Nouns and verbs are fundamental grammatical building blocks of all languages. Studies of brain-damaged patients and healthy individuals have demonstrated that verb processing can be dissociated from noun processing at a neuroanatomical level. In cases where bilingual patients have a noun or verb deficit, the deficit has been observed in both languages. This suggests that the noun-verb distinction may be based on neural components that are common across languages. Here we investigated the cortical organization of grammatical categories in healthy, early Spanish-English bilinguals using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a morphophonological alternation task. Four regions showed greater activity for verbs than for nouns in both languages: left posterior middle temporal gyrus (LMTG), left middle frontal gyrus (LMFG), pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA), and right middle occipital gyrus (RMOG); no regions showed greater activation for nouns. Multi-voxel pattern analysis within verb-specific regions showed indistinguishable activity patterns for English and Spanish, indicating language-invariant bilingual processing. In LMTG and LMFG, patterns were more similar within than across grammatical category, both within and across languages, indicating language-invariant grammatical class information. These results suggest that the neural substrates underlying verb-specific processing are largely independent of language in bilinguals, both at the macroscopic neuroanatomical level and at the level of voxel activity patterns.

Language-invariant verb processing regions in Spanish-English bilinguals.

Peelen, Marius Vincent;Caramazza, Alfonso
2011-01-01

Abstract

Nouns and verbs are fundamental grammatical building blocks of all languages. Studies of brain-damaged patients and healthy individuals have demonstrated that verb processing can be dissociated from noun processing at a neuroanatomical level. In cases where bilingual patients have a noun or verb deficit, the deficit has been observed in both languages. This suggests that the noun-verb distinction may be based on neural components that are common across languages. Here we investigated the cortical organization of grammatical categories in healthy, early Spanish-English bilinguals using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a morphophonological alternation task. Four regions showed greater activity for verbs than for nouns in both languages: left posterior middle temporal gyrus (LMTG), left middle frontal gyrus (LMFG), pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA), and right middle occipital gyrus (RMOG); no regions showed greater activation for nouns. Multi-voxel pattern analysis within verb-specific regions showed indistinguishable activity patterns for English and Spanish, indicating language-invariant bilingual processing. In LMTG and LMFG, patterns were more similar within than across grammatical category, both within and across languages, indicating language-invariant grammatical class information. These results suggest that the neural substrates underlying verb-specific processing are largely independent of language in bilinguals, both at the macroscopic neuroanatomical level and at the level of voxel activity patterns.
2011
1
J. L., Willms; K. A., Shapiro; Peelen, Marius Vincent; P. E., Pajtas; A., Costa; L. R., Moo; Caramazza, Alfonso
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/91103
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 12
  • Scopus 10
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 34
social impact