Altered connectivity of the visual word form area in the low-vision population: A resting-state fMRI study

Wei Zhou, Wenbin Pang, Linjun Zhang, Hongkai Xu, Ping Li, Hua Shu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The present study investigated the resting-state functional connectivity (FC) of the visual word form area (VWFA) in low-vision people. Participants were 25 sighted and 37 low-vision individuals. During the experiment, participants underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) scans. FC maps of the VWFA for sighted and low-vision participants were calculated separately and were contrasted with each other. Our results revealed a stronger FC between the VWFA and the inferior occipital cortex (IOC) but a weaker FC between the VWFA and the posterior central gyrus (PostCG) in the sighted people compared to the people with low vision. The region-of-interest-based analyses showed that the FC between the VWFA and PostCG in low-vision individuals who learned Braille was stronger relative to those who did not learn Braille, and that the FC between the VWFA and IOC was correlated with the onset age of Braille learning. These results suggest that the VWFA in people with low vision has a functional reorganization between visual and tactile processing, which was modulated by the experience of Braille reading.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107302
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2020


  • Functional connectivity
  • Low vision
  • Resting state
  • Visual word form area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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