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Role of Sensorimotor Cortex in Gestural-Verbal Integration

  • Action comprehension that is related to language or gestural integration has been shown to engage the motor system in the brain, thus providing preliminary evidence for the gestural-verbal embodiment concept. Based on the involvement of the sensorimotor cortex (M1) in language processing, we aimed to further explore its role in the cognitive embodiment necessary for gestural-verbal integration. As such, we applied anodal (excitatory) and sham transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the left M1 (with reference electrode over the contralateral supraorbital region) during a gestural-verbal integration task where subjects had to make a decision about the semantic congruency of the gesture (prime) and the word (target). We used a cross-over within-subject design in young subjects. Attentional load and simple reaction time (RT) tasks served as control conditions, applied during stimulation (order of three tasks was counterbalanced). Our results showed that anodal (atDCS) compared to sham tDCS (stDCS) reduced RTs in the gestural-verbal integration task, specifically for incongruent pairs of gestures and verbal expressions, with no effect on control task performance. Our findings provide evidence for the involvement of the sensorimotor system in gestural-verbal integration performance. Further, our results suggest that functional modulation induced by sensorimotor tDCS may be specific to gestural-verbal integration. Future studies should now evaluate the modulatory effect of tDCS on semantic congruency by using tDCS over additional brain regions and include assessments of neural connectivity.

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Metadaten
Author: Dayana Hayek, Agnes Flöel, Daria Antonenko
URN:urn:nbn:de:gbv:9-opus-32801
DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2018.00482
ISSN:1662-5161
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Publisher:Frontiers Media S.A.
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2018/12/06
Release Date:2020/10/08
Tag:brain stimulation, cognition, embodiment, gestural-verbal association, language processing
GND Keyword:-
Volume:12
Faculties:Universitätsmedizin / Klinik und Poliklinik für Neurologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung