Spatiotemporal maps of brain activity based on magnetoencephalography were used to observe sequential stages in language processing and their modification during repetition priming. Subjects performed word-stem completion and produced either novel or repeated (primed) words across trials. Activation passes from primary visual cortex (activated at approximately 100 msec after word presentation), to left anteroventral occipital ( approximately 180 msec), to cortex in and near Wernicke's ( approximately 210 msec) and then Broca's ( approximately 370 msec) areas. In addition, a posteroventral temporal area is activated simultaneously with posterosuperior temporal cortex. This area shows an early ( approximately 200-245 msec) increase in activation to repeated word stems. In contrast, prefrontal and anterior temporal regions showed activity reductions to repeated word stems late ( approximately 365-500 msec) in processing. These results tend to support classical models of language and suggest that an effect of direct item repetition is to allow word-form processing to increase its contribution to task performance while concurrently allowing reductions in time-consuming frontal temporal processing.