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ERIC Number: EJ881807
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0093-934X
EEG Theta and Alpha Responses Reveal Qualitative Differences in Processing Taxonomic versus Thematic Semantic Relationships
Maguire, Mandy J.; Brier, Matthew R.; Ferree, Thomas C.
Brain and Language, v114 n1 p16-25 Jul 2010
Despite the importance of semantic relationships to our understanding of semantic knowledge, the nature of the neural processes underlying these abilities are not well understood. In order to investigate these processes, 20 healthy adults listened to thematically related (e.g., leash-dog), taxonomically related (e.g., horse-dog), or unrelated (e.g., desk-dog) noun pairs as their EEG was recorded. The data were analyzed using both event-related potentials (ERP) and event-related spectral perturbation (ERSP) analyses. The spatiotemporal ERP and ERSP results were analyzed further with principal component analysis (PCA). When comparing unrelated to related word pairs, the expected N400 effect was confirmed, as well as differences in theta and alpha oscillations. When comparing thematically and taxonomically related word pairs, the ERP revealed no significant differences, but the ERSP did. Specifically, theta power increased over right frontal areas for thematic versus taxonomic relationships and alpha power increased over parietal areas for taxonomic versus thematic relationships. The different oscillatory patterns over different brain regions suggest that thematic and taxonomic relationships engage distinct neural processes. Specifically, thematic relationships engage memory processes, while taxonomic relationships may require additional inhibitory or attention processes. (Contains 6 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A