The neural correlates of language processing and its disorders over the life span
I fi rst present the results of a number of fMRI studies investigating the left-lateralised language network in the human brain. The focus will be here on phonological and lexical processing, which both recruit Broca’s region. These data are summarised in a model which serves as framework for the subsequently presented data. Next, I explore commonalities and differences between primary school children and adults with respect to lexical and phonological processing. In the children, the same networks are involved, but are less specialised as compared to adults. Then, neurocognitive differences between dyslexic and normally reading children for lexical and phonological processing as well as for other cognitive functions relevant for reading are discussed. These functions include auditory and visuo-magnocellular processing, attention, and automatisation. Multivariate testing of these functions reveals different cognitive subtypes of dyslexia. Consequently, a new training approach is outlined. With respect to cognitive functions relevant for reading, fMRI reveals consistent right-hemispheric involvement for dyslexic children, which is regarded to refl ect compensatory processes. Finally, a transfer is made to adult dyslexic processing and to linguistic diffi culties in vascular and neurodegenerative aphasia in middle and older age. This research is funded by BMBF 01GJ0613/01GJ0614/GJ01203907, DFG HE 5204/3-1, and JARA-BRAIN Excellence Initiative.