The structure and dynamics of normal language processing: Insights from neuroimaging
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This paper reviews current psycholinguistic and neuroimaging evidence on language processing with particular focus on the relationship between production and comprehension. In the first part, different methods of psycholinguistic research are introduced and examples for psycholinguistic models (production: Levelt et al. 1999; comprehension: Friederici 2002) are sketched. In the second part, the neural correlates of semantic, phonological, and syntactic processing are reviewed. For semantics and phonology there seem to be different fronto-temporal networks which are shared in production and comprehension. The results for the processing of syntactic information are not entirely conclusive. Yet the data reveal that phonological strategies may be used in syntactic tasks. This finding opens the discussion of alternative, phonology-based strategies for language processing. Such strategies are accounted for by dual-route models featuring one direct and one indirect route which often involves phonological processing. This insight leads to some tentative conclusions about remediation strategies in dyslexics with selective (e.g., phonological) deficits.
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Stefan Heim, Research Centre Julich, Institute of Medicine, 52425 Julich, Germany