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    Auditory semantic networks for words and natural sounds

    Cummings, A. and Čeponienė, R. and Koyama, A. and Saygin, A.P. and Townsend, J. and Dick, Frederic (2006) Auditory semantic networks for words and natural sounds. Brain Research 1115 (1), pp. 92-107. ISSN 0006-8993.

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    Does lexical processing rely on a specialized semantic network in the brain, or does it draw on more general semantic resources? The primary goal of this study was to compare behavioral and electrophysiological responses evoked during the processing of words, environmental sounds, and non-meaningful sounds in semantically matching or mismatching visual contexts. A secondary goal was to characterize the dynamic relationship between the behavioral and neural activities related to semantic integration using a novel analysis technique, ERP imaging. In matching trials, meaningful-sound ERPs were characterized by an extended positivity (200–600 ms) that in mismatching trials partly overlapped with centro-parietal N400 and frontal N600 negativities. The mismatch word-N400 peaked later than the environmental sound-N400 and was only slightly more posterior in scalp distribution. Single-trial ERP imaging revealed that for meaningful stimuli, the match-positivity consisted of a sensory P2 (200 ms), a semantic positivity (PS, 300 ms), and a parietal response-related positivity (PR, 500–800 ms). The magnitudes (but not the timing) of the N400 and PS activities correlated with subjects' reaction times, whereas both the latency and magnitude of the PR was correlated with subjects' reaction times. These results suggest that largely overlapping neural networks process verbal and non-verbal semantic information. In addition, it appears that semantic integration operates across different time scales: earlier processes (indexed by the PS and N400) utilize the established meaningful, but not necessarily lexical, semantic representations, whereas later processes (indexed by the PR and N600) are involved in the explicit interpretation of stimulus semantics and possibly of the required response.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2019 11:59
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:55


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