Lexical retrieval constrained by sound structure: The role of the left inferior frontal gyrus
Sharp, D. J., Scott, S. K., Cutler, A., & Wise, R. J. S.
Lexical retrieval constrained by sound structure: The role of the left inferior frontal gyrus. Brain and Language, 92
(3), 309-319. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2004.07.002.
Positron emission tomography was used to investigate two competing hypotheses about the role of the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) in word generation. One proposes a domain-specific organization, with neural activation dependent on the type of information being processed, i.e., surface sound structure or semantic. The other proposes a process-specific organization, with activation dependent on processing demands, such as the amount of selection needed to decide between competing lexical alternatives. In a novel word retrieval task, word reconstruction (WR), subjects generated real words from heard non-words by the substitution of either a vowel or consonant. Both types of lexical retrieval, informed by sound structure alone, produced activation within anterior and posterior left IFG regions. Within these regions there was greater activity for consonant WR, which is more difficult and imposes greater processing demands. These results support a process-specific organization of the anterior left IFG.