Toward a Better Understanding of the Cortical Function: Entrained Language Decoding and Functional Grammar
33 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2018
Date Written: March 5, 2018
The use of speech for organizing collective activity is the hall mark of our species. From this communicative point of view, the speaker's brain activity has to modulate that of the listener, what requires the sound the speaker produces to synchronize listener's brain activity. Linguists distinguish language communicative structure from regular grammar when analyzing language in the context of information transmission. Functional Grammar (FG) proposes that the communicative structure of any sentence combines a topic - is what is being talked about, to a comment- what is being said about the topic. The purpose of the present paper is to study the entrainment of listener's brain activity to the sound packs of a recorded text, taking into account FG rules. For such a purpose, we recorded the electroencephalogram of 20 (10 males and 10 females) individuals while they were listening to the text and used Event Related Activity technique to related this entrained activity to text decoding according FG rules. Results revealed an almost perfect entrainment of EEG activity triggered by the listened utterances that nicely correlates to text FG structure. This cortical entrainment supports the proposal that a Cortical Oscillatory Modular Processing (COMP) is in charge of handling human cognition. This is one of three papers exploring this idea.
Keywords: Language, EEG, Event Related Activity, Cortical Entrainment, Motivation
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