New paper in Brain and Language

Localising semantic and syntactic processing in spoken and written language comprehension: An Activation Likelihood Estimation meta-analysis

Jennifer Rodd, Sylvia Vitello, Anna Woollams and Patti Adank


We conducted an Activation Likelihood Estimation (ALE) meta-analysis to identify brain regions that are recruited by linguistic stimuli requiring relatively demanding semantic or syntactic processing. We included 54 functional MRI studies that explicitly varied the semantic or syntactic processing load, while holding constant demands on earlier stages of processing. We included studies that introduced a syntactic/semantic ambiguity or anomaly, used a priming manipulation that specifically reduced the load on semantic/syntactic processing, or varied the level of syntactic complexity. The results confirmed the critical role of the posterior left Inferior Frontal Gyrus (LIFG) in semantic and syntactic processing. These results challenge models of sentence comprehension highlighting the role of anterior LIFG for semantic processing. In addition, the results emphasise the posterior (but not anterior) temporal lobe for both semantic and syntactic processing.


Syntax; Semantics; Neuroimaging; Meta-analysis; Methodology; fMRI

Three New Papers Published

Congratulations to Garry who has recently had three new papers published! Links to the articles can be found below.

Zhenguang Garry Cai, Martin J. Pickering, Ruiming Wang, and Holly P. Branigan (2015) It is there whether you hear it or not: Syntactic representation of missing arguments. Cognition, 136 (March).

Zhenguang Garry Cai and Louise Connell (2015) Space-time interdependence: Evidence against asymmetric mapping between time and space. Cognition, 136 (March).

Ruiming Wang, Xiaoyue Fan, Cong Liu and Zhenguang Garry Cai (in press) Cognitive control and word recognition speed influence the Stroop effect in bilinguals. International Journal of Psychology.