Causal evidence for a coordinated temporal interplay within the language network


Recent neurobiological models on language suggest that auditory sentence comprehension is supported by a coordinated temporal interplay within a left-dominant brain network, including the posterior inferior frontal gyrus (pIFG), posterior superior temporal gyrus and sulcus (pSTG/STS), and angular gyrus (AG). Here, we probed the timing and causal relevance of the interplay between these regions by means of concurrent transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography (TMS-EEG). Our TMS-EEG experiments reveal region- and time-specific causal evidence for a bidirectional information flow from left pSTG/STS to left pIFG and back during auditory sentence processing. Adapting a condition-and-perturb approach, our findings further suggest that the left pSTG/STS can be supported by the left AG in a state-dependent manner.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences