Poster F33, Tuesday, March 28, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Source Localization Indicates Anterior Superior Temporal Gyrus Involvement in Nonlinguistic Structured Sequence Processing and Natural Language Processing
Gretchen N.L. Smith1, Gerardo E. Valdez1, Anne M. Walk2, John D. Purdy3, Christopher M. Conway1; 1Georgia State University, 2University of Illinois, 3Saint Louis University
Structured sequence processing (SSP) refers to the ability to acquire and process patterns of information from the environment (Cleeremans et al., 1998). SSP appears to support knowledge and use of grammatical language (Conway et al., 2010). However, few studies have empirically associated these two processes at a neural level (e.g., Christiansen et al., 2012). Additional neural evidence of a relation between SSP and language processing is needed, using different tasks and analysis techniques. The goal of this study was to examine the putative neural link between more purely non-linguistic SSP and natural language processing by analyzing the source location of electrophysiological responses elicited for each type of task. Healthy adult participants (N=32) completed a visual-spatial (non-linguistic) SSP task and a natural language reading (grammatical comprehension) task. Both tasks were designed to cause violations in expectations of items occurring serially (using an artificial grammar for the SSP task and natural syntax for the reading task). Event-related potentials were compared for trials containing violations versus those without violations. Source localization with sLORETA showed 1) increased bilateral activation at 300ms in anterior superior temporal gyrus (STG) for sequences in the SSP task containing a violation relative to non-violation sequences, and 2) increased bilateral activation at 600ms in the same anterior region of STG for sentences in the reading task containing a violation relative to non-violation sentences. The source localization of activity during the SSP and reading tasks revealed striking overlap, providing support for similar neural mechanisms underlying non-linguistic SSP and natural language processing.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Other