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The neural correlates of abstract and concrete words: evidence from brain-damaged patients.

Papagno C, Martello G, Mattavelli G - Brain Sci (2013)

Bottom Line: We found a significant interaction in word type × group since left temporal brain-damaged patients performed significantly better with concrete than abstract words.Lesion mapping of patients with predominant temporal damage showed that the left superior and middle temporal gyri and the insula were the areas of major overlapping, while the anterior portion of the left temporal lobe was generally spared.Our results suggest that the left superior and middle temporal gyri and the insula are crucial regions in processing abstract words.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo 1, Building U6, Milan 20126, Italy. costanza.papagno@unimib.it.

ABSTRACT
Neuropsychological and activation studies on the neural correlates of abstract and concrete words have produced contrasting results. The present study explores the anatomical substrates of abstract/concrete words in 22 brain-damaged patients with a single vascular lesion either in the right or left hemisphere. One hundred and twenty (60 concrete and 60 abstract) noun triplets were used for a semantic similarity judgment task. We found a significant interaction in word type × group since left temporal brain-damaged patients performed significantly better with concrete than abstract words. Lesion mapping of patients with predominant temporal damage showed that the left superior and middle temporal gyri and the insula were the areas of major overlapping, while the anterior portion of the left temporal lobe was generally spared. Errors on abstract words mainly concerned (although at a non-significant level) semantically associate targets, while in the case of concrete words, coordinate targets were significantly more impaired than associate ones. Our results suggest that the left superior and middle temporal gyri and the insula are crucial regions in processing abstract words. They also confirm the hypothesis of a semantic similarity vs. associative organization of concrete and abstract concepts.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Mapping of the areas involved in RBD. Different colours correspond to the degree of lesion overlapping, with red indicating the region involved in all patients.
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brainsci-03-01229-f003: Mapping of the areas involved in RBD. Different colours correspond to the degree of lesion overlapping, with red indicating the region involved in all patients.

Mentions: Lesions were mapped using MRIcro on 17 MRI performed at the time of testing. Five MRI were unavailable. The anatomical sites, which proved to be involved in the lesion for all patients are reported in Table 5 and the lesion mappings are reported in Figure 3, Figure 4. The superior temporal gyrus (STG), the MTG and the insula were the sites of major overlapping in temporal LBD as well as RBD patients.


The neural correlates of abstract and concrete words: evidence from brain-damaged patients.

Papagno C, Martello G, Mattavelli G - Brain Sci (2013)

Mapping of the areas involved in RBD. Different colours correspond to the degree of lesion overlapping, with red indicating the region involved in all patients.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4061881&req=5

brainsci-03-01229-f003: Mapping of the areas involved in RBD. Different colours correspond to the degree of lesion overlapping, with red indicating the region involved in all patients.
Mentions: Lesions were mapped using MRIcro on 17 MRI performed at the time of testing. Five MRI were unavailable. The anatomical sites, which proved to be involved in the lesion for all patients are reported in Table 5 and the lesion mappings are reported in Figure 3, Figure 4. The superior temporal gyrus (STG), the MTG and the insula were the sites of major overlapping in temporal LBD as well as RBD patients.

Bottom Line: We found a significant interaction in word type × group since left temporal brain-damaged patients performed significantly better with concrete than abstract words.Lesion mapping of patients with predominant temporal damage showed that the left superior and middle temporal gyri and the insula were the areas of major overlapping, while the anterior portion of the left temporal lobe was generally spared.Our results suggest that the left superior and middle temporal gyri and the insula are crucial regions in processing abstract words.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo 1, Building U6, Milan 20126, Italy. costanza.papagno@unimib.it.

ABSTRACT
Neuropsychological and activation studies on the neural correlates of abstract and concrete words have produced contrasting results. The present study explores the anatomical substrates of abstract/concrete words in 22 brain-damaged patients with a single vascular lesion either in the right or left hemisphere. One hundred and twenty (60 concrete and 60 abstract) noun triplets were used for a semantic similarity judgment task. We found a significant interaction in word type × group since left temporal brain-damaged patients performed significantly better with concrete than abstract words. Lesion mapping of patients with predominant temporal damage showed that the left superior and middle temporal gyri and the insula were the areas of major overlapping, while the anterior portion of the left temporal lobe was generally spared. Errors on abstract words mainly concerned (although at a non-significant level) semantically associate targets, while in the case of concrete words, coordinate targets were significantly more impaired than associate ones. Our results suggest that the left superior and middle temporal gyri and the insula are crucial regions in processing abstract words. They also confirm the hypothesis of a semantic similarity vs. associative organization of concrete and abstract concepts.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus