Timecourse and source localization of abstract and concrete semantic representations

  • Dual coding theories of knowledge suggest that meaning is represented in the brain by a double code, which comprises language-derived representations in the Anterior Temporal Lobe and sensory-derived representations in perceptual and motor regions. This approach predicts that concrete semantic features should activate both codes, whereas abstract features rely exclusively on the linguistic code. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), we adopted a temporally resolved multiple regression approach to identify the contribution of abstract and concrete semantic predictors to the underlying brain signal. Results evidenced early involvement of anterior-temporal and inferior-frontal brain areas in both abstract and concrete semantic information encoding. At later stages, occipito-temporal regions showed greater responses to concrete compared to abstract features. The present findings shed new light on the temporal dynamics of abstract and concrete semantic representations in the brain and suggest that the concreteness of words processed first with a transmodal/linguistic code, housed in frontotemporal brain systems, and only after with an imagistic/sensorimotor code in perceptual and motor regions.

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Author:Lorenzo Vignali, Yangwen XuORCiD, Jacopo Turini, Olivier CollignonORCiD, Davide CrepaldiORCiDGND, Roberto BottiniORCiD
Parent Title (English):bioRxiv
Document Type:Preprint
Date of Publication (online):2023/06/24
Date of first Publication:2023/06/24
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/07/18
Page Number:20
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Psychologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-ND - Namensnennung - Keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International