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Keywords:

  • conditional reasoning;
  • MEG;
  • dynamics

Abstract

Characterizing the neural substrate of reasoning has been investigated with regularity over the last 10 years or so while relying on measures that come primarily from positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging. To some extent, these techniques—as well as those from electroencephalography—have shown that time course is equally worthwhile for revealing the way reasoning processes work in the brain. In this work, we employ magnetoencephalography while investigating Modus Ponens (If P then Q; P//Therefore, Q) in order to simultaneously derive time course and the source of this fundamental logical inference. The present results show that conditional reasoning involves several successive cognitive processes, each of which engages a distinct cerebral network over the course of inference making, and as soon as a conditional sentence is processed. Hum Brain Mapp, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.