Psycholinguistics/Individual Differences in Syntactic Processing

Introduction (Individual difference in syntactic processing)Edit

This chapter focuses on individual difference in syntactic processing, which explore from a psychological and neurological perspective. Every individual might form syntax in everyday, but each of them represent differenlly. This might involve difference in dominant brain side, location of brain area, area functioning, neuron firing, individual grow, individual learning, etc.

Language processing is a complex task that involves many brain activities. The syntactic structure is representing the relationship among the meaning of the words in a sentence. Syntactic processing mostly involves working memory and reading span. Size of working memory and reading span can be varying in individual. These vary will cause differences in sentence comprehension especially in syntactic processing. These differences are clear when sentences or task demands are complex. Working memory use on language comprehension processing mostly called verbal working memory (Caplan, David, Waters, & Gloria,1998).

Syntactic Processing and the BrainEdit

working memoryEdit

working memory is the main part work in syntactic processing.

reading spanEdit

reading span uses on comprehension of complex sentences. Reading span is measuring relationship among Visuaospatial sketchpad, central executive and phonological loop. The length of reading span can be different in individual. Low span readers will have longer reading times for nondominant resolution or complex sentence. In other hand, high span readers will have equivalent reading times which mean that they will get the complex sentence quicker than low span readers.

memory spanEdit

anterior temporal lobeEdit

Broca's areaEdit

How do we record it?Edit

Many studies were measure by using MRI, MEG, ERP, and PET to find out brain activities of individual's difference in syntactic processing

Case studyEdit


PET studies were carried out in the MGH PET imaging suite, which has been designed to provide for control of ambient light, temperature, and noise level.





  • doi:10.1016/S0093-934X(03)00236-0

Learning ExercisesEdit