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Book Chapter

Artificial grammar learning and its neurobiology in relation to language processing and development


Udden,  Julia
Neurobiology of Language Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Stockholm University;

Männel,  Claudia
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Udden_Maennel_2018_Artificial grammar.pdf
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Udden, J., & Männel, C. (2018). Artificial grammar learning and its neurobiology in relation to language processing and development. In S.-A. Rueschemeyer, & M. G. Gaskell (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Psycholinguistics (2nd ed., pp. 755-783). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-A25D-F
The artificial grammar learning (AGL) paradigm enables systematic investigation of the acquisition of linguistically relevant structures. It is a paradigm of interest for language processing research, interfacing with theoretical linguistics, and for comparative research on language acquisition and evolution. This chapter presents a key for understanding major variants of the paradigm. An unbiased summary of neuroimaging findings of AGL is presented, using meta-analytic methods, pointing to the crucial involvement of the bilateral frontal operculum and regions in the right lateral hemisphere. Against a background of robust posterior temporal cortex involvement in processing complex syntax, the evidence for involvement of the posterior temporal cortex in AGL is reviewed. Infant AGL studies testing for neural substrates are reviewed, covering the acquisition of adjacent and non-adjacent dependencies as well as algebraic rules. The language acquisition data suggest that comparisons of learnability of complex grammars performed with adults may now also be possible with children.