Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Cortical dynamics of word recognition.

Abstract : While functional neuroimaging studies have helped elucidate major regions implicated in word recognition, much less is known about the dynamics of the associated activations or the actual neural processes of their functional network. We used intracerebral electroencephalography recordings in 10 patients with epilepsy to directly measure neural activity in the temporal and frontal lobes during written words' recognition, predominantly in the left hemisphere. The patients were presented visually with consonant strings, pseudo-words, and words and performed a hierarchical paradigm contrasting semantic processes (living vs. nonliving word categorization task), phonological processes (rhyme decision task on pseudo-words), and visual processes (visual analysis of consonant strings). Stimuli triggered a cascade of modulations in the gamma-band (>40 Hz) with reproducible timing and task-sensitivity throughout the functional reading network: the earliest gamma-band activations were observed for all stimuli in the mesial basal temporal lobe at 150 ms, reaching the word form area in the mid fusiform gyrus at 200 ms, evidencing a superiority effect for word-like stimuli. Peaks of gamma-band activations were then observed for word-like stimuli after 400 ms in the anterior and middle portion of the superior temporal gyrus (BA 38 and BA 22 respectively), in the pars triangularis of Broca's area for the semantic task (BAs 45 and 47), and in the pars opercularis for the phonological task (BA 44). Concurrently, we observed a two-pronged effect in the prefrontal cortex (BAs 9 and 46), with nonspecific sustained dorsal activation related to sustained attention and, more ventrally, a strong reflex deactivation around 500 ms, possibly due to semantic working memory reset.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Nelly Mainy <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 8, 2008 - 4:39:58 PM
Last modification on : Friday, November 6, 2020 - 3:39:03 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, November 25, 2016 - 8:42:25 PM


 Restricted access
To satisfy the distribution rights of the publisher, the document is embargoed until : jamais

Please log in to resquest access to the document




Nelly Mainy, Julien Jung, Monica Baciu, Philippe Kahane, Benjamin Schoendorff, et al.. Cortical dynamics of word recognition.. Human Brain Mapping, Wiley, 2008, 29 (11), pp.1215-30. ⟨10.1002/hbm.20457⟩. ⟨inserm-00203037⟩



Record views