The role of inferior frontal cortex in phonological processing

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Recent neuroimaging studies of language processing are examining the neural substrate of phonology because of its critical role in mapping sound information onto higher levels of language processing (e.g., words) as well as providing codes in which verbal information can be temporarily stored in working memory. However, the precise role of the inferior frontal cortex in spoken and written phonological tasks has remained elusive. Although lesion studies have indicated the presence of selective deficits in phonological processing, the location of lesions underlying these impairments has not revealed a consistent pattern. Despite efforts to refine methods and tasks, functional neuroimaging studies have also revealed variability in activation patterns. Reanalysis of evidence from these neuroimaging studies suggests that there are functional subregions within the inferior frontal gyrus that correspond to specific components of phonological processing (e.g., orthographic to phonological conversion in reading, and segmentation in speech). © 2001 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.




Burton, M. W. (2001). The role of inferior frontal cortex in phonological processing. Cognitive Science, 25(5), 695–709.

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