In an investigation of three frontal regions (in IFG-insula, precentral and central gyrus) most significantly active during processing of experimental words, a region (3) by semantic abstractness (2) by lexical category (2) ANOVA revealed a significant interaction of all three factors. Further investigation confirmed the lexical category difference in brain activation patterns for concrete but not for abstract items. These results show that noun/verb differences in brain activation patterns are specific to concrete items and therefore depend on semantics. learn more A search for effects of lexical
category in temporal regions implicated in previous literature was unfruitful, though a lexical category effect did appear in two frontal regions previously implicated by Martin et al. (1996) in the processing of animal pictures. This effect was driven by a particular strength for concrete nouns, which were indeed mainly animal words, as consistent with this and other previous
studies reporting substantial activation overlap in this area for animal concepts across modalities (Martin, 2007 and Martin and Chao, 2001). Considering the theoretical models previously discussed, our findings demonstrate greater support for a semantic than a lexical interpretation of focal neurometabolic noun/verb differences, but demand a more Fulvestrant supplier complex discussion of the impact of lexical
category and semantics on the brain. The proposition that lexical (grammatical) categories are differentially represented in the brain would seem plausible given that nouns and verbs are suggested by many to be linguistic universals (Vigliocco et al., 2011), even present in American Vasopressin Receptor Sign Language (ASL: Supalla and Newport, 1978), pidgin and creole languages (Slobin, 1975). Exceptions do exist (Broschart, 1997, Foley, 1998, Langacker, 1987 and Robins, 1952), however, such that linguists now query whether these categories are truly shared cross-culturally across languages (Croft, 2001 and Kemmerer and Eggleston, 2010). Nouns and verbs are defined combinatorially and due to the extreme diversity of language systems (some which lack inflectional categories and function word types, for example), it is clear that the combinatorial criteria for inclusion in the noun/verb categories must differ between languages. At present, the brain-imaging work on nouns and verbs assume that these categories are valid in the Western population (speakers of English or European languages such as Italian and German) and that, therefore, it is possible that these categories have a shared and specific basis in the brain.