The left temporal pole is a heteromodal hub for retrieving proper names

Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2014 Jan 1;6:50-7. doi: 10.2741/s413.


The left temporal pole (LTP) has been posited to be a heteromodal hub for retrieving proper names for semantically unique entities. Previous investigations have demonstrated that LTP is important for retrieving names for famous faces and unique landmarks. However, whether such a relationship would hold for unique entities apprehended through stimulus modalities other than vision has not been well established, and such evidence is critical to adjudicate claims about the "heteromodal" nature of the LTP. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the LTP would be important for naming famous voices. Individuals with LTP lesions were asked to recognize and name famous persons speaking in audio clips. Relative to neurologically normal and brain damaged comparison participants, patients with LTP lesions were able to recognize famous persons from their voices normally, but were selectively impaired in naming famous persons from their voices. The current results extend previous research and provide further support for the notion that the LTP is a convergence region serving as a heteromodal hub for retrieving the names of semantically unique entities.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Famous Persons*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Names*
  • Speech Perception / physiology
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology*