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Publisher: Journals Gateway
Neurobiology of Language (2021) 2 (1): 152–175.
Published: 01 February 2021
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AbstractView article PDF
Finding the structure of a sentence—the way its words hold together to convey meaning—is a fundamental step in language comprehension. Several brain regions, including the left inferior frontal gyrus, the left posterior superior temporal gyrus, and the left anterior temporal pole, are supposed to support this operation. The exact role of these areas is nonetheless still debated. In this paper we investigate the hypothesis that different brain regions could be sensitive to different kinds of syntactic computations. We compare the fit of phrase-structure and dependency structure descriptors to activity in brain areas using fMRI. Our results show a division between areas with regard to the type of structure computed, with the left anterior temporal pole and left inferior frontal gyrus favouring dependency structures and left posterior superior temporal gyrus favouring phrase structures.