LANGUAGE-DRIVEN SPATIOTEMPORAL CAUSAL INTEGRATION IN THE PREFRONTAL AND PREMOTOR CORTICES
YOUNG, Ph.D²,MICHAEL E
The behavioral literature has reported the differentiation between perceived causality and higher-order causal reasoning. The advent of modern technology such as functional magnetic resonance imaging and the theoretical framework of cognitive linguistics and behavioral experimental designs have raised new hypotheses and opened new possibilities to address the perceptual and higher-order distinction in causality. In this article, we discuss and integrate recent biological and psycholinguistic work on both perceptual and linguistic representations of causality that challenges the modular view of human causal knowledge. We suggest that linguistic and sensory-perceptual representations of causal events might coexist and interact in the brain. In this sense, whereas previous work proposes that the posterior areas of the brain automatically detect the spatiotemporal structure of visual causal events and that the frontal areas integrate such information in a causal representation, results from our research program suggest that this integration process is language-driven. Tw o different semantic representations of causative linguistic structures (lexical and periphrastic causatives) might infuence cognitive control mechanisms, memory resources, and preparatory motor responses when observers evaluate the causal nature of visual stimuli.