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Publication Detail
Cued Naming and the left inferior frontal cortex
Clinical studies have shown that naming can be behaviorally facilitated by priming, e.g., phonemic cues reduce anomia. Rehabilitation of language is argued to rely upon the same processes of priming in healthy speakers. Here we show, in healthy older adults, the immediate facilitatory behavioral and neural priming elicited by phonemic cues presented during an fMRI experiment of overt naming; thus, bridging the gap between lesion and neuroimaging studies. Four types of auditory cues were presented concurrently with an object picture (e.g., cat): (i) word (i.e., the target name (/kat/), (ii) initial phoneme segment (e.g., /ka/), (iii) final phoneme segment (/at/), or (iv) acoustic (noise) control cue. Naming was significantly faster with word, initial and final phonemic cues compared to noise; and word and initial cues compared to final cues, with no difference between word and initial cues. A neural priming effect – a significant decrease in neural activity – was observed in the left inferior frontal cortex (LIFC, pars triangularis, BA45) and the anterior insula bilaterally consistent with theories of primed articulatory encoding and post-lexical selection. The reverse contrast revealed increased activation in left posterior dorsal supramarginal gyrus for word cues that, we argue, may reflect integration of semantic and phonology processing during word rather than phonemic conditions. Taken together, these data from unimpaired speakers identified nodes within the naming network affected by phonemic cues. Activity within these regions may act as a possible biomarker to index anomic individuals’ responsiveness to phonemically cued anomia treatment.
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