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Pars opercularis

Brain: Pars opercularis
Lateral surface of left cerebral hemisphere, viewed from the side. (Pars opercularis visible near center).
Brodmann area 44
Latin pars opercularis gyri frontalis inferioris
Part of Inferior frontal gyrus
Broca's area
Artery Middle cerebral
Acronym(s) OpIFG
NeuroNames hier-69
Dorlands/Elsevier p_07/12617331

Pars opercularis (literally "the part that covers") is the part of the inferior frontal gyrus that lies between the inferior precentral sulcus and the ascending ramus of the lateral sulcus. It is called opercularis because it covers part of the insula. The pars opercularis together with the pars triangularis form Broca's area.

Relationship to autism

Abnormal blood flow in the Pars opercularis has been shown to be an indicator for autism. Previous theories had tied autism to abnormalities in the cerebellum, due to the fascination with spinning exhibited by autistic children. 1

"Neuroscientist Mirella Dapretto of the University of California Los Angeles and her colleagues surveyed the brains of 10 autistic children and an equal number of nonautistic children as they watched and imitated 80 different faces displaying either anger, fear, happiness, sadness or no emotion. By measuring the amount of blood flow (Blood-oxygen-level dependent) to certain regions of the children's brains using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology, the researchers could determine what parts of the brain were being used as the subjects completed the tasks. The autistic children differed from their peers in only one respect: each showed reduced activity in the pars opercularis of the inferior frontal gyrus--a brain region located near the temple." 2

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pars_opercularis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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