Asymmetric projections of the arcuate fasciculus to the temporal cortex underlie lateralized language function in the human brain.
ABSTRACT: The arcuate fasciculus (AF) in the human brain has asymmetric structural properties. However, the topographic organization of the asymmetric AF projections to the cortex and its relevance to cortical function remain unclear. Here we mapped the posterior projections of the human AF in the inferior parietal and lateral temporal cortices using surface-based structural connectivity analysis based on diffusion MRI and investigated their hemispheric differences. We then performed the cross-modal comparison with functional connectivity based on resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) and task-related cortical activation based on fMRI using a semantic classification task of single words. Structural connectivity analysis showed that the left AF connecting to Broca's area predominantly projected in the lateral temporal cortex extending from the posterior superior temporal gyrus to the mid part of the superior temporal sulcus and the middle temporal gyrus, whereas the right AF connecting to the right homolog of Broca's area predominantly projected to the inferior parietal cortex extending from the mid part of the supramarginal gyrus to the anterior part of the angular gyrus. The left-lateralized projection regions of the AF in the left temporal cortex had asymmetric functional connectivity with Broca's area, indicating structure-function concordance through the AF. During the language task, left-lateralized cortical activation was observed. Among them, the brain responses in the temporal cortex and Broca's area that were connected through the left-lateralized AF pathway were specifically correlated across subjects. These results suggest that the human left AF, which structurally and functionally connects the mid temporal cortex and Broca's area in asymmetrical fashion, coordinates the cortical activity in these remote cortices during a semantic decision task. The unique feature of the left AF is discussed in the context of the human capacity for language.
Project description:Auditory-verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are frequently associated with activation of the left superior temporal gyrus (including Wernicke's area), left inferior frontal gyrus (including Broca's area), and the right hemisphere homologs of both areas. It has been hypothesized that disconnectivity of both interhemispheric transfer and frontal and temporal areas may underlie hallucinations in schizophrenia. We investigated reduced information flow in this circuit for the first time using dynamic causal modeling, which allows for directional inference. A group of healthy subjects and 2 groups of schizophrenia patients-with and without AVH-performed a task requiring inner speech processing during functional brain scanning. We employed connectivity models between left hemispheric speech-processing areas and their right hemispheric homologs. Bayesian model averaging was used to estimate the connectivity strengths and evaluate group differences. Patients with AVH showed significantly reduced connectivity from Wernicke's to Broca's area (97% certainty) and a trend toward a reduction in connectivity from homologs of Broca's and Wernicke's areas to Broca's area (93% and 94% certainty). The connectivity magnitude in patients without hallucinations was found to be intermediate. Our results point toward a reduced input from temporal to frontal language areas in schizophrenia patients with AVH, suggesting that Broca's activity may be less constrained by perceptual information received from the temporal cortex. In addition, a lack of synchronization between Broca and its homolog may lead to the erroneous interpretation of emotional speech activity from the right hemisphere as coming from an external source.
Project description:For over a century neuroscientists have debated the dynamics by which human cortical language networks allow words to be spoken. Although it is widely accepted that Broca's area in the left inferior frontal gyrus plays an important role in this process, it was not possible, until recently, to detail the timing of its recruitment relative to other language areas, nor how it interacts with these areas during word production. Using direct cortical surface recordings in neurosurgical patients, we studied the evolution of activity in cortical neuronal populations, as well as the Granger causal interactions between them. We found that, during the cued production of words, a temporal cascade of neural activity proceeds from sensory representations of words in temporal cortex to their corresponding articulatory gestures in motor cortex. Broca's area mediates this cascade through reciprocal interactions with temporal and frontal motor regions. Contrary to classic notions of the role of Broca's area in speech, while motor cortex is activated during spoken responses, Broca's area is surprisingly silent. Moreover, when novel strings of articulatory gestures must be produced in response to nonword stimuli, neural activity is enhanced in Broca's area, but not in motor cortex. These unique data provide evidence that Broca's area coordinates the transformation of information across large-scale cortical networks involved in spoken word production. In this role, Broca's area formulates an appropriate articulatory code to be implemented by motor cortex.
