Neural basis for semantic memory difficulty in Alzheimer's disease: an fMRI study.
We have used PET in conjunction with psychological activations to identify cortical areas involved in the intrinsic activation of word representations. In four normal subjects intrinsic generation of a word (verbal fluency) was associated with an increase in left dorsolateral prefrontal cortical activity (BA 46) and a bilateral decrease in activity in auditory and superior temporal cortices. Conversely, when subjects made lexical decisions about words that were heard, there was an increase in superior temporal activity with no change in area 46. We suggest that the superior temporal regions are the site of stored word representations and that inhibitory modulation of these areas by the left prefrontal cortex is the basis of intrinsic word generation.