The cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV) in the basal arteries during a word-generation task was assessed by functional transcranial Doppler ultrasonography (fTCD) and by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The study investigates how event-related CBFV modulations in the middle cerebral artery (MCA) relate to regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) changes. Both fMRI and fTCD were used in 13 subjects (7 men, 6 women, aged 21 to 44 years). The maximum difference of relative CBFV changes between the left and right MCA during the word-generation task was used as the language laterality index (LIfTCD). For the fMRI examination during the nearly identical language task, the corresponding index was defined by LIfMRI = 100(N(L) - N(R))/(N(L) + N(R)), where N(L) and N(R) refer to the numbers of voxels activated in the left and right hemisphere, respectively. The evoked CBFV changes expressed by LIfTCD and the corresponding laterality index, LIfMRI, estimated by fMRI showed a close linear relation (regression analysis: r = 0.95, p < 0.0001). The results of this study demonstrate that language-related velocity changes in the MCAs relate to rCBF increases in a linear fashion. Since the laterality indices assessed by fMRI and fTCD are in such close agreement both techniques can therefore be used in a complementary way.