The study of the neural basis of language has largely focused on regions in the cortex - the outer brain layers thought by many researchers to have expanded during human evolution. Research at Brown University's Department of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences, reported in the September Issue of Cortex, published by Elsevier, adds to evidence that deeper, subcortical regions are also critical by pinpointing when Parkinson's disease patients have difficulty while processing grammatically complex sentences. In Parkinson's disease, degeneration of subcortical dopamine-secreting neurons leads not only to motor symptoms but often also to cognitive deficits.
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