Brain activation during silent word generation evaluated with functional MRI

Lee Friedman, John T. Kenny, Alexandria L. Wise, Dee Wu, Traci A. Stuve, David A. Miller, John A. Jesberger, Jonathan S. Lewin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


This is a study of word generation during functional MRI (fMRI). Eleven normal healthy subjects were instructed to generate words covertly, (i.e., silently) that began with particular letters. Images were acquired on a conventional 1.5T scanner at three contiguous axial planes encompassing language-related areas of the temporal and frontal lobe. The data were analyzed at the level of a Talairach box, after individually fitting the proportional Talairach grid system to each slice. The main variable of interest was the number of activated pixels within a Talairach box. Boxes with a significant increase in the proportion of activated pixels were located in three regions of the left neocortex: (1) Brodmann areas 44 and 45 in the dorsolateral frontal cortex (Broca's area), (2) areas 21 and 37 in the temporal cortex, (3 and the striate/extrastriate cortex (areas 17 and 18). The results are discussed in terms of a cognitive model of word generation and are compared, in detail, with the results of prior relevant imaging studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-256
Number of pages26
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing


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