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Theories of language organization in the brain commonly posit that different regions underlie distinct linguistic mechanisms. However, such theories have been criticized on the grounds that many neuroimaging studies of language processing find similar effects across regions. Moreover, condition by region interaction effects, which provide the strongest evidence of functional differentiation between regions, have rarely been offered in support of these theories. Here we address this by using lesion-symptom mapping in three large, partially-overlapping groups of aphasia patients with left hemisphere brain damage due to stroke ( N = 121, N = 92, N = 218). We identified multiple measure by region interaction effects, associating damage to the posterior middle temporal gyrus with syntactic comprehension deficits, damage to posterior inferior frontal gyrus with expressive agrammatism, and damage to inferior angular gyrus with semantic category word fluency deficits. Our results are inconsistent with recent hypotheses that regions of the language network are undifferentiated with respect to high-level linguistic processing.

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© 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

APA Citation

Matchin, W., Basilakos, A., Ouden, D.-B. den, Stark, B. C., Hickok, G., & Fridriksson, J. (2022). Functional differentiation in the language network revealed by lesion-symptom mapping. NeuroImage, 247, 118778.

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