In relation to contemporary models of motor control, a neurochemically opposed push-pull system, regulated via direct and indirect basal ganglia pathways, has been postulated to facilitate the execution of movement by way of generating specific patterns of motor cortex activation and inhibition. To date, working theories of subcortical participation in language have failed to adopt this schema, largely promoting the direct pathway as the neural substrate underpinning the mediation of linguistic processes. Based on prevailing neuroanatomical, neurophysiological and neurolinguistic evidence, the present study attempts to extrapolate operative subcortical language theory via the integration of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) within response-release semantic feedback, lexical decision and selective engagement frameworks. Hypotheses pertaining to the functional specificity of this nucleus within each model are presented, and directions towards the empirical validation of these postulates offered.
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|Published - 2003