Children Use Regions in the Visual Processing and Executive Function Networks during a Subsequent Memory Reading Task

Rola Farah, Rebecca S. Coalson, Steven E. Petersen, Bradley L. Schlaggar, Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Memory encoding is a critical process for memory function, which is foundational for cognitive functioning including reading, and has been extensively studied using subsequent memory tasks. Research in adults using such tasks indicates the participation of visual and cognitive-control systems in remembered versus forgotten words. However, given the known developmental trajectories of these systems, the functional neuroanatomy of memory encoding in children may be different than in adults. We examined brain activation for silent word reading and checkerboard viewing during an event-related reading task in 8-12 year-old children. Results indicate greater activation for checkerboard viewing than lexical processing in early visual regions, as well as for lexical processing versus checkerboard viewing in regions in left sensorimotor mouth, cingulo-opercular and dorsal-attention networks. Greater activation for remembered than forgotten words was observed in bilateral visual system and left lateralized regions within the ventral-and dorsal-attention, cingulo-opercular and fronto-parietal networks. These findings suggest a relatively mature reliance on the cognitive-control system, but greater reliance on the visual system in children when viewing words subsequently remembered. The location of regions with greater activity for remembered words reinforces the involvement of the attention and cognitive-control systems in subsequent memory in reading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5180-5189
Number of pages10
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • children
  • cognitive control
  • functional MRI
  • memory
  • visual processing


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