Broca's area network in language function: a pooling-data connectivity study

Front Psychol. 2015 May 22;6:687. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00687. eCollection 2015.


Background and objective: Modern neuroimaging developments have demonstrated that cognitive functions correlate with brain networks rather than specific areas. The purpose of this paper was to analyze the connectivity of Broca's area based on language tasks.

Methods: A connectivity modeling study was performed by pooling data of Broca's activation in language tasks. Fifty-seven papers that included 883 subjects in 84 experiments were analyzed. Analysis of Likelihood Estimates of pooled data was utilized to generate the map; thresholds at p < 0.01 were corrected for multiple comparisons and false discovery rate. Resulting images were co-registered into MNI standard space.

Results: A network consisting of 16 clusters of activation was obtained. Main clusters were located in the frontal operculum, left posterior temporal region, supplementary motor area, and the parietal lobe. Less common clusters were seen in the sub-cortical structures including the left thalamus, left putamen, secondary visual areas, and the right cerebellum.

Conclusion: Broca's area-44-related networks involved in language processing were demonstrated utilizing a pooling-data connectivity study. Significance, interpretation, and limitations of the results are discussed.

Keywords: ALE; BA44; Broca; MACM; connectivity; fMRI; functional connectivity; language.