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A dual-route account for access to grammatical gender: Evidence from functional MRI

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kai Alter


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Research investigating the neural correlates of grammatical gender processing has provided contradictory evidence with respect to activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). A possible account for these discrepancies is a dual-route model proposing explicit vs implicit access to the gender information. In this event-related fMRI experiment, we investigated this issue by taking into account different processing strategies reported by the subjects. The participants performed two tasks, a gender judgement of German nouns and a non-lexical baseline task (spacing of consonant letter strings). Depending on the reported strategy (silent production of the definite determiner or direct access to the gender information), different patterns of activation in the left IFG were observed. Direct access to gender information yielded activation in the inferior tip of BA 44, whereas the verbalisation strategy elicited activation in the superior portion of BA 44, BA 45/47, and the fronto-median wall. These results speak in favour of a dual-route account for modelling the access to grammatical gender information during language comprehension. © Springer-Verlag 2005.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Heim S, Alter K, Friederici A

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 2nd Vogt Brodmann Symposium - Convergence of Structure and Function

Year of Conference: 2005

Pages: 473-483

ISSN: 0340-2061

Publisher: Anatomy and Embryology, Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00429-005-0032-6

PubMed id: 16180020

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 18632661