Differential Activity for Animals and Manipulable Objects in the Anterior Temporal Lobes

Stefano Anzellotti, Bradford Z. Mahon, Jens Schwarzbach, Alfonso Caramazza
2011 Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience  
Neuropsychological evidence has highlighted the role of the anterior temporal lobes in the processing of conceptual knowledge. That putative role is only beginning to be investigated with fMRI as methodological advances are able to compensate for well known susceptibility artifacts that affect the quality of the BOLD signal. In the present paper, we describe differential BOLD activation for pictures of animals and manipulable objects in the anterior temporal lobes, consistent with previous
more » ... with previous neuropsychological findings. Furthermore, we find that the pattern of BOLD signal in the anterior temporal lobes is qualitatively different from that in the fusiform gyri. The latter regions are activated to different extents but always above baseline by images of the preferred and of the non-preferred categories, while the anterior temporal lobes tend to be activated by images of the preferred category and deactivated (BOLD below baseline) by images of the non-preferred category. In our experimental design, we also manipulated the decision that participants made over stimuli from the different semantic categories. We found that in the right temporal pole, the BOLD signal shows some evidence of being modulated by the task that participants were asked to perform, while BOLD activity in more posterior regions (e.g. the fusiform gyri) is not modulated by the task. These results reconcile the fMRI literature with the neuropsychological findings of deficits for animals after damage to the right temporal pole and suggest that anterior and posterior regions within the temporal lobes involved in object processing perform qualitatively different computations. ATL ACTIVITY FOR ANIMALS AND TOOLS
doi:10.1162/jocn.2010.21567 pmid:20815733 fatcat:nloj6y5635aj3pipthoyscxkk4