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Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2016 Feb;31(1):112-22. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv081. Epub 2015 Dec 12.

How Localized are Language Brain Areas? A Review of Brodmann Areas Involvement in Oral Language.

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Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA
Radiology Department/Research Institute, Miami Children's Hospital, Miami, FL, USA.
Department of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University, Davie, FL, USA.


The interest in understanding how language is "localized" in the brain has existed for centuries. Departing from seven meta-analytic studies of functional magnetic resonance imaging activity during the performance of different language activities, it is proposed here that there are two different language networks in the brain: first, a language reception/understanding system, including a "core Wernicke's area" involved in word recognition (BA21, BA22, BA41, and BA42), and a fringe or peripheral area ("extended Wernicke's area:" BA20, BA37, BA38, BA39, and BA40) involved in language associations (associating words with other information); second, a language production system ("Broca's complex:" BA44, BA45, and also BA46, BA47, partially BA6-mainly its mesial supplementary motor area-and extending toward the basal ganglia and the thalamus). This paper additionally proposes that the insula (BA13) plays a certain coordinating role in interconnecting these two brain language systems.


Broca's area; Brodmann areas; Language; Meta-analysis; Wernicke's area

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