Human language cortex: localization of memory, syntax, and sequential motor-phoneme identification systems

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Science  28 Sep 1979:
Vol. 205, Issue 4413, pp. 1401-1403
DOI: 10.1126/science.472757


Subdivisions of the human peri-Sylvian language cortex were derived from stimulation mapping during craniotomies under local anesthesia. Naming, reading, short-term verbal memory, single and sequential orofacial movements, and phoneme identification were tested. Sequential orofacial movements and phoneme identification were altered from the same brain sites and thus identified a common system for language production and understanding. This system surrounded a final motor pathway for speech and was surrounded by a separate short-term verbal-memory system. Between the sequential motor-phoneme identification and memory systems were sites where only naming or reading were altered, including sites related exclusively by syntax.