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Brain Lang. 1998 Sep;64(2):231-56.

Brain activation during silent word generation evaluated with functional MRI.

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Department of Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.


This is a study of word generation during functional MRI (fMRI). Eleven normal healthy subjects were instructed to generate words covertly, (i.e., silently) that began with particular letters. Images were acquired on a conventional 1.5T scanner at three contiguous axial planes encompassing language-related areas of the temporal and frontal lobe. The data were analyzed at the level of a Talairach box, after individually fitting the proportional Talairach grid system to each slice. The main variable of interest was the number of activated pixels within a Talairach box. Boxes with a significant increase in the proportion of activated pixels were located in three regions of the left neocortex: (1) Brodmann areas 44 and 45 in the dorsolateral frontal cortex (Broca's area), (2) areas 21 and 37 in the temporal cortex, (3) and the striate/extrastriate cortex (areas 17 & 18). The results are discussed in terms of a cognitive model of word generation and are compared, in detail, with the results of prior relevant imaging studies.

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