Neural Indicators of Inference and Recognition Processes in Language Comprehension

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Titel: Neural Indicators of Inference and Recognition Processes in Language Comprehension
Autor(en): Friese, Uwe
Erstgutachter: Prof. Dr. Peter Bosch
PD Dr. Evelyn Ferstl
Prof. Dr. Mark Greenlee
Zweitgutachter: Prof. Dr. Peter Bosch
PD Dr. Evelyn Ferstl
Prof. Dr. Mark Greenlee
Zusammenfassung: In this research two functional magnetic resonance tomography experiments were conducted to identify core regions of language comprehension processes. The focus of the studies was on inferencing, i.e. the activation of information which has not been explicitly mentioned in a given utterance but which is somehow implied because of general world knowledge. The research strategy was two-fold. First, text materials were used which allowed to isolate inference processes from more basic language processes. Second, two tasks verification in Experiment 1 and recognition in Experiment 2 were assigned to the participants to selectively enhance or attenuate processing at different levels of representation. In both experiments a network of brain areas was found to be active during language comprehension including areas all along the left superior temporal sulcus, the left lateral and medial prefrontal areas, as well as the right anterior temporal lobe and the posterior cingulate cortex. The results of Experiment 1 indicated that the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex was most prominently associated with inferencing in the context of the verification task. As expected, activity in this region was attenuated in Experiment 2 during recognition. No indications were found that the right hemisphere plays a particular role for inferencing as has been suggested by some authors. The results of both experiments are discussed with respect to the neuroimaging literature on language comprehension and with respect to recent approaches to memory systems in the brain particularly the episodic memory system. Finally, a functional neuroanatomical model of inferencing is sketched.
Schlagworte: Language comprehension; Inferences; Neuroimaging; fMRI
Erscheinungsdatum: 29-Mai-2009
Enthalten in den Sammlungen:FB08 - E-Dissertationen

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