What: In search of syntactic representations in the brain
Where: BCBL auditorium
Who: Christophe Pallier. Unité INSERM-CEA de Neuroimagerie Cognitive, Centre Neurospin, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
When: 12 PM
How are sentences represented in the brain? In particular, do the syntactic structures proposed by many linguistics analyses correspond to actual, neurally encoded, data structures during sentence comprehension? In the first part of the talk, I will present our attempts to address this question through a series of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments relying on a variety of experimental paradigms (syntactic priming, manipulation of syntactic coherence, sentence verification, …). I will also describe some incursions made in the domains of Music and athematics where objects (e.g. melodies on the one hand, arithmetic formulas or number names on the other hand) arguably possess some syntactic structure. The results of experiments manipulating syntactic coherence with these types of stimuli reveal some interesting similarities and discrepancy with natural language.