Nodes and networks in the neural architecture for language: Broca's region and beyond

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2014 Oct;28:136-41. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2014.07.013. Epub 2014 Jul 23.


Current views on the neurobiological underpinnings of language are discussed that deviate in a number of ways from the classical Wernicke-Lichtheim-Geschwind model. More areas than Broca's and Wernicke's region are involved in language. Moreover, a division along the axis of language production and language comprehension does not seem to be warranted. Instead, for central aspects of language processing neural infrastructure is shared between production and comprehension. Three different accounts of the role of Broca's area in language are discussed. Arguments are presented in favor of a dynamic network view, in which the functionality of a region is co-determined by the network of regions in which it is embedded at particular moments in time. Finally, core regions of language processing need to interact with other networks (e.g. the attentional networks and the ToM network) to establish full functionality of language and communication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping*
  • Broca Area / cytology
  • Broca Area / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Wernicke Area / cytology
  • Wernicke Area / physiology*