High-level cognitive capacities that serve communication, reasoning, and calculation are essential for finding our way in the world. But whether and to what extent these complex behaviors share the same neuronal substrate are still unresolved questions. The present study separated the aspects of logic from language and numerosity—mental faculties whose distinctness has been debated for centuries—and identified a new cytoarchitectonic area as correlate for an operation involving logical negation. A novel experimental paradigm that was implemented here in an RT/fMRI study showed a single cluster of activity that pertains to logical negation. It was distinct from clusters that were activated by numerical comparison and from the traditional language regions. The localization of this cluster was described by a newly identified cytoarchitectonic area in the left anterior insula, ventro-medial to Broca’s region. We provide evidence for the congruence between the histologically and functionally defined regions on multiple measures. Its position in the left anterior insula suggests that it functions as a mediator between language and reasoning areas.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Partially supported by Israel Science Foundation, Grants No. 2093/16 (Y.G.) and No. 757/16 (Y.L.), The Gatsby Charitable Foundation (Y.L.) and by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 7202070 (HBP SGA1) and No. 785907 (HBP SGA2). We are grateful to Hartmut Mohlberg and Sebastian Bludau for their support in 3D reconstruction and analyses of profiles and volumes.
© 2019, The Author(s).
- Brain mapping
- Functional neuroanatomy
- Functional neuroimaging
- Left anterior insula
- Sentence verification