This is the topic of a special issue of Cortex edited by Stefano Cappa and Friedemann Pulvermuller published just this year (Cortex, Vol. 48, Issue 7). Let's work our way through what appears to be a highly balanced selection of papers by... oh wait, it seems to be mostly authors sympathetic to the idea that the motor system is the center of the linguistic universe. But I haven't even looked at the papers yet, so let's not pre-judge. (Oops, I guess I already did.) Kidding aside, I'm hopeful, actually, that the discussion won't be as one-sided as it has been for the last 10 years.
My plan is to read through the papers, one by one, and post my thoughts. Please read along and feel free to post your own in the commentary section, or you can email me and I'll post your own guest entry. As always, input from the authors is welcome.
Now turn to page 785 for the editorial by Cappa and Pulvermuller...
I am very much looking forward what you think of the lesion study by Kemmerer et al. In my view it is a classical case of biased study planning. They have no proper control task. So they found impairment in the action concept tasks because they used only action concept tasks! We now learn that the IFG is important for action concept retrieval. I think the IFG is important for any concept retrieval, or even any memory retrieval. Maybe the IFG is important for doing any task? I don't know what have happened if they also tested a math task... So my conclusion is that the title implies a specific role for action concept retrieval, whereas specificity has not been tested. I was also not so happy with their hypothesis: "we predicted that the lesion maps associated with the different tasks would not be identical, but would instead be at least somewhat heterogeneous in terms of the extent and/or degree of involvement of not only the main regions of interest". what do you think? The funny thing is that they do not come back to this issue in the discussion at all.
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