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Broca's area, sentence comprehension, and working memory: an fMRI Study.

Rogalsky C, Matchin W, Hickok G - Front Hum Neurosci (2008)

Bottom Line: A second experiment used fMRI to document the brain regions underlying this effect.However, during concurrent speech articulation (but not finger-tapping) this complexity effect was eliminated in the pars opercularis suggesting that this region supports sentence comprehension via its role in articulatory rehearsal.Activity in the pars triangularis was modulated by the finger-tapping task, but not the speech articulation task.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Cognitive Neuroscience & Department of Cognitive Sciences, University of California Irvine, USA.

ABSTRACT
The role of Broca's area in sentence processing remains controversial. According to one view, Broca's area is involved in processing a subcomponent of syntactic processing. Another view holds that it contributes to sentence processing via verbal working memory. Sub-regions of Broca's area have been identified that are more active during the processing of complex (object-relative clause) sentences compared to simple (subject-relative clause) sentences. The present study aimed to determine if this complexity effect can be accounted for in terms of the articulatory rehearsal component of verbal working memory. In a behavioral experiment, subjects were asked to comprehend sentences during concurrent speech articulation which minimizes articulatory rehearsal as a resource for sentence comprehension. A finger-tapping task was used as a control concurrent task. Only the object-relative clause sentences were more difficult to comprehend during speech articulation than during the manual task, showing that articulatory rehearsal does contribute to sentence processing. A second experiment used fMRI to document the brain regions underlying this effect. Subjects judged the plausibility of sentences during speech articulation, a finger-tapping task, or without a concurrent task. In the absence of a secondary task, Broca's area (pars triangularis and pars opercularis) demonstrated an increase in activity as a function of syntactic complexity. However, during concurrent speech articulation (but not finger-tapping) this complexity effect was eliminated in the pars opercularis suggesting that this region supports sentence comprehension via its role in articulatory rehearsal. Activity in the pars triangularis was modulated by the finger-tapping task, but not the speech articulation task.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Schematic of behavioral task paradigm with SOAP stimuli (Love and Oster, 2002). Note that the concurrent task condition was employed during both the initial perception and processing of the sentence, as well as during the post-processing matching task.
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Figure 1: Schematic of behavioral task paradigm with SOAP stimuli (Love and Oster, 2002). Note that the concurrent task condition was employed during both the initial perception and processing of the sentence, as well as during the post-processing matching task.

Mentions: The SOAP test consists of 40 semantically reversible sentences (e.g.: The man pushes the boy. The boy pushes the man) (10 active, 10 passive, 10 subject-relative clause (SR), and 10 object-relative clause (OR) sentences). Sentences were spoken and recorded by a female speaker using Audacity sound-editing software. The sentences were presented via headphones. Subjects were asked to match the sentence with one of three pictures. The picture arrays contained one correct picture, a picture of actors performing the reverse thematic roles, and an unrelated picture (Figure 1). The picture display was presented on a computer monitor; the auditory and visual stimuli were delivered via Cogent 2000 software (FIL, 2000) and Matlab (Mathworks, Inc.). The sentences and picture displays were presented simultaneously. Subjects were instructed to respond by pointing to the picture that matched the sentence immediately after the completion of the sentence presentation. During the training periods (described below), subjects were instructed that sentences could not be re-presented; they also were coached to respond immediately after the sentence presentation. Responses were recorded by the experimenter.


Broca's area, sentence comprehension, and working memory: an fMRI Study.

Rogalsky C, Matchin W, Hickok G - Front Hum Neurosci (2008)

Schematic of behavioral task paradigm with SOAP stimuli (Love and Oster, 2002). Note that the concurrent task condition was employed during both the initial perception and processing of the sentence, as well as during the post-processing matching task.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2572210&req=5

Figure 1: Schematic of behavioral task paradigm with SOAP stimuli (Love and Oster, 2002). Note that the concurrent task condition was employed during both the initial perception and processing of the sentence, as well as during the post-processing matching task.
Mentions: The SOAP test consists of 40 semantically reversible sentences (e.g.: The man pushes the boy. The boy pushes the man) (10 active, 10 passive, 10 subject-relative clause (SR), and 10 object-relative clause (OR) sentences). Sentences were spoken and recorded by a female speaker using Audacity sound-editing software. The sentences were presented via headphones. Subjects were asked to match the sentence with one of three pictures. The picture arrays contained one correct picture, a picture of actors performing the reverse thematic roles, and an unrelated picture (Figure 1). The picture display was presented on a computer monitor; the auditory and visual stimuli were delivered via Cogent 2000 software (FIL, 2000) and Matlab (Mathworks, Inc.). The sentences and picture displays were presented simultaneously. Subjects were instructed to respond by pointing to the picture that matched the sentence immediately after the completion of the sentence presentation. During the training periods (described below), subjects were instructed that sentences could not be re-presented; they also were coached to respond immediately after the sentence presentation. Responses were recorded by the experimenter.

Bottom Line: A second experiment used fMRI to document the brain regions underlying this effect.However, during concurrent speech articulation (but not finger-tapping) this complexity effect was eliminated in the pars opercularis suggesting that this region supports sentence comprehension via its role in articulatory rehearsal.Activity in the pars triangularis was modulated by the finger-tapping task, but not the speech articulation task.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Cognitive Neuroscience & Department of Cognitive Sciences, University of California Irvine, USA.

ABSTRACT
The role of Broca's area in sentence processing remains controversial. According to one view, Broca's area is involved in processing a subcomponent of syntactic processing. Another view holds that it contributes to sentence processing via verbal working memory. Sub-regions of Broca's area have been identified that are more active during the processing of complex (object-relative clause) sentences compared to simple (subject-relative clause) sentences. The present study aimed to determine if this complexity effect can be accounted for in terms of the articulatory rehearsal component of verbal working memory. In a behavioral experiment, subjects were asked to comprehend sentences during concurrent speech articulation which minimizes articulatory rehearsal as a resource for sentence comprehension. A finger-tapping task was used as a control concurrent task. Only the object-relative clause sentences were more difficult to comprehend during speech articulation than during the manual task, showing that articulatory rehearsal does contribute to sentence processing. A second experiment used fMRI to document the brain regions underlying this effect. Subjects judged the plausibility of sentences during speech articulation, a finger-tapping task, or without a concurrent task. In the absence of a secondary task, Broca's area (pars triangularis and pars opercularis) demonstrated an increase in activity as a function of syntactic complexity. However, during concurrent speech articulation (but not finger-tapping) this complexity effect was eliminated in the pars opercularis suggesting that this region supports sentence comprehension via its role in articulatory rehearsal. Activity in the pars triangularis was modulated by the finger-tapping task, but not the speech articulation task.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus