Apraxia of speech, usually associated with stroke, refers to the inability to perform speech motor movements typically with an intact ability to execute non-speech oral movements. It is uncertain whether apraxia of speech results from damage affecting the insula or the inferior frontal gyrus. The controversy started because of conflicting results from studies investigating patients with disrupted brain structure, when dysfunction of both sites can coexist. We conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of individuals without neurological disorders comparing speech and non-speech movements. Speech movements did not recruit the insula, but activated the left inferior frontal gyrus, suggesting that Broca's area, but not the insula, is critical for speech articulation.
Departments of aCommunication Sciences and Disorders
cPsychology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
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Received 24 March 2006; accepted 13 April 2006