The neurobiology of taboo language processing: fMRI evidence during spoken word production.
ABSTRACT: Every language has words deemed to be socially inappropriate or 'taboo' to utter. Taboo word production appears prominently in language disorders following brain injury. Yet, we know little about the cognitive and neural mechanisms involved in processing taboo compared to neutral language. In the present study, we introduced taboo distractor words in the picture word interference paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how these words influence spoken word production. Taboo distractor words significantly slowed picture-naming latencies compared to neutral words. This interference effect was associated with increased blood oxygen level dependent signal across a distributed thalamo-cortical network including bilateral anterior cingulate cortex and left inferior frontal gyrus, left posterior middle temporal gyrus and right thalamus. We interpret our findings as being consistent with an account integrating both domain-general attention-capture/distractor blocking and language-specific mechanisms in processing taboo words during spoken word production.
PROVIDER: S-EPMC6399611 | BioStudies |