Use of functional MR to map language in multilingual volunteers

Oguz Yetkin, F. Zerrin Yetkin, Victor M. Haughton, Robert W. Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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PURPOSE: To use functional MR imaging to compare brain activation during processing of languages in which multilingual volunteers are fluent with brain activation during processing of languages in which they are not fluent. METHODS: Echoplanar images were obtained for five right-handed male multilingual subjects who performed a language task in three languages, one of which was a language in which the subject was not fluent. The functional MR technique included echoplanar images obtained at 1 per second during cycles of rest and performance of the task, from which functional images were processed by means of cross-correlation analysis. The numbers of active pixels in each volunteer and for each language were compared. RESULTS: Activation was noted in the left frontal lobe in all subjects performing language tasks. In each subject, the number of activated pixels was greatest for the language in which the subject was least fluent. CONCLUSION: Functional MR imaging shows differences in the processing of different languages in multilingual volunteer subjects, depending on the level of fluency in the language, and it is an effective functional imaging method for studying the processing of different languages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-477
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 15 1996



  • Brain, magnetic resonance
  • Magnetic resonance, functional
  • Speech

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology

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