The concreteness effect : evidence for dual coding and context availability

Jessen, F. and Heun, R. and Erb, M. and Granath, D. O. and Klose, U. and Papassotiropoulos, A. and Grodd, W.. (2000) The concreteness effect : evidence for dual coding and context availability. Brain and Language, Vol. 74, H. 1. pp. 103-112.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5257213

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The term concreteness effect refers to the observation that concrete nouns are processed faster and more accurately than abstract nouns in a variety of cognitive tasks. Two models have been proposed to explain the neuronal basis of the concreteness effect. The dual-coding theory attributes the advantage to the access of a right hemisphere image based system in addition to a verbal system by concrete words. The context availability theory argues that concrete words activate a broader contextual verbal support, which results in faster processing, but do not access a distinct image based system. We used event-related fMRI to detect the brain regions that subserve to the concreteness effect. We found greater activation in the lower right and left parietal lobes, in the left inferior frontal lobe and in the precuneus during encoding of concrete compared to abstract nouns. This makes a single exclusive theory unlikely and rather suggests a combination of both models. Superior encoding of concrete words in the present study may result from (1) greater verbal context resources reflected by the activation of left parietal and frontal associative areas, and (2) the additional activation of a non-verbal, perhaps spatial imagery-based system, in the right parietal lobe.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Services Biozentrum > Life Sciences Training Facility (Papassotiropoulos)
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Ehemalige Einheiten Psychologie > Molecular Neuroscience (Papassotiropoulos)
UniBasel Contributors:Papassotiropoulos, Andreas
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:19
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:17

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