Grounding the cognitive neuroscience of semantics in linguistic theory

Liina Pylkkänen, Jonathan Brennan, Douglas K. Bemis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The mission of cognitive neuroscience is to represent the interaction of cognitive science and neuroscience: cognitive models of the mind guide a neuroscientific investigation of the brain bases of mental processes. In this endeavour, a cognitive model is crucial as without it, the cognitive neuroscientist does not know what to look for in the brain, what the nature of the relevant representations might be, or how the different components of a process might interact with each other. In the cognitive neuroscience of language, the interaction of theoretical models and brain research has, however, been far from ideal, especially when it comes to the study of meaning at the sentence level. Although theoretical semantics has a long history in linguistics and thus offers detailed and comprehensive models of the nature of semantic representations, these theories have had minimal impact on the brain investigation of semantic processing. In this article, we outline what a theoretically grounded cognitive neuroscience of semantics might look like and summarise our own findings regarding the neural bases of semantic composition, the basic combinatory operation that builds the complex meanings of natural language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1317-1337
Number of pages21
JournalLanguage and Cognitive Processes
Volume26
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011

Fingerprint

Linguistics
neurosciences
Semantics
semantics
linguistics
brain
Brain
Language
Cognitive Science
Mental Processes
Base Composition
interaction
language
Theoretical Models
History
Cognitive Neuroscience
Linguistic Theory
Grounding
history
science

Keywords

  • AMF
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Formal semantics
  • Magnetoencephalography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education

Cite this

Grounding the cognitive neuroscience of semantics in linguistic theory. / Pylkkänen, Liina; Brennan, Jonathan; Bemis, Douglas K.

In: Language and Cognitive Processes, Vol. 26, No. 9, 11.2011, p. 1317-1337.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pylkkänen, Liina ; Brennan, Jonathan ; Bemis, Douglas K. / Grounding the cognitive neuroscience of semantics in linguistic theory. In: Language and Cognitive Processes. 2011 ; Vol. 26, No. 9. pp. 1317-1337.
@article{87a9cdc42fee44919d331239ca99d68b,
title = "Grounding the cognitive neuroscience of semantics in linguistic theory",
abstract = "The mission of cognitive neuroscience is to represent the interaction of cognitive science and neuroscience: cognitive models of the mind guide a neuroscientific investigation of the brain bases of mental processes. In this endeavour, a cognitive model is crucial as without it, the cognitive neuroscientist does not know what to look for in the brain, what the nature of the relevant representations might be, or how the different components of a process might interact with each other. In the cognitive neuroscience of language, the interaction of theoretical models and brain research has, however, been far from ideal, especially when it comes to the study of meaning at the sentence level. Although theoretical semantics has a long history in linguistics and thus offers detailed and comprehensive models of the nature of semantic representations, these theories have had minimal impact on the brain investigation of semantic processing. In this article, we outline what a theoretically grounded cognitive neuroscience of semantics might look like and summarise our own findings regarding the neural bases of semantic composition, the basic combinatory operation that builds the complex meanings of natural language.",
keywords = "AMF, Cognitive neuroscience, Formal semantics, Magnetoencephalography",
author = "Liina Pylkk{\"a}nen and Jonathan Brennan and Bemis, {Douglas K.}",
year = "2011",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1080/01690965.2010.527490",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "26",
pages = "1317--1337",
journal = "Language, Cognition and Neuroscience",
issn = "2327-3798",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis",
number = "9",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Grounding the cognitive neuroscience of semantics in linguistic theory

AU - Pylkkänen, Liina

AU - Brennan, Jonathan

AU - Bemis, Douglas K.

PY - 2011/11

Y1 - 2011/11

N2 - The mission of cognitive neuroscience is to represent the interaction of cognitive science and neuroscience: cognitive models of the mind guide a neuroscientific investigation of the brain bases of mental processes. In this endeavour, a cognitive model is crucial as without it, the cognitive neuroscientist does not know what to look for in the brain, what the nature of the relevant representations might be, or how the different components of a process might interact with each other. In the cognitive neuroscience of language, the interaction of theoretical models and brain research has, however, been far from ideal, especially when it comes to the study of meaning at the sentence level. Although theoretical semantics has a long history in linguistics and thus offers detailed and comprehensive models of the nature of semantic representations, these theories have had minimal impact on the brain investigation of semantic processing. In this article, we outline what a theoretically grounded cognitive neuroscience of semantics might look like and summarise our own findings regarding the neural bases of semantic composition, the basic combinatory operation that builds the complex meanings of natural language.

AB - The mission of cognitive neuroscience is to represent the interaction of cognitive science and neuroscience: cognitive models of the mind guide a neuroscientific investigation of the brain bases of mental processes. In this endeavour, a cognitive model is crucial as without it, the cognitive neuroscientist does not know what to look for in the brain, what the nature of the relevant representations might be, or how the different components of a process might interact with each other. In the cognitive neuroscience of language, the interaction of theoretical models and brain research has, however, been far from ideal, especially when it comes to the study of meaning at the sentence level. Although theoretical semantics has a long history in linguistics and thus offers detailed and comprehensive models of the nature of semantic representations, these theories have had minimal impact on the brain investigation of semantic processing. In this article, we outline what a theoretically grounded cognitive neuroscience of semantics might look like and summarise our own findings regarding the neural bases of semantic composition, the basic combinatory operation that builds the complex meanings of natural language.

KW - AMF

KW - Cognitive neuroscience

KW - Formal semantics

KW - Magnetoencephalography

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84858066128&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84858066128&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/01690965.2010.527490

DO - 10.1080/01690965.2010.527490

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84858066128

VL - 26

SP - 1317

EP - 1337

JO - Language, Cognition and Neuroscience

JF - Language, Cognition and Neuroscience

SN - 2327-3798

IS - 9

ER -