Monday, October 22, 2012
Looking for hemispheric lateralization or functional localization, researchers at MIT used fMRI to analyze a variety of different types of language tasks. Out of the nine regions they analyzed — four in the left frontal lobe, including the region known as Broca’s area, and five further back in the left hemisphere — eight uniquely supported language, showing no significant activation for any of the seven other tasks (including music, memory, arithmetic, and cognitive control).. These findings indicate a “striking degree of functional specificity for language,” the researchers said. Although the results don’t imply that every cognitive function has its own dedicated piece of cortex, the results give hope to researchers looking to draw some distinctions within the human cortex.