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Poster B93

Pathways to Word Retrieval revealed by Inferential and Referential Naming

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Eliza Reedy1, Raouf Belkhir1,2, Aude Jegou1, Theodor Cucu2, Arka Mallela1, Anna Keresztesy2, Thandar Aung1, Luke Henry1, Catherine Liégeois-Chauvel1, Jorge González-Martínez1, Bradford Mahon2; 1University of Pittsburgh, 2Carnegie Mellon University

Several types of input can trigger semantically driven word retrieval. Inferential tasks rely on input such as verbal descriptions (“a household pet that fetches”), whereas referential tasks rely on sensory referents with a clear name (an image of a dog, the sound of barking). Previous research has found distinct stimulus-locked ERP patterns in inferential versus referential naming, particularly picture-naming and visual descriptive naming, hypothesized to represent dissociable semantic processing components. It is unknown whether that dissociation represents a difference in semantic processing components or rather differences in the temporal course of semantic information retrieval mandated by the different tasks and modalities of cueing. We developed a multimodal naming task incorporating picture naming, auditory inferential naming (descriptive naming), and auditory referential naming (naming from typical sounds). The presentation of crucial semantic information was temporally isolated using a gating paradigm borrowed from speech production literature. This task was administered to healthy participants and Phase II epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) patients with intracranial Stereo-EEG electrodes. Analysis of the behavioral data revealed a main effect of task, with descriptive naming slower than sound naming, and sound naming slower than picture naming – both in healthy participants and in SEEG patients. We then verify similar broad-band gamma and LFPs in speech motor areas across naming types. Finally, we demonstrate that inferential and referential naming tasks produce similar response patterns in the left STS when similarly locked to temporally extended stimuli. These findings show dissociated time courses of word retrieval during inferential and referential naming tasks.

Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Semantic


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