The aphasia literature frequently states that Wernicke’s area is responsible for language understanding. The aim of this study was to pinpoint the core function of Wernicke’s area. Neuroimaging and clinical data indicate that Wernicke’s area participates in phonological and lexical recognition. A much larger brain network is involved in semantic understanding and language comprehension beyond words. We concluded that the “classic” Wernicke’s area is the core area that modulates the recognition of individual words.