Functional studies have disclosed the unexpected complexity of BA38 functions. Because of its location in the brain, it is understandable that BA38 participates in language processes, emotion, executive functions, and memory. Left BA38 is involved in diverse “high level” verbal functions (e.g., semantic processing, naming of items learned in early life, lexico-semantic ambiguity processing, etc.). Departing from the reported functional studies BA38 involvement in emotion seems evident (e.g., visual processing of emotional images, emotional attachment, response to threat/fearful stimulus, etc.). In some executive functions (e.g., moral judgment, inferential reasoning, etc) BA38 is also active. Diverse studies support BA38 contribution to multimodal memory retrieval. Additionally, it seems to contribute to some complex auditory processing; for instance, recognition of familiar voices (phonognosis), and response to aversive auditory stimulation. Interestingly, traumatic head injury usually impacts the temporal pole, and it has been suggested that the difficulties to separate auditory “figure” (e.g., language) from background “noise” found in patients with head injury, is a result of BA38 damage.
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