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  Revisiting the role of Broca's area in sentence processing: Syntactic integration versus syntactic working memory

Fiebach, C. J., Schlesewsky, M., Lohmann, G., von Cramon, D. Y., & Friederici, A. D. (2005). Revisiting the role of Broca's area in sentence processing: Syntactic integration versus syntactic working memory. Human Brain Mapping, 24(2), 79-91. doi:10.1002/hbm.20070.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-D65E-C Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-11E6-6
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Fiebach, Christian J.1, Author              
Schlesewsky, Matthias, Author
Lohmann, Gabriele2, Author              
von Cramon, D. Yves2, Author              
Friederici, Angela D.1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              
2Department Cognitive Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634563              

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Free keywords: Language; Sentence comprehension; Syntax; Grammar; Working memory; Broca’s area; Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
 Abstract: Most previous neuroimaging studies of sentence processing have associated Broca’s area with syntactic processing; however, the exact nature of the processes subserved by this brain region is yet not well understood. Although some authors suggest that Brodmann area (BA) 44 of the left inferior frontal gyrus (i.e., Broca’s area) is relevant for syntactic integration processes, others claim that it is associated with working memory mechanisms relevant for language processing. To dissociate these two possible functions, the present study investigated hemodynamic responses elicited while participants processed German indirect wh-questions. Activation increases were observed in left BA 44 together with superior temporal areas and right hemispheric homologues for sentences with noncanonical word order, in which a verb argument was dislocated from its canonical position over a relatively long distance. In these sentences, syntactic working memory load was assumed to be greatest. In contrast, no activation increase was elicited by object–initial as opposed to subject–initial sentences that did not differ with respect to working memory costs but with respect to syntactic integration costs. These data strongly suggest that Broca’s area plays a critical role in syntactic working memory during online sentence comprehension.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2005
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: -
 Identifiers: eDoc: 239159
Other: P6709
DOI: 10.1002/hbm.20070
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Title: Human Brain Mapping
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: New York : Wiley-Liss
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 24(2) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 79 - 91 Identifier: ISSN: 1065-9471
CoNE: /journals/resource/954925601686