Charting the functional relevance of Broca's area for visual word recognition and picture naming in Dutch using fMRI-guided TMS

K.L. Wheat*, P.L. Cornelissen, A.T. Sack, T. Schuhmann, R. Goebel, L. Blomert

*Corresponding author for this work

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Magnetoencephalography (MEG) has shown pseudohomophone priming effects at Broca's area (specifically pars opercularis of left inferior frontal gyrus and precentral gyrus; LIFGpo/PCG) within approximately 100ms of viewing a word. This is consistent with Broca's area involvement in fast phonological access during visual word recognition. Here we used online transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate whether LIFGpo/PCG is necessary for (not just correlated with) visual word recognition by approximately 100ms. Pulses were delivered to individually fMRI-defined LIFGpo/PCG in Dutch speakers 75-500ms after stimulus onset during reading and picture naming. Reading and picture naming reactions times were significantly slower following pulses at 225-300ms. Contrary to predictions, there was no disruption to reading for pulses before 225ms. This does not provide evidence in favour of a functional role for LIFGpo/PCG in reading before 225ms in this case, but does extend previous findings in picture stimuli to written Dutch words.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-230
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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