Affiliations: Université Laval, Programme de maîtrise en orthophonie, Faculté de médecine, Département de réadaptation, 1050, avenue de la Médecine, QC, Canada | Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Québec, 2601, rue de la Canardière, QC, Canada | Université de Neuchâtel, Institut des sciences du langage et de la communication, Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines, Espace Louis Agassiz-1, CH-2000 Neuchâtel, Suisse | Hôpital de l'Enfant-Jésus, Clinique des troubles du mouvement, 1401, 18e rue QC, Canada
Note:  Correspondence to: Joël Macoir, Faculté de médecine, Département de réadaptation, Université Laval, Pavillon F-Vandry, QC, (Québec) G1K 7P4, Canada. Tel.: +1 418 656 2131 (ext 12190); Fax: +1 418 656 5476; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: According to the dominant view in the literature, basal ganglia do not play a direct role in language but are involved in cognitive control required by linguistic and non-linguistic processing. In Parkinson's disease, basal ganglia impairment leads to motor symptoms and language deficits; those affecting the production of verbs have been frequently explored. According to a controversial theory, basal ganglia play a specific role in the conjugation of regular verbs as compared to irregular verbs. We report the results of 15 patients with Parkinson's disease in experimental conjugation tasks. They performed below healthy controls but their performance did not differ for regular and irregular verbs. These results confirm that basal ganglia are involved in language processing but do not play a specific role in verb production.
Keywords: Basal ganglia, language production, procedural memory, executive functions