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ERIC Number: EJ904347
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0093-934X
The Role of Domain-General Frontal Systems in Language Comprehension: Evidence from Dual-Task Interference and Semantic Ambiguity
Rodd, Jennifer M.; Johnsrude, Ingrid S.; Davis, Matthew H.
Brain and Language, v115 n3 p182-188 Dec 2010
Neuroimaging studies have shown that the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) plays a critical role in semantic and syntactic aspects of speech comprehension. It appears to be recruited when listeners are required to select the appropriate meaning or syntactic role for words within a sentence. However, this region is also recruited during tasks not involving sentence materials, suggesting that the systems involved in processing ambiguous words within sentences are also recruited for more domain-general tasks that involve the selection of task-relevant information. We use a novel dual-task methodology to assess whether the "cognitive" system(s) that are engaged in selecting word meanings are also involved in non-sentential tasks. In Experiment 1, listeners were slower to decide whether a visually presented letter is in upper or lower case when the sentence that they are simultaneously listening to contains words with multiple meanings (homophones), compared to closely matched sentences without homophones. Experiment 2 indicates that this interference effect is not tied to the occurrence of the homophone itself, but rather occurs when listeners must reinterpret a sentence that was initially misparsed. These results suggest some overlap between the cognitive system involved in semantic disambiguation and the domain-general process of response selection required for the case-judgement task. This cognitive overlap may reflect neural overlap in the networks supporting these processes, and is consistent with the proposal that domain-general selection processes in inferior frontal regions are critical for language comprehension. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A