The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ling/Phil Special Seminar 10/3 - Angela Friederici

Speaker: Angela Friederici (Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig)
Date/Time: Wednesday, Oct 3, 5pm (Refreshments start at 4:30)
Location: 32-D461
Title: Brain maturation and language development: From phonology to syntax

As the brain matures language processing develops. It will be argued that the maturation of certain fiber tracts goes together with the development of particular processing abilities. The talk will focus on two dorsal pathways in particular: one pathway which connects the temporal cortex (TC) to the premotor cortex (PMC) known to support auditory-based phonological processes and another pathway which connects the TC to Broca’s area (BA 44) known to subserve the processing of syntactically complex sentences. Data from newborns, children and adults demonstrate that the TC to PMC pathway is present in the human infant at birth providing the bases for phonologically based learning observable at the age of 4-5 months, whereas the TC to BA 44 pathway only matures much later and appears to be directly linked to the processing of syntactically complex stimuli.

This talk replaces the weekly Experimental Syntax and Semantics Lab meeting.