Dissociating neuro-cognitive component processes: voxel-based correlational methodology.


Relating behavioural deficits to lesion site has long been an important tool for localising the brain bases of cognitive function. Voxel-based methods, based on statistical analyses of structural brain images, allow a major step forward in the effectiveness of this approach. These methods provide a fine-grained assessment of damaged tissue by assigning a continuous value to each voxel over the entire brain. This information, correlated with continuous behavioural data reflecting specific aspects of cognition, offers new opportunities for identifying the neural organisation underlying cognitive function. The research reported here demonstrates the ability of this correlational methodology to differentiate between the neuro-cognitive components involved in word recognition and lexical decision, providing an important new tool for directly linking brain areas to specific aspects of psychological performance.