Action word meaning representations in cytoarchitectonically defined primary and premotor cortices

Postle, Natasha, McMahon, Katie L., Ashton, Roderick, Meredith, Matthew and de Zubicaray, Greig I. (2008) Action word meaning representations in cytoarchitectonically defined primary and premotor cortices. NeuroImage, 43 3: 634-644. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.08.006

Author Postle, Natasha
McMahon, Katie L.
Ashton, Roderick
Meredith, Matthew
de Zubicaray, Greig I.
Title Action word meaning representations in cytoarchitectonically defined primary and premotor cortices
Journal name NeuroImage   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1053-8119
Publication date 2008-11
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.08.006
Volume 43
Issue 3
Start page 634
End page 644
Total pages 11
Place of publication San Diego, Calif. ; Sydney
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Subject 11 Medical and Health Sciences
1103 Clinical Sciences
Abstract Recent models of language comprehension have assumed a tight coupling between the semantic representations of action words and cortical motor areas. We combined functional MRI with cytoarchitectonically defined probabilistic maps of left hemisphere primary and premotor cortices to analyse responses of functionally delineated execution- and observation-related regions during comprehension of action word meanings associated with specific effectors (e.g., punch, bite or stomp) and processing of items with various levels of lexical information (non body part-related meanings, nonwords, and visual character strings). The comprehension of effector specific action word meanings did not elicit preferential activity corresponding to the somatotopic organisation of effectors in either primary or premotor cortex. However, generic action word meanings did show increased BOLD signal responses compared to all other classes of lexical stimuli in the pre-SMA. As expected, the majority of the BOLD responses elicited by the lexical stimuli were in association cortex adjacent to the motor areas. We contrast our results with those of previous studies reporting significant effects for only 1 or 2 effectors outside cytoarchitectonically defined motor regions and discuss the importance of controlling for potentially confounding lexical variables such as imageability. We conclude that there is no strong evidence for a somatotopic organisation of action word meaning representations and argue the pre-SMA might have a role in maintaining abstract representations of action words as instructional cues.
Keyword Language comprehension
Primary motor cortex
Motor function
Mirror Neurons
Semantic Memory
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
Centre for Advanced Imaging Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 97 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 09:01:36 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of Faculty of Science