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An fMRI study dissociating distance measures computed by Broca's area in movement processing: clause boundary vs. identity

Santi, A; Friederici, AD; Makuuchi, M; Grodzinsky, Y; (2015) An fMRI study dissociating distance measures computed by Broca's area in movement processing: clause boundary vs. identity. Frontiers in Psychology , 6 , Article 654. 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00654. Green open access

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Abstract

Behavioral studies of sentence comprehension suggest that processing long-distance dependencies is subject to interference effects when Noun Phrases (NP) similar to the dependency head intervene in the dependency. Neuroimaging studies converge in localizing such effects to Broca's area, showing that activity in Broca's area increases with the number of NP interveners crossed by a moved NP of the same type. To test if NP interference effects are modulated by adding an intervening clause boundary, which should by hypothesis increase the number of successive-cyclic movements, we conducted an fMRI study contrasting NP interveners with clausal (CP) interveners. Our design thus had two components: (I) the number of NP interveners crossed by movement was parametrically modulated; (II) CP-intervention was contrasted with NP-intervention. The number of NP interveners parametrically modulated a cluster straddling left BA44/45 of Broca's area, replicating earlier studies. Adding an intervening clause boundary did not significantly modulate the size of the NP interference effect in Broca's area. Yet, such an interaction effect was observed in the Superior Frontal Gyrus (SFG). Therefore, the involvement of Broca's area in processing syntactic movement is best captured by memory mechanisms affected by a grammatically instantiated type-identity (i.e., NP) intervention.

Type: Article
Title: An fMRI study dissociating distance measures computed by Broca's area in movement processing: clause boundary vs. identity
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00654
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00654
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2015 Santi, Friederici, Makuuchi and Grodzinsky. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: Broca's area, fMRI, movement, syntactic processing, working memory
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Linguistics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1469046
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