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  Mathematical logic in the human brain: Syntax

Friedrich, R., & Friederici, A. D. (2009). Mathematical logic in the human brain: Syntax. PLoS ONE, 4(5): e5599. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005599.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-C54C-A Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-EE84-D
Genre: Journal Article

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Mathematical Logic.pdf (Postprint), 221KB
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 Creators:
Friedrich, Roland1, Author              
Friederici, Angela D.1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              

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 Abstract: Theory predicts a close structural relation of formal languages with natural languages. Both share the aspect of an underlying grammar which either generates (hierarchically) structured expressions or allows us to decide whether a sentence is syntactically correct or not. The advantage of rule-based communication is commonly believed to be its efficiency and effectiveness. A particularly important class of formal languages are those underlying the mathematical syntax. Here we provide brain-imaging evidence that the syntactic processing of abstract mathematical formulae, written in a first order language, is, indeed efficient and effective as a rule-based generation and decision process. However, it is remarkable, that the neural network involved, consisting of intraparietal and prefrontal regions, only involves Broca's area in a surprisingly selective way. This seems to imply that despite structural analogies of common and current formal languages, at the neural level, mathematics and natural language are processed differently, in principal.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2009
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: eDoc: 458429
Other: P10443
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005599
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Title: PLoS ONE
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 4 (5) Sequence Number: e5599 Start / End Page: - Identifier: -