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Language in Our BrainThe Origins of a Uniquely Human Capacity$
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Angela D. Friederici

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036924

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036924.001.0001

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The Structural Language Network

The Structural Language Network

(p.103) 3 The Structural Language Network
Language in Our Brain

Angela D. Friederici

Noam Chomsky

The MIT Press

An adequate description of the neural basis of language processing must consider the entire network both with respect to its structural white matter connections and the functional connectivities between the different brain regions as the information has to be sent between different language-related regions distributed across the temporal and frontal cortex. This chapter discusses the white matter fiber bundles that connect the language-relevant regions. The chapter is broken into three sections. In the first, we look at the white matter fiber tracts connecting the language-relevant regions in the frontal and temporal cortices; in the second, the ventral and dorsal pathways in the right hemisphere that connect temporal and frontal regions; and finally in the third, the two syntax-relevant and (at least) one semantic-relevant neuroanatomically-defined networks that sentence processing is based on. From this discussion, it becomes clear that online language processing requires information transfer via the long-range white matter fiber pathways that connect the language-relevant brain regions within each hemisphere and between hemispheres.

Keywords:   white matter, fiber tracts, information transfer, connection between hemispheres, syntactic network, semantic network, binding function, syntactic hierarchy

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