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Common and dissociable activation patterns associated with controlled semantic and phonological processing: evidence from FMRI adaptation.

Gold BT, Balota DA, Kirchhoff BA, Buckner RL
Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991)


Recent evidence suggests specialization of anterior left inferior prefrontal cortex (aLIPC; approximately BA 45/47) for controlled semantics and of posterior LIPC (pLIPC; approximately BA 44/6) for controlled phonology. However, the more automated phonological tasks commonly used raise the possibility that some of the typically extensive aLIPC activation during semantic tasks may relate to controlled language processing beyond the semantic domain. In the present study, an event-related fMRI adaptation paradigm was employed that used a standard controlled semantic task and a phonological task that also emphasized controlled processing. When compared with letter (baseline) processing, significant fMRI task and adaptation effects in the aLIPC and pLIPC regions ( approximately BA 45/47, approximately BA 44) were observed during both semantic and phonological processing, with aLIPC showing the strongest effects during semantic processing. A left frontal region ( approximately BA 6) showed task and relative adaptation effects preferential for phonological processing, and a left temporal region ( approximately BA 21) showed task and relative adaptation effects preferential for semantic processing. Our results demonstrate that aLIPC and pLIPC regions are involved in controlled processing across multiple language domains, arguing against a domain-specific LIPC model and for domain-preferentiality in left posterior frontal and temporal regions.

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