Neuroanatomical Aspects of Naming: Christine Whatmough and Howard Chertkow
Object naming is systematically used in the neuropsychological examination of patients. As with most neuropsychological tools, it calls into play multiple levels of processing. When used in conjunction with other basic tasks, it is usually possible to determine whether the principal cause of naming deficits are perceptual, semantic, or language output impairments. Thus, although classical neurology viewed naming deficits to be nonlocalizing in the aphasic patient (Benson, 1979), its regular use on a wide range of patient types has provided the basic functional-anatomical correlates of this cognitive task. Picture naming is a task that has also been frequently examined in brain imaging studies as well, and there is considerable agreement across studies as to which areas are preferentially activated. This chapter reviews the evidence from both lesion studies and imaging studies concerning the neural correlates of the major functional stages of object naming.