Areas of left perisylvian cortex mediate auditory-verbal short-term memory

Michael Koenigs*, Daniel J. Acheson, Aron K. Barbey, Jeffrey Solomon, Bradley R. Postle, Jordan Grafman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


A contentious issue in memory research is whether verbal short-term memory (STM) depends on a neural system specifically dedicated to the temporary maintenance of information, or instead relies on the same brain areas subserving the comprehension and production of language. In this study, we examined a large sample of adults with acquired brain lesions to identify the critical neural substrates underlying verbal STM and the relationship between verbal STM and language processing abilities. We found that patients with damage to selective regions of left perisylvian cortex - specifically the inferior frontal and posterior temporal sectors - were impaired on auditory-verbal STM performance (digit span), as well as on tests requiring the production and/or comprehension of language. These results support the conclusion that verbal STM and language processing are mediated by the same areas of left perisylvian cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3612-3619
Number of pages8
Issue number13
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Language
  • Lesion
  • Neuropsychology
  • Short-term memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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