Event-related causality in stereo-EEG discriminates syntactic processing of noun phrases and verb phrases
Andrea Moro
May 2023
 

Syntactic computation in the brain involves complex neurobiological mechanisms, which are difficult to disentangle for multiple reasons. Using a protocol able to separate syntactic information from sound information we investigated the neural causal connections (the connection between brain networks) as evoked by the processing of homophonous phrases, i.e. with the same acoustic information but with different syntactic content. These could be either verb phrases (VP) or noun phrases. We used event-related causality from stereo-electroencephalographic recordings in ten epileptic patients in multiple cortical and subcortical areas, including language areas and their homologous in the non-dominant hemisphere. The recordings were made while the subjects were listening to the homophonous phrases. We identified the different networks involved in the processing of these syntactic operations (faster in the dominant hemisphere) showing that VPs engage a wider cortical and subcortical network. We also present a proof-of-concept for the decoding of the syntactic category of a perceived phrase based on causality measures. Our findings help unravel the neural correlates of syntactic elaboration and show how a decoding based on multiple cortical and subcortical areas could contribute to the development of speech prostheses for speech impairment mitigation.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007282
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Journal of Neural Engineering
keywords: electrophysiology, syntax, brain, connectivity, syntax
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