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Good article Neurolinguistics has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
February 22, 2009 Good article nominee Listed

NLP is completely related to neurolinguistics[edit]

Why are people trying to push NLP out of the article? Its unreasonable. NLP has had the best track record of any application of neurolinguistics. Clients have given the most praise for this subject. It certainly should be included. Mindstore 03:42, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

This is based on a profound misunderstanding of neurolinguistics, and clients' praises certainly have nothing to do with it. — mark 18:42, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Wrong! Check this out:

No, you're confused. The guys you link to are throwing around scientific-sounding words to make their products look more impressive. Neurolinguistics is an actual academic field, and I can guarantee you two things: (1) None of the researchers in the field of neurolinguistics have any link to NLP, or make reference to it, and (2) None of the people selling NLP have any real education in neurolinguistics, nor have they made any contribution to that field. If you ask these people I'm sure they'll confirm this. They just happen to have similar-sounding titles, with no actual connection.

NLP is a practical useage of neurolinguistics. Brain balancing, advanced neurodynamics. NLP is a new science and practice. Mindstore 02:35, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

It's not. The people selling NLP even go so far as to tell you it's "not a science". If they claim it is, then they have to explain why it's completely ignored by the scientific community, despite being around since the 70s. It's a ruse to sell self-help books and training, NOT an area of academic research. I can see why the name might be confusing you, though.

NLP is a modern-day quackery, in my view, totally unrelated to any science. Show me any NLP-related studies in peer-reviewed neuroscience journals which show its effectivenes, and I will change my opinion.--CopperKettle 08:52, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Hello CopperKettle. Here are some studies on NLP that appear in journals relevant to neurolinguistics.

0Beck, Charles E.; Beck, Elizabeth A. (1984) Test of the eye movement hypothesis of Neurolinguistic Programming: a rebuttal of conclusions. Perceptual and Motor Skills; Feb Vol 58(1) 175-176

Farmer, A.; Rooney, R.; Cunningham, J.R. (1985) Hypothesized eye movements of Neurolinguistic Programming: a statistical artifact. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 61, 717-718

They both state that NLP proponents make claims that they are related to neurolinguistics. I notice that quite a few sources on the web actually do claim that NLP is related to neurolinguistics eg [1]. There are also views of neurolinguists that NLP has nothing to do with NLP. I think a couple of lines would help clarify that point. Wikipedia shouldn't have an opinion on that matter. Both views can be presented briefly. Docleaf 08:58, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

This section is so awful it might as well be removed entirely.

1. Neurolinguistics is a genuinely scientific field of study of brain physiology in relation to various aspects of language acquisition and loss.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming is (a) about human communications, (b) absolutely NOTHING to do with neurology, (c) categorically NOT scientific. These points are made absolutely clear in "Frogs into Princes" (Bandler and Grinder, 1979) when they talk about their role as modellers.

2. Thus, as Mark observed, the claim that NLP has been "forced out" of this article on Neurolinguistics is nonsense, NLP was never relevant in the first place.

3. On a somewhat pedantic note, according to one ancestor of NLP (Alfred Korzybski), the names alone should be sufficient to point out the very basic difference between the two subjects. "Neuro-Linguistic Programming" refers to a partnership between two separate subjects - how language (linguistics) influences our behaviour on the basis of how our brains (Neuro) are affected (programmed) by what we hear and say.

Neurolinguistics is all of a piece (as it's proponents would presumably agree), being a study of the relationship between language (linguistics) and the physical structure of the brain. The term "neurolinguistics", though it may have been used informally beforehand, isw said to have been coined by Harry Whitiker for his "Journal of Neurolinguistics" which first appeared in 1985 - about ten years after Richard Bandler opted for the name "Neuro-Linguistic Programming".

Unfortunately, in the discussion above, both sides are mistaken. NLP was, from birth, valid - for one very simple reason. It has always been a collection of concepts and techniques ALREADY IN USE by acknowledged expert communicators. There are a few extra techniques, but those are developments of techniques already shown to be successful.

