"Tooth and Truth": Brain Activation During Passive Listening to Concrete and Abstract Nouns

Weiss S, Müller HM, Mertens M, Wörmann FG (2011)
The Open Behavioral Science Journal 5: 37-47.

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The aim of this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was to investigate brain activation associated with the auditory perception of concrete and abstract German nouns during a passive listening task. This procedure allows us to investigate inherent linguistic properties common to either concrete or abstract concepts rather than cognitive operations due to the performance of a given specific task. In addition, a new baseline condition (pseudospeech) was used allowing us to monitor language-relevant activation common to both word types besides the pre-lexical analysis of the speech sound. Fixed effects analyses indicated increased activation of left hemispheric ventromedial prefrontal brain regions specifically responsive to the comprehension of concrete nouns by the current participants. This was interpreted in terms of the multisensory representation of concrete nouns comprising not only elicitation of visual images but also of multimodal sensoric and manipulation-related context. In contrast, abstract nouns did not activate any brain region exclusively. Random effects analyses revealed only very slight differences between concrete and abstract nouns in left ventromedial prefrontal brain activation. This suggests that the passive listening task is not suitable to canalize the higher cognitive variability in processing abstract items which seem to result in less coherent brain activation.
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Weiss S, Müller HM, Mertens M, Wörmann FG. "Tooth and Truth": Brain Activation During Passive Listening to Concrete and Abstract Nouns. The Open Behavioral Science Journal. 2011;5:37-47.
Weiss, S., Müller, H. M., Mertens, M., & Wörmann, F. G. (2011). "Tooth and Truth": Brain Activation During Passive Listening to Concrete and Abstract Nouns. The Open Behavioral Science Journal, 5, 37-47.
Weiss, S., Müller, H. M., Mertens, M., and Wörmann, F. G. (2011). "Tooth and Truth": Brain Activation During Passive Listening to Concrete and Abstract Nouns. The Open Behavioral Science Journal 5, 37-47.
Weiss, S., et al., 2011. "Tooth and Truth": Brain Activation During Passive Listening to Concrete and Abstract Nouns. The Open Behavioral Science Journal, 5, p 37-47.
S. Weiss, et al., “"Tooth and Truth": Brain Activation During Passive Listening to Concrete and Abstract Nouns”, The Open Behavioral Science Journal, vol. 5, 2011, pp. 37-47.
Weiss, S., Müller, H.M., Mertens, M., Wörmann, F.G.: "Tooth and Truth": Brain Activation During Passive Listening to Concrete and Abstract Nouns. The Open Behavioral Science Journal. 5, 37-47 (2011).
Weiss, Sabine, Müller, Horst M., Mertens, M., and Wörmann, F.G. “"Tooth and Truth": Brain Activation During Passive Listening to Concrete and Abstract Nouns”. The Open Behavioral Science Journal 5 (2011): 37-47.
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