Conceptual proposition selection and the LIFG: Neuropsychological evidence from a focal frontal group

Gail Robinson, Tim Shallice, Marco Bozzali, Lisa Cipolotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Much debate surrounds the role of the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG). Evidence from lesion and neuroimaging studies suggests the LIFG supports a selection mechanism used in single word generation. Single case studies of dynamic aphasic patients with LIFG damage concur with this and extend the finding to selection of sentences at the conceptual preparation stage of language generation. A neuropsychological group with unselected focal frontal and non-frontal lesions is assessed on a sentence generation task that varied the number of possible conceptual propositions available for selection. Frontal patients with LIFG damage when compared to Frontal patients without LIFG damage and Posterior patients were selectively impaired on sentence generation tests only when stimuli activated multiple conceptual propositions that compete with each other for selection. We found that this selective impairment is critical for reduced speech rate, the core deficit of dynamic aphasia, and we would argue it is causative for one form of dynamic aphasia associated with LIFG lesions. These results provide evidence that the LIFG is crucial for selecting among multiple competing conceptual propositions for language generation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1652-1663
Number of pages12
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • Dynamic aphasia
  • Language generation
  • Neuropsychology
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Verbal response selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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