Date of Award

12-11-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Bruce Crosson

Abstract

The neuroanatomy of language cognition has an extensive history of scientific interest and inquiry. Over a century of behavioral lesion studies and decades of functional neuroimaging research have established the left hemisphere’s inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) as a critical region for speech and language processing. This region’s subcortical projections are thought to be instrumental for supporting and integrating the cognitive functions of the language network. However, only a subset of these projections have been shown to exist in humans, and structural evidence of pars orbitalis’ subcortical circuitry has been limited to non-human primates. This thesis demonstrates direct, intra-structural connectivity of each of the left IFG’s gyral regions with the thalamus and the putamen in humans, using high-angular, deterministic tractography. Novel processing and analysis methods elucidated evidence of predominantly segregated cortical circuits within the thalamus, and suggested the presence of parallel circuits for motor/language integration along the length of the putamen.

Available for download on Friday, November 29, 2019

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