Functional imaging and language: Evidence from positron emission tomography

Mario Liotti, Charles T. Gay, Peter T. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Positron emission tomography (PET) provides an unprecedented opportunity to study the organization of cognitive functions in the working brain of normal individuals. A number of PET experiments, based on well-established paradigms derived from cognitive psychology, have investigated several aspects of language processing. These studies show that word processing is carried out by a distributed network of cortical areas with functional specificity. Results of this research Sometimes confirm sometimes clearly contradict classic axioms of language organization. This article illustrates some of the methodological issues in PET research, then provides an overview of the most relevant studies using PET. Integrated with other functional imaging methodologies and with behavioral data from cognitive psychology and lesion studies, PET will certainly continue to represent a precious tool to enhance our knowledge of the functional organization of language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-190
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1994


  • Brain metabolism
  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Language
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Single-word processing
  • Speech

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology


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