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  Building by syntax: The neural basis of minimal linguistic structures

Zaccarella, E., Meyer, L., Makuuchi, M., & Friederici, A. D. (2017). Building by syntax: The neural basis of minimal linguistic structures. Cerebral Cortex, 27(1), 411-421. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhv234.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-65E9-D Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-B448-1
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Zaccarella, Emiliano1, Author              
Meyer, Lars1, Author              
Makuuchi, Michiru2, Author              
Friederici, Angela D.1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              
2Section of Neuropsychology, National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities, Tokorozawa, Japan, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Broca's area; fMRI; merge; phrases; sentences
 Abstract: Language comes in utterances in which words are bound together according to a simple rule-based syntactic computation (merge), which creates linguistic hierarchies of potentially infinite length—phrases and sentences. In the current functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we compared prepositional phrases and sentences—both involving merge—to word lists—not involving merge—to explore how this process is implemented in the brain. We found that merge activates the pars opercularis of the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG; Brodmann Area [BA] 44) and a smaller region in the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS). Within the IFG, sentences engaged a more anterior portion of the area (pars triangularis, BA 45)—compared with phrases—which showed activity peak in BA 44. As prepositional phrases, in contrast to sentences, do not contain verbs, activity in BA 44 may reflect structure-building syntactic processing, while the involvement of BA 45 may reflect the encoding of propositional meaning initiated by the verb. The pSTS appears to work together with the IFG during thematic role assignment not only at the sentential level, but also at the phrasal level. The present results suggest that merge, the process of binding words together into syntactic hierarchies, is primarily supported by BA 44 in the IFG.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2015-09-222015-10-132017-01-01
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhv234
PMID: 26464476
 Degree: -

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Project name : Understanding health across the lifecourse: An integrated developmental approach / DEVHEALTH
Grant ID : 269874
Funding program : Funding Programme 7
Funding organization : European Commission (EC)
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Grant ID : -
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Berlin School of Mind and Brain

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Title: Cerebral Cortex
Source Genre: Journal
 Creator(s):
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 27 (1) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 411 - 421 Identifier: ISSN: 1047-3211
CoNE: /journals/resource/954925592440