On the selection of words and oral motor responses: evidence of a response-independent fronto-parietal network.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Cortex, Volume 46, Issue 1, p.15-28 (2010)


Adult, Attention, Brain Mapping, Choice Behavior, Cognition, Female, Frontal Lobe, Gestures, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Parietal Lobe, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Photic Stimulation, Psychomotor Performance, Reaction Time, Speech Production Measurement, Verbal Behavior


<p>Several brain areas including the medial and lateral premotor areas, and the prefrontal cortex, are thought to be involved in response selection. It is unclear, however, what the specific contribution of each of these areas is. It is also unclear whether the response selection process operates independent of response modality or whether a number of specialized processes are recruited depending on the behaviour of interest. In the present study, the neural substrates for different response selection modes (volitional and stimulus-driven) were compared, using sparse-sampling functional magnetic resonance imaging, for two different response modalities: words and comparable oral motor gestures. Results demonstrate that response selection relies on a network of prefrontal, premotor and parietal areas, with the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) at the core of the process. Overall, this network is sensitive to the manner in which responses are selected, despite the absence of a medio-lateral axis, as was suggested by Goldberg (1985). In contrast, this network shows little sensitivity to the modality of the response, suggesting of a domain-general selection process. Theoretical implications of these results are discussed.</p>

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