Neural mechanisms underlying word- and phrase-level morphological parsing

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How is morphological and morphosyntactic information processed during sentence reading? Are the neural mechanisms underlying word- and phrase-level combinatorial processing overlapping or distinct? Here, electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) responses were recorded simultaneously during silent reading of Finnish sentences. The experimental conditions included 1) well-formed grammatical sentences (correct condition), 2) sentences containing morphosyntactic violations (adjective–noun number agreement violations), 3) morphological violations (incorrect stem allomorph and inflectional suffix combination), and 4) combined violations, containing both morphosyntactic and morphological violations. Signal space and source modeling results showed that morphosyntactic violations elicited a left anterior negativity effect, generated particularly in the left inferior frontal area. Morphological violations elicited a widespread negativity, resembling the N400. The neural sources of this negativity were localized most prominently to the right temporal cortical networks. Furthermore, all violations elicited P600 effects with similar widespread bilateral fronto-temporal neural generators that did not differ between morphosyntactic and morphological conditions. Our findings suggest at least partially distinct subnetworks in the fronto-temporal cortices for morphological and morphosyntactic parsing during the earlier stages of processes (∼400 ms post stimulus onset) and shared neural generators for the later processing stages.
TidskriftJournal of Neurolinguistics
Sidor (från-till)26-41
Antal sidor16
StatusPublicerad - maj 2016
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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