Conduction aphasia and the arcuate fasciculus: A reexamination of the Wernicke-Geschwind model

Brain Lang. 1999 Oct 15;70(1):1-12. doi: 10.1006/brln.1999.2135.


Wernicke, and later Geschwind, posited that the critical lesion in conduction aphasia is in the dominant hemisphere's arcuate fasciculus. This white matter pathway was thought to connect the anterior language production areas with the posterior language areas that contain auditory memories of words (a phonological lexicon). Alternatively, conduction aphasia might be induced by cortical dysfunction, which impairs the phonological output lexicon. We observed an epileptic patient who, during cortical stimulation of her posterior superior temporal gyrus, demonstrated frequent phonemic paraphasias, decreased repetition of words, and yet had intact semantic knowledge, a pattern consistent with conduction aphasia. These findings suggest that cortical dysfunction alone may induce conduction aphasia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aphasia, Conduction / pathology*
  • Aphasia, Wernicke / pathology
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged