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Sentence comprehension and word repetition: A positron emission tomography investigation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 November 1999

LAURIE A. STOWE
Affiliation:
Department of Linguistics, School of Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences (BCN), University of Groningen, The Netherlands
ANNE M.J. PAANS
Affiliation:
PET Center, Groningen University Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands
ALBERTUS A. WIJERS
Affiliation:
Department of Experimental Psychology, School of Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences (BCN), University of Groningen, The Netherlands
FRANS ZWARTS
Affiliation:
Department of Dutch Linguistics, School of Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences (BCN), University of Groningen, The Netherlands
GIJSBERTUS MULDER
Affiliation:
Department of Experimental Psychology, School of Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences (BCN), University of Groningen, The Netherlands
WILLEM VAALBURG
Affiliation:
PET Center, Groningen University Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands
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Abstract

Using positron emission tomography, visual presentation of sentences was shown to cause increased regional cerebral blood flow relative to word lists in the left lateral anterior superior and middle temporal gyri, attributable to cognitive processes that occur during sentence comprehension in addition to those carried out during word comprehension. Additional comparisons showed that repeating words (in a different context, when subjects did not attempt to learn the initial lists) led to significant patterns of both increased blood flow (left putamen and right caudate) and decreased blood flow (left posterior temporal lobe). Increases are argued to reflect retrieval of memory traces, whereas decreases reflect diminished necessity for processing of input. A decrease in the left inferior parietal lobe was attributable to other factors.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 1999 Society for Psychophysiological Research

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