2016 Linguistics C

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Academic unit or major
Humanities and social science courses
Akama Hiroyuki  Yamamoto Hilofumi 
Class Format
Lecture / Exercise     
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue7-8(W631)  Fri7-8(S421)  
Course number
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Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

This course focuses on neurolinguistics, and covers some related fields such as cognitive linguistics and statistical linguistics (natural language processing). It introduces some approaches made by our forefathers in the history of science to understand human language through the structure and function of the human brain and explore the neural correlates of linguistic ability by emphasizing the findings in linguistic study brought by the technique of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).  Some concepts essential in contemporary linguistics such as language acquisition, bilingualism, impairment of language (aphasia), semantic processing, memory, perception, motion and emotion are treated in this course covering the fundamentals as well as the relevant recent research findings. This course also provides an introductory lecture about the computational programming necessary for the study of neurolinguistics. Furthermore, a class is given in the fMRI Facility of the School of Life Science and Technology that the instructor manages in the School with the view to let students acquire the fundamental skills and literacy of experiment design and statistics indispensable for running fMRI experiments and performing fMRI data analysis in neurolinguistics.
By learning the principles of linguistcs and neuroscience, students will have the chance to develop cultural literacy and skills in scientific research and realize pleasures and difficulties of this research field. Students will deepen the levels of understanding the human existence and create their everyday guide in our advanced technological age and highly-sophisticated information society.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
1)Have an understanding of the basic topics of linguistics and neuroscience by learning neurolinguistics.
2)Acquire the fundamental skills of running linguistic experiments to explore the structure and function of the human brain.
3)Acquire the basic literacy of computational programming needed for linguistic study.
4)Design and operate some neurolinguistic experiments in the fMRI facility in the future.


language, linguistics, brain, neuroscience, neurolinguistics, brain imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Before coming to class, students should download the course materials from TOKO TECG OCW or TOKYO TECH OCW-i and read them carefully for preparation. At the beginning of each class, one small quiz is done to review the contents of the previous class before getting to the topics. The eleventh class is performed using the fMRI Facility of the School of Life Science and Technology.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Brain and Language(1)--History of Sciences Explain the history of finding the regions involved in language such as Broca's area and Wernicke's area.
Class 2 Brain and Language(2)--what is neurolinguistics? Explain the overview of the neurolinguistics aiming at the neural processing of language in the brain.
Class 3 Anatomical Structure and Function of Brain Explain the structure of the human brain and the anatomical labeling.
Class 4 Measurement techniques in Neurolinguistics Explain the methods of experiments for measuring the brain responses to the language processing.
Class 5 Neural Correlates of Language Acquisition Explain the neural representation of the innate language ability
Class 6 Neural Correlates of Bilingualism Explain the theories on the mechanism of the bilingual brain.
Class 7 Brain and its Disorders (Aphasia) Explain the brain disorder bringing the loss of language ability (aphasia).
Class 8 Theories of Semantic Processing and its Neural Correlates Explain various theories about the semantic processing in the brain.
Class 9 Cognitive linguistics: Memory,Perception,Motion and Emotion Explain the relationships between the language processing and the other human abilities.
Class 10 Linguistics and Natural Language Processing Explain the basic procedure of manipulating linguistic data using computers.
Class 11 Linguistics and Brain Imaging (fMRI) Explain the methods of exploring the neural process of linguistic ability with fMRI.
Class 12 Linguistics and Experiment Design Explain the principles of linguistic experiment design in human brain science.
Class 13 Linguistics and Statistical Analysis Explain the principles of linguistic data analysis in human brain science.
Class 14 Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence Explain the basic procedure for simulating human language activities by using computers.
Class 15 Linguistics and Complex Networks Explain the neural networks and the semantic networks in the human brain.


The purchase of the following texts books are not required, but reading them is recommended.
William O'Grady et al., Contemporary Linguistics, An Introduction. Chapter 11~14,Bedford/St.Martin's
(This book is highly recommended to the students who will attend the courses of Linguistics A, B and C altogether.)
Eric R. Kandel et al., Principles of Neural Science, Mc Graw Hill, Part IX
(As the classes of Basic Neuroscience and Advanced Neuroscience in the department of Life Science and Technology are conducted on the basis of this book, it is highly recommended to the students who will participate in these classes.)
Scott A. Huettel et al., Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Second Edition, Sinauer Associates, Inc.
(This book is highly recommended to the students wishing to carry out an MRI study in their departments.)

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Original course materials based on the following textbooks are created so that students can download them from TOKYO TECH OCW or TOKYO TECH OCW-i.
William O'Grady et al.,, Contemporary Linguistics, An Introduction. Chapter 11~14,Bedford/St.Martin's
Eric R. Kandelet al.,, Principles of Neural Science, Mc Graw Hill, Part IX
Scott A. Huettelet al.,, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Second Edition, Sinauer Associates, Inc.

Assessment criteria and methods

Students are assessed on the following criteria.
Opening Quizzes 60%. and final exam 40%,

Related courses

  • LAH.T109 : Linguistics A
  • LAH.T210 : Linguistics B
  • LAH.H109 : Special Lecture : Language and Culture
  • LST.A346 : Basic Neuroscience
  • LST.A410 : Advanced Neuroscience
  • HCB.M461 : Laboratory Training on Human Brain Functions and Their Measurements
  • LST.A242 : Instrumental Analysis in Bioscience

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites.

Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).

Hiroyuki Akama: akama.h.aa[at]m.titech.ac.jp


If you are interested in the research activities of the instructor, refer to the following URL.

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