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18 - The role of Broca’s area in language function

from Part II - Mind, brain, behavior

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 May 2013

Cedric Boeckx
Affiliation:
The Catalan Institute for Advanced Studies
Kleanthes K. Grohmann
Affiliation:
University of Cyprus
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Summary

Broca's area has long been implicated in articulatory-related speech production and for good reason. Although there has been much discussion of the role of Broca's area in syntactic computation, especially during comprehension, there is little evidence supporting the claim for any linguistic-specific computation performed in Broca's region. It has been suggested that Broca's area supports some aspects of sentence processing via a more general role in cognitive control, which includes mechanisms involved in resolving conflicts between competing representations or conflicting information. The necessity for conflict resolution arises in a range of language processing situations where ambiguity exists including phonological, lexical, and sentential contexts. The discovery of mirror neurons in the macaque frontal cortex has sparked renewed interest in the role of the motor system in the perception of speech sounds, an idea that is clearly related to the motor theory of speech perception.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2013

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