Sensorimotor and affective brain systems are known to be involved in language processing. However, to date it is still debated whether this involvement is a crucial step of semantic processing or, on the contrary, it is dependent on the specific context or strategy adopted to solve a task at hand. The present electroencephalographic (EEG) study is aimed at investigating which brain circuits are engaged when processing written verbs. By aligning event related potentials (ERPs) both to the verb onset and to the motor response indexing the accomplishment of a semantic task of categorization, we were able to dissociate the relative stimulus-related and response-related cognitive components at play, respectively. EEG signal source reconstruction showed that while the recruitment of sensorimotor fronto-parietal circuits was time-locked with action verb onset, a left temporal-parietal circuit was time-locked to the task accomplishment. Crucially, by comparing the time course of both these bottom-up and top-down cognitive components, it appears that the frontal motor involvement precedes the task-related temporal-parietal activity. The present findings suggest that the recruitment of fronto-parietal sensorimotor circuits is independent of the specific strategy adopted to solve a semantic task and, given its temporal hierarchy, it may provide crucial information to brain circuits involved in the categorization task. Eventually, a discussion on how the present results may contribute to the clinical literature on patients affected by disorders specifically impairing the motor system is provided.

From meaning to categorization: The hierarchical recruitment of brain circuits selective for action verbs / R. Dalla Volta, P. Avanzini, D. De Marco, M. Gentilucci, M. Fabbri-Destro. - In: CORTEX. - ISSN 1973-8102. - 100:(2018 Mar), pp. 95-110. [10.1016/j.cortex.2017.09.012]

From meaning to categorization: The hierarchical recruitment of brain circuits selective for action verbs

R. Dalla Volta
Primo
;
2018

Abstract

Sensorimotor and affective brain systems are known to be involved in language processing. However, to date it is still debated whether this involvement is a crucial step of semantic processing or, on the contrary, it is dependent on the specific context or strategy adopted to solve a task at hand. The present electroencephalographic (EEG) study is aimed at investigating which brain circuits are engaged when processing written verbs. By aligning event related potentials (ERPs) both to the verb onset and to the motor response indexing the accomplishment of a semantic task of categorization, we were able to dissociate the relative stimulus-related and response-related cognitive components at play, respectively. EEG signal source reconstruction showed that while the recruitment of sensorimotor fronto-parietal circuits was time-locked with action verb onset, a left temporal-parietal circuit was time-locked to the task accomplishment. Crucially, by comparing the time course of both these bottom-up and top-down cognitive components, it appears that the frontal motor involvement precedes the task-related temporal-parietal activity. The present findings suggest that the recruitment of fronto-parietal sensorimotor circuits is independent of the specific strategy adopted to solve a semantic task and, given its temporal hierarchy, it may provide crucial information to brain circuits involved in the categorization task. Eventually, a discussion on how the present results may contribute to the clinical literature on patients affected by disorders specifically impairing the motor system is provided.
action verbs; ERPs; LOTC; sensorimotor circuits; semantics
Settore BIO/09 - Fisiologia
Settore M-PSI/02 - Psicobiologia e Psicologia Fisiologica
mar-2018
3-ott-2017
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/1001488
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