Broca's Area (broca + area)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Neural correlates of consolidation in working memory

Nelly Mainy
Abstract Many of our daily activities rely on a brain system called working memory, which implements our ability to encode information for short-term maintenance, possible manipulation, and retrieval. A recent intracranial study of patients performing a paradigmatic working memory task revealed that the maintenance of information involves a distributed network of oscillations in the gamma band (>40 Hz). Using a similar task, we focused on the encoding stage and targeted a process referred to as short-term consolidation, which corresponds to the encoding of novel items in working memory. The paradigm was designed to manipulate the subjects' intention to encode: series of 10 letters were presented, among which only five had to be remembered, as indicated by visual cues preceding or following each letter. During this task we recorded the intracerebral EEG of nine epileptic patients implanted in mesiotemporal structures, perisylvian regions, and prefrontal areas and used time,frequency analysis to search for neural activities simultaneous with the encoding of the letters into working memory. We found such activities in the form of increases of gamma band activity in a set of regions associated with the phonological loop, including the Broca area and the auditory cortex, and in the prefrontal cortex, the pre- and postcentral gyri, the hippocampus, and the fusiform gyrus. Hum Brain Mapp, 2007. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

The essential role of Broca's area in imitation

Marc Heiser
Abstract The posterior sector of Broca's area (Brodmann area 44), a brain region critical for language, may have evolved from neurons active during observation and execution of manual movements. Imaging studies showing increased Broca's activity during execution, imagination, imitation and observation of hand movements support this hypothesis. Increased Broca's activity in motor task, however, may simply be due to inner speech. To test whether Broca's area is essential to imitation, we used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), which is known to transiently disrupt functions in stimulated areas. Subjects imitated finger key presses (imitation) or executed finger key presses in response to spatial cues (control task). While performing the tasks, subjects received rTMS over the left and right pars opercularis of the inferior frontal gyrus (where Brodmann area 44 is probabilistically located) and over the occipital cortex. There was significant impairment in imitation, but not in the control task, during rTMS over left and right pars opercularis compared to rTMS over the occipital cortex. This suggests that Broca's area is a premotor region essential to finger movement imitation. [source]

3D Mapping of brain differences in native signing congenitally and prelingually deaf subjects

Natasha Leporé
Abstract In the prelingual and congenital deaf, functional reorganization is known to occur throughout brain regions normally associated with hearing. However, the anatomical correlates of these changes are not yet well understood. Here, we perform the first tensor-based morphometric analysis of voxel-wise volumetric differences in native signing prelingual and congenitally deaf subjects when compared with hearing controls. We obtained T1-weighted scans for 14 native signing prelingual and congenitally deaf subjects and 16 age- and gender-matched controls. We used linear and fluid registration to align each image to a common template. Using the voxel-wise determinant of the Jacobian of the fluid deformation, significant volume increases, of up to 20%, were found in frontal lobe white matter regions including Broca's area, and adjacent regions involved in motor control and language production. A similar analysis was performed on hand-traced corpora callosa. A strong trend for group differences was found in the area of the splenium considered to carry fibers connecting the temporal (and occipital) lobes. These anatomical differences may reflect experience-mediated developmental differences in myelination and cortical maturation associated with prolonged monomodal sensory deprivation. Hum Brain Mapp, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Genetic influences on human brain structure: A review of brain imaging studies in twins,

Jiska S. Peper
Abstract Twin studies suggest that variation in human brain volume is genetically influenced. The genes involved in human brain volume variation are still largely unknown, but several candidate genes have been suggested. An overview of structural Magnetic Resonance (brain) Imaging studies in twins is presented, which focuses on the influence of genetic factors on variation in healthy human brain volume. Twin studies have shown that genetic effects varied regionally within the brain, with high heritabilities of frontal lobe volumes (90,95%), moderate estimates in the hippocampus (40,69%), and environmental factors influencing several medial brain areas. High heritability estimates of brain structures were revealed for regional amounts of gray matter (density) in medial frontal cortex, Heschl's gyrus, and postcentral gyrus. In addition, moderate to high heritabilities for densities of Broca's area, anterior cingulate, hippocampus, amygdala, gray matter of the parahippocampal gyrus, and white matter of the superior occipitofrontal fasciculus were reported. The high heritability for (global) brain volumes, including the intracranium, total brain, cerebral gray, and white matter, seems to be present throughout life. Estimates of genetic and environmental influences on age-related changes in brain structure in children and adults await further longitudinal twin-studies. For prefrontal cortex volume, white matter, and hippocampus volumes, a number of candidate genes have been identified, whereas for other brain areas, only a few or even a single candidate gene has been found so far. New techniques such as genome-wide scans may become helpful in the search for genes that are involved in the regulation of human brain volume throughout life. Hum Brain Mapp, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Functional magnetic resonance imaging of human cognitive processes

