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The Processing of Causal and Hierarchical Relations in Semantic Memory as Revealed by N400 and Frontal Negativity.

Liang X, Chen Q, Lei Y, Li H - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: The ERP data showed that the N400 amplitude (200-500 ms) elicited by unrelated related words was more negative than all related words.Furthermore, the late frontal distributed negativity (500-700 ms) elicited by causally related words was smaller than hierarchically related words, but not for general associated words.These results suggested the processing of causal relations and hierarchical relations in semantic memory recruited different degrees of cognitive resources, especially for role binding.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Centre for Brain Function and Psychological Science, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China.

ABSTRACT
Most current studies investigating semantic memory have focused on associative (ring-emerald) or taxonomic relations (bird-sparrow). Little is known about the question of how causal relations (virus-epidemic) are stored and accessed in semantic memory. The goal of this study was to examine the processing of causally related, general associatively related and hierarchically related word pairs when participants were required to evaluate whether pairs of words were related in any way. The ERP data showed that the N400 amplitude (200-500 ms) elicited by unrelated related words was more negative than all related words. Furthermore, the late frontal distributed negativity (500-700 ms) elicited by causally related words was smaller than hierarchically related words, but not for general associated words. These results suggested the processing of causal relations and hierarchical relations in semantic memory recruited different degrees of cognitive resources, especially for role binding.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Illustration of the experimental procedure (causally related condition).
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pone.0132679.g001: Illustration of the experimental procedure (causally related condition).

Mentions: The words were presented sequentially on a computer screen using E-prime software. As showed in Fig 1, a fixation (“+”) was presented in the center of a gray screen for 800 ms at the beginning of each trial. Subsequently, the first word was presented for 1000 ms, followed by a blank screen with random duration (800–1000 ms). Next, the second word appeared on the screen and remained until participants made a response. Subjects were instructed to respond rapidly and accurately to the second word, and make a “yes” or “no” response by pressing one of two keys (“F” or “J”) with the left or right index finger. The use of “F” and “J” for “yes” or “no” response was counterbalanced across subjects. Sixteen practice trails were used to familiarize subjects with the procedure. The practice trials were selected from the unused 40 word pairs that were not included in the primary experiment.


The Processing of Causal and Hierarchical Relations in Semantic Memory as Revealed by N400 and Frontal Negativity.

Liang X, Chen Q, Lei Y, Li H - PLoS ONE (2015)

Illustration of the experimental procedure (causally related condition).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4493067&req=5

pone.0132679.g001: Illustration of the experimental procedure (causally related condition).
Mentions: The words were presented sequentially on a computer screen using E-prime software. As showed in Fig 1, a fixation (“+”) was presented in the center of a gray screen for 800 ms at the beginning of each trial. Subsequently, the first word was presented for 1000 ms, followed by a blank screen with random duration (800–1000 ms). Next, the second word appeared on the screen and remained until participants made a response. Subjects were instructed to respond rapidly and accurately to the second word, and make a “yes” or “no” response by pressing one of two keys (“F” or “J”) with the left or right index finger. The use of “F” and “J” for “yes” or “no” response was counterbalanced across subjects. Sixteen practice trails were used to familiarize subjects with the procedure. The practice trials were selected from the unused 40 word pairs that were not included in the primary experiment.

Bottom Line: The ERP data showed that the N400 amplitude (200-500 ms) elicited by unrelated related words was more negative than all related words.Furthermore, the late frontal distributed negativity (500-700 ms) elicited by causally related words was smaller than hierarchically related words, but not for general associated words.These results suggested the processing of causal relations and hierarchical relations in semantic memory recruited different degrees of cognitive resources, especially for role binding.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Centre for Brain Function and Psychological Science, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China.

ABSTRACT
Most current studies investigating semantic memory have focused on associative (ring-emerald) or taxonomic relations (bird-sparrow). Little is known about the question of how causal relations (virus-epidemic) are stored and accessed in semantic memory. The goal of this study was to examine the processing of causally related, general associatively related and hierarchically related word pairs when participants were required to evaluate whether pairs of words were related in any way. The ERP data showed that the N400 amplitude (200-500 ms) elicited by unrelated related words was more negative than all related words. Furthermore, the late frontal distributed negativity (500-700 ms) elicited by causally related words was smaller than hierarchically related words, but not for general associated words. These results suggested the processing of causal relations and hierarchical relations in semantic memory recruited different degrees of cognitive resources, especially for role binding.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus