The brain basis of speech sounds and spoken word forms is modeled and investigated in neurophysiological and patient studies. Network models predict that linguistic neuronal assemblies are distributed over frontal and temporal areas. A current key question is whether the inferior-frontal cortex (Broca’s area) and adjacent premotor cortex play a crucial role in speech perception and language comprehension. Old neurological models (Lichtheim, Wernicke) say “no”, but our data provide evidence for a clear “yes”. The debate is still ongoing.
- Schomers, M.R., Kirilina, E., Weigand, A., Bajbouj, M., Pulvermüller, F. (2014). Causal influence of articulatory motor cortex on comprehending single spoken words: TMS evidence. Cerebral Cortex. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhu274/
- Pulvermüller, F. and Fadiga, L. (2010) Active perception: Sensorimotor circuits as a cortical basis for language. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 11, 351-360.