ERIC Number: EJ923268
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Sub-Centimeter Language Organization in the Human Temporal Lobe
Flinker, A.; Chang, E. F.; Barbaro, N. M.; Berger, M. S.; Knight, R. T.
Brain and Language, v117 n3 p103-109 Jun 2011
The human temporal lobe is well known to be critical for language comprehension. Previous physiological research has focused mainly on non-invasive neuroimaging and electrophysiological techniques with each approach requiring averaging across many trials and subjects. The results of these studies have implicated extended anatomical regions in peri-sylvian cortex in speech perception. These non-invasive studies typically report a spatially homogenous functional pattern of activity across several centimeters of cortex. We examined the spatiotemporal dynamics of word processing using electrophysiological signals acquired from high-density electrode arrays (4 mm spacing) placed directly on the human temporal lobe. Electrocorticographic (ECoG) activity revealed a rich mosaic of language activity, which was functionally distinct at four mm separation. Cortical sites responding specifically to word and not phoneme stimuli were surrounded by sites that responded to both words and phonemes. Other sub-regions of the temporal lobe responded robustly to self-produced speech and minimally to external stimuli while surrounding sites at 4 mm distance exhibited an inverse pattern of activation. These data provide evidence for temporal lobe specificity to words as well as self-produced speech. Furthermore, the results provide evidence that cortical processing in the temporal lobe is not spatially homogenous over centimeters of cortex. Rather, language processing is supported by independent and spatially distinct functional sub-regions of cortex at a resolution of at least 4 mm.
Descriptors: Evidence, Stimuli, Phonemes, Auditory Perception, Language Processing, Brain Hemisphere Functions, Physiology, Diagnostic Tests
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A