A common language network for comprehension and production: A contribution to the definition of language epicenters with PET

D. Papathanassiou, O. Etard, E. Mellet, L. Zago, B. Mazoyer, N. Tzourio-Mazoyer
NeuroImage. 2000-04-01; 11(4): 347-357
DOI: 10.1006/nimg.2000.0546

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1. Neuroimage. 2000 Apr;11(4):347-57.

A common language network for comprehension and production: a contribution to the
definition of language epicenters with PET.

Papathanassiou D(1), Etard O, Mellet E, Zago L, Mazoyer B, Tzourio-Mazoyer N.

Author information:
(1)Groupe d’Imagerie Neurofonctionnelle (GIN), UPRES EA 2127 Université de Caen &
CEA LRC 13V, GIP Cyceron, Bld Henri Becquerel, 14074 Caen Cedex, France.

In this paper, we report on a PET activation study designed to assess whether
functional neuroimaging would help to uncover essential language areas in normal
volunteers and to provide a more accurate definition of their localization.
Regional cerebral blood flow was repeatedly monitored in eight right-handed male
volunteers, while performing a language comprehension task (listening to factual
stories) and a language production task (covert generation of verbs semantically
related to heard nouns), using silent resting as a control condition. The
conjunction analysis, conducted with SPM, was used to uncover the network of
activations common to both task that included three left hemisphere areas, namely
(1) the pars opercularis and triangularis of the inferior frontal gyrus, (2) the
posterior part of the superior temporal cortex centered around the superior
temporal sulcus, extending to the planum temporale posterior part but sparing the
supramarginalis and angular gyri, and (3) the most anterior part of the left
inferior temporal gyrus at the junction with the anterior fusiform gyrus. The
inferior and lateral parts of the right cerebellar cortex were also included in
the conjunction network. Each of the three cortical areas, when they are site of
lesion or electrical stimulation, elicit impairment in both language
comprehension and production and can thus be considered as essential to language.
Accordingly, the present results provide conservative anatomofunctional
definitions of the Broca, Wernicke, and basal language areas. Interestingly,
contralateral homologues of Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas also lighted up in the
conjunction analysis that could be related to the interindividual variability of
hemispheric language dominance.

Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

DOI: 10.1006/nimg.2000.0546
PMID: 10725191 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus