From: Hector Fernandez Alcalde <hector.fernandezcchs.csic.es>
Subject: CCHS-CSIC Seminar on Theoretical Linguistics
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CCHS-CSIC Seminar on Theoretical Linguistics
Short Title: LyCC Colloquium Series
Date: 15-Mar-2010 - 15-Mar-2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Contact: Hector Fernandez Alcalde
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL: http://www.ile.csic.es/linguistica/seminario
Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Neurolinguistics; Syntax
Thomas G.Bever (University of Arizona): Normal Group Differences in the Brain Representation for Language
About forty percent of the general population is right-handed, with left handed family members (RH-FLH). Four decades of our behavioral research show that (RH-FLH) people have superior access of the lexicon compared with others. Our new fMRI study shows that RHFLH people may access words more easily than others because their lexicon is more bilaterally represented: lexical tasks elicit more right hemisphere activation, with faster latencies in RH-FLH people than others: syntactic tasks elicit left hemisphere activation in relevant areas for all people. This suggests that, while syntactic representation is universally represented in the left hemisphere, lexical information and access can be more widespread in the brain of RH-FLH people. This result has significant implications for group differences in how language behavior is neurologically organized. Yet almost no clinical or experimental investigations of the neurology of language assess familial handedness of right handers. It also is suggestive about the language-specific neurological basis for syntax, amidst a more general basis for the lexicon.
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