On the other side, whilst a handful of NLP-related techniques have featured in a variety of psychology-oriented magazines and journals since around 1977, up until just a few weeks ago, there has NEVER, AFAIK, been anything about NLP in any professional Neurolinguistics publication. Likewise Docleaf is mistaken about the claims made by Beck & Back and Farmer et al. Beck & Beck, for example, certainly don't use the word "linguistics" anywhere in their article, not least, I imagine, because it wasn't in common usage in 1984 (see above).— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:33, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Edits needed[edit]

Computational modeling[edit]

The Computational modeling section talks about CM without ever saying what it is. This is an issue, for obvious reasons. Politizer (talk) 02:15, 15 September 2008 (UTC)


Needs to go further back--discussing, for example, phrenology and similar fields that led to the idea that the brain is divided up functionally. Or, at the very least, link to Neuroscience#History using the {{Main article}} template. Politizer (talk) 02:15, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Here's an outline of a course in the history of neuro-linguistics: [2]. It is very close to history of neuroscience. It would just emphasize some of the findings directly related to language and brain. It would be nice to have a summary of the historical differences between psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics. ----Action potential t c 04:29, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
That looks very useful. I have some stuff on more recent history (past 10 years or so, ongoing arguments over stuff like the visual word form area, dual-route and single-route models of morphological analysis, semantic vs. morphosyntactic representations of word category, etc.) but most of that is probably too detailed for this article, which should be more of a dumbed-down survey. —Politizer talk/contribs 04:42, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

See Also section[edit]

This section is full of Noam Chomsky stuff (Noam Chomsky, universal grammar, generative grammar), and he is not even a neurolinguist (and I hear rumors that he doesn't even get along with most of them. {{fact}}!). Yet it doesn't link to pages on brain imaging, any landmark studies or major areas/centers/processes identified in the brain, or other people who were highly influential in the field (i.e., Wernicke). So this section could obviously use some editing, as well.

new sections[edit]

A section on the relevance of neurolinguistics to other linguistic fields, and the interaction between the fields; a section on what influence neurolinguistics has had on real-life issues (ie, speech pathology, for examples); mention of some landmark studies (I mean, this article doesn't even mention Wernicke, who any college intro linguistics student knows). Politizer (talk) 02:15, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Collecting some references here[edit]

Just a beginning. Trying to find something relevant.

  • PMID 19029533 - A Non-Invasive Imaging Approach to Understanding Speech Changes following Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease
  • PMID 18686654 - Tributes to Macdonald Critchley and his achievements in neurolinguistics
  • PMID 7552231 - The breakdown of functional categories and the economy of derivation
  • PMID 7583195 - The elusive character of agrammatism (1995 review article)

Mattisse (Talk) 00:56, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. Pubmed is a good database, and it will be good for me to get outside my comfort zone (right now, the majority of the sources here are things that are in the bibliography for my own latest paper). I'll have to try to take a look at these over the break. —Politizer talk/contribs 01:11, 15 December 2008 (UTC)


I'm also wondering if it might be useful to take the Experimental design section and spin it into another article, with a brief summary and a {{main}} link here.... but maybe it would be better to hold off on that until I've expanded more parts of the article (like, I still need to get around to writing a section on some of the big issues that are being researched a lot now), since right now I don't think the article size is a problem yet. —Politizer talk/contribs 01:13, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Computational modeling[edit]

That unreferenced section in the article has been bugging me for a while. I don't know anything about computational modeling, so for now I'm just throwing down some sites/books I just found that might be usable as references; if anyone knows more about this subject you're welcome to help with going through them. I didn't want to just remove or comment out the section, but if we can't find any good refs it might have to come to that :S

Politizer talk/contribs 15:09, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Removing the section for now, here it is:

One other important methodology in the cognitive neuroscience of language is computational modeling, which can demonstrate the plausibility or implausibility of specific hypotheses about the neural organization of language while generating novel predictions for further empirical research. Rather than deriving a mathematical analytical solution to the problem of language, experimentation with computational modeling is done by changing the parameters of the system in a computer, and studying the differences in the outcome of the experiments. Theories about the brain's computations can then be deduced from these computational experiments. Currently, computational modelers are collaborating increasingly with brain imagers and psychologists in coordinated, interdisciplinary programs of research. Such programs have yielded important new insights into the nature of language, as well as major language disorders affecting millions, such as stuttering and dyslexia.

