The Role of Left Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex in Language Processing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In addition to the role of left frontotemporal areas in language processing, there is increasing evidence that language comprehension and production require cognitive control and working memory resources involving the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). The aim of this study was to investigate the role of the left DLPFC in both language comprehension and production. In a double-blind, sham-controlled crossover experiment, thirty-two participants received cathodal or sham transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the left DLPFC while performing a language comprehension and a language production task. Results showed that cathodal tDCS increases reaction times in the language comprehension task, but decreases naming latencies in the language production task. However, additional analyses revealed that the polarity of tDCS effects was highly correlated across tasks, implying differential individual susceptibility to the effect of tDCS within participants. Overall, our findings demonstrate that left DLPFC is part of the complex cortical network associated with language processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult
  • Comprehension/physiology
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Language
  • Male
  • Names
  • Prefrontal Cortex/physiology
  • Speech/physiology
  • Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
  • Young Adult
  • Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • language comprehension
  • language production
  • tDCS


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