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date: 22 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews neurophysiological and neuroanatomical investigations of information structural notions, with a view to working towards a neurobiologically grounded perspective. It first considers components of a neurobiologically plausible theory of information structure and outlines candidate mechanisms for higher-order cognitive processing, namely prediction and mental modelling, attention orientation, memory, and inferencing. The chapter then proceeds to neuroscientific investigations of information structure, highlighting differences between sentence- and text-level processing and discussing findings for the information structural notions of givenness, focus, and topic, before presenting further insights from syntax-induced information structural effects. The chapter concludes with a discussion of neurobiological models of information structure processing.

Keywords: event-related potentials, functional neuroanatomy, givenness, topic, focus, prediction, attention, memory, inference

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