A SENtence Supramodal Areas AtlaS (SENSAAS) based on multiple task-induced activation mapping and graph analysis of intrinsic connectivity in 144 healthy right-handers

Brain Struct Funct. 2019 Mar;224(2):859-882. doi: 10.1007/s00429-018-1810-2. Epub 2018 Dec 7.


We herein propose an atlas of 32 sentence-related areas based on a 3-step method combining the analysis of activation and asymmetry during multiple language tasks with hierarchical clustering of resting-state connectivity and graph analyses. 144 healthy right-handers performed fMRI runs based on language production, reading and listening, both with sentences and lists of over-learned words. Sentence minus word-list BOLD contrast and left-minus-right BOLD asymmetry for each task were computed in pairs of homotopic regions of interest (hROIs) from the AICHA atlas. Thirty-two hROIs were identified that were conjointly activated and leftward asymmetrical in each of the three language contrasts. Analysis of resting-state temporal correlations of BOLD variations between these 32 hROIs allowed the segregation of a core network, SENT_CORE including 18 hROIs. Resting-state graph analysis applied to SENT_CORE hROIs revealed that the pars triangularis of the inferior frontal gyrus and the superior temporal sulcus were hubs based on their degree centrality (DC), betweenness, and participation values corresponding to epicentres of sentence processing. Positive correlations between DC and BOLD activation values for SENT_CORE hROIs were observed across individuals and across regions regardless of the task: the more a SENT_CORE area is connected at rest the stronger it is activated during sentence processing. DC measurements in SENT_CORE may thus be a valuable index for the evaluation of inter-individual variations in language areas functional activity in relation to anatomical or clinical patterns in large populations. SENSAAS (SENtence Supramodal Areas AtlaS), comprising the 32 supramodal sentence areas, including SENT_CORE network, can be downloaded at http://www.gin.cnrs.fr/en/tools/ .

Keywords: Graph analysis; Intrinsic connectivity; Language production; Left hemisphere; Reading; Resting-state; Right-handers; Sentence; Speech comprehension; fMRI.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Language*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Reading
  • Speech / physiology*