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Broca Pars Triangularis constitutes a “Hub” of the language-control network during simultaneous language translation


Elmer, Stefan (2016). Broca Pars Triangularis constitutes a “Hub” of the language-control network during simultaneous language translation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience:10:491.

Abstract

Until now, several branches of research have fundamentally contributed to a better understanding of the ramifications of bilingualism, multilingualism, and language expertise on psycholinguistic-, cognitive-, and neural implications. In this context, it is noteworthy to mention that from a cognitive perspective, there is a strong convergence of data pointing to an influence of multilingual speech competence on a variety of cognitive functions, including attention, short-term- and working memory, set shifting, switching, and inhibition. In addition, complementary neuroimaging findings have highlighted a specific set of cortical and subcortical brain regions which fundamentally contribute to administrate cognitive control in the multilingual brain, namely Broca's area, the middle-anterior cingulate cortex, the inferior parietal lobe, and the basal ganglia. However, a disadvantage of focusing on group analyses is that this procedure only enables an approximation of the neural networks shared within a population while at the same time smoothing inter-individual differences. In order to address both commonalities (i.e., within group analyses) and inter-individual variability (i.e., single-subject analyses) in language control mechanisms, here I measured five professional simultaneous interpreters while the participants overtly translated or repeated sentences with a simple subject-verb-object structure. Results demonstrated that pars triangularis was commonly activated across participants during backward translation (i.e., from L2 to L1), whereas the other brain regions of the "control network" showed a strong inter-individual variability during both backward and forward (i.e., from L1 to L2) translation. Thus, I propose that pars triangularis plays a crucial role within the language-control network and behaves as a fundamental processing entity supporting simultaneous language translation.

Abstract

Until now, several branches of research have fundamentally contributed to a better understanding of the ramifications of bilingualism, multilingualism, and language expertise on psycholinguistic-, cognitive-, and neural implications. In this context, it is noteworthy to mention that from a cognitive perspective, there is a strong convergence of data pointing to an influence of multilingual speech competence on a variety of cognitive functions, including attention, short-term- and working memory, set shifting, switching, and inhibition. In addition, complementary neuroimaging findings have highlighted a specific set of cortical and subcortical brain regions which fundamentally contribute to administrate cognitive control in the multilingual brain, namely Broca's area, the middle-anterior cingulate cortex, the inferior parietal lobe, and the basal ganglia. However, a disadvantage of focusing on group analyses is that this procedure only enables an approximation of the neural networks shared within a population while at the same time smoothing inter-individual differences. In order to address both commonalities (i.e., within group analyses) and inter-individual variability (i.e., single-subject analyses) in language control mechanisms, here I measured five professional simultaneous interpreters while the participants overtly translated or repeated sentences with a simple subject-verb-object structure. Results demonstrated that pars triangularis was commonly activated across participants during backward translation (i.e., from L2 to L1), whereas the other brain regions of the "control network" showed a strong inter-individual variability during both backward and forward (i.e., from L1 to L2) translation. Thus, I propose that pars triangularis plays a crucial role within the language-control network and behaves as a fundamental processing entity supporting simultaneous language translation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:29 Nov 2016 15:41
Last Modified:12 Aug 2017 16:02
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1662-5161
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00491
PubMed ID:27746729

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