chapter  18
20 Pages

The Neural Basis of Syntactic Processing: a Critical Look: David Caplan

Caplan and colleagues (1998, 1999, 2000), Just and colleagues (1996), Dapretto and Bookheimer (1999), Stowe and colleagues (1998), and others have documented increases in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) using positron emission tomography (PET) or blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in tasks in which subjects' processing of more versus less syntactically complex sentences was compared. Event-related potentials (ERPs) whose sources are likely to be in this region (the left anterior negativity (LAN)-see below) have been described in relationship to a variety of syntactic processes, including responses to category and agreement violations, comprehension of complex relative clauses, and others (Kluender & Kutas, 1993a, 1993b; Neville, Nical, Barss, Forster, & Garret, 1991). These data all converge on the conclusion that syntactic processing in comprehension is carried out in the dominant perisylvian cortex.