Automatic attentional capture[edit]

This explanation in the "active distraction" section has not been appropriately integrated in the text by Politizer. It seems that Politizer still does not understand the text. Thus is it appropriate to revert back to the original text. Can someone help reword it so that it is better understood by the layman? (talk) 14:44, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

It's not appropriate to "revert back to the original text" until you can properly explain to other readers what the difference is. As far as I can tell, I have summarized your long addition. Politizer talk/contribs 14:47, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Regrettably inaccurately. (talk) 14:56, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Like I've said before, Wikipedia is not a science journal to go in-depth into specific experimental results and theories; it's a quick reference and the examples in it are just meant to illustrate a general point, give the reader the gist, and be done with it. In an overview article like this, which is meant to be written in summary style, it's not appropriate to have an extended discussion of a single study.
And your drive-by comment above is not constructive at all. You're welcome to dislike me, but please limit your comments to ones about how we can improve the encyclopedia. Politizer talk/contribs 14:58, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

A quote, "Anyway, thanks for devoting your time to Wikipedia. There are very few Psychology academics who do, with the result that most of the Psychology information is very bad. I alternate between hope and despair over my involvement with Wikipedia. I hope that this is a useful medium through which to communicate science to the public, but I despair that most other academics regard it as a complete waste of time, that the scale of the task is so huge, and that the pearls you and I cast into it will be obscured by ill-meaning, and even well-meaning, swine.". (talk) 11:37, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I know, you have given me this quote three times now, without ever putting it in context or saying where it's from. Do you have something constructive to say, or are you going to keep calling me swine? Politizer talk/contribs 14:32, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

One of the other main contributors to the MMN article. The content seems rather objective, the author's name is in confidence and so the quote shall remain anonymous. There is nothing personal to be found in there; just a comment upon the state-of-affairs for Wikipedia. When looking for context, this can be found by reading and understanding the literature, which I understand can be a terrible burden upon a graduate student, whose most important work is yet to come. Hope this all goes well. Back to work. (talk) 15:23, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

I wasn't asking about the context of the literature, but about the context (within Wikipedia discussion) of the quote you keep repeating. But since now you appear to be uninterested in improving the encyclopedia through any of the channels I provided at your talk page(s), and only interested in insulting my intelligence, I won't be responding to your messages anymore. Politizer talk/contribs 15:27, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

It is hoped that these words can be seen as encouragement to an increased consideration of appropriate balanced accurate content. Different people write about the same thing in a manner that is more accessible to different people. But, better not to lose the intended meaning entirely. On a personal note, I am pleased to have finally graduated as a sock puppet! (talk) 15:50, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Please don't accuse me of labelling you a sock puppet. You can see that I already asked the administrator handling this case (here) not to label you a sock puppet. Politizer talk/contribs 16:09, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. Ed used the word sock. The 'war' was entirely fought inside Politizer's head. There seems no reason to become embroiled in some daftly official wiki-process about that. Please feel encouraged to open your mind to genuine content and not be insulted. (talk) 16:26, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Editors who have strong feelings about article content, and who intend to do numerous reverts, would be well-advised to register an account. To be the proprietor of a constantly-changing IP appears devious, when creating an account is so simple. It's like taking responsibility for your work. Having a named account makes it simpler for others to contact you, since you will have a real user talk page. EdJohnston (talk) 01:00, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Another source[edit]

Stumbled across a review article that looks like it will be useful here (especially in the History, Brain Imaging, and Experimental Design sections); haven't had time to read it carefully yet, sticking it here for future reference.

Politizer talk/contribs 19:18, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Neurolinguistics/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

I'll be doing this GA review. Will need a few days to read the article carefully, but plan to be done by Wednesday. Sasata (talk) 23:23, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Ok finally done the review. I came up with a fairly detailed list of nit-picky items (as requested by the nom), hopefully these suggestions will help to improve the article to GA-status (and beyond...). Sasata (talk) 06:22, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
    Difficult reading. Some concepts and language needs to be defined or clarified more obviously for the average reader. MOS fixes needed. See comments. Unclear/difficult passages have been clarified or simplified.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c(OR):
    Well-referenced, with a good proportion of secondary sources.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    Having little knowledge of the subject area, I'll take it on faith that the subject area is well-covered. One thing that had me wondering after reading the article, was what cool things has this fledgling science figured out so far? There's bit's and pieces, in the form of examples for the various experimental techniques, but nothing really amazing stood out (to me). Any research finding that might blow my socks off?
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    Images have appropriate licenses. Some more justification need for the inclusion of a couple, see specifics below.
  7. Overall:
    Pending improvements.

