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Behav Sci (Basel). 2015 Jul 31;5(3):353-71. doi: 10.3390/bs5030353.

Neural Adaptation Effects in Conceptual Processing.

Author information

1
Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università di Milano-Bicocca, 1, P.zza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 20125 Milano, Italy. barbara.marino@unimib.it.
2
Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università di Parma, 39/E, Via Volturno, 43125 Parma, Italy. barbara.marino@unimib.it.
3
Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università di Bologna, 5, Viale Berti Pichat, 40127 Bologna, Italy. anna.borghi@gmail.com.
4
Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione, CNR, 44, Via S. Martino della Battaglia, 00185 Roma, Italy. anna.borghi@gmail.com.
5
Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università di Parma, 39/E, Via Volturno, 43125 Parma, Italy. luca.gemmi@gmail.com.
6
Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Metaboliche e Neuroscienze, Università di Modena, 287, Via Giuseppe Campi, 41125 Modena, Italy. cristina.cacciari@unimore.it.
7
Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università di Parma, 39/E, Via Volturno, 43125 Parma, Italy. lucia.riggio@unipr.it.

Abstract

We investigated the conceptual processing of nouns referring to objects characterized by a highly typical color and orientation. We used a go/no-go task in which we asked participants to categorize each noun as referring or not to natural entities (e.g., animals) after a selective adaptation of color-edge neurons in the posterior LV4 region of the visual cortex was induced by means of a McCollough effect procedure. This manipulation affected categorization: the green-vertical adaptation led to slower responses than the green-horizontal adaptation, regardless of the specific color and orientation of the to-be-categorized noun. This result suggests that the conceptual processing of natural entities may entail the activation of modality-specific neural channels with weights proportional to the reliability of the signals produced by these channels during actual perception. This finding is discussed with reference to the debate about the grounded cognition view.

KEYWORDS:

McCollough effect; conceptual processing; grounded cognition; neural adaptation

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