Reading comprehension: Our brains see familiar words as pictures, not individual letters

Research has shown that distinct insular subregions are associated with particular neural networks (e.g., attentional and sensorimotor networks). Based on the evidence that playing action video games (AVGs) facilitates attentional and sensorimotor functions, this study examined the relation between AVG xperience and the plasticity of insular subregions and the functional networks therein that are related to attentional and sensorimotor functions. By comparing AVG experts and amateurs, we found that AVG xperts had enhanced functional connectivity and grey matter volume in insular subregions. Furthermore, AVG experts exhibited increased functional connectivity between the attentional and sensorimotor networks, and the experience-related enhancement was predominantly evident in the left insula, an understudied brain area. Thus, AVG playing may enhance functional integration of insular subregions and the pertinent networks therein.