After making substantial improvements to the article, it now fully meets GA standards. Article passed. Sasata (talk) 15:49, 22 February 2009 (UTC)


  • Regarding the first image, there is no mention of Brodmann's areas in the text, so I don't know the relevance of that image unless I click the Brodmann link and read another article, where I find out that Brodmann areas 44 and 45 are Broca's area, which is mentioned in the text. The second image is interesting brainy eye candy, but I can find no reference to it in the article, nor is the use of the specific brain imaging technique (DTI) mentioned.
    • I wanted to avoid putting the Broca's/Wernicke's picture in the lead just because I don't want to add to the pop-culture idea that Broca's and Wernicke's area are the only things relevant to language. I'll try to work on adding mention of Brodmann's areas somewhere in the text (I did add a bit about DTI in the Hemodynamic imaging section); would it help if I edited the captions of these images to include links to the subsections where they're discussed, or would that be too self-reference-y? rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 23:26, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
      • I think just a brief mention of Brodmann and his areas in the history section would be sufficient justification for inclusion of the first image. Perhaps the caption for the DTI image should read: "An image of neural pathways in the brain taken using diffusion tensor imaging". Sasata (talk) 22:36, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
        • Ok, I added him to the end of the first paragraph of History, and edited the caption of the DTI image. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 00:28, 22 February 2009 (UTC)


  • "Neurolinguistics is the science concerned with the neural mechanisms that control the comprehension, production and abstract knowledge of language." Question: would a less accurate meaning be imparted if the sentence read instead "... control the understanding, use and knowledge of language."?
    • No problems there; those words are sort of the common buzzwords in the field, but your wording is probably a little easier to read. (I've kept "comprehension," though, as I feel "understanding" is just a bit too general; the other two words, though, I switched per your suggestion.) rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 07:28, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
    • Actually, User:Mattisse found that wording a bit too vague, so to avoid being vague/confusing I have changed it to "comprehension, production, and acquisition of language." ("abstract knowledge of language" is really part of the other three; I think "comprehension" and "production" are more specific than "understanding" and "use," which could mean lots of other things.) I also change "neural mechanicms" to "neural mechanisms in the human brain" because it seems like that may not have been clear enough before. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 19:15, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
That sounds good to me. As a humorous aside, it seems particularly fitting to discuss meta-semantics for an article on linguistics :) Sasata (talk) 22:36, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Can it be clarified what the difference is between psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics? The Wiki article on the former states "Psycholinguistics or psychology of language is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language." which to me sounds pretty close to what NL is about.
Ok now I see a clarification at the end of the history section, which might be good enough. I'll think about it some more.
Yeah, they are quite closely related. I tried to clarify it a bit in the History section and the brief section after it. Another way of describing the difference (although I don't have a source saying this just yet...there is an article I know of that I bet says something like this, but I haven't read it closely yet) is that a lot of psycholinguists take linguistic theory and talk about how the mind might use it in real-life...whereas a lot of neurolinguists take physical phenomena (ERP components, brain regions that "light up" on fMRI, etc.) and talk about how those physical components reflect language processes. In actuality, though, there's a lot of overlap between the two fields, and most people in either field do a little bit of both. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 07:28, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
It's much clearer now. Sasata (talk) 22:36, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
  • "Much work in neurolinguistics is informed by models in psycholinguistics and theoretical linguistics, and is focused on investigating how the biological structures in the brain can physically implement the cognitive and computational thought processes that theoretical and psycholinguistics propose are necessary in producing and comprehending language." This sentence is a mouthful, and makes me feel slightly aphasic when I read it. I interpret it as "Neurolinguistics tests the theories of psycholinguistics." Am I correct? Please reword for a broader audience. Is this essentially what is said in the next sentence?
  • "Neurolinguists attempt to elucidate how the brain physiologically handles language information," how about "Neurolinguists study the physiological mechanisms by which the brain processes information related to language, and to evaluate the plausibility of linguistic and psycholinguistic theories,"


