Dissecting structural connectivity of the left and right inferior frontal cortex in children who stutter

2022 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Dissecting structural connectivity of the left and right inferior frontal cortex in children who stutter​
Neef, N. E. ; Angstadt, M.; Koenraads, S. P. C. & Chang, S.-E.​ (2022) 
Cerebral Cortex, art. bhac328​.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhac328 

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Neef, Nicole E. ; Angstadt, Mike; Koenraads, Simone P. C.; Chang, Soo-Eun
Abstract Inferior frontal cortex pars opercularis (IFCop) features a distinct cerebral dominance and vast functional heterogeneity. Left and right IFCop are implicated in developmental stuttering. Weak left IFCop connections and divergent connectivity of hyperactive right IFCop regions have been related to impeded speech. Here, we reanalyzed diffusion magnetic resonance imaging data from 83 children (41 stuttering). We generated connection probability maps of functionally segregated area 44 parcels and calculated hemisphere-wise analyses of variance. Children who stutter showed reduced connectivity of executive, rostral-motor, and caudal-motor corticostriatal projections from the left IFCop. We discuss this finding in the context of tracing studies from the macaque area 44, which leads to the need to reconsider current models of speech motor control. Unlike the left, the right IFCop revealed increased connectivity of the inferior posterior ventral parcel and decreased connectivity of the posterior dorsal parcel with the anterior insula, particularly in stuttering boys. This divergent connectivity pattern in young children adds to the debate on potential core deficits in stuttering and challenges the theory that right hemisphere differences might exclusively indicate compensatory changes that evolve from lifelong exposure. Instead, early right prefrontal connectivity differences may reflect additional brain signatures of aberrant cognition–emotion–action influencing speech motor control.
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Cerebral Cortex 
Institut für Diagnostische und Interventionelle Radiologie 



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