fMRI of Language Systems: Methods and Applications



Language refers to the uniquely human capacity for communication through productive combination of symbols. Functional neuroimaging studies have greatly expanded our knowledge of the brain systems supporting language, producing a dramatic reawakening of interest in this topic and substantial revision of the classical neuroanatomical model formulated by Broca, Wernicke, and others. This chapter discusses key theoretical issues regarding functional imaging of language systems and describes several mapping paradigms in common clinical use. Research on the reliability and validity of fMRI language mapping is reviewed, and clinical applications are presented with several example cases. A central theme is that interpretation of fMRI language studies depends on an informed analysis of the cognitive processes engaged during scanning. This analytic approach can help avoid common pitfalls in task design that limit the sensitivity and specificity of language mapping studies and should encourage the development of a standardized methodological and conceptual framework for such studies.


Blood Oxygen Level Dependent Semantic Processing Language Task Anterior Temporal Lobe Language Lateralization 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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