Concrete conceptual knowledge is supported by a distributed neural network representing different semantic features according to the neuroanatomy of sensory and motor systems. If and how this framework applies to abstract knowledge is currently debated. Here we investigated the specific brain correlates of different abstract categories. After a systematic a priori selection of brain regions involved in semantic cognition, i.e. responsible of, respectively, semantic representations and cognitive control, we used a fMRI-adaptation paradigm with a passive reading task, in order to modulate the neural response to abstract (emotions, cognitions, attitudes, human actions) and concrete (biological entities, artefacts) categories. Different portions of the left anterior temporal lobe responded selectively to abstract and concrete concepts. Emotions and attitudes adapted the left middle temporal gyrus, whereas concrete items adapted the left fusiform gyrus. Our results suggest that, similarly to concrete concepts, some categories of abstract knowledge have specific brain correlates corresponding to the prevalent semantic dimensions involved in their representation.

In search of different categories of abstract concepts: a fMRI adaptation study

Conca, F;Catricala, E;Cappa, SF;
2021

Abstract

Concrete conceptual knowledge is supported by a distributed neural network representing different semantic features according to the neuroanatomy of sensory and motor systems. If and how this framework applies to abstract knowledge is currently debated. Here we investigated the specific brain correlates of different abstract categories. After a systematic a priori selection of brain regions involved in semantic cognition, i.e. responsible of, respectively, semantic representations and cognitive control, we used a fMRI-adaptation paradigm with a passive reading task, in order to modulate the neural response to abstract (emotions, cognitions, attitudes, human actions) and concrete (biological entities, artefacts) categories. Different portions of the left anterior temporal lobe responded selectively to abstract and concrete concepts. Emotions and attitudes adapted the left middle temporal gyrus, whereas concrete items adapted the left fusiform gyrus. Our results suggest that, similarly to concrete concepts, some categories of abstract knowledge have specific brain correlates corresponding to the prevalent semantic dimensions involved in their representation.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12076/11279
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