Language has been investigated from a range of perspectives. Linguists have described it as a formal system focusing on levels that range from phonology to syntax, semantics and pragmatics. Both linguists and psychologists worked on models focusing on the time course of linguistic processing in production and understanding, so that these psycholinguistic models could be tested in behavioral experiments. Most recently, neuro- and cognitive scientists attempt at spelling out the brain mechanisms of language in terms of neuronal structure and function. These efforts are founded in neuroscience data about the brain loci that activate when specific linguistic operations occur, the time course of their activation and the effects of their specific lesion. The lecture series will provide a broad introduction into these linguistic, psycholinguistic and neurolinguistics research streams and highlight a range of cutting edge behavioral and neuroscience findings addressing a broad range of linguistic issues, including, for example, the recognition of words, the parsing of sentences, and the computation of the meaning and communicative function of utterances. Language development and language disorders caused by disease of the brain will also be in the focus. The experimental approaches under discussion will range from behavioral (reaction time studies, eye tracking) to neuroimaging methods (EEG, MEG, fMRI, NIRS) and neuropsychological ones (patient studies, TMS, tDCS). A discussion of major theoretical approaches to language in the human mind and brain will round up the lectures.
Pulvermüller, F., & Fadiga, L. 2016. Brain Language Mechanisms Built on Action and Perception. In G. Hickok & S. Small (Eds.), Handbook of Neurobiology of Language, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 311-324. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-407794-2.00026-2