Mind your Language, All Right? Performance-dependent neural patterns of language
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
The main aim of this dissertation was to investigate the difference in neural language patternsrelated to language ability in healthy adults. The focus lies on unraveling the contributions of theright‐hemispheric homologues to Broca’s area in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and Wernicke’s areain the posterior temporal and inferior parietal lobes. The functions of these regions are far from fullyunderstood at present. Two study populations consisting of healthy adults and a small group ofpeople with generalized epilepsy were investigated. Individual performance scores in tests oflanguage ability were correlated with brain activation obtained with functional magnetic resonanceimaging during semantic and word fluency tasks. Performance‐dependent differences were expectedin the left‐hemispheric Broca’s and Wernicke’s area and in their right‐hemispheric counterparts.
PAPER I revealed a shift in laterality towards right‐hemispheric IFG and posterior temporal lobeactivation, related to high semantic performance. The whole‐brain analysis results of PAPER IIrevealed numerous candidate regions for language ability modulation. PAPER II also confirmed thefinding of PAPER I, by showing several performance‐dependent regions in the right‐hemispheric IFGand the posterior temporal lobe.
In PAPER III, a new study population of healthy adults was tested.Again, the right posterior temporal lobe was related to high semantic performance. A decrease in lefthemisphericIFG activation could be linked to high word fluency ability. In addition, task difficultywas modulated. Increased task complexity showed to correlate positively with bilateral IFGactivation.
Lastly, PAPER IV investigated anti‐correlated regions. These regions are commonly knownas the default mode network (DMN) and are normally suppressed during cognitive tasks. It wasfound that people with generalized epilepsy had an inadequate suppression of regions in the DMN,and showed poorer performance in a complex language test. The results point to neural adaptabilityin the IFG and temporal lobe. Decreased left‐lateralization of the IFG and increased rightlateralizationof the posterior temporal lobe are proposed as characteristics of individuals with highlanguage ability.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. , 56 p.
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1358
Language ability, performance, fMRI, functional magnetic resonance imaging, Broca, Wernicke, temporal lobe, inferior frontal gyrus, reading, fluency, lateralization, lateralisation, right hemisphere, performance-dependent, neural activation
Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-91053ISBN: 978-91-7519-668-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-91053DiVA: diva2:616350
2013-05-17, Berzeliussalen, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Specht, Karsten, Professor
Engström, Maria, Associate ProfessorLundberg, Peter, Adjungerad ProfessorKarlsson, Thomas, Associate ProfessorMcAllister, Anita, Lektor
List of papers