Spatiotemporal Analysis of Brain Activity During Understanding Honorific Expressions
Michio Sugeno* and Takahiro Yamanoi**
*European Centre for Soft Computing, c/ Gonzalo Gutierrez Quiros, s/n, 33600 Mieres-Asturias, Spain
**Faculty of Engineering, Hokkai-Gakuen University, W 11, S 26, Central ward, Sapporo 064-0926, Japan
This paper discusses brain activity during the understanding of sentences from the perspective of Systemic Functional Linguistics. We focus on ideational meaning (propositional meaning in an ordinary sense) and interpersonal meaning (as is typically seen in honorific expressions). The present study is an experimental exploration of the spatiotemporal pathways of neuronal activation. Japanese sentences containing and not containing honorific expressions are compared in electroencephalography experiments. In these experiments, the sentences without honorific expressions have ideationalmeaning, but those with honorific expressions have both ideational and interpersonal meanings. Through the use of the equivalent current dipole source localization method, the spatiotemporal processes of activation of the brain are analyzed. There is a single pathway during the understanding of the sentences without honorific expressions; this pathway is mainly observed in the left hemisphere. On the other hand, there are three pathways in the case of the sentences with honorific expressions, two of which are observed in the right hemisphere. The remaining pathway is the same as the aforementioned single pathway. This fact strongly suggests that the common pathway is concerned with processing ideational meaning. The other two pathways observed during understanding of the sentences with honorific expressions are considered to be related to processing interpersonal meaning.
-  M. Vigneau, V. Beaucousin et al., “Meta-analyzing Left Hemisphere Language Areas: Phonology, Semantics, and Sentence Processing,” Neuroimage, Vol.30, pp. 1414-1432, 2006.
-  S. K. Scott, A. P. Leff et al., “Going beyond the Information Given: A Neural System Supporting Semantic Interpretation,” Neuroimage, Vol.19, pp. 870-876, 2003.
-  M-Z. Zempleni, R. Renken et al., “Semantic Ambiguity Processing in Sentence Context: Evidence from Event-related fMRI,” Neuroimage, Vol.34, pp. 1270-1279, 2007.
-  F. Homae, N. Yahata et al., “Selective Enhancement of Functional Connectivity in the Left Prefrontal Cortex during Sentence Processing,” Neuroimage, Vol.20, pp. 578-586, 2003.
-  R. T. Constable, K. R. Pugh et al., “Sentence Complexity and Input Modality Effects in Sentence Comprehension: an fMRI Study,” Neuroimage, Vol.22, pp. 11-21, 2004.
-  M. A. Just, S. D. Newman et al., “Imagery in Sentence Comprehension: an fMRI Study,” Neuroimage, Vol.21, pp. 112-124, 2004.
-  M. Martín-Loeches, P. Casado et al., “Higher-order Activity beyond the Word Level: Cortical Dynamics of Simple Transitive Sentence Comprehension,” Brain Lang, Vol.92, pp. 332-348, 2007.
-  G. Jobard, M. Vigneau et al., “Impact of Modality and Linguistic Complexity during Reading and Listening Tasks,” Neuroimage, Vol.34, pp. 784-800, 2007.
-  L. Ruff, S. E. Blumstein et al., “Recruitment of Anterior and Posterior Structures in Lexical- semantic Processing: An fMRI Study Comparing Implicit and Explicit Tasks,” Brain Lang, Vol.105, pp. 41-49, 2008.
-  D. January, J. C. Truesell, et al., “Co-localization of Stroop and Syntactic Ambiguity Resolution in Broca’s Area: Implications for the Neural Basis of Sentence Processing,” J. Cogn. Sci., Vol.22, pp. 1083-1094, 2009.
-  S. Takazawa, N. Takahashi et al., “Early Components of Eventrelated Potentials Related to Semantic and Syntactic Processes in the Japanese Language,” Brain Topog, Vol.14, pp. 169-177, 2004.
-  W. Skrandies, M-J. Chiu et al., “The Processing of Semantic Meaning in ChineseWords and Evoked Brain Topography,” Brain Topog, Vol.16, pp. 255-259, 2004.
-  T-L. Chou, J. R. Booth et al., “Developmental Changes in the Neural Correlates of Semantic Processing,” Neuroimage, Vol.29, pp. 1141-1149, 2006.
-  C. Humphries, J. R. Binder et al., “Time Course of Semantic Processes during Sentence Comprehension: an fMRI Study,” Neuroimage, Vol.36, pp. 924-932, 2007.
-  S. D. Newman, T. Ikuta et al., “The Effect of Semantic Relatedness on Syntactic Analysis: An fMRI Study,” Brain Lang, Vol.113, pp. 51-58, 2010.
-  A. T-D. Fonseca, C-G. Benar et al., “Electrophysiological Study of the Basal Temporal Language Area: A Convergence Zone between Language Perception and Production Networks,” Clin Neurophysiol, Vol.120, pp. 539-550, 2008.
-  T. Noesselt, N. J. Shah et al., “Top-down and Bottom-up Modulation of Language Related Areas – An FMRI Study,” BMC Neurosci, Vol.4, p. 13, 2003.
-  M. Hori, “Sociolinguistic Analysis of the Japanese Honorifics,” J. Pragmatics, Vol.10, pp. 373-386, 1988.
-  M. A. K. Halliday, “An Introduction to Functional Grammar,” 3rd ed. Edward Arnold, 2004.
-  M. A. K. Halliday and C. M. I. M. Matthiessen, “Construing Experience through Meaning – A Language-based Approach to Cognition,” CASSEL, 1992.
