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Neural correlates of visualizations of concrete and abstract words in preschool children: a developmental embodied approach
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Number of Authors: 3
2015 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 6, 856Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The neural correlates of visualization underlying word comprehension were examined in preschool children. On each trial, a concrete or abstract word was delivered binaurally (part 1: post-auditory visualization), followed by a four-picture array (a target plus three distractors; part 2: matching visualization). Children were to select the picture matching the word they heard in part 1. Event-related potentials (ERPs) locked to each stimulus presentation and task interval were averaged over sets of trials of increasing word abstractness. ERP time-course during both parts of the task showed that early activity (i.e., <300 ms) was predominant in response to concrete words, while activity in response to abstract words became evident only at intermediate (i.e., 300-699 ms) and late (i.e., 700-1000 ms) ERP intervals. Specifically, ERP topography showed that while early activity during post-auditory visualization was linked to left temporo-parietal areas for concrete words, early activity during matching visualization occurred mostly in occipito-parietal areas for concrete words, but more anteriorly in centro-parietal areas for abstract words. In intermediate ERPs, post-auditory visualization coincided with parieto-occipital and parieto-frontal activity in response to both concrete and abstract words, while in matching visualization a parieto-central activity was common to both types of words. In the late ERPs for both types of words, the post-auditory visualization involved right-hemispheric activity following a post-anterior pathway sequence: occipital, parietal, and temporal areas; conversely, matching visualization involved left-hemispheric activity following an ant-posterior pathway sequence: frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital areas. These results suggest that, similarly, for concrete and abstract words, meaning in young children depends on variably complex visualization processes integrating visuo-auditory experiences and supramodal embodying representations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 6, 856
Keyword [en]
embodied cognition, preschool children, word processing, ERPs, visual mental imagery, visualization
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-118934DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00856ISI: 000357123300001OAI: diva2:842996
Available from: 2015-07-24 Created: 2015-07-21 Last updated: 2015-07-24Bibliographically approved

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Marmolejo-Ramos, Fernando
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