Study sheds new light on how semantic information is organized in the brain

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Fig. 1: Voxels with correlated visible and linguistic semantic representations. Credit score: DOI: 10.1038/s41593-021-00921-6

The human mind shops and organizes significant info in several areas and networks. Whereas previous neuroscience research have examined a few of these networks in nice depth, the connection and interactions between them is just not but fully clear.
Researchers on the College of California, Berkeley have just lately carried out a examine inspecting the connection between visible and linguistic semantic representations within the mind. Their findings, revealed in Nature Neuroscience, counsel that visible and linguistic semantic info is organized as a unified map within the mind, with the 2 representations assembly alongside the boundary of the visible cortex.
“One necessary subsystem throughout the human mind is the amodal semantic community, which represents the contents of present working reminiscence and a focus,” Jack L. Gallant, one of many researchers who carried out the examine, advised Medical Xpress. “The semantic community serves as an interface between info streaming in from perceptual programs and data saved in long-term reminiscence. The objective of our examine was to higher perceive the best way that perceptual info enters the amodal semantic community.”
Gallant and his colleagues carried out two completely different experiments involving the identical group of members. Within the first experiments, the members have been requested to observe silent motion pictures, whereas within the second they listened to verbally narrated tales.
To look at how the members’ brains represented the data they have been offered with, the researchers used imaging (fMRI), a widely known imaging strategy that can be utilized to map patterns in mind exercise. They then analyzed the info they collected utilizing high-dimensional and high-resolution computational modeling strategies.
“The and modeling instruments we used have been developed in our laboratory over the previous 20 years, and so they enable us to get better details about how info is represented within the human mind in unprecedented element,” Gallant defined. “On this particular examine, we discovered that perceptual info enters the amodal semantic community by means of a sequence of parallel, semantically-selective channels. Though this was a useful imaging examine, these channels of knowledge move counsel that this method is applied as a sequence of semantically-selective anatomical connections.”
As predicted, the fMRI scans collected by Gallant and his colleagues confirmed that whereas the members watched the silent motion pictures, a selected community of areas within the visible cortex have been activated. Whereas they listened to the tales, however, one other community of areas anterior to the visible cortex have been activated.
Apparently, the researchers noticed that the activation patterns of those two distinct neural networks corresponded alongside the boundary of the visible cortex. In different phrases, the visible classes that have been represented on one aspect of the boundary (contained in the visible cortex), have been represented linguistically on the opposite aspect of the boundary.
As famous above, the semantic community represents the contents of present working reminiscence and a focus.
“Many cognitive capabilities—equivalent to studying, responding to , monitoring efficiency, planning for the longer term, evaluating proof, making selections, and so forth.—depend on the semantic community,” Gallant stated. “Many neurological circumstances that have an effect on cognitive perform or studying might contain the semantic community. A greater understanding of the anatomical and useful group of this would thus present vital for bettering cognitive perform in wholesome folks and for addressing issues in cognitive perform.”
Total, the findings gathered by this crew of researchers counsel that visible and linguistic semantic networks within the mind are related, forming a unified map. Sooner or later, this fascinating commentary might pave the best way for brand spanking new analysis aimed toward higher understanding the connections between completely different semantic networks.
“That is simply the primary of many research that will probably be required to totally perceive the connection between the semantic system, perceptual programs and long-term reminiscence,” Gallant added.

Dynamic neurocircuit loop discovered in multimodal semantic processing

Extra info:
Sara F. Popham et al, Visible and linguistic semantic representations are aligned on the border of human visible cortex, Nature Neuroscience (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41593-021-00921-6

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