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Functional connectivity of verbs' processing

Grant number: 17/21380-7
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 13, 2017
Effective date (End): April 12, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Cognitive Psychology
Principal researcher:Maria Teresa Carthery Goulart
Grantee:Juliana Helena Bruno Machado
Supervisor abroad: Mario Alfredo Parra Rodriguez
Home Institution: Centro de Matemática, Computação e Cognição (CMCC). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil
Research place: Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland  
Associated to the scholarship:16/03960-3 - Electrophysiological mapping of verbs modulation by lexicon-semantic features, BP.DR


The present project intends to comprehend the neural networks and hubs that are recruited to verbs' visual recognition, as well as deep semantic processing and meaning access. There has been an increase of studies in how nouns are represented in our brains, contributing to the understanding that psycholinguistic features can influence the recognition of written words. Nouns are easily categorized by any native speaker of any language (e.g. flowers, animals, furniture). However, verbs are more com- plex to classify into a category. The Embodied Cognition (EC) theory favored the comprehension that cognitive processing might involve the body as well. Thus, EC proposes an integration of perceptual, linguistic and motor functions (Wilson et al, 2011) and the body becomes an essential part of the cognitive constitution. Therefore, verbs are the lexical items by excelence to verify the effects of motor learning through language (Shapiro, 2011; van Dam, Rueschemeyer Harold Bekkering, 2010; Barsalou et al, 2003). Learning to read would consist in connecting areas originally from the visual system and the oral language system. As Dehaene (2012) points out, the real connectivity, the pathways and the directions distributed on time, are not known yet and is a technique not largely applied to language studies. Thus, a functional connectivity analysis conducted on EEG data might reveal the online reading network recruited to process verbs.

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