Context-dependent lexical ambiguity resolution: MEG evidence for the time-course of activity in left inferior frontal gyrus and posterior middle temporal gyrus

Mollo, Giovanna, Jefferies, Elizabeth, Cornelissen, Piers and Gennari, Silvia (2018) Context-dependent lexical ambiguity resolution: MEG evidence for the time-course of activity in left inferior frontal gyrus and posterior middle temporal gyrus. Brain and Language, 177-78. pp. 23-36. ISSN 0093-934X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2018.01.001

Abstract

An MEG study investigated the role of context in semantic interpretation by examining the comprehension of ambiguous words in contexts leading to different interpretations. We compared high-ambiguity words in minimally different contexts (to bowl, the bowl) to low-ambiguity counterparts (the tray, to flog). Whole brain beamforming revealed the engagement of left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) and posterior middle temporal gyrus (LPMTG). Points of interest analyses showed that both these sites showed a stronger response to verb-contexts by 200 ms post-stimulus and displayed overlapping ambiguity effects that were sustained from 300 ms onwards. The effect of context was stronger for high-ambiguity words than for low-ambiguity words at several different time points, including within the first 100 ms post-stimulus. Unlike LIFG, LPMTG also showed stronger responses to verb than noun contexts in low-ambiguity trials. We argue that different functional roles previously attributed to LIFG and LPMTG are in fact played out at different periods during processing.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2018 10:58
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 08:06
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/33256

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