  • I'm not sure why reference #1 (Phillips and Sakai) is given both in the notes and the references.
    • I've been instructed in the past to list book references in long form in a separate References section, and then in the footnotes just give a short-form citation of them...would it help if I changed the title of the References section to Bibliography?
      • I can only see the logic of that if you're giving the specific page #'s in the book, and doing so (the double listing) would avoid having to repeat giving the full book citation info every time. But in this case it's a chapter in a book (correct?), so there's no need for specific page #'s (small page range, more like a journal article), so should be listed in the notes, but not also in the References. But I admit I don't know the specific MOS guideline... Sasata (talk) 07:56, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
        • I think you're right. It's also a very short book chapter (more like an encyclopedia entry); I'll move it into the footnote. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 14:53, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
  • "Aphasiology attempts to make predictions about what linguistic functions are carried out in which parts of the brain by analyzing what language abilities are affected when an individual incurs brain damage to a specific localization in the brain." Another mouthful. How about something like "Aphasiology attempts to correlate structure to function by analyzing the effect of brain injuries on language processing."
  • "... Broca's research was possibly the first to to offer..."
  • "...a French surgeon who conducted autopsies on numerous individuals who had had speaking deficiencies..." I don't think two "had"s are required, as an autopsy by definition is performed on a dead person, so no need for the second "had" which changes the case to the past perfect form.

Neurolinguistics as a discipline[edit]

  • ..."and neurolinguists analyze physical activity in the brain to see how biological structures" - Physical activity doesn't sound right to me, how about just "brain activity". Also perhaps change "see" to "understand".
Ok. Sasata (talk) 22:36, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
  • "Neurolinguistics research investigates several topics, including issues of where language information is processed,"
  • "Another area of neurolinguistics literate involves the use of..." I don't understand what this means.

Brain imaging[edit]

  • In the top PET figure, it might be useful to mention that areas in red have higher activity.
  • Is there a page # for ref #25?
    • I'll have to see if we have that book in our library....I was originally just using a pdf of that one chapter, and the pdf cut off the page numbers, and I don't have it anymore anyway. I can probably take a look tomorrow. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 23:38, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
  • "...consequently, these techniques are used primarily to inform theories of the cognitive/computational architecture of language, without regard to their precise neurobiological implementation." Please reword this complex sentence in simpler terms.
    • Reworded to "this technique is used primarily to how language processes are carried out, rather than where". rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 07:28, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
  • "Some important and commonly ERP components..."

Experimental design[edit]

Mismatch paradigm[edit]

