Logic, language and the brain

Martin M. Monti, Daniel N. Osherson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


What is the role of language in human cognition? Within the domain of deductive reasoning, the issue has been the focus of numerous investigations without the emergence of a consensus view. Here we consider some of the reasons why neuroimaging studies of deductive reasoning have generated mixed results. We then review recent evidence suggesting that the role of language in deductive reasoning is confined to an initial stage in which verbally presented information is encoded as non-verbal representations. These representations are then manipulated by mental operations that are not based on the neural mechanisms of natural language. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "The Cognitive Neuroscience".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
StatePublished - Jan 5 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


  • Deductive reasoning
  • Functional neuroimaging
  • Natural language


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