The purpose of this study was to investigate human brain activity during the reading of ancient Japanese texts using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Thirty right-handed normal Japanese subjects performed two reading tasks: covert reading of (1) ancient and (2) modern Japanese text. Common areas are activated during both tasks. Activity in the left inferior frontal cortices increased during the reading of ancient Japanese text compared with the reading of modern Japanese text, whereas occipital activity increased during the reading of modern Japanese text. Our results indicate that ancient Japanese language may be processed as a foreign language.
- Ancient language
- Functional magnetic resonance imaging
- Language familiarity