The neurophysiological and behavioral correlates of action-related language processing have been debated for long time. A precursor in this field was the study by Buccino et al. (2005) combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and behavioral measures (reaction times, RTs) to study the effect of listening to hand- and foot-related sentences. In the TMS experiment, the authors showed a decrease of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) recorded from hand muscles when processing hand-related verbs as compared to foot-related verbs. Similarly, MEPs recorded from leg muscles decreased when participants processed foot-related as compared to hand-related verbs. In the behavioral experiment, using the same stimuli and a semantic decision task the authors found slower RTs when the participants used the body effector (hand or foot) involved in the actual execution of the action expressed by the presented verb to give their motor responses. These findings were interpreted as an interference effect due to a simultaneous involvement of the motor system in both a language and a motor task. Our replication aimed to enlarge the sample size and replicate the findings with higher statistical power. The TMS experiment showed a significant modulation of hand MEPs, but in the sense of a motor facilitation when processing hand-related verbs. On the contrary, the behavioral experiment did not show significant results. The results are discussed within the general debate on the time-course of the modulation of motor cortex during implicit and explicit language processing and in relation to the studies on action observation/understanding.

Does listening to action-related sentences modulate the activity of the motor system? Replication of a combined TMS and behavioral study / C. Gianelli, R. Dalla Volta. - In: FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 1664-1078. - 5:OCT(2014), pp. 511.1-511.8. [10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01511]

Does listening to action-related sentences modulate the activity of the motor system? Replication of a combined TMS and behavioral study

R. Dalla Volta
Ultimo
2014

Abstract

The neurophysiological and behavioral correlates of action-related language processing have been debated for long time. A precursor in this field was the study by Buccino et al. (2005) combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and behavioral measures (reaction times, RTs) to study the effect of listening to hand- and foot-related sentences. In the TMS experiment, the authors showed a decrease of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) recorded from hand muscles when processing hand-related verbs as compared to foot-related verbs. Similarly, MEPs recorded from leg muscles decreased when participants processed foot-related as compared to hand-related verbs. In the behavioral experiment, using the same stimuli and a semantic decision task the authors found slower RTs when the participants used the body effector (hand or foot) involved in the actual execution of the action expressed by the presented verb to give their motor responses. These findings were interpreted as an interference effect due to a simultaneous involvement of the motor system in both a language and a motor task. Our replication aimed to enlarge the sample size and replicate the findings with higher statistical power. The TMS experiment showed a significant modulation of hand MEPs, but in the sense of a motor facilitation when processing hand-related verbs. On the contrary, the behavioral experiment did not show significant results. The results are discussed within the general debate on the time-course of the modulation of motor cortex during implicit and explicit language processing and in relation to the studies on action observation/understanding.
Action language; Interference; Motor resonance; Motor system; Replication; TMS
Settore BIO/09 - Fisiologia
Settore M-PSI/02 - Psicobiologia e Psicologia Fisiologica
2014
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/1012368
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