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Who was the agent? The neural correlates of reanalysis processes during sentence comprehension

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Hirotani,  Masako
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
School of Linguistics and Language Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada;

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Makuuchi,  Michiru
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Rüschemeyer,  Shirley-Ann
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands;

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Friederici,  Angela D.
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Hirotani, M., Makuuchi, M., Rüschemeyer, S.-A., & Friederici, A. D. (2011). Who was the agent? The neural correlates of reanalysis processes during sentence comprehension. Human Brain Mapping, 32(11), 1775-1787. doi:10.1002/hbm.21146.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-5323-6
Abstract
Sentence comprehension is a complex process. Besides identifying the meaning of each word and processing the syntactic structure of a sentence, it requires the computation of thematic information, that is, information about who did what to whom. The present fMRI study investigated the neural basis for thematic reanalysis (reanalysis of the thematic roles initially assigned to noun phrases in a sentence) and its interplay with syntactic reanalysis (reanalysis of the underlying syntactic structure originally constructed for a sentence). Thematic reanalysis recruited a network consisting of Broca's area, that is, the left pars triangularis (LPT), and the left posterior superior temporal gyrus, whereas only LPT showed greater sensitivity to syntactic reanalysis. These data provide direct evidence for a functional neuroanatomical basis for two linguistically motivated reanalysis processes during sentence comprehension