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Trends Cogn Sci. 2005 Sep;9(9):416-23.

On Broca, brain, and binding: a new framework.

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F.C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging & NICI, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


In speaking and comprehending language, word information is retrieved from memory and combined into larger units (unification). Unification operations take place in parallel at the semantic, syntactic and phonological levels of processing. This article proposes a new framework that connects psycholinguistic models to a neurobiological account of language. According to this proposal the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) plays an important role in unification. Research in other domains of cognition indicates that left prefrontal cortex has the necessary neurobiological characteristics for its involvement in the unification for language. I offer here a psycholinguistic perspective on the nature of language unification and the role of LIFG.

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