The brain circuitry of syntactic comprehension

Trends Cogn Sci. 2002 Aug 1;6(8):350-356. doi: 10.1016/s1364-6613(02)01947-2.


Syntactic comprehension is a fundamental aspect of human language, and has distinct properties from other aspects of language (e.g. semantics). In this article, we aim to identify if there is a specific locus of syntax in the brain by reviewing imaging studies on syntactic processing. We conclude that results from neuroimaging support evidence from neuropsychology that syntactic processing does not recruit one specific area. Instead a network of areas including Broca's area and anterior, middle and superior areas of the temporal lobes is involved. However, none of these areas appears to be syntax specific.