A wide range of essential reasoning tasks rely on contradiction identification, a cornerstone of human rationality, communication and debate founded on the inversion of the logical operators "Every" and "Some." A high-density electroencephalographic (EEG) study was performed in 11 normal young adults. The cerebral network involved in the identification of contradiction included the orbito-frontal and anterior-cingulate cortices and the temporo-polar cortices. The event-related dynamic of this network showed an early negative deflection lasting 500 ms after sentence presentation. This was followed by a positive deflection lasting 1.5 s, which was different for the two logical operators. A lesser degree of network activation (either in neuron number or their level of phase locking or both) occurred while processing statements with "Some," suggesting that this was a relatively simpler scenario with one example to be figured out, instead of the many examples or the absence of a counterexample searched for while processing statements with "Every." A self-generated reward system seemed to resonate the recruited circuitry when the contradictory task is successfully completed.
- brain mapping
- neural pathways
- computer-assisted signal processing
- contradictory reasoning
- independent component analysis
- logical operators
Medaglia, M. T., Tecchio, F., Seri, S., Di Lorenzo, G., Rossini, P. M., & Porcaro, C. (2009). Contradiction in universal and particular reasoning. Human Brain Mapping, 30(12), 4187-4197. https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.20838