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Where the brain appreciates the final state of an event: The neural correlates of telicity

Romagno, Domenica and Rota, Giuseppina and Ricciardi, Emiliano and Pietrini, Pietro Where the brain appreciates the final state of an event: The neural correlates of telicity. Brain and Language, 123 (1). 68 - 74. ISSN 0093-934X (2012)

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In this study we investigated whether the human brain distinguishes between telic events that necessarily entail a specified endpoint (e.g., reaching), and atelic events with no delimitation or final state (e.g., chasing). We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to explore the patterns of neural response associated with verbs denoting telic and atelic events, and found that the left posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG), an area consistently engaged by verb processing tasks, showed a significantly higher activation for telic compared with atelic verbs. These results provide the first evidence that the human brain appreciates whether events lead to an end or a change of state. Moreover, they provide an explanation for the long-debated question of which verb properties modulate neural activity in the left pMTG, as they indicate that, independently of any other semantic property, verb processing and event knowledge in this area are specifically related to the representation of telicity.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.bandl.2012.06.003
Uncontrolled Keywords: Telicity, Event knowledge, Verb processing, Left middle temporal gyrus, Semantics, fMRI
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Research Area: Computer Science and Applications
Depositing User: Caterina Tangheroni
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2015 13:05
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 09:51
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/2881

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