15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

A Functional MRI Study of the Verbal Transformation Effect

Marc Sato (1), Monica Baciu (2), Hélène Loevenbruck (1), Christian Abry (1), Christoph Segebarth (3)

(1) ICP-CNRS, France
(2) LPNC-CNRS, France
(3) Unite Mixte INSERM/UJF 594, France

In the present study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to localise the brain areas involved in a specific auditory-verbal imagery task, the Verbal Transformation Effect (VTE).
   Two conditions were contrasted: a baseline condition involving simple mental repetition of monosyllables and a first name vs. a VTE condition involving mental repetition of the same items with active search for verbal transformation. Significant activations, predominantly within the left hemisphere, were obtained by contrasting VTE vs. baseline, within the inferior frontal gyrus and the insular region, the supramarginal gyrus, the premotor cortex and supplementary motor area, the caudate nucleus and the cerebellar cortex.
   In line with previous behavioural studies, this study indicates that during a VTE task the same regions are involved as those relative to the Phonological Loop, the verbal component of Baddeley's working memory model. Given that VTE and baseline conditions only differ in the presence or absence of a search for syllable change, we hypothesize that the left inferior frontal and supramarginal gyri activation indicate a frontal/parietal coupling for on-line linguistic information processing and decision-making.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Sato, Marc / Baciu, Monica / Loevenbruck, Hélène / Abry, Christian / Segebarth, Christoph (2003): "A functional MRI study of the verbal transformation effect", In ICPhS-15, 1639-1642.