How orthography-based and phonology-based typing methods affect orthographicprocessing of Chinese characters

Symposium 2-4Time:15:00 - 16:30
Denise Hsien Wu1
1Graduate Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, National Central University, Taiwan,

All typing methods for alphabetic languages are based on phonology, as it is straight forward to represent individual letters which correspond to individual phonemes (despite the orthographic depth) in keys. However, for logographic languages such as Chinese, phonology-based typing methods are not the only way to decode orthography in the writing system. To determine whether common or distinct neural substrates underpin typed spelling via an orthography-based (Cang-Jie, 倉頡輸入法) and a phonology-based (Zhu-Yin, 注音輸入法) typing method, functional magnetic resonance imaging was applied. The neuroimaging results from proficient Cang-Jie and Zhu-Yin typists when they performed a written picture naming task and a line drawing task revealed a typical neural network supporting writing behaviors in both groups from the temporoparietal to frontal regions. In addition to the common activations, Cang-Jie typists demonstrated higher activations on the anterior part of right middle frontal gyrus (BA 10) than Zhu-Yin typists, while Zhu-Yin typists demonstrated higher activations on bilateral subcortical regions than Cang-Jie typists. Such findings are likely to reflect that Cang-Jie and Zhu-Yin typists have extensive experience in accessing (output) orthographic knowledge through sub-character combinations stored in long-term memory and through phonology-to-orthography conversion of the lexical writing mechanisms, respectively. In summary, the present study identifies the common neural network underlying the writing behaviors irrespective of languages and typing methods, but it also highlights the specific effects of cultural artifacts on the reliance of different brain regions to access orthography knowledge.

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September 1-3, 2017