The neural mechanisms of coreference

Kerry Ledoux, C. Christine Camblin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Coreference (the mechanism by which two linguistic expressions are taken to refer to the same entity in the world) is a universal and essential feature of discourse. Without this tool, our ability to comprehend language would be severely impaired. Due to their central role in discourse comprehension, the processes by which coreference is established have been the focus of numerous behavioral studies. In this article, we review studies that build upon that body of work by employing the event-related potential technique to elucidate the neuronal bases underlying the representation and processing of discourse. We include in our review studies that violate the formal constraints on the establishment of coreference described by linguistic theory; studies that examine the relative ease or difficulty of establishing coreference under different conditions as predicted by processing models; and studies that examine the modulation of lexico-semantic processing (such as priming) by processes associated with the establishment of coreference. Additionally, we discuss the implications of this research for models of coreference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1013-1037
Number of pages25
JournalLinguistics and Language Compass
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language


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