Tag: Action Verbs

The motor features of action verbs: fMRI evidence using picture naming

The motor features of action verbs: fMRI evidence using picture naming

Published in: Brain and Language, Volume 179, April 2018, 22-32

Abstract
“The processing disadvantage of verbs compared to nouns and the greater vulnerability of verbs in brain damage have been ascribed to greater processing demands of morpho-syntactical or/and semantic properties for verbs, or/and visual complexity in picture-naming studies. Using picture naming, the current functional magnetic resonance imaging study examined the neural substrates underlying the semantic distinction between nouns and verbs. Under forced (externally-elicited) or free (internally-motivated) conditions, participants named a set of pictorial stimuli as objects or actions performed on/with the objects in Chinese. Use of a language with impoverished inflectional morphology (i.e., Chinese) and the same set of pictures for naming objects and actions allows for the control of both morpho-syntactical and visual confounds. The results revealed specific neural correlates for action verbs in the cortical-subcortical motor system, irrespective of the naming conditions. Plausible accounts for the motor aspects of action-verb processing were interpreted basically on a semantic basis.”

Written by: Yong Zhang, Kangcheng Wang, Chang Yue, Nina Mo, Deping Wu, Xu Wen, Jiang Qiu
For full text: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2018.02.002

Embodied cognition: Is activation of the motor cortex essential for understanding action verbs?

Embodied cognition: Is activation of the motor cortex essential for understanding action verbs?

Published in: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, Volume 44, Issue 3, 335-370

Abstract
“In 8 experiments using language processing tasks ranging from lexical decision to sensibility judgment, participants made hand or foot responses after reading hand- or foot-associated words such as action verbs. In general, response time (RT) tended to be faster when the hand- versus foot-associated word was compatible with the limb that was required to respond (e.g., hand response to a hand-associated word) than when it was incompatible (e.g., foot response to a hand-associated word). To see whether this compatibility effect reflects differential hand- versus foot-specific motor activation produced by the words, as suggested by some embodied theories of language understanding, we monitored 2 event-related potential (ERP) measures previously found to be sensitive to the activation of these limbs. As expected, the ERP results replicated previous findings that the monitored ERPs differ for hand versus foot movements. More importantly, the ERPs provided no evidence of any difference for hand- versus foot-associated words. Thus, the results weaken previous claims that the understanding of action verbs requires activation of the motor areas used to carry out the named action. Instead, they support claims that language-related compatibility effects on RT may arise prior to motor processes, which implies that such effects are not decisive evidence for embodied language understanding.”

Written by: Jeff Miller, Kate Brookie, Sid Wales, Simon Wallace, Barbara Kaup
For full text: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xlm0000451

Skip to toolbar