COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE AND NEUROPSYCHOLOGYThe role of the posterior superior temporal cortex in sentence comprehensionFriederici, Angela D.; Makuuchi, Michiru; Bahlmann, Jörg Author Information Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany Correspondence to Dr Angela D. Friederici, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Stephanstr. 1a, Leipzig 04103, Germany Tel: +49 341 99 40 112; fax: +49 341 99 40 113; e-mail: [email protected] Received 8 January 2009 accepted 13 January 2009 NeuroReport: April 22, 2009 - Volume 20 - Issue 6 - p 563-568 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3283297dee Buy Metrics Abstract The study investigates to what extent the posterior superior temporal cortex is involved in processing complex sentences. Using functional MRI, we show that hierarchically structured sentences activate the superior temporal cortex bilaterally to greater extent than sentences with a linear structure. The activation in the left hemisphere comprises the superior temporal gyrus and sulcus, whereas the activation in the right hemisphere is confined to the superior temporal sulcus. As earlier studies using similar syntactic structures in semantic-free grammars did not show activation in the superior temporal cortex but instead only in the prefrontal cortex, we conclude that the role of the posterior superior temporal cortex is to integrate lexical–semantic and syntactic information during sentence comprehension. © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.