Differential Brain Activity in Reading Hangul and Hanja in Korean Language
Even though the Korean words (Hangul) are characterized as phonemes like other alphabetic languages, their shape resembles much more morphemes like Chinese characters (Hanja). The use of functional magnetic resonance imaging permits the collection of brain activation patterns when native Korean speakers (12 persons as subjects) read Hangul and Hanja. The Korean language uses both alphabetic Hangul and logographic Hanja in its writing system. Our experimental results show that the activation patterns obtained for reading Hanja by Korean native speakers involve neural mechanisms that are similar to Chinese native speakers; i.e. strong left-lateralized middle frontal cortex activation. For the case of Korean word reading, the activation pattern in the bilateral fusiform gyrus, left middle frontal gyrus, left superior temporal gyrus, right mid temporal gyrus, precentral gyrus, and insula was observed
KeywordsWord perception brain activity frontal cortex
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