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ABSTRACT: Anterior negativities obtained during sentence processing have never been unambiguously reported in the mathematical domain. The reason for this might be that the tasks explored in the mathematical domain have been far from resembling those typically yielding language-related anterior negativities. To test this hypothesis, we explored three mathematical aspects: Order-relevant information, a parenthesis indicating the onset of an embedded calculation, and violations of the type of symbol displayed. Results yielded parieto-occipital instead of frontal negativities. Late posterior positivities were also found, largely comparable to linguistic P600 in topography, but dissociable in functional terms. Our data suggest that language-related anterior negativities may indeed reflect language-specific resources of the human brain and support recent claims that language and mathematical domains are more independent than previously thought.
Psychophysiology 12/2006; 43(6):579-91. · 3.26 Impact Factor