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Broca's aphasia, Broca's area, and syntax: A complex relationship

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 September 2001

Stefano F. Cappa
Affiliation:
Neuropsychology Lab, University of Brescia Medical School, 25125 Brescia, Italycappa@master.cci.unibs.it
Andrea Moro
Affiliation:
Facolta' di Psicologia, Universita'; San Raffaele, Milano 20132, Italy" and Cognitive Science Program, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0025 piattelli.masimo@hsr.it
Daniela Perani
Affiliation:
Facolta' di Psicologia, Universita'; San Raffaele, Milano 20132, Italy" and Cognitive Science Program, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0025 piattelli.masimo@hsr.it
Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini
Affiliation:
Facolta' di Psicologia, Universita'; San Raffaele, Milano 20132, Italy" and Cognitive Science Program, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0025 piattelli.masimo@hsr.it

Abstract

Three types of problems are raised in this commentary: On the linguistic side, we emphasize the importance of an appropriate definition of the different domains of linguistics. This is needed to define the domains (lexicon-syntax-semantics) to which transformational relations apply. We then question the concept of Broca's aphasia as a “functional” syndrome, associated with a specific lesion. Finally, we discuss evidence from functional brain imaging. The breadth and potential impact of such evidence has grown considerably in the last few years, expanding our knowledge of the multiple contributions of the “Broca's region” to phonological, lexical-semantic, and syntactic processing. “Lumping” under diagnostic labels, such as Broca's aphasia, should be replaced by more detailed linguistic and neurological descriptions of the clinical cases.

Type
Brief Report
Copyright
© 2000 Cambridge University Press

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