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Effects of motion speed in action representations

van Dam, WO; Speed, LJ; Lai, VT; Vigliocco, G; Desai, RH; (2017) Effects of motion speed in action representations. Brain and Language , 168 pp. 47-56. 10.1016/j.bandl.2017.01.003. Green open access

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Abstract

Grounded cognition accounts of semantic representation posit that brain regions traditionally linked to perception and action play a role in grounding the semantic content of words and sentences. Sensory-motor systems are thought to support partially abstract simulations through which conceptual content is grounded. However, which details of sensory-motor experience are included in, or excluded from these simulations, is not well understood. We investigated whether sensory-motor brain regions are differentially involved depending on the speed of actions described in a sentence. We addressed this issue by examining the neural signature of relatively fast (The old lady scurried across the road) and slow (The old lady strolled across the road) action sentences. The results showed that sentences that implied fast motion modulated activity within the right posterior superior temporal sulcus and the angular and middle occipital gyri, areas associated with biological motion and action perception. Sentences that implied slow motion resulted in greater signal within the right primary motor cortex and anterior inferior parietal lobule, areas associated with action execution and planning. These results suggest that the speed of described motion influences representational content and modulates the nature of conceptual grounding. Fast motion events are represented more visually whereas motor regions play a greater role in representing conceptual content associated with slow motion.

Type: Article
Title: Effects of motion speed in action representations
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.bandl.2017.01.003
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2017.01.003
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Social Sciences, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology, Linguistics, Neurosciences, Psychology, Experimental, Neurosciences & Neurology, Psychology, Semantics, Action, Language, Embodiment, Speed, LEXICAL-SEMANTIC REPRESENTATIONS, LATERAL TEMPORAL CORTEX, BIOLOGICAL MOTION, LANGUAGE COMPREHENSION, MANIPULATABLE OBJECTS, NEURAL REPRESENTATION, VISUAL-PERCEPTION, MOTOR SYSTEM, ACTION WORDS, NEUROPHYSIOLOGICAL DISTINCTION
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1546986
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