Neuroimaging evidence suggests that the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) supports temporary storage of linguistic material during linguistic tasks rather than computing a syntactic representation. The LIFG is not activated by simple sentences but by complex sentences and maintenance of word lists. Under this hypothesis, agrammatism should only disturb comprehension for constructions in which storage is essential.
(1) The induced colours led to perceptual grouping and pop-out, (2) a grapheme rendered invisible through ‘crowding’ or lateral masking induced synaesthetic colours — a form of blindsight — and (3) peripherally presented graphemes did not induce colours even when they were clearly visible. Taken collectively, these and other experiments prove conclusively that synaesthesia is a genuine percep- tual phenomenon, not an effect based on memory associations from childhood or on vague metaphorical speech. We identify different subtypes of number–colour synaesthesia (...) and propose that they are caused by hyperconnectivity between col- our and number areas at different stages in processing; lower synaesthetes may have cross-wiring (or cross-activation) within the fusiform gyrus, whereas higher synaesthetes may have cross-activation in the angular gyrus. This hyperconnec- tivity might be caused by a genetic mutation that causes defective pruning of con- nections between brain maps. The mutation may further be expressed selectively (due to transcription factors) in the fusiform or angular gyri, and this may explain the existence of different forms of synaesthesia. If expressed very diffusely, there may be extensive cross-wiring between brain regions that represent abstract concepts, which would explain the link between creativity, metaphor and synaesthesia (and the higher incidence of synaesthesia among artists and poets). Also, hyperconnectivity between the sensory cortex and amygdala would explain the heightened aversion synaesthetes experience when seeing numbers printed in the ‘wrong’ colour. Lastly, kindling (induced hyperconnectivity in the temporal lobes of temporal lobe epilepsy [TLE] patients) may explain the purported higher incidence of synaesthesia in these patients. We conclude with a synaesthesia-based theory. (shrink)
We studied two otherwise normal, synaesthetic subjects who `saw' a speci¢c colour every time they saw a speci¢c number or letter. We conducted four experiments in order to show that this was a genuine perceptual experience rather than merely a memory association. (i)The synaesthetically induced colours could lead to perceptual grouping, even though the inducing numerals or letters did not. (ii)Synaesthetically induced colours were not experienced if the graphemes were presented peripherally. (iii)Roman numerals were ine¡ective: the actual number grapheme was (...) required. (iv)If two graphemes were alternated the induced colours were also seen in alternation. However, colours were no longer experienced if the graphemes were alternated at more than 4 Hz. We propose that grapheme colour synaesthesia arises from `cross-wiring' between the `colour centre' (area V4 or V8)and the `number area', both of which lie in the fusiform gyrus. We also suggest a similar explanation for the representation of metaphors in the brain: hence, the higher incidence of synaesthesia among artists and poets. (shrink)
Summary Ideomotor apraxia is a cognitive disorder in which the patient loses the ability to accurately perform learned, skilled actions. This is despite normal limb power and coordination. It has long been known that left supramarginal gyrus lesions cause bilateral upper limb apraxia and it was proposed that this area stored a visualkinaesthetic image of the skilled action, which was translated elsewhere in the brain into the pre-requisite movement formula. We hypothesise that, rather than these two functions occurring separately, (...) both are complementary functions of chains of ‘‘mirror neurons’’ within the left inferior parietal lobe. We go on to propose that this neural mechanism in the supramarginal gyrus and its projection zones, which originally evolved to allow the creation of a direct map between vision and movement, was subsequently exapted to allow other sorts of cross-domain mapping and in particular those sorts of abstract re-conceptualisation, such as metaphor, that make mankind unique. (shrink)
We criticize the lack of neuroanatomical precision in the Grodzinsky target article. We propose a more precise neuroanatomical characterization of syntactic processing and suggest that syntactic procedures are supported by the left frontal operculum in addition to the anterior part of the superior temporal gyrus, which appears to be associated with syntactic knowledge representation.
Anatomo-functional studies in humans point out that handedness and language-related functional laterality are not correlated – except during language production; and that the convergence of language and hand control is located in the precentral gyrus, whereas executive functions required by movement imitation and phonological and semantic processing converge onto Broca's area. Multiple domains are likely to be actors in language evolution. Footnotes1 Nathalie Tzourio-Mazoyer is the corresponding author for this commentary.
ai Diminished gaze fixation is one of the core features of autism and has been proposed to be associated with abnormalities in the neural circuitry of affect. We tested this hypothesis in two separate studies using eye tracking while measuring functional brain activity during facial discrimination tasks in individuals with autism and in typically developing individuals. Activation in the fusiform gyrus and amygdala was strongly and positively correlated with the time spent fixating the eyes in the autistic group in (...) both studies, suggesting that diminished gaze fixation may account for the fusiform hypoactivation to faces commonly reported in autism. In addition, variation in eye fixation within autistic individuals was strongly and positively associated with amygdala activation across both studies, suggesting a heightened emotional response associated with gaze fixation in autism. (shrink)
A single case study of a patient, D.M., with a lesion in the region of the right occipito-temporal gyrus is presented. D.M. had well-preserved language and general cognitive abilities. Colour discrimination, contrast sensitivity, gross depth perception, spatial localization, and motion appreciation were within normal limits.On the evaluation of perceptual abilities, he failed to identify two-dimensional shapes from stereoscopic vision, motion, and texture although in all cases (...) he was able to identify the rough area subtended by the shape. These findings are considered in relation to the current anatomical-physiological functional models of vision and it is suggested that D.M.'s deficits provide evidence for the existence in man of a functional pathway involved in the computation of texture and fine aspects of shape, which is distinct from the pathways involved in motion and stereopsis processing on one hand and colour and coarse aspects of form on the other hand. (shrink)
The neural structures implicated in crying are reviewed, based on studies in animals. Brain regions involved include the anterior cingulate gyrus (a cortical structure), amygdala, thalamic tegmentum, periaqueductal gray of the midbrain, and the nucleus ambiguus of the caudal brainstem. It is hypothesized that the crying associated with colic may be a manifestation of differing developmental stages in the brain circuits involved.
Various techniques have attempted to localize imagery. However, early findings using single cell recordings of human receptive fields during imagery tasks have had little impact. Reports by Marg and his coworkers (1968) found no evidence for imagery in human Area 17, 18, and 19. Single cells from humans suggest later imagery-related activity in hippocampus, amygdala, entorhinal cortex, and parahippocampal gyrus.