Brain activation during semantic judgment of Chinese sentences: A functional MRI study

Lei Mo, Ho-Ling Liu, Hua Jin, Ya-Ling Yang
2005 Human Brain Mapping  
A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was conducted to investigate whether the anatomic substrates of semantic memory may reflect categorical organization and to determine whether the left middle frontal gyrus (Brodmann area [BA] 9) plays a role in Chinese semantic judgment. Unlike previous studies using a word-retrieval task (e.g., word generation, naming, and word categorization), we used a typical task of semantic knowledge retrieval in cognitive psychology in which subjects
more » ... re asked to determine whether a sentence describing an attribute of living things or nonliving things was true or not. The experimental conditions evoked extensive activation over several regions of the brain including a very strong activation in the left middle frontal region (BA9 and BA46). Our data show that there is no unique activation associated with living or nonliving things at the statistical threshold used in our study. The results imply that human semantic system is undifferentiated by category at the neural level. Our findings also corroborate and extend the claim that the left middle frontal gyrus plays an important role in reading Chinese at both the sentence and the word level. Hum Brain Mapp 24: 305-312, 2005.
doi:10.1002/hbm.20091 pmid:15704153 fatcat:p3x72lbtcfhnhnovi5t2sf5nwa