Embodied language in first- and second-language speakers: Neural correlates of processing motor verbs
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Number of pages
SourceNeuropsychologia, 56, (2014), pp. 334-349
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC PL
SW OZ DCC BO
SW OZ DCC CO
Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
PI Group Neurobiology of Language
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 1: Language and Communication; Psycholinguistics; 110 000 Neurocognition of Language
The involvement of neural motor and sensory systems in the processing of language has so far mainly been studied in native (L1) speakers. In an fMRI experiment, we investigated whether non-native (12) semantic representations are rich enough to allow for activation in motor and somatosensory brain areas. German learners of Dutch and a control group of Dutch native speakers made lexical decisions about visually presented Dutch motor and non-motor verbs. Region-of-interest (ROI) and whole-brain analyses indicated that 12 speakers, like L1 speakers, showed significantly increased activation for simple motor compared to non-motor verbs in motor and somatosensory regions. This effect was not restricted to Dutch-German cognate verbs, but was also present for non-cognate verbs. These results indicate that L2 semantic representations are rich enough for motor-related activations to develop in motor and somatosensory areas.
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