New role discovered for a speech area of the human prefrontal cortex

This 2015 human study found that an area in the left hemisphere of the prefrontal cortex involved with speech has characteristics not previously known:

“Broca’s area coordinates the transformation of information across large-scale cortical networks involved in spoken word production.”

The study found that this area:

“Disengages when we actually start to utter word sequences.”

It was previously thought that the Broca’s area was active during speech.

I looked throughout the study, footnotes and references, and couldn’t find the list of words that were used. The study would have shown more promise if the researchers had made an effort to include words with emotional content, in my opinion. For example, it’s possible that the Broca’s area may have different activation patterns when speaking with emotional content, or that it may account for part of the slowdown that normally occurs when we speak with feeling.

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/9/2871.full “Redefining the role of Broca’s area in speech”

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