Project description:The neural basis of language comprehension and production has been associated with superior temporal (Wernicke's) and inferior frontal (Broca's) cortical areas, respectively. However, recent resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) and lesion studies have implicated a more extended network in language processing. Using a large RSFC data set from 970 healthy subjects and seed regions in Broca's and Wernicke's, we recapitulate this extended network that includes not only adjoining prefrontal, temporal and parietal regions but also bilateral caudate and left putamen/globus pallidus and subthalamic nucleus. We also show that the language network has predominance of short-range functional connectivity (except posterior Wernicke's area that exhibited predominant long-range connectivity), which is consistent with reliance on local processing. Predominantly, long-range connectivity was left lateralized (except anterior Wernicke's area that exhibited rightward lateralization). The language network also exhibited anti-correlated activity with auditory (only for Wernicke's area) and visual cortices that suggests integrated sequential activity with regions involved with listening or reading words. Assessment of the intra-subject's reproducibility of this network and its characterization in individuals with language dysfunction is required to determine its potential as a biomarker for language disorders.
Project description:Unlike most languages that are written using a single script, Japanese uses multiple scripts including morphographic Kanji and syllabographic Hiragana and Katakana. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging with dynamic causal modeling to investigate competing theories regarding the neural processing of Kanji and Hiragana during a visual lexical decision task. First, a bilateral model investigated interhemispheric connectivity between ventral occipito-temporal (vOT) cortex and Broca's area ("pars opercularis"). We found that Kanji significantly increased the connection strength from right-to-left vOT. This is interpreted in terms of increased right vOT activity for visually complex Kanji being integrated into the left (i.e. language dominant) hemisphere. Secondly, we used a unilateral left hemisphere model to test whether Kanji and Hiragana rely preferentially on ventral and dorsal paths, respectively, that is, they have different intrahemispheric functional connectivity profiles. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that Kanji increased connectivity within the ventral path (V1 ? vOT ? Broca's area), and that Hiragana increased connectivity within the dorsal path (V1 ? supramarginal gyrus ? Broca's area). Overall, the results illustrate how the differential processing demands of Kanji and Hiragana influence both inter- and intrahemispheric interactions.
Project description:Traditional models of the human language circuitry encompass three cortical areas, Broca's, Geschwind's and Wernicke's, and their connectivity through white matter fascicles. The neural connectivity deep to these cortical areas remains poorly understood, as does the macroscopic functional organization of the cortico-subcortical language circuitry. In an effort to expand current knowledge, we combined functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging to explore subject-specific structural and functional macroscopic connectivity, focusing on Broca's area. Fascicles were studied using diffusion tensor imaging fiber tracking seeded from volumes placed manually within the white matter. White matter fascicles and fMRI-derived clusters (antonym-generation task) of positive and negative blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal were co-registered with 3-D renderings of the brain in 12 healthy subjects. Fascicles connecting BOLD-derived clusters were analyzed within specific cortical areas: Broca's, with the pars triangularis, the pars opercularis, and the pars orbitaris; Geschwind's and Wernicke's; the premotor cortex, the dorsal supplementary motor area, the middle temporal gyrus, the dorsal prefrontal cortex and the frontopolar region. We found a functional connectome divisible into three systems-anterior, superior and inferior-around the insula, more complex than previously thought, particularly with respect to a new extended Broca's area. The extended Broca's area involves two new fascicles: the operculo-premotor fascicle comprised of well-organized U-shaped fibers that connect the pars opercularis with the premotor region; and (2) the triangulo-orbitaris system comprised of intermingled U-shaped fibers that connect the pars triangularis with the pars orbitaris. The findings enhance our understanding of language function.
Project description:The neural processing loop of language is complex but highly associated with Broca's and Wernicke's areas. The left dominance of these two areas was the earliest observation of brain asymmetry. It was demonstrated that the language network and its functional asymmetry during resting state were reproducible across institutions. However, the temporal reliability of resting-state language network and its functional asymmetry are still short of knowledge. In this study, we established a seed-based resting-state functional connectivity analysis of language network with seed regions located at Broca's and Wernicke's areas, and investigated temporal reliability of language network and its functional asymmetry. The language network was found to be temporally reliable in both short- and long-term. In the aspect of functional asymmetry, the Broca's area was found to be left lateralized, while the Wernicke's area is mainly right lateralized. Functional asymmetry of these two areas revealed high short- and long-term reliability as well. In addition, the impact of global signal regression (GSR) on reliability of the resting-state language network was investigated, and our results demonstrated that GSR had negligible effect on the temporal reliability of the resting-state language network. Our study provided methodology basis for future cross-culture and clinical researches of resting-state language network and suggested priority of adopting seed-based functional connectivity for its high reliability.
