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Cereb Cortex. 2012 Oct;22(10):2217-26. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhr286. Epub 2011 Nov 2.

Distinct neural substrates for semantic knowledge and naming in the temporoparietal network.

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1
Center for Mind/Brain Sciences, University of Trento, Rovereto 38068, Italy.

Abstract

Patients with anterior temporal lobe (ATL) lesions show semantic and lexical retrieval deficits, and the differential role of this area in the 2 processes is debated. Functional neuroimaging in healthy individuals has not clarified the matter because semantic and lexical processes usually occur simultaneously and automatically. Furthermore, the ATL is a region challenging for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) due to susceptibility artifacts, especially at high fields. In this study, we established an optimized ATL-sensitive fMRI acquisition protocol at 4 T and applied an event-related paradigm to study the identification (i.e., association of semantic biographical information) of celebrities, with and without the ability to retrieve their proper names. While semantic processing reliably activated the ATL, only more posterior areas in the left temporal and temporal-parietal junction were significantly modulated by covert lexical retrieval. These results suggest that within a temporoparietal network, the ATL is relatively more important for semantic processing, and posterior language regions are relatively more important for lexical retrieval.

PMID:
22047967
PMCID:
PMC3895951
DOI:
10.1093/cercor/bhr286
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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