Cortical processing of real words, pseudowords and nonwords as measured by magnetoencephalography
Novak, Barbra Jean
Lamb, Sydney M.
Doctor of Philosophy
The research described here involved a study of cortical responses to real words, pseudowords and nonwords as measured by magnetoencephalography (MEG). Multiple subjects were tested in order to investigate inter-subject variability. Each subject was tested multiple times in order to investigate the reliability of MEG for this type of study. The reliability of MEG as a measure of linguistic processing has not previously been fully established. Consistent cortical activation patterns at the group level were found across 5 replications of the task, indicating that MEG is a reliable measure of language processing. Furthermore, real words, pseudowords, and nonwords elicited different cortical activation patterns. Specifically, only the phonotactically acceptable real words and pseudowords elicited left-lateralized middle temporal gyrus (MTG) activity. Additionally, the phonological processing demands required by the task underscore the importance of the insula in phonological processing.
Linguistics; Neurosciences; Biology; Language