Poster C77, Sunday, March 26, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
A causal role of motor systems in processing concrete and abstract nouns? – Evidence from voxel based lesion symptom mappings in brain tumor patients.
Felix R. Dreyer1, Thomas Picht2, Dietmar Frey2, Friedemann Pulvermüller1,3; 1Freie Universität Berlin, 2Charité Hospital Berlin, 3Berlin School of Mind and Brain
The current approach investigated semantic processing in a cohort of 37 tumor patients with left hemispheric, peri- and extrasylvian lesions, using a speeded lexical decision task, which applied words from different semantic categories as target stimuli that were matched for a range of psycholinguistic properties on a lexical and sub-lexical level. Categories included concrete hand-action related Tool nouns (e.g., ‘hammer’), non-action Animal nouns (‘toad’), and Abstract Emotional nouns (‘love’), which had neither transparent action related-, nor sensory semantics, as confirmed by semantic ratings. Data were analyzed using a non-parametric voxel based lesion symptom mapping approach to compare performance between patients with and without a lesion for every voxel. Results indicate a perisilvian cluster to be most crucial for Animal nouns, whereas a large dorsal pre- and postcentral cluster (Brodmann Areas 2-6) was related to performance on Tool nouns. For Abstract Emotional nouns, a cluster spanning Inferior Frontal and Middle Temporal Gyrus along with ventral precentral areas (BA 6) was revealed as relevant. These results point to a causal, rather than a mere epiphenomenal role of both peri-and extrasylvian areas, including primary and pre-motor areas, for the processing of concrete action-related nouns and that of abstract emotional ones as well.
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Semantic