Ye, Z., Kutas, M., St. George, M., Sereno, M.I., Ling, F., Muente, T.F., Rearranging the world: Neural networks supporting the processing of temporal connectives, NeuroImage, 2012, 59 pp. 3662-3667
Temporal connectives (before/after) give us the freedom to describe a sequence of events in different orders. Studies have suggested that ‘before-initiating’ sentences, in which events are expressed in an order inconsistent with their actual order of occurrence, might need additional computation(s) during comprehension. The results of independent component analysis suggest that these computations are supported by a neural network connecting the bilateral caudate nucleus with the right middle frontal gyrus, left precentral gyrus, bilateral parietal lobule and inferior temporal gyrus. Among those regions, the caudate nucleus and the left middle frontal gyrus showed greater activations for ‘before’ than ‘after’ sentences. The functional network observed in this study may support sequence learning and processing in a general sense.