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Transcranial magnetic stimulation over left inferior frontal and posterior temporal cortex disrupts gesture-speech integration

Zhao, Wanying; Riggs, Kevin; Schindler, Igor; Holle, Henning


Wanying Zhao

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Dr Henning Holle
Reader in Psychology / Leader of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience group (


Language and action naturally occur together in the form of co-speech gestures and there is now convincing evidence that listeners display a strong tendency to integrate semantic information from both domains during comprehension. A contentious question, however, has been which brain areas are causally involved in this integration process. In previous neuroimaging studies, left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG) have emerged as candidate areas, however, it is currently not clear whether these areas are causally or merely epiphenomenally involved in gesture-speech integration. In the present series of experiments, we directly tested for a potential critical role of IFG and pMTG by observing the effect of disrupting activity in these areas using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in a mixed gender sample of healthy human volunteers. The outcome measure was performance on a Stroop-like gesture task (Kelly et al., 2010a), which provides a behavioural index of gesture-speech integration. Our results provide clear evidence that disrupting activity in IFG and pMTG selectively impairs gesture-speech integration, suggesting that both areas are causally involved in the process. These findings are consistent with the idea that these areas play a joint role in gesture-speech integration, with IFG regulating strategic semantic access via top-down signals acting upon temporal storage areas.


Zhao, W., Riggs, K., Schindler, I., & Holle, H. (2018). Transcranial magnetic stimulation over left inferior frontal and posterior temporal cortex disrupts gesture-speech integration. Journal of Neuroscience, 38(8), 1891-1900.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 23, 2017
Online Publication Date Jan 22, 2018
Publication Date Feb 21, 2018
Deposit Date Jan 8, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Print ISSN 0270-6474
Electronic ISSN 1529-2401
Publisher Society for Neuroscience
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 38
Issue 8
Article Number 1748-17
Pages 1891-1900
Keywords General Neuroscience
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