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  Neural substrates of word category information as the basis of syntactic processing

Chen, L., Wu, J., Fu, Y., Kang, H., & Feng, L. (2019). Neural substrates of word category information as the basis of syntactic processing. Human Brain Mapping, 40(2), 451-464. doi:10.1002/hbm.24386.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-4FE8-1 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-93FE-9
Genre: Journal Article


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Chen, Luyao1, 2, Author              
Wu, Junjie 3, Author
Fu, Yongben 3, Author
Kang, Huntae 1, Author
Feng, Liping 1, Author
1College of Chinese Language and Culture, Beijing Normal University, China, ou_persistent22              
2Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, Leipzig, DE, ou_634551              
3State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, China, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: Artificial grammar; Complex hierarchical syntactic structure; Dynamic causal modeling; fMRI; Labeling competence; Rule-based; Word category information
 Abstract: The ability to use word category information (WCI) for syntactic structure building has been hypothesized to be the essence of human language faculty. The neural substrate of the ability of using the WCI for the complex syntactic hierarchical structure processing, however, is yet unknown. Therefore, we directly conducted an fMRI experiment by using a pseudo‐Chinese artificial language with syntactic structures containing a center‐embedded relative clause. Thirty non‐Chinese native (Korean) speakers were randomly divided into two groups: one acquired WCI and WCI‐based syntactic rules (the WCI group) before the scanning session, and the other did not (the non‐WCI group). Both groups were required to judge the grammaticality of the testing sentences, with critical long‐distance dependencies between two elements (the main verb and the relativizer). Behaviorally, the WCI group's accuracy was significantly higher and its reaction time was shorter. The scanning results showed that the left superior temporal gyrus (STG) and Broca's area were more strongly activated for the WCI group, and the dynamic causal modeling analyses revealed a distinct effective connectivity pattern for this group. Therefore, the present research, for the first time, reveals that the activation of and the functional connectivity between Broca's area and the left STG play a critical role in the ability of the rule‐based use of the WCI which is crucial for complex hierarchical structure building, and might be substantially corresponding to the “labeling competence” within the linguistic framework.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2018-08-272018-03-072018-08-272018-09-212019-02-01
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1002/hbm.24386
PMID: 30240492
Other: Epub 2018
 Degree: -



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Project name : -
Grant ID : 14BYY146
Funding program : -
Funding organization : The National Social Science Fund of China
Project name : -
Grant ID : -
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Collaborative Innovation Center of International Dissemination of Chinese Language, Henan Province, China

Source 1

Title: Human Brain Mapping
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: New York : Wiley-Liss
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 40 (2) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 451 - 464 Identifier: ISSN: 1065-9471
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925601686