Resting-State Functional Connectivity within Default Mode Network in Chinese-speaking Children with Specific Learning DisabilitiesAuthor(s): Jun-Cheng Weng, Natalie Y Wang, Cheng-Jui Li, Hsiao-Lan Sharon Wang
Learning is a complex process requiring support from various cognitive domains. Neuroimaging studies of clinical populations have linked various cognitive impairments with dysfunctions of the default mode network. This study investigates whether there is a fundamental deficit contributing to various sub-types of specific learning disability in children.
Resting-state functional connectivity of the default mode network was examined using seedbased correlation and network-based statistical analyses.
The seed-based functional connectivity analysis revealed reduced functional connectivity in left superior frontal gyrus within the default mode network in children with specific learning disability, compared with typically developing children. Further, network-based statistical analysis showed reduced connectivity between superior frontal gyrus and sub-network regions, such as bilateral inferior frontal gyrus and bilateral posterior cingulate cortex, associated with executive function.
This study reveals that, in addition to the specific difficulties for the sub-types of SLD, reduced executive function is a fundamental deficit that generalized across children with difficulties in reading and/or math. The study also contributes to the understanding of the role of the default mode network in specific learning disability. These findings can lead to further clinical implications, including early diagnosis and development of effective interventions.