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Dissociation between semantic representations for motion and action verbs: Evidence from patients with left hemisphere lesions

Citation
Taylor L, Evans C, Greer J, Senior C, Coventry KR & Ietswaart M (2017) Dissociation between semantic representations for motion and action verbs: Evidence from patients with left hemisphere lesions, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11, Art. No.: 35.

Abstract
This multiple single case study contrasted left hemisphere stroke patients (N= 6) to healthy age-matched control participants (N= 15) on their understanding of action (e.g., holding, clenching) and motion verbs (e.g., crumbling, flowing). The tasks required participants to correctly identify the matching verb or associated picture. Dissociations on action and motion verb content depending on lesion site were expected. As predicted for verbs containing an action and/or motion content, modified t-tests confirmed selective deficits in processing motion verbs in patients with lesions involving posterior parietal and lateral occipitotemporal cortex. In contrast, deficits in verbs describing motionless actions were found in patients with more anterior lesions sparing posterior parietal and lateral occipitotemporal cortex. These findings support the hypotheses that semantic representations for action and motion are behaviorally and neuro-anatomically dissociable. The findings clarify the differential and critical role of perceptual and motor regions in processing modality-specific semantic knowledge as opposed to a supportive but not necessary role. We contextualize these results within theories from both cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience that make claims over the role of sensory and motor information in semantic representation.

Keywords
neuropsychology; left hemisphere; lateral occipitotemporal cortex; affordances; embodied cognition; semantic representation; aphasia

StatusPublished
AuthorsTaylor Lawrence, Evans Carys, Greer Joanna, Senior Carl, Coventry Kenny R, Ietswaart Magdalena
Publication date14/02/2017
Publication date online14/02/2017
Date accepted by journal17/01/2017
PublisherFrontiers Media
ISSN 1662-5161
LanguageEnglish

Journal
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience: Volume 11 (2017)

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