About this Research Topic
Over the last decades neuroscience has passed beyond mere "phrenology" and "erpology" and has become an important tool for investigating the spatial, temporal and functional brain dynamics underlying human behavior. In this Research Topic we would like to give a broad overview of recent significant contributions that neuroscientific research has provided to one of the most practiced psychomotor skills unique to humans, namely language production. Physiological studies in language production have not been as extensive compared to many other areas of human cognition and have just currently begun to generate important evidence for uncovering the cognitive mechanisms behind our ability to produce fast and efficient speech. Nonetheless, these findings have already demonstrated their scientific value and interest in neuroscientific approaches for studying language production is increasing exponentially. Therefore, we believe that a topic specially dedicated to neurocognitive advances in language production is not just in its place, but even necessary. Rather than focusing on a specific topic, the idea is to cover many of the important aspects involved in producing speech (semantics, word retrieval, syntax, phonology, motor preparation and control) gathered from various paradigms (e.g., object naming, word naming, etc.) and various populations (monolinguals, bilinguals, patients). The goal is to provide readers with a comprehensive overview of the general questions being addressed in neuroscientific studies on language production, where the research stands, how these findings are of importance for understanding and constraining cognitive models and which future directions have to be taken. To this end we encourage experts in the field who have made significant contributions in the last several years to confer an important topic of language production, critically discuss neuroscientific findings on this topic, relate it to the actual behavior and cognitive models and, importantly, though novel questions which can be derived from their results and facilitate future research in the field. Hereby we hope this Research Topic will be a source of reference both for experts as novices who wish to explore the various mental operations involved in language production from a neurocognitive point of view.
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