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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 5732642, 8 pages
Research Article

Human Brain Mapping of Visual Script Familiarity between Phonological and Logographic Language: 3 T Functional MRI Study

1Neuroscience Research Institute, Gachon University, Incheon, Republic of Korea
2Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
3Department of Radiological Science, College of Health Science, Gachon University, Incheon, Republic of Korea
4Bioimaging Research Team, Division of Bioconvergence Analysis, Korea Basic Science Institute, Ochang, Cheongju, Republic of Korea
5Department of General Education, Ajou University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
6Department of Neurosurgery, Gachon University Gil Hospital, Incheon, Republic of Korea
7Department of Education, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Young-Bo Kim; and Byung-Gee Bak;

Received 10 January 2017; Revised 20 March 2017; Accepted 23 April 2017; Published 5 July 2017

Academic Editor: Nader Pouratian

Copyright © 2017 Nambeom Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Neurolinguistic circuitry for two different scripts of language, such as phonological scripts (PhonoS) versus logographic scripts (LogoS) (e.g., English versus Chinese, resp.), recruits segregated neural pathways according to orthographic regularity (OrthoR). The purpose of this study was to identify the effect of VSF for cortical representation according to different OrthoR to represent Hangul versus Hanja as PhonoS versus LogoS, respectively. A total of 24 right-handed, native Korean undergraduate students with the first language of PhonoS and the second language of LogoS were divided into high- or low-competent groups for L2 of LogoS. The implicit word reading task was performed using Hanja and Hangul scripts during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) acquisition. Fluctuations of fMRI BOLD signal demonstrated that the LogoS was associated with the ventral pathway, whereas PhonoS was associated with the dorsal pathway. By interaction analysis, compared with high-competent group, low-competent group showed significantly greater activation for Hanja than for Hangul reading in the right superior parietal lobule area and the left supplementary motor area, which might be due to neural efficiency such as attention and cognition rather than core neurolinguistic neural demand like OrthoR processing.