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Mind files

作者:惠浦    发布时间:2019-03-08 03:03:16    

By Alison Motluk in Los Angeles WORDS may be encoded in areas of the brain that correspond to their meaning, say scientists in Germany. Neuroscientists have suggested half a dozen possible sites in the brain where semantic processing occurs. But Friedemann Pulvermüller and his colleagues at the University of Konstanz thought there may be more than one region. Words referring to movement could be coded in the motor cortex, while hearing-related words may be coded in the auditory cortex. They recruited nine volunteers whose right motor cortex had been damaged by a stroke, leaving their left arm paralysed. The patients were asked to quickly decide whether certain words were real or not. Some words, such as “write”, were associated with movement, while others, such as “tiger”, provoked images. None of the volunteers had obvious language disorders. But with action words, they made more mistakes than people with normal brains. On visual words they did as well as healthy people. Pulvermüller thinks the difficulties occur because action words are stored in the motor cortex. He believes other brain regions that deal with different stimuli—from hearing to emotions—may also deal with relevant words. “All cortical areas can be relevant,” he says. He believes this is not surprising since we learn words by association. For instance, we often remember words after seeing,

 

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