Persons with aphasia vary greatly with regard to clinical profile; yet, they all share one common feature-anomia-an impairment in naming common objects. Previous research has demonstrated that particular naming errors are associated with specific left hemisphere lesions. However, we know very little about the cortical activity in the preserved brain areas that is associated with aphasic speech errors. Utilizing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we show for the first time that specific speech errors are associated with common cortical activity in different types and severities of aphasia. Specifically, productions of phonemic errors recruited the left posterior perilesional occipital and temporal lobe areas. A similar pattern of activity was associated with semantic errors, albeit in the right hemisphere. This study does not discount variability in cortical activity following left hemisphere stroke; rather, it highlights commonalities in brain modulation in a population of patients with a common diagnosis but vastly different clinical profiles.
(c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.