Navigation Links
Looking at language
Date:8/4/2009

Milan, Italy, 4 August 2009 - The study of the neural basis of language has largely focused on regions in the cortex the outer brain layers thought by many researchers to have expanded during human evolution. Research at Brown University's Department of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences, reported in the September Issue of Cortex (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/cortex), published by Elsevier, adds to evidence that deeper, subcortical regions are also critical by pinpointing when Parkinson's disease patients have difficulty while processing grammatically complex sentences. In Parkinson's disease, degeneration of subcortical dopamine-secreting neurons leads not only to motor symptoms but often also to cognitive deficits.

Jesse Hochstadt recorded eye movements of Parkinson's patients as they listened to sentences containing restrictive relative clauses ("The queen who was kicking the cook was fat") and tried to choose matching pictures. Patients who made more errors were slower to stop looking at pictures ruled out by the relative clause (a cook kicking a queen) when they had heard only as far as that clause's verb ("The queen who was kicking"). But at the ends of sentences, they were not slower to rule out pictures (such as a thin queen kicking a fat cook) that disagreed with the main clause ("The queen was fat"), despite the memory demands imposed by the intervening relative clause. These patients again showed poor relative-clause and good main-clause processing when relative clauses were at the ends of sentences ("The queen was kicking the cook who was thin").

Patients with such syntax processing difficulty also had difficulty switching between making choices based on size or shape in a non-linguistic task. This association, Hochstadt proposes, may indicate that processing relative clauses requires structural "switching away" from main clauses; alternatively, because restrictive relative clauses generally refer to facts already mentioned, processing them may involve shifting attention to this "background" information from main-clause "foreground" information.

These joint effects of subcortical neurodegeneration on syntax and "set-switching" are consistent with widely publicized research indicating that mutations in the human FOXP2 gene cause deficits in language and cognition by affecting development of subcortical structures, and that evolution of modern Homo sapiens involved modification of this gene.


'/>"/>

Contact: Valeria Brancolini
v.brancolini@elsevier.com
39-288-184-260
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Looking to Shape Up for Summer? The Solution May Be the Steps Youre Already Taking
2. Looking to Shape up for Summer? The Solution May be the Steps Youre Already Taking
3. Premium Latex Condom Donation by IBI Synergy, Inc. Are You Looking For a Few Good Latex Condoms?
4. New L.A. Experience Not Only Leaves You Feeling Good but Looking Great
5. San Francisco Symposium Provides Training for Communities Looking to Develop Arts Programs That Unite Generations
6. Companion Global Healthcare Inc. Offers Additional Hospital Choices to Employers, Individuals Looking to Save on Fully Credentialed Health Care
7. It's Park Life for Edinburgh Students as Unite Unveils New Property Overlooking The Meadows
8. What's in a Video or a Sound Bite When You're Looking for a Therapist?
9. Along With Hand Washing and Covering Up When Coughing, Add Nose Washing to Steps Consumers Looking to Take for Flu Prevention
10. Consumers are Looking to Boiron Arnicare(R) as a Safer Option as FDA Enforces Stricter Labeling for Many Pain Relievers
11. Looking Forward: The Use of Health IT in Crisis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Infectious ... to hospitals in the United States, it’s a threat that is constantly changing ... facing infection prevention and offers strategies for the healthcare community to help decrease ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , ... March 24, 2017 , ... The iaedp Foundation, ... other medical professionals caring for those suffering from the full spectrum of disordered eating, ... as eating disorders professionals from nearly all 50 states and several countries converged on ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Northridge ... now offering treatments for sleep apnea and TMJ at their office. TMJ, or ... , specifically the obstructive type, is increasingly being treated at dental offices with ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Southlake, Texas (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 ... ... make 2017 the year of enhancements, upgrading their training and leads programs. , ... Empower University. Reserved for elite sales agents, Performance Partners is designed to teach ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... “The ... about real people of God in congregations across the United States. “The ... minister ordained in 1964 who has served congregations in seven states throughout his ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... YORK , March 24, 2017 FinancialBuzz.com News ... Medical cannabis products ... View Research, Inc., projects that the global medical cannabis market will reach ... is a major market for the new growing industry. By ... place to legally buy and sell medical cannabis. More conservative states like ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Today Stock-Callers.com have issued research reports on four ... NVCN), Hologic Inc. (NASDAQ: HOLX), Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW), ... companies are part of the Healthcare sector, which gave back ... , 2017, with the NYSE Health Care Index declining 0.2% ... the S&P 500 were down about 0.4% as a group. ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Wash. , March 23, 2017  Mirabilis ... of advanced medical technology for non-invasive surgery, announced ... Mirabilis System for treatment of uterine fibroids throughout ... it had received approval from the US Food ... of the Mirabilis System in the United States.  ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: