MEG Evidence for Incremental Sentence Composition in the Anterior Temporal Lobe

Jonathan R. Brennan, Liina Pylkkänen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Research investigating the brain basis of language comprehension has associated the left anterior temporal lobe (ATL) with sentence-level combinatorics. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), we test the parsing strategy implemented in this brain region. The number of incremental parse steps from a predictive left-corner parsing strategy that is supported by psycholinguistic research is compared with those from a less-predictive strategy. We test for a correlation between parse steps and source-localized MEG activity recorded while participants read a story. Left-corner parse steps correlated with activity in the left ATL around 350-500 ms after word onset. No other correlations specific to sentence comprehension were observed. These data indicate that the left ATL engages in combinatoric processing that is well characterized by a predictive left-corner parsing strategy.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalCognitive Science
    DOIs
    StateAccepted/In press - 2016

    Fingerprint

    Magnetoencephalography
    Temporal Lobe
    Brain
    Chemical analysis
    Psycholinguistics
    Research
    Language
    Processing
    Parsing

    Keywords

    • Language understanding
    • Magnetoencephalography
    • Semantics
    • Syntax

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Cognitive Neuroscience
    • Artificial Intelligence

    Cite this

    MEG Evidence for Incremental Sentence Composition in the Anterior Temporal Lobe. / Brennan, Jonathan R.; Pylkkänen, Liina.

    In: Cognitive Science, 2016.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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