Architecture and organizational principles of Broca's region

Trends Cogn Sci. 2012 Aug;16(8):418-26. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2012.06.005. Epub 2012 Jul 3.


Identifying cortical areas for language and speech processing is a prerequisite for cognitive neuroscience and clinical research. Although Broca's region is one of the essential nodes in the language network, its anatomical constituents are ill-defined and multiple definitions of Broca's region exist. Sanides' concept of microstructural gradations interpreted Broca's region as developing from neighboring motor, dorsolateral-prefrontal, and insular cortices. Recent mapping approaches based on cytoarchitecture, transmitter receptor distribution, and connectivity revealed a highly differentiated segregation of this region far beyond Brodmann's classical scheme. This novel segregational concept of structural and functional architecture more adequately reflects the various functions of Broca's region in cognitive and/or linguistic processes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Frontal Lobe / anatomy & histology*
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Language*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neural Pathways / physiology