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Effect of language task demands on the neural response during lexical access: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

ABSTRACT: This study examined the effects of linguistic task demands on the neuroanatomical localization of the neural response related to automatic semantic processing of concrete German nouns combining the associative priming paradigm with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). To clarify the functional role of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) for semantic processing with respect to semantic decision making compared to semantic processing per se, we used a linguistic task that involved either a binary decision process (i.e., semantic categorization; Experiment 1) or not (i.e., silently thinking about a word's meaning; Experiment 2). We observed associative priming effects indicated as neural suppression in bilateral superior temporal gyri (STG), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), occipito-temporal brain areas, and in medial frontal brain areas independently of the linguistic task. Inferior parietal brain areas were more active for silently thinking about a word's meaning compared to semantic categorization. A conjunction analysis of linguistic task revealed that both tasks activated the same left-lateralized occipito-temporo-frontal network including the IFG. Contrasting neural associative priming effects across linguistic task demands, we found a significant interaction in the right IFG. The present fMRI data give rise to the assumption that activation of the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) in the semantic domain might be important for semantic processing in general and not only for semantic decision making. These findings contrast with a recent study regarding the role of the LIFG for binary decision making in the lexical domain (Wright et al. 2011).


PROVIDER: S-EPMC3869681 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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