Tomohisa Okada
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is now widely accepted as a tool for analyzing human brain function. Since the realization of fMRI in the early 1990s, numerous reports have been published. In this paper, we present three studies. The first examined syntactic processing of Japanese sentences and the results prove that Broca's area is involved in the use of grammar. The second study compared binocular with monocular stereopsis. There were significant activations in the right inferior parietal lobe. The third study concerned the encoding and retrieval processes underlying face recognition. It revealed activations mainly in the right prefrontal areas, which is contrary to the hemispheric encoding and retrieval asymmetry (HERA) theory. fMRI will continue to play an important role in the analysis of human brain function. [source]

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Working Memory among Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Lawrence H. Sweet PhD
ABSTRACT Background and Purpose. Verbal working memory (VWM) deficits have been a well-replicated finding among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) studies have described a VWM system in healthy samples; however, functional neuroimaging of this system among MS patients is just beginning to appear. Methods. Fifteen MS patients and 15 sex-, age-, education-, and IQ-matched healthy control (HC) participants completed a 2-Back VWM task as whole-brain FMRI was conducted. Results. Each group exhibited increased brain activity compared to the 0-Back control task in regions associated with the 2-Back in previous neuroimaging studies. These included Broca's area, supplementary motor area (SMA), premotor cortices (PMC), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (DLPFC). MS patients exhibited greater cortical activity than did HC participants in left primary motor and somatosensory cortices, PMC, DLPFC, anterior cingulate, and bilateral SMA. MS patients exhibited relatively less activation in Broca's area, bilateral cerebellum, and other regions not typically associated with the 2-Back (eg, right fusiform gyrus, left lingual gyrus, right hippocampus). Performance accuracy and reaction time did not differ between groups. Conclusions. Normal performance of a challenging VWM task among high-functioning MS patients is associated with a shift toward greater activity in regions related to sensorimotor functions and anterior attentional/executive components of the VWM system. Posterior memory storage systems appeared unaffected, while portions of the visual processing and subvocal rehearsal systems were less active. Although a shift in neural activity was noted relative toHC participants, deviation from regions normally involved in VWM function was not observed in this patient sample. [source]

Variability of Broca's area homologue in African great apes: Implications for language evolution

Chet C. Sherwood
Abstract The cortical circuits subserving neural processing of human language are localized to the inferior frontal operculum and the posterior perisylvian region. Functional language dominance has been related to anatomical asymmetry of Broca's area and the planum temporale. The evolutionary history of these asymmetric patterns, however, remains obscure. Although testing of hypotheses about the evolution of language areas requires comparison to homologous regions in the brains of our closest living relatives, the great apes, to date little is known about normal interindividual variation of these regions in this group. Here we focus on Brodmann's area 44 in African great apes (Pan troglodytes and Gorilla gorilla). This area corresponds to the pars opercularis of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), and has been shown to exhibit both gross and cytoarchitectural asymmetries in humans. We calculated frequencies of sulcal variations and mapped the distribution of cytoarchitectural area 44 to determine whether its boundaries occurred at consistent macrostructural landmarks. A considerable amount of variation was found in the distribution of the inferior frontal sulci among great ape brains. The inferior precentral sulcus in particular was often bifurcated, which made it impossible to determine the posterior boundary of the pars opercularis. In addition, the distribution of Brodmann's area 44 showed very little correspondence to surface anatomy. We conclude that gross morphologic patterns do not offer substantive landmarks for the measurement of Brodmann's area 44 in great apes. Whether or not Broca's area homologue of great apes exhibits humanlike asymmetry can only be resolved through further analyses of microstructural components. Anat Rec Part A 271A:276,285, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]