Broca's area

Last revised by Rohit Sharma on 03 Jul 2022

Broca's area (Brodmann area 44) is an area of the lateral frontal lobe in the dominant hemisphere concerned with the production of speech.

Broca's area is located in the posterior inferior frontal gyrus (pars opercularis and pars triangularis) of the dominant hemisphere, anterior to the anterior commissure line. It is anterior to the primary motor cortex on the precentral gyrus.

It is bounded anteriorly by the ascending ramus of the lateral (Sylvian) fissure and posteriorly by the precentral sulcus.

This language-eloquent area is most often located in the left hemisphere, also in left-handed individuals 4. However, right-hemispheric dominance may occur in roughly 4% of right-handed individuals and may be as high as 27% in extreme left-handers 5.

Maybe even more interestingly, there appears to be significant plasticity of organization in the brain regarding the shift of language-eloquent hemisphere 5. This has recently been demonstrated to occur in right-handed patients under experimental conditions with left-sided (virtually reversible) perisylvian lesions by functional MRI (fMRI) 3.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: Broca and Wernicke areas
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  • Figure 2: inferior frontal gyrus
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  • Figure 2: dual stream language model (MRI)
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  • Case 1: infarct involving Broca area
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