  • Regarding the MMN, it's unclear to me if the example sequences of letters is supposed to be heard or read ("...when a subject hears or sees...").
    • I think both are possible, but now that I think about it, all the studies I know of were I changed it to just "hears." rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 07:28, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Why is the phenomenon referred to both as mismatch paradigm and mismatch sensitivity?
    • "Mismatch paradigm" refers to the kind of experiment you set up; "mismatch negativity" refers to the brain response that the experiment elicits (hopefully!). I'll try to see if I can make the distinction less confusing in this section. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 07:28, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
  • "For example, one study presented speakers with numerous /t/ and /d/ stimuli, keeping the ratio of /t/s and /d/s constant to achieve a standard-deviant ratio but varying the voice onset time of all the stimuli within each category; the subjects still showed an MMN, suggesting that even though all the /d/ tokens (and all the /t/ tokens) were physically different in terms of their acoustic properties, the subjects perceptually organized them into the abstract phonemic categories of /d/ and /t/."
  • I may just be dense, but the logic of the statement is hard for me to follow; I don't see how the appearance of the MMN leads to the suggested perceptual organization. To put it another way, it could have said instead said that the subjects didn'tshow an MMN and the statement would make the same amount of sense to me. What's the significance of changing the voice onset time? The word "token" is used to describe the stimulus, which I would suppose is standard linguistics jargon, but is not defined nor is used prior in the article.
    • The basic idea is that all the sounds were phonetically different (some had 10ms voice onset time, others 20, etc.), so if the person perceived them as just sounds then there would be no standard/deviant ratio, there would just be a random mish-mash. It was only by grouping a bunch of sounds (such as all the ones with less than 40ms voice onset) into a phoneme /d/, and all the others into /t/, that the subjects would have been able to have the right ratio to elicit an the logic was that, if they got an MMN, they must have been perceiving abstract phonemes rather than specific sounds. But I agree that it's a tough argument to explain (for that particular article, I remember having to read it a couple times before I totally got it), so it might be better just to lose it; I did want to mention some experiment to give an example of how the MMN is used in research, but I could probably do that without going into so much detail about the experimental design. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 07:28, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
    • I tried rewording it to this: "For example, a landmark study by Colin Phillips and colleagues used the mismatch negativity as evidence that subjects, when presented with a series of speech sounds that all differed on various acoustic parameters, perceived all the sounds as either /t/ or /d/ in spite of the acoustic variability, suggesting that the human brain has representations of abstract phonemes.[1]" Does that make more sense? rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 15:51, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Suggested tweak: "...when presented with a series of speech sounds that all differed on variouswith different acoustic parameters". Could "acoustic parameters" be expressed more simply? I still don't quite get the conclusion "...the human brain has representations of abstract phonemes." Sasata (talk) 22:36, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Tweaked that, and I added a little bit to try to make it simpler: "in other words, the subjects were "hearing" not the specific acoustic features, but only the abstract phonemes". rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 00:31, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
  • "In addition, the mismatch paradigm has been used to study syntactic processing..." What exactly is syntactic processing? The phrase is used several times in the text, but no clear definition is given (nor what "syntax" means in the context of neurolinguistics). For that matter, a clear definition of "semantic" somewhere early in the article would also be very helpful.
    • I'll try adding a sentence or two in one of the early sections—when talking about what things neurolinguistics studies, that would probably be a good place to work in something along the lines of "neurolinguistic techniques are used to investigate how the brain processes all aspects of language, including..." and then a bulleted list with phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics (and a brief appositive description after each). rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 07:28, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
      • In the Interaction with other fields section, I added a bullet list of linguistic subfields. But I'm wondering if it would be useful or not to organize it into a table instead, something like this (I just threw this together really quickly, I know the third column isn't very good right now):
Subfield Description Research questions in neurolinguistics
Phonetics the study of speech sounds how the brain extracts speech sounds from an acoustic signal
Phonology the study of how sounds are organized in a language how the phonological system of a particular language is represented in the brain
Morphology and lexicology the study of how words are structured and stored in the mental lexicon how the brain accesses words that a person knows
Syntax the study of how multiple-word utterances are constructed how the brain combines words into constituents and sentences; how structural and semantic information is used in understanding sentences
Semantics the study of how meaning is encoded in language
I like the table, it presents these terms nicely and adds greatly to the accessibility of the article. Sasata (talk) 22:36, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
All right, stuck it in there! rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 00:28, 22 February 2009 (UTC)


  • "... a brain response called the Early Left Anterior Negativity...." No need to capitalize.
  • "For example, sentences beginning with phrases..."
  • The y-axis of the event-related potential graph needs a label.
    • I just put in a request at Graphic Labs to get a label added. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 07:28, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Looks good. Sasata (talk) 22:36, 21 February 2009 (UTC)


  • Morphological makeup , lexical entry, and "trace" seem to be complex linguistics concepts that make this paragraph difficult to truly understand without going to those linked articles and doing background reading. Any chance of adding a definition or two or simplifying a bit?
    • I've simplified the section, saying less about particular studies and keeping it more general. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 16:00, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
  • The last sentence uses "investigate" three times; there's also a stranded right parenthesis.