Project description:Music processing and right hemispheric language lateralization share a common network in the right auditory cortex and its frontal connections. Given that the development of hemispheric language dominance takes place over several years, this study tested whether musicianship could increase the probability of observing right language dominance in left-handers. Using a classic fMRI language paradigm, results showed that atypical lateralization was more predominant in musicians (40%) than in nonmusicians (5%). Comparison of left-handers with typical left and atypical right lateralization revealed that: (a) atypical cases presented a thicker right pars triangularis and more gyrified left Heschl's gyrus; and (b) the right pars triangularis of atypical cases showed a stronger intra-hemispheric functional connectivity with the right angular gyrus, but a weaker interhemispheric functional connectivity with part of the left Broca's area. Thus, musicianship is the first known factor related to a higher prevalence of atypical language dominance in healthy left-handed individuals. We suggest that differences in the frontal and temporal cortex might act as shared predisposing factors to both musicianship and atypical language lateralization.
Project description:Broca's area, a cerebral cortical area located in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) of the human brain, has been identified as one of several critical regions associated with the motor planning and execution of language. Anatomically, Broca's area is most often larger in the left hemisphere, and functional imaging studies in humans indicate significant left-lateralized patterns of activation during language-related tasks. If, and to what extent, nonhuman primates, particularly chimpanzees, possess a homologous region that is involved in the production of their own communicative signals remains unknown. Here, we show that portions of the IFG as well as other cortical and subcortical regions in chimpanzees are active during the production of communicative signals. These findings are the first to provide direct evidence of the neuroanatomical structures associated with the production of communicative behaviors in chimpanzees. Significant activation in the left IFG in conjunction with other cortical and subcortical brain areas during the production of communicative signals in chimpanzees suggests that the neurological substrates underlying language production in the human brain may have been present in the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees.
Project description:Retrieval of semantic representations is a central process during overt speech production. There is an increasing consensus that an amodal semantic 'hub' must exist that draws together modality-specific representations of concepts. Based on the distribution of atrophy and the behavioral deficit of patients with the semantic variant of fronto-temporal lobar degeneration, it has been proposed that this hub is localized within both anterior temporal lobes (ATL), and is functionally connected with verbal 'output' systems via the left ATL. An alternative view, dating from Geschwind's proposal in 1965, is that the angular gyrus (AG) is central to object-based semantic representations. In this fMRI study we examined the connectivity of the left ATL and parietal lobe (PL) with whole brain networks known to be activated during overt picture description. We decomposed each of these two brain volumes into 15 regions of interest (ROIs), using independent component analysis. A dual regression analysis was used to establish the connectivity of each ROI with whole brain-networks. An ROI within the left anterior superior temporal sulcus (antSTS) was functionally connected to other parts of the left ATL, including anterior ventromedial left temporal cortex (partially attenuated by signal loss due to susceptibility artifact), a large left dorsolateral prefrontal region (including 'classic' Broca's area), extensive bilateral sensory-motor cortices, and the length of both superior temporal gyri. The time-course of this functionally connected network was associated with picture description but not with non-semantic baseline tasks. This system has the distribution expected for the production of overt speech with appropriate semantic content, and the auditory monitoring of the overt speech output. In contrast, the only left PL ROI that showed connectivity with brain systems most strongly activated by the picture-description task, was in the superior parietal lobe (supPL). This region showed connectivity with predominantly posterior cortical regions required for the visual processing of the pictorial stimuli, with additional connectivity to the dorsal left AG and a small component of the left inferior frontal gyrus. None of the other PL ROIs that included part of the left AG were activated by Speech alone. The best interpretation of these results is that the left antSTS connects the proposed semantic hub (specifically localized to ventral anterior temporal cortex based on clinical neuropsychological studies) to posterior frontal regions and sensory-motor cortices responsible for the overt production of speech.