Neural regions essential for distinct cognitive processes underlying picture naming

Jessica DeLeon, Rebecca F. Gottesman, Jonathan T. Kleinman, Melissa Newhart, Cameron Davis, Jennifer Heidler-Gary, Andrew Lee, Argye E. Hillis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


We hypothesized that distinct cognitive processes underlying oral and written picture naming depend on intact function of different, but overlapping, regions of the left hemisphere cortex, such that the distribution of tissue dysfunction in various areas can predict the component of the naming process that is disrupted. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated 116 individuals within 24 h of acute ischaemic stroke using a battery of oral and written naming and other lexical tests, and with magnetic resonance diffusion and perfusion imaging to identify the areas of tissue dysfunction. Discriminant function analysis, using the degree of hypoperfusion in various Brodmann's areas - BA 22 (including Wernicke's area), BA 44 (part of Broca's area), BA 45 (part of Broca's area), BA 21 (inferior temporal cortex), BA 37 (posterior, inferior temporal/fusiform gyrus), BA 38 (anterior temporal cortex) and BA 39 (angular gyrus) - as discriminant variables, classified patients on the basis of the primary component of the naming process that was impaired (defined as visual, semantics, modality-independent lexical access, phonological word form, orthographic word form and motor speech by the pattern of performance and types of errors across lexical tasks). Additionally, linear regression analysis demonstrated that the areas contributing the most information to the identification of patients with particular levels of impairment in the naming process were largely consistent with evidence for the roles of these regions from functional imaging. This study provides evidence that the level of impairment in the naming process reflects the distribution of tissue dysfunction in particular regions of the left anterior, inferior and posterior middle/superior temporal cortex, posterior inferior frontal and inferior parietal cortex. While occipital cortex is also critical for picture naming, it is likely that bilateral occipital damage is necessary to disrupt visual recognition. These findings provide new evidence that a network of brain regions supports naming, but separate components of this network are differentially required for distinct cognitive processes or representations underlying the complex task of naming pictures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1408-1422
Number of pages15
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Anomia
  • Aphasia
  • Language
  • Magnetic resonance perfusion weighted imaging
  • Naming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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