Link to live-stream
During language processing, the brain receives a signal that is essentially sequential. The input unfolds linearly in time or space. Nevertheless, sequences of words are not all there is to support language understanding. In his thesis, Alessandro Lopopolo investigates the different types of sequential information, syntactic structures, and operations that are part of natural language processing. The central question is whether brain activity can be subdivided into different sub-components by using computational linguistic tools and neural data collected using naturalistic stimuli.
Taken together, the results of his analyses show that the sequential properties of words, grammatical categories, and phonemes are likely to be processed by distinct areas of the temporal and frontal lobes. His results also suggest that the dependency and phrase-structure of sentences are likely to be computed by separate, yet interacting, areas of the left temporal lobe.