Volume 93 (2017) Issue 7 Pages 511-522
Our previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have indicated that the left dorsal inferior frontal gyrus (L. dF3op/F3t) and left lateral premotor cortex (L. LPMC) are crucial regions for syntactic processing among the syntax-related networks. In the present study, we further examined how activations in these regions were modified by the factors of construction and scrambling (object-initial type). Using various sentence types, we clarified three major points. First, we found that the main effects of construction and scrambling consistently activated the L. dF3op/F3t and L. LPMC. Secondly, the main effects of scrambling clearly localized activation in the L. dF3op/F3t and L. LPMC, indicating the more narrowed down processing of syntax. Thirdly, step-wise percent signal changes were observed in the L. dF3op/F3t, demonstrating synergistic effects of construction and scrambling. These results demonstrate the abstract and intensive nature of syntactic processing carried out by these regions, i.e., the grammar center.