) using constrained spherical deconvolution tractography. Network-based statistics (NBS) analysis was performed to identify network connectivity deficits in dyslexic individuals. Network topological features were measured based on graph theory to examine whether these parameters correlate with literacy skills, and whether they explain additional variance over previously established white matter connectivity abnormalities in dyslexic children. The NBS analysis identified a network connecting the left-occipital-temporal cortex and temporo-parietal cortex that had decreased streamlines in dyslexic children. Four network topological parameters (clustering coefficient, local efficiency, transitivity, and global efficiency) were positively correlated with literacy skills of dyslexic children, and explained a substantial proportion of additional variance in literacy skills beyond connectivity measures of white matter pathways. This study for the first time reports a disconnection in a local subnetwork in the left hemisphere in dyslexia and shows that the global white matter network topological properties contribute to reduced literacy skills in dyslexic children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-516
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • NBS
  • dyslexia
  • graph theory
  • literacy
  • white matter network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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