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Front Hum Neurosci. 2014 Apr 28;8:228. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00228. eCollection 2014.

Language in the brain at rest: new insights from resting state data and graph theoretical analysis.

Author information

1
Research Unit for Neuroplasticity and Learning in the Healthy Aging Brain, Psychological Institute, University of Zurich Zurich, Switzerland ; International Normal Aging and Plasticity Imaging Center Zurich, Switzerland ; URPP Dynamics of Healthy Aging, University of Zurich Zurich, Switzerland.
2
Research Unit for Neuroplasticity and Learning in the Healthy Aging Brain, Psychological Institute, University of Zurich Zurich, Switzerland ; International Normal Aging and Plasticity Imaging Center Zurich, Switzerland ; URPP Dynamics of Healthy Aging, University of Zurich Zurich, Switzerland ; Cognitive Psychology Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Klagenfurt Klagenfurt, Austria.

Abstract

In humans, the most obvious functional lateralization is the specialization of the left hemisphere for language. Therefore, the involvement of the right hemisphere in language is one of the most remarkable findings during the last two decades of fMRI research. However, the importance of this finding continues to be underestimated. We examined the interaction between the two hemispheres and also the role of the right hemisphere in language. From two seeds representing Broca's area, we conducted a seed correlation analysis (SCA) of resting state fMRI data and could identify a resting state network (RSN) overlapping to significant extent with a language network that was generated by an automated meta-analysis tool. To elucidate the relationship between the clusters of this RSN, we then performed graph theoretical analyses (GTA) using the same resting state dataset. We show that the right hemisphere is clearly involved in language. A modularity analysis revealed that the interaction between the two hemispheres is mediated by three partitions: A bilateral frontal partition consists of nodes representing the classical left sided language regions as well as two right-sided homologs. The second bilateral partition consists of nodes from the right frontal, the left inferior parietal cortex as well as of two nodes within the posterior cerebellum. The third partition is also bilateral and comprises five regions from the posterior midline parts of the brain to the temporal and frontal cortex, two of the nodes are prominent default mode nodes. The involvement of this last partition in a language relevant function is a novel finding.

KEYWORDS:

default mode network; graph theoretical analysis; intrinsic connectivity fMRI; language; networks; resting state; task free paradigm

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