Structural correlates of spoken language abilities: A surface-based region-of interest morphometry study

Didier Roehrich-Gascon, Steven L. Small, Pascale Tremblay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Brain structure can predict many aspects of human behavior, though the extent of this relationship in healthy adults, particularly for language-related skills, remains largely unknown. The objective of the present study was to explore this relation using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on a group of 21 healthy young adults who completed two language tasks: (1) semantic fluency and (2) sentence generation. For each region of interest, cortical thickness, surface area, and volume were calculated. The results show that verbal fluency scores correlated mainly with measures of brain morphology in the left inferior frontal cortex and bilateral insula. Sentence generation scores correlated with structure of the left inferior parietal and right inferior frontal regions. These results reveal that the anatomy of several structures in frontal and parietal lobes is associated with spoken language performance. The presence of both negative and positive correlations highlights the complex relation between brain and language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-54
Number of pages9
JournalBrain and language
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral cortex
  • Gray matter
  • Language
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Sentence generation
  • Speech production
  • Surface-based morphometry
  • Verbal fluency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing


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