Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Cortical-striatal-cortical neural circuits, reiteration, and the “narrow faculty of language”

Philip Liebermana1

a1 Department of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912-1978.


Neural circuits linking local operations in the cortex and the basal ganglia confer reiterative capacities, expressed in seemingly unrelated human traits such as speech, syntax, adaptive actions to changing circumstances, dancing, and music. Reiteration allows the formation of a potentially unbounded number of sentences from a finite set of syntactic processes, obviating the need for the hypothetical “Narrow Faculty of Language.”

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