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ERPs in action: Electrophysiological distinction of different types of action words
HAUK, O., Holz, G., & PULVERMULLER, F.
8th International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience, Porquerolles, France, 107, 33
Year of publication:
Recent electrophysiological studies suggest that semantic sub-categories of action words differentially activate areas in frontal cortex . This study further investigates the issue with stimuli exactly matched for important psycholinguistic factors, including word frequency, imageability, valence and arousal, and using minimum-norm current estimates to pinpoint neuronal generators on the basis of multi-channel neurophysiological recordings. We investigated electrophysiological responses to arm-, face- and leg-related words using 64-channel electroencephalography (EEG) in a reading paradigm. Statistical analysis was performed on event-related potentials (ERPs) and on minimum norm (MN) current estimates. ERPs showed specific word-category related activation starting 110ms after stimulus onset. Around 200ms, MN estimates revealed that leg-related words activated central brain areas around the vertex stronger than the other categories, face-related words showed strongest activation in inferior-frontal brain areas of the left-hemisphere, and arm-related items mainly activated right-hemispheric sites in fronto-central cortical regions. The results show that the processing of words referring to actions performed with legs, arms or the face differentially activate cortical areas in the frontal lobes.