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Most humans have a left hemispheric dominance for language. However, during diagnostic language testing there also is activation of the right hemisphere, which is probably related to attention. To investigate further the role of attention during language production we monitored cerebral blood flow velocities in the middle cerebral arteries by continuous bilateral transcranial Doppler ultrasonography (TCD) in nine right-handed subjects. During cued word generation, a successive activation of the right hemisphere in the preparatory phase, and of the left hemisphere during word searching was demonstrated. These findings indicate that attentional processes precede verbal activation and that the two procedures can be separated by comparative blood flow velocity measurement.