Neural correlates of semantic priming for ambiguous words: An event-related fMRI study

Copland, D. A., de Zubicaray, G. I., McMahon, K., & Eastburn, M. (2007) Neural correlates of semantic priming for ambiguous words: An event-related fMRI study. Brain Research, 1131(1), pp. 163-172.

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Abstract

We investigated the neural correlates of semantic priming by using event-related fMRI to record blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) responses while participants performed speeded lexical decisions (word/nonword) on visually presented related versus unrelated prime-target pairs. A long stimulus onset asynchrony of 1000 ms was employed, which allowed for increased controlled processing and selective frequency-based ambiguity priming. Conditions included an ambiguous word prime (e.g. bank) and a target related to its dominant (e.g. money) or subordinate meaning (e.g. river). Compared to an unrelated condition, primed dominant targets were associated with increased activity in the LIFG, the right anterior cingulate and superior temporal gyrus, suggesting postlexical semantic integrative mechanisms, while increased right supramarginal activity for the unrelated condition was consistent with expectancy based priming. Subordinate targets were not primed and were associated with reduced activity primarily in occipitotemporal regions associated with word recognition, which may be consistent with frequency-based meaning suppression. These findings provide new insights into the neural substrates of semantic priming and the functional-anatomic correlates of lexical ambiguity suppression mechanisms.

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ID Code: 85713
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: fMRI, Lexical ambiguity, Lexical decision, Semantic priming, Suppression
DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2006.11.016
ISSN: 1872-6240
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Elsevier B.V.
Deposited On: 07 Oct 2015 02:26
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2015 04:01

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