Sentential negation is a universal syntactic feature of human languages that reverses the truth value expressed by a sentence. An intriguing question concerns what brain mechanisms underlie our ability to represent and understand the meaning of negative sentences. We approach this issue by investigating action-related language processing and the associated neural representations. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging we measured brain activity in 18 healthy subjects during passive listening of sentences characterized by a factorial combination of polarity (affirmative vs. negative) and concreteness (action-related vs. abstract). Negation deactivated cortical areas and the left pallidum. Compared to abstract sentences, action-related sentences activated the left-hemispheric action-representation system. Crucially, the polarity by concreteness interactions showed that the activity within the action-representation system was specifically reduced for negative action-related vs. affirmative action-related sentences (compared to abstract sentences). Accordingly, functional integration within this system as measured by Dynamic Causal Modeling was specifically weaker for negative action-related than for affirmative action-related sentences. This modulation of action representations indicates that sentential negation transiently reduces the access to mental representations of the negated information.

Tettamanti, M., Manenti, R., A, D., Falini, A., Perani, D., F, C., et al. (2008). Negation in the brain: modulating action representations. NEUROIMAGE, 43(2), 358-367 [10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.08.004].

Negation in the brain: modulating action representations

Tettamanti, Marco Dante Plinio
;
2008

Abstract

Sentential negation is a universal syntactic feature of human languages that reverses the truth value expressed by a sentence. An intriguing question concerns what brain mechanisms underlie our ability to represent and understand the meaning of negative sentences. We approach this issue by investigating action-related language processing and the associated neural representations. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging we measured brain activity in 18 healthy subjects during passive listening of sentences characterized by a factorial combination of polarity (affirmative vs. negative) and concreteness (action-related vs. abstract). Negation deactivated cortical areas and the left pallidum. Compared to abstract sentences, action-related sentences activated the left-hemispheric action-representation system. Crucially, the polarity by concreteness interactions showed that the activity within the action-representation system was specifically reduced for negative action-related vs. affirmative action-related sentences (compared to abstract sentences). Accordingly, functional integration within this system as measured by Dynamic Causal Modeling was specifically weaker for negative action-related than for affirmative action-related sentences. This modulation of action representations indicates that sentential negation transiently reduces the access to mental representations of the negated information.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Syntax;
English
358
367
10
Tettamanti, M., Manenti, R., A, D., Falini, A., Perani, D., F, C., et al. (2008). Negation in the brain: modulating action representations. NEUROIMAGE, 43(2), 358-367 [10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.08.004].
Tettamanti, M; Manenti, R; A, D; Falini, A; Perani, D; F, C; Moro, A
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/364260
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