The human language faculty has been claimed to be grounded in the ability to process hierarchically structured sequences. This human ability goes beyond the capacity to process sequences with simple transitional probabilities of adjacent elements observable in non-human primates. Here we show that the processing of these two sequence types is supported by different areas in the human brain. Processing of local transitions is subserved by the left frontal operculum, a region that is phylogenetically older than Broca's area, which specifically holds responsible the computation of hierarchical dependencies. Tractography data revealing differential structural connectivity signatures for these two brain areas provide additional evidence for a segregation of two areas in the left inferior frontal cortex.
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 14.02.2006|
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)