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The visual word form area (VWFA) is a functional region of the fusiform gyrus that is hypothesized to be involved in identifying words from lower-level shape images, prior to association with phonology or semantics.[1][2] Because the alphabet is relatively new in human evolution, it is unlikely that this region developed as a result of selection pressures related to word recognition per se; however, this region may be highly specialized for certain types of shapes that occur naturally in the environment and are therefore likely to surface within written language.[How to reference and link to summary or text] However, recent functional imaging experiments have also raised doubts about whether the VWFA is an actual region.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. (2011). The unique role of the visual word form area in reading. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (6): 254–62.
  2. (2003). The visual word form area: Expertise for reading in the fusiform gyrus. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (7): 293–299.
  3. (2003). The myth of the visual word form area. NeuroImage 19 (3): 473–81.

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