There is no doubt that listening to or reading sentences activates the left frontal lobe structures in and around Broca's area. The question is, what process(es) does this activation reflect? In our recent critical review of this literature (Rogalsky & Hickok, 2011) we questioned whether any of this activation reflects processes that are specific to receptive sentence processing. Specifically, we pointed out that sentence activation in the pars opercularis overlaps with activations induced by speech articulation, whereas more anterior (pars triangularis/orbitalis) and dorsal (middle frontal gyrus) sentence-elicited activations overlap with activations induced by cognitive control tasks. Given that sentence processing may be assisted by nonspecific functions such as articulatory rehearsal and cognitive control, this raises serious questions regarding the sentence specificity of activations in Broca's area and vicinity during comprehension. We concluded that the pars opercularis supports sentence comprehension via articulatory rehearsal mechanisms (phonological STM), whereas more anterior and...
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October 01 2011
What Does Broca's Area Activation to Sentences Reflect?
1University of California-Irvine
2University of Southern California
Online Issn: 1530-8898
Print Issn: 0898-929X
© 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2011) 23 (10): 2629–2631.
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Gregory Hickok, Corianne Rogalsky; What Does Broca's Area Activation to Sentences Reflect?. J Cogn Neurosci 2011; 23 (10): 2629–2631. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_00044
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