-  T. Yamazaki, K. Kamijo et al., “Multiple Equivalent Current Dipole Source Localization of Visual Event-related Potential during Oddball Paradigm with Motor Response,” Brain Topog, Vol.12, pp. 159-175, 2000.
-  A. P. Bagshaw, E. Kobayashi et al., “Correspondence between EEGfMRI and EEG Dipole Localisation for Interictal Discharges in Focal Epilepsy,” Neuroimage, Vol.30, pp. 417-425, 2006.
-  C. G. Benar, C. Grova et al., “EEG-fMRI of Epileptic Spikes: Concordance with EEG Source Localization and Intracranial EEG,” Neuroimage, Vol.30, pp. 1161-1170, 2006.
-  J. R. Naranjo, A. Brouvelli et al., “EEG Dynamics of the Frontoparietal Network during Reaching Preparation in Humans,” Neuroimage, Vol.34, pp. 1673-1682, 2006.
-  B. N. Cuffin, D. L. Schomer et al., “Experimental Tests of EEG Source Localization Accuracy in Spherical Head Models,” Clin Neurophysiol, Vol.112, pp. 46-51, 2001.
-  C. M. Michel, M. M. Murray et al., “EEG Source Imaging,” Clin Neurophysioy, Vol.115, pp. 2195-2222, 2004.
-  T. Yamanoi, T. Yamazaki et al., “Dominance of Recognition of Words Presented on Right or Left Eye,” In: Modern Information Processing, from Theory to Applications, B. Bouchon-Meunier, G. Coletti et al. (Eds.), Elsevier Science B.V., 2006.
-  T. Yamanoi, H. Toyoshima et al., “Spatiotemporal Human Brain Activities by Visual Stimulus with Directional Meaning,” 12th Int. Conf. on Information Processing and Management of Uncertainty, Malaga, 2008.
-  T. Yamanoi, M. Saito et al., “Difference in Areas of the Brain for Fuzzy and Crisp Calculation.” J Adv Comp Intelli, Vol.6, pp. 51-55, 2002.
-  N. Ikuta, M. Sugiura et al., “Brain Activation during the Course of Sentence Comprehension,” Brain Lang, Vol.97, pp. 154-161, 2006.
-  F. Pulvermuller, Y. Shtyrov et al., “Tracking Speech Comprehension in Space and Time,” Neuroimage, Vol.31, pp. 1297-1305, 2006.
-  L. E. Bernstein, E. T. Auer Jr. et al., “Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Audiovisual Speech Processing,” Neuroimage, Vol.39, pp. 423-425, 2008.
-  M. K. Leonard, T. T. Brown et al., “Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Bilingual Word Processing,” Neuroimage, Vol.49, pp. 3286-3294, 2010.
-  N. A. Kacinik and C. Chiarello, “Understanding Metaphors: Is the Right Hemisphere Uniquely Involved ?,” Brain Lang, Vol.100, pp. 188-207, 2005.
-  A. K. Stringaris, N. Medford et al., “How Metaphors Influence Semantic Relatedness Judgments: The Role of the Right Frontal Cortex,” Neuroimage, Vol.33, pp. 784-793, 2006.
-  G. L. Schmidt, C. J. De Buse et al., “Right Hemisphere Metaphor Processing? Characterizing the Lateralization of Semantic Processes,” Brain Lang, Vol.100, pp. 127-141, 2007.
-  K. Ahrens, H.-L. Liu et al.,“Functional MRI of Conventional Anomalous Metaphors in Mandarin Chinese,” Brain Lang, Vol.100, pp. 163-171, 2007.
-  G. L. Schmidt and C. A. Seger, “Neural Correlates ofMetaphor Processing: The Roles of Figurativeness, Familiarity and Difficulty,” Brain Cogn, Vol.71, pp. 375-386, 2009.
-  K.Wakakusa, M. Sugiura et al., “Comprehension of implicit meanings in social situations involving irony: A functional MRI study,” Neuroimage, Vol.37, pp. 1417-1426, 2007.
-  R. A. Atchley, S. S. Ilardi et al., “Hemispheric Asymmetry in the Processing of Emotional Content in Word Meanings: The Effect of Current and Past Depression,” Brain Lang, Vol.84, pp. 105-119, 2003.
-  S. A. Kotz, M. Meyer et al., “On the Lateralization of Emotional Prosody: an Event-related Functional MR Investigation,” Brain Lang, Vol.86, pp. 366-376, 2003.
-  M. Faust, O. Barak et al., “The Effects ofMultiple Script Priming on Word Recognition by the two Cerebral Hemispheres: Implications for Discourse Processing,” Brain Lang, Vol.99, pp. 247-257, 2006.
-  H. W. R. Powell, G. J. M. Parker et al., “Hemispheric Asymmetries in Language-related Pathways: A Combined Functional MRI and Tractography Study,” Neuroimage, Vol.32, pp. 388-399, 2006.
-  B. Gouldthorp and J. Coney, “The Sensitivity of the Right Hemisphere to Contextual Information in Sentences,” Brain Lang, Vol.110, pp. 95-100, 2009.
-  D. L. Long, K. Baynes et al., “The Propositional Structure of Discourse in the Two Cerebral Hemispheres,” Brain Lang, Vol.95, pp. 383-394, 2005.
-  D. Ketteler, F. Kastrau et al., “The Subcortical Role of Language Processing. High Level Linguistic Features such as Ambiguityresolution and the Human Brain; an fMRI Study,” Neuroimage, Vol.39, pp. 2002-2009, 2008.
-  K. Hoenig and L. Scheef, “Neural Correlates of Semantic Ambiguity Processing during Context Verification,” Neuroimage, Vol.45, pp. 1009-1019, 2009.
-  N. Chomsky, “Studies on Semantics in Generative Grammar,”Mouton, 1972.