The role of the striatum in linguistic selection: Evidence from Huntington's disease and computational modeling.

08:00 EDT 15th September 2018 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "The role of the striatum in linguistic selection: Evidence from Huntington's disease and computational modeling."

Though accumulating evidence indicates that the striatum is recruited during language processing, the specific function of this subcortical structure in language remains to be elucidated. To answer this question, we used Huntington's disease as a model of striatal lesion. We investigated the morphological deficit of 30 early Huntington's disease patients with a novel linguistic task that can be modeled within an explicit theory of linguistic computation. Behavioral results reflected an impairment in HD patients on the linguistic task. Computational model-based analysis compared the behavioral data to simulated data from two distinct lesion models, a selection deficit model and a grammatical deficit model. This analysis revealed that the impairment derives from an increased randomness in the process of selecting between grammatical alternatives, rather than from a disruption of grammatical knowledge per se. Voxel-based morphometry permitted to correlate this impairment to dorsal striatal degeneration. We thus show that the striatum holds a role in the selection of linguistic alternatives, just as in the selection of motor and cognitive programs.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior
ISSN: 1973-8102
Pages: 189-204


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The phylogenetically newer part of the CORPUS STRIATUM consisting of the CAUDATE NUCLEUS and PUTAMEN. It is often called simply the striatum.

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A congenital condition where the greater portions of the cerebral hemispheres and CORPUS STRIATUM are replaced by CSF and glial tissue. The meninges and the skull are well formed, which is consistent with earlier normal embryogenesis of the telencephalon. Bilateral occlusions of the internal carotid arteries in utero is a potential mechanism. Clinical features include intact brainstem reflexes without evidence of higher cortical activity. (Menkes, Textbook of Child Neurology, 5th ed, p307)

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