Online build-up of neocortical memory traces for spoken words: specific facilitatory effect of novel semantic associations

Alina Leminen, Eino Partanen, Andreas Højlund , Mikkel Wallentin, Yury Shtyrov

Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragSammanfattningPeer review


Recent research has shown that the brain is capable of a rapid build-up of novel cortical memory traces for words during mere perceptual exposure to new lexical items. This has been shown as an online increase in electrophysiological response to new word forms even when they have no specific meaning attached and are not attended to or rehearsed by the learners. However, the operation of this fast cortical language-learning mechanism in online acquisition of word meaning has not been thoroughly investigated yet. Here, we presented our participants with novel word forms in a word-learning task taking place during a short magnetoencephalography (MEG) recording session. Novel words were either learned perceptually through auditory exposure only or were assigned a clear semantic reference using a word-picture association task, in which novel words were presented in conjunction with novel objects. Real familiar words were used as controls. Our findings show that, already after approximately five presentations of each stimulus, novel stimuli learnt through semantic association demonstrated stronger activation over the left perisylvian cortices than perceptually acquired word forms that lacked semantic reference. Perceptual items demonstrated a linear learning-related amplitude increase throughout the 10-minute recording session. This result suggests a more efficient process of online novel word memory trace build-up in the presence of semantic reference. Our results confirm rapid formation of memory traces for novel words over a course of a short exposure and suggest facilitatory effects of acquisition of novel semantics on the neocortical memory trace formation.
StatusPublicerad - 22 mars 2019
MoE-publikationstypEj behörig
EvenemangCognitive Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting 2019 - San Francisco, Förenta Staterna (USA)
Varaktighet: 22 mars 201926 mars 2019


KonferensCognitive Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting 2019
Land/TerritoriumFörenta Staterna (USA)
OrtSan Francisco


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