Right-hemispheric brain activation correlates to language performance
Language function in the right-hemispheric homologues of Broca"s and Wernicke"s areas does not only correlate with left-handedness or pathology, but occurs naturally in righthanded healthy subjects as well. In the current study, two non-invasive methods of assessing language lateralization are correlated with behavioral results in order to link hemispheric dominance to language ability in healthy subjects. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) together with a sentence-completion paradigm
... completion paradigm was used to determine region-specific lateralization indices in the left-and rightsided Broca"s and Wernicke"s areas, the frontal temporal lobe, the anterior cingulate cortex and the parietal lobe. In addition, dichotic listening results were used to determine overall language lateralization and to strengthen conclusions by correlating with fMRI indices. Results showed that fMRI lateralization in the superior parietal, the posterior temporal, and the anterior cingulate cortices correlated to dichotic listening. A decreased right ear advantage (REA), which indicates less left-hemispheric dominance in language, correlated with higher performance in most administered language tasks, including reading, language ability, fluency, and non-word discrimination. Furthermore, right hemispheric involvement in the posterior temporal lobe and the homologue of Broca"s area suggests better performance in behavioral language tasks. This strongly indicates a supportive role of the right-hemispheric counterparts of Broca"s and Wernicke"s areas in language performance.