David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (1):77-94 (1999)
This target article discusses the verbal working memory system used in sentence comprehension. We review the concept of working memory as a short-duration system in which small amounts of information are simultaneously stored and manipulated in the service of accomplishing a task. We summarize the argument that syntactic processing in sentence comprehension requires such a storage and computational system. We then ask whether the working memory system used in syntactic processing is the same as that used in verbally mediated tasks that involve conscious controlled processing. Evidence is brought to bear from various sources: the relationship between individual differences in working memory and individual differences in the efficiency of syntactic processing; the effect of concurrent verbal memory load on syntactic processing; and syntactic processing in patients with poor short-term memory, patients with poor working memory, and patients with aphasia. Experimental results from these normal subjects and patients with various brain lesions converge on the conclusion that there is a specialization in the verbal working memory system for assigning the syntactic structure of a sentence and using that structure in determining sentence meaning that is separate from the working memory system underlying the use of sentence meaning to accomplish other functions. We present a theory of the divisions of the verbal working memory system and suggestions regarding its neural basis
|Keywords||memory sentence comprehension verbal working memory working memory|
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Citations of this work BETA
Angela D. Friederici (2012). The Cortical Language Circuit: From Auditory Perception to Sentence Comprehension. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 16 (5):262-268.
Yosef Grodzinsky & Andrea Santi (2008). The Battle for Broca’s Region. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (12):474-480.
Silvia P. Gennari & Maryellen C. MacDonald (2009). Linking Production and Comprehension Processes: The Case of Relative Clauses. Cognition 111 (1):1-23.
N. F. Dronkers, D. P. Wilkins, R. D. Valin, B. B. Redfern & J. J. Jaeger (2003). Lesion Analysis of the Brain Areas Involved in Language Comprehension. Cognition 92 (1-2):145-177.
Robert Frank (2004). Restricting Grammatical Complexity. Cognitive Science 28 (5):669-697.
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