READING ABILITY CORRELATES WITH WHITE MATTER ANISOTROPY IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILDREN
Beaulieu C, Plewes C, Snook L, Roy D, Concha L, Phillips L
University of Alberta
Previous diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies have demonstrated correlations between reading ability and fractional anisotropy (FA) in the left temporo-parietal white matter in adults and older children (~11 years old). The purpose of this study was to determine whether similar correlations between FA in the brain and reading ability exist in two even younger cohorts of children (Kindergarten - Grade 1, ages 5-7; Grades 2 4, ages 7-10) with varying levels of skill. It is demonstrated that localized white matter connectivity in the brain is related to reading performance in elementary school children whom are emerging readers.