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As with most complex behaviors, visual word recognition is thought to result from the dynamic interplay between the elements of a distributed cortical and subcortical network. To understand fully how visual word recognition is achieved therefore, and how it may fail in developmental dyslexia, not only the necessary and sufficient complement of nodes that comprise this network-its functional anatomy-need to be identified, but also how information flows through this network with time needs to be understood, and indeed how the structure of the network itself may adapt in both the short and long term. This chapter takes a historical approach to reviewing recent magnetoencephalography (MEG) research that elucidates these temporal dynamics, focusing particularly on events with the first 300 milliseconds (ms) of a visually presented word, and which should set crucial constraints on models of visual word recognition and reading.

Original publication





Book title

The Neural Basis of Reading


Oxford University Press

Publication Date





Dyslexia, Information, Magnetoencephalography research, Visual word recognition