Background: One of the most debated issues in the cognitive neuroscience of language is whether distinct semantic domains are differentially represented in the brain. Clinical studies described several anomic dissociations with no clear neuroanatomical correlate. Neuroimaging studies have shown that memory retrieval is more demanding for proper than common nouns in that the former are purely arbitrary referential expressions. In this study a semantic relatedness paradigm was devised to investigate neural processing of proper and common nouns. Methodology/Principal Findings: 780 words (arranged in pairs of Italian nouns/adjectives and the first/last names of well known persons) were presented. Half pairs were semantically related (“Woody Allen” or “social security”), while the others were not (“Sigmund Parodi” or “judicial cream”). All items were balanced for length, frequency, familiarity and semantic relatedness. Participants were to decide about the semantic relatedness of the two items in a pair. RTs and N400 data suggest that the task was more demanding for common nouns. The LORETA neural generators for the related-unrelated contrast (for proper names) included the left fusiform gyrus, right medial temporal gyrus, limbic and parahippocampal regions, inferior parietal and inferior frontal areas, which are thought to be involved in the conjoined processing a familiar face with the relevant episodic information. Person name was more emotional and sensory vivid than common noun semantic access. Conclusions/Significance: When memory retrieval is not required proper name access (conspecific knowledge) is not more demanding. The neural generators of N400 to unrelated items (unknown persons and things) did not differ as a function of lexical class, thus suggesting that proper and common nouns are not treated differently as belonging to different grammatical classes.

Proverbio, A., Mariani, S., Zani, A., Adorni, R. (2009). How Are 'Barack Obama' and 'President Elect' Differentially Stored in the Brain? An ERP study on the Processing of Proper and Common Name Pairs. PLOS ONE, 2009-08(4(9)), e7126.

How Are 'Barack Obama' and 'President Elect' Differentially Stored in the Brain? An ERP study on the Processing of Proper and Common Name Pairs

PROVERBIO, ALICE MADO;ADORNI, ROBERTA
2009

Abstract

Background: One of the most debated issues in the cognitive neuroscience of language is whether distinct semantic domains are differentially represented in the brain. Clinical studies described several anomic dissociations with no clear neuroanatomical correlate. Neuroimaging studies have shown that memory retrieval is more demanding for proper than common nouns in that the former are purely arbitrary referential expressions. In this study a semantic relatedness paradigm was devised to investigate neural processing of proper and common nouns. Methodology/Principal Findings: 780 words (arranged in pairs of Italian nouns/adjectives and the first/last names of well known persons) were presented. Half pairs were semantically related (“Woody Allen” or “social security”), while the others were not (“Sigmund Parodi” or “judicial cream”). All items were balanced for length, frequency, familiarity and semantic relatedness. Participants were to decide about the semantic relatedness of the two items in a pair. RTs and N400 data suggest that the task was more demanding for common nouns. The LORETA neural generators for the related-unrelated contrast (for proper names) included the left fusiform gyrus, right medial temporal gyrus, limbic and parahippocampal regions, inferior parietal and inferior frontal areas, which are thought to be involved in the conjoined processing a familiar face with the relevant episodic information. Person name was more emotional and sensory vivid than common noun semantic access. Conclusions/Significance: When memory retrieval is not required proper name access (conspecific knowledge) is not more demanding. The neural generators of N400 to unrelated items (unknown persons and things) did not differ as a function of lexical class, thus suggesting that proper and common nouns are not treated differently as belonging to different grammatical classes.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Semantic domain, lexical class, language, word, anomia, N400, faces
English
e7126
Proverbio, A., Mariani, S., Zani, A., Adorni, R. (2009). How Are 'Barack Obama' and 'President Elect' Differentially Stored in the Brain? An ERP study on the Processing of Proper and Common Name Pairs. PLOS ONE, 2009-08(4(9)), e7126.
Proverbio, A; Mariani, S; Zani, A; Adorni, R
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/7005
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