Differentiating Phrase Structure Parsing and Memory Retrieval in the Brain


On some level, human sentence comprehension must involve both memory retrieval and structural composition. This study differentiates these two processes using neuroimaging data collected during naturalistic listening. Retrieval is formalized in terms of “multiword expressions” while structure-building is formalized in terms of bottom-up parsing. The results most strongly implicate Anterior Temporal regions for structure-building and Precuneus Cortex for memory retrieval.

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics