Different roles of cytoarchitectonic BA 44 and BA 45 in phonological and semantic verbal fluency as revealed by dynamic causal modelling

Neuroimage. 2009 Nov 15;48(3):616-24. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.06.044. Epub 2009 Jun 25.


The interactions of left cytoarchitectonic BA 44 and BA 45 during semantic and phonological verbal fluency tasks were investigated using dynamic causal modelling (DCM). Three different models were tested, all of which featured BA 44 and BA 45 as top-down driven interconnected nodes projecting to the motor cortex as the final output region. Model #1 represents the hypothesis that BA 45 is involved in lexical retrieval including both semantic and phonological processes, while BA 44 supports other phonological processes. Model #2 reflects the notion of a clear-cut segregation of computational processes sustained by BA 44 (phonological processing) and BA 45 (semantic processing). Model #3 was based on the hypothesis that both BA 44 and BA 45 support semantic and phonological processing. When these models were compared against each other by Bayesian model selection, evidence emerged in favour of the first model, implying that BA 45 supports word retrieval processes whereas BA 44 is involved in processing phonological information during word generation. In a subsequent analysis of the derived model parameters for model #1, all connection strengths were significantly positive except for the inhibitory coupling between BA 44 and BA 45. This inhibition may reflect how the phonological analysis in BA 44 during word generation constrains lexical word retrieval in BA 45. To conclude, DCM provided additional insights into the roles of BA 44 and BA 45 during verbal fluency revealing the involvement of BA 45 in lexical retrieval and the relevance of BA 44 for phonological processing during word generation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Computer Simulation
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Language Tests
  • Linear Models
  • Linguistics*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mental Processes / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Neural Inhibition
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Phonetics*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Speech / physiology*