  • "Among newer noninvasive techniques to study the workings of the brain, including how language works" The underlined part sounds weak to me. How about changing to something like "... language processing by the brain"
    • I agree that the current wording is a bit iffy. TMS, though, is not used only for language stuff (in fact, its most well-known use is for treating depression...and even when it comes to experiments rather than treatment, I'm pretty sure it's used for experiments in stuff that's not about language) so I'll try to think about other ways to word it without making it seem as if it's only used for linguistic experiments. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 07:28, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
    • Ok, I cleaned it up and just called it a "technique for studying brain activity." rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 16:12, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
  • "... thus is able to imitate aphasic symptoms without and giving gives the researcher more control..." Without what?
    • Fixed...not sure where that typo came from :S rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 07:28, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
  • " for epilepsy[52])." Put the reference # outside the punctuation, per MOS.
  • "The logic behind TMS and direct cortical stimulation is similar to the logic behind aphasiology." Please remind me of the logic, so I don't have to search through the article and find it again.
    • Added "if a particular language function is impaired when a specific region of the brain is knocked out, then that region must be somehow implicated in that language function." rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 07:28, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Better, one small tweak: "...have been used with macaque monkeys to make predictions about the behavior of human brains." or something like that. Sasata (talk) 22:36, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Subject tasks[edit]

  • I think it should be clarified that the subject tasks are used in conjunction with the experimental/brain imaging techniques described above (at least I assume that's how its done in practice).

Active distraction and double-task[edit]

  • "For example, one study had subjects listen to non-linguistic tones in one ear and speech in the other ear, and instructed subjects to press a button when they perceived an attenuation in the tone" What's a non-linguistic tone? A musical note? Please clarify. While you're there, might as well briefly define attenuation.
    • Ok, defined "non-linguistic tone" as a beep or buzz, and replaced "attenuation" with "change." rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 16:32, 20 February 2009 (UTC)


Refs need a copyedit to standardize formatting. Check comma/semicolon usage, presence/absence of quote marks around journal article titles, capitalization in article titles (eg. ref #29), ndashes for page ranges (eg. ref#16), consistency of author name abbreviation, placement of "and" before final author name, missing page #'s (ref #61), etc., etc.

I've tried to go through and clean them up as well as I can—used ndashes for page ranges, removed "and"s, changed commas to semicolons, and put all journal article titles in lowercase (but left book titles and website titles as they were wherever I found them, which was uppercase for all or most). As for the author name abbreviation, I have used full first names wherever possible, but some of these journal articles (especially the older ones) only give initials for first names; would it be better for me to leave those couple exceptions here and there, or to convert everything to initials even where I have full names available? rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 16:27, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
I think it's most important that the formatting remain consistent throughout. For example, I see that some refs have a period after the final author name (eg. #22) while others don't. That being said, I won't hold the article back from GA for reference formatting, but you'll probably want to get that all cleaned up before taking it to FAC. Sasata (talk) 22:36, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I went through and made sure there are periods on all middle and first initials. That does make it so that refs like #22 have a period right before the year whereas others don't, just because in that ref the author has a middle initial with a period (Friederici, Angela D. (2002)). I'm not sure why, some people just always have their name like that. Anyway, I didn't want to get rid of all periods on initials, because some of the references would look really bad that way (for example, "Dronkers, N.F.; O. Plaisant; M.T. Iba-Zizen; E.A. Cabanis (2007)" would be "Dronkers, NF; O Plaisant; MT Iba-Zizen; EA Cabanis (2007)"). rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 00:28, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

I'll put the article on hold for the standard seven days to address the suggestions above. Have fun! Sasata (talk) 06:22, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments; this is all very helpful! I have gone through and taken some of the low-hanging fruit (addressing the quick & easy copyediting things you raised); I'm going to have to respond to the more in-depth stuff tomorrow or Saturday, hopefully. rʨanaɢ talk/contribs 07:28, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

The opening paragraph in “Neurolinguistics” is generally well written though it could use some reorganization. The last sentence would be better placed earlier on, as it creates some disjunction in its current position. It is an important factor in understanding neurolinguistics, more key than some of the earlier provided information, and should appear earlier.

Though the overall structure of the article is satisfying I find the structure within the section “Neurolinguistics as a discipline” would be more logical if the two subsections were reversed (“Topics considered” coming first and “Interaction with other fields” coming second). On the other hand, I do feel that the subsection “Topics considered” is closely related to the section “Technology used,” and current organization places those two fields near each other. Perhaps a better solution would be to give “Interaction with other fields” its own section entirely to create the best flow in the article. Briannah J (talk) 18:39, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference phillips was invoked but never defined (see the help page).