Concerted action in the brain's language network: unification or prediction?

Oscillatory dynamics in scalp EEG and MEG are thought to (at least partially) reflect the underlying dynamics of the coupling and uncoupling of functional neuronal networks that carry cognitive processes. In my presentation I will selectively review recent literature that addresses the oscillatory dynamics that is observed during various aspects of sentence-level language comprehension.

For instance, there is evidence that low-frequency oscillatory dynamics (theta-band power changes) are related to lexical retrieval, whereas high-frequency dynamics (beta / gamma power and coherence changes) are related to sentence-level integration (unification) of the individual lexical items. The available evidence can be taken to suggest that beta-band oscillations are predominantly related to syntactic unification, while whereas gamma-band oscillations index semantic unification. However, we have recently proposed that the observed oscillatory responses might be equally well interpreted in a predictive coding framework.

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