In computational models of reading, written words can be read using print-to-sound and/or print-to-meaning pathways. Neuroimaging data associate dorsal stream regions (left posterior occipitotemporal cortex, intraparietal cortex, dorsal inferior frontal gyrus [dIFG]) with the print-to-sound pathway and ventral stream regions (left anterior fusiform gyrus, middle temporal gyrus) with the print-to-meaning pathway. In 69 typical adults, we investigated whether resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) between the visual word form area (VWFA) and dorsal and ventral regions correlated with phonological (nonword reading, nonword repetition, spoonerisms), lexical-semantic (vocabulary, sensitivity to morpheme units in reading), and general literacy (word reading, spelling) skills. VWFA activity was temporally correlated with activity in both dorsal and ventral reading regions. In pre-registered whole-brain analyses, spoonerisms performance was positively correlated with RSFC between the VWFA and left dorsal regions (dIFG, superior parietal and intraparietal cortex). In exploratory region-of-interest analyses, VWFA-dIFG connectivity was also positively correlated with nonword repetition, spelling, and vocabulary. Connectivity between the VWFA and ventral stream regions was not associated with performance on any behavioural measure, either in whole-brain or region-of-interest analyses. Our results suggest that tasks such as spoonerisms and spellings, which are both complex (i.e., involve multiple subprocesses) and have high between-subject variability, provide greater opportunity for observing resting-state brain-behaviour associations. However, the complexity of these tasks limits the conclusions we can draw about the specific mechanisms that drive these associations. Future research would benefit from constructing latent variables from multiple tasks tapping the same reading subprocess.

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Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Handling Editor: Steven Small

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