MRI asymmetries of Broca's area: The pars triangularis and pars opercularis

Anne L. Foundas, Kathy F. Eure, Laura F. Luevano, Daniel R. Weinberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Broca's area, which includes the pars triangularis (PTR) and pars opercularis (POP), is a neuroanatomic region important in speech-language production. Previous data demonstrated that PTR asymmetries are highly correlated with language dominance determined by selective hemispheric anesthesia or Wada testing, suggesting that asymmetries of the PTR may, in part, predict language dominance. The POP, however, has not been measured on volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and therefore, it is unclear whether morphological asymmetries of the POP exist, and whether these asymmetries differ in right- and left-handers. The purpose of this study was to determine if measurable asymmetries of the POP exist on MRI, and whether the direction of the asymmetries differ in right- and left-handers. The PTR and POP were measured on volumetric MRI scans of 16 right-handers and 16 left-handers matched for age and gender. There was a significant leftward asymmetry of the PTR in right- and left-handers, although the asymmetry was reduced in the left-handers. In contrast, there was a leftward asymmetry of the POP in righthanders, and a rightward asymmetry in the left-handers. Handedness, derived from a handedness inventory, was positively correlated with POP asymmetry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-296
Number of pages15
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing


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