We welcome you to the open lecture of Professor Luciano Fadiga, held as a part of the 3rd International Conference "Neurobiology of Speech and Language". Simultaneous English-Russian translation will be provided.
When: June 5, 10.00
Where: 22-ya Liniya V.O., 7, Assembly Hall
University of Ferrara and Italian Institute of Technology, Italy
What is language? The answer to this question largely depends on the background of the person asked to respond it. Depending upon one is a linguist, a neurologist, a psychologist, the answer will be completely different. This is the reason of the huge difficulty in creating a multidisciplinary approach to this issue. In recent years, neurophysiologists, traditionally far from this kind of “holistic” questions, have obtained some empirical evidence that sensorimotor circuits could be at the basis of specific properties of the human language. Among them, syntactic processing and interpersonal communication mechanisms. Critical to this approach is the study of how the brain represents actions, own’s and others’, and how communication occurs. In my talk I will focus the attention on the possible analogies between language and action domains, showing that more than looking for similarities between motor planning and linguistic structures, similarities should be sought in the hierarchical structure that characterizes the structural (neural) organization of the motor system. Therefore, no planning (software) but computational potentialities of a sensorimotor structure (hardware) that has undergone a developmental soaring because of the evolution of new capacities. Particularly interesting in this regard is the role played by Broca's region, traditionally considered as the frontal center for speech production, but more and more considered as a venue for common syntactic processing in both action and language domains.