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A PET study of stimulus- and task-induced semantic processing

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84112

Noppeney,  U
Research Group Cognitive Neuroimaging, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Noppeney, U. (2002). A PET study of stimulus- and task-induced semantic processing. Neuroimage, 15(4), 927-935. doi:10.1006/nimg.2001.1015.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-DFEC-D
Abstract
To investigate the neural correlates of semantic processing, previous functional imaging studies have used semantic decision and generation tasks. However, in addition to activating semantic associations these tasks also involve executive functions that are not specific to semantics. The study reported in this paper aims to dissociate brain activity due to stimulus-driven semantic associations and task-induced semantic and executive processing by using repetition and semantic decision on auditorily presented words in a cognitive conjunction design. The left posterior inferior temporal, inferior frontal (BA 44/45), and medial orbital gyri were activated by both tasks, suggesting a general role in stimulus-driven semantic and phonological processing. In addition, semantic decision increased activation in (i) left ventral inferior frontal cortex (BA 47), right cerebellum, and paracingulate, which have all previously been implicated in executive functions, and (ii) a ventral region in the left anterior temporal pole which is commonly affected in patients with semantic impairments. We attribute activation in this area to the effortful linkage of semantic features. Thus, our study replicated the functional dissociation between dorsal and ventral regions of the left inferior frontal cortex. Moreover, it also dissociated the semantic functions of the left posterior inferior temporal gyrus and anterior temporal pole: The posterior region subserves stimulus-driven activation of semantic associations and the left anterior region is involved in task-induced association of semantic information.