A systematic review and meta-analysis of imaging genetics studies of specific reading disorder

Tina Thomas, Shiva Khalaf, Elena L. Grigorenko

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The imaging genetics of specific reading disabilities (SRD) is an emerging field that aims to characterize the disabilities’ neurobiological causes, including atypical brain structure and function and distinct genetic architecture. The present review aimed to summarize current imaging genetics studies of SRD, characterize the effect sizes of reported results by calculating Cohen’s d, complete a Fisher’s Combined Probability Test for genes featured in multiple studies, and determine areas for future research. Results demonstrate associations between SRD risk genes and reading network brain phenotypes. The Fisher’s test revealed promising results for the genes DCDC2, KIAA0319, FOXP2, SLC2A3, and ROBO1. Future research should focus on exploratory approaches to identify previously undiscovered genes. Using comprehensive neuroimaging (e.g., functional and effective connectivity) and genetic (e.g., sequencing and epigenetic) techniques, and using larger samples, diverse stages of development, and longitudinal investigations, would help researchers understand the neurobiological correlates of SRD to improve early identification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-204
Number of pages26
JournalCognitive Neuropsychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021

Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


  • genetics
  • imaging
  • Imaging genetics
  • reading disability


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