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Hemispheric Processing of Inferences During Discourse Reading: A Review of the Literature
Current Issue
Volume 5, 2018
Issue 3 (September)
Pages: 72-79   |   Vol. 5, No. 3, September 2018   |   Follow on         
Paper in PDF Downloads: 34   Since Aug. 31, 2018 Views: 1074   Since Aug. 31, 2018
Weijuan Wang, National Research Centre for Foreign Language Education, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing, China.
Lin Fan, National Research Centre for Foreign Language Education, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing, China.
Fei Xu, Research Institute of Foreign Languages, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing, China.
Recently, there has been a surge of interest in exploring the inferential processes during reading with neurotechniques in psycholinguistics, psychology as well as cognitive neuroscience. Thus, neural mechanisms of inferential processes during discourse comprehension have been gradually revealed through the use of event-related potentials (ERPs), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), eye-tracking measurement, and positron emission tomography (PET). This paper aims to assess the status quo and prospects of research on neural mechanisms underlying inference generation during text comprehension. To this end, prominent models of inferential processes during reading comprehension are displayed and extant studies of neural mechanisms underlying different types of inferences (i.e., causal inferences, bridging inferences and predictive inferences) during text-level comprehension are elaborated. The most salient conclusion that can be drawn from this review is that even though there are quite a few studies performed on the neural mechanisms underlying different types of inferences, much needs to be done to reveal the underlying mechanisms of this complex cognitive process. It is promising to explore the validation phase of inferential processes during different genres of text comprehension in ideographic languages involving a wider range of subjects, and to examine the interactions between reader factors and text factors using neurotechniques in particular.
Neural Mechanisms, Inferential Processes, Discourse Comprehension
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