Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Cereb Cortex. 2016 May;26(5):2018-34. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhv020. Epub 2015 Mar 5.

Concept Representation Reflects Multimodal Abstraction: A Framework for Embodied Semantics.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology.
2
Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA.
3
Department of Biophysics and.
4
Department of Anesthesiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.
5
Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.

Abstract

Recent research indicates that sensory and motor cortical areas play a significant role in the neural representation of concepts. However, little is known about the overall architecture of this representational system, including the role played by higher level areas that integrate different types of sensory and motor information. The present study addressed this issue by investigating the simultaneous contributions of multiple sensory-motor modalities to semantic word processing. With a multivariate fMRI design, we examined activation associated with 5 sensory-motor attributes--color, shape, visual motion, sound, and manipulation--for 900 words. Regions responsive to each attribute were identified using independent ratings of the attributes' relevance to the meaning of each word. The results indicate that these aspects of conceptual knowledge are encoded in multimodal and higher level unimodal areas involved in processing the corresponding types of information during perception and action, in agreement with embodied theories of semantics. They also reveal a hierarchical system of abstracted sensory-motor representations incorporating a major division between object interaction and object perception processes.

KEYWORDS:

concepts; embodiment; fMRI; lexical semantics; multimodal processing; semantic memory

PMID:
25750259
PMCID:
PMC4830284
DOI:
10.1093/cercor/bhv020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center