Anja Bethmann

Die supramodale Verarbeitung individueller Konzepte am Beispiel menschlicher Stimmen und visuell präsentierter Comicfiguren

eine fMRT-Studie der Temporallappen



ISBN: 978-3-86956-206-3
291 pages
Release year 2012

Series: Spektrum Patholinguistik - Schriften , 5

17,00 

It is assumed that neural pathways run from the primary sensory cortices through the temporal lobes towards their poles crossing areas necessary for object recognition. Especially the most anterior temporal parts were associated with processes contributing to the identification of objects. Yet, there is little agreement on the kinds of objects that are interpreted by the anterior temporal lobes. For example, there are assumptions regarding linguistic processing, voice recognition, the processing of general semantic information or the identification of unique entities. In order to differentiate between those theories, four event-related fMRI experiments were performed in healthy young adults. In three experiments, the subjects heard the voices of famous and unknown persons. In addition, characteristic sounds of animals and musical instruments were presented in one of these experiments. During the fourth experiment, drawings of famous cartoon characters were shown together with animals and fruit & vegetables. The neural activity in response to these stimuli compared to rest was analyzed using a regions-of-interest approach. 12 regions-of-interest that covered the majority of the temporal lobes were defined in each hemisphere. Both with auditory and visual stimuli, there were clear activation differences between the semantic categories in the anterior temporal lobes. Unique entities (human voices and cartoon characters) evoked a significantly stronger signal than categorical concepts (animals, musical instruments, fruit & vegetables). Furthermore, the signal in response to voices of familiar persons was significantly higher than to unfamiliar voices. Thus, the results are most compatible with the assumption that the anterior temporal lobes process supramodal features of familiar unique entities. As the before-mentioned signal differences between unique and categorical concepts and between familiar and unfamiliar voices increased from the transversal temporal gyri towards the temporal poles, the results support the notion of a ventral processing pathway running rostrally through the temporal lobes. In accordance with the convergence zone theory described by A.R. Damasio, the precise function of that pathway seems to consist in the incremental combination of sensorimotor concept features. Since familiar unique entities possess an especially high number of features, their processing was found to be directed into more anterior portions of the temporal lobe than the perception of unfamiliar or categorical concepts.

It is assumed that neural pathways run from the primary sensory cortices through the temporal lobes towards their poles crossing areas necessary for object recognition. Especially the most anterior temporal parts were associated with processes contributing to the identification of objects. Yet, there is little agreement on the kinds of objects that are interpreted by the anterior temporal lobes. For example, there are assumptions regarding linguistic processing, voice recognition, the processing of general semantic information or the identification of unique entities. In order to differentiate between those theories, four event-related fMRI experiments were performed in healthy young adults. In three experiments, the subjects heard the voices of famous and unknown persons. In addition, characteristic sounds of animals and musical instruments were presented in one of these experiments. During the fourth experiment, drawings of famous cartoon characters were shown together with animals and fruit & vegetables. The neural activity in response to these stimuli compared to rest was analyzed using a regions-of-interest approach. 12 regions-of-interest that covered the majority of the temporal lobes were defined in each hemisphere. Both with auditory and visual stimuli, there were clear activation differences between the semantic categories in the anterior temporal lobes. Unique entities (human voices and cartoon characters) evoked a significantly stronger signal than categorical concepts (animals, musical instruments, fruit & vegetables). Furthermore, the signal in response to voices of familiar persons was significantly higher than to unfamiliar voices. Thus, the results are most compatible with the assumption that the anterior temporal lobes process supramodal features of familiar unique entities. As the before-mentioned signal differences between unique and categorical concepts and between familiar and unfamiliar voices increased from the transversal temporal gyri towards the temporal poles, the results support the notion of a ventral processing pathway running rostrally through the temporal lobes. In accordance with the convergence zone theory described by A.R. Damasio, the precise function of that pathway seems to consist in the incremental combination of sensorimotor concept features. Since familiar unique entities possess an especially high number of features, their processing was found to be directed into more anterior portions of the temporal lobe than the perception of unfamiliar or categorical concepts.