Specific lexico-semantic predictions are associated with unique spatial and temporal patterns of neural activity
We used Magnetoencephalography (MEG) in combination with Representational Similarity Analysis to probe neural activity associated with distinct, item-specific lexico-semantic predictions during language comprehension. MEG activity was measured as participants read highly constraining sentences in which the final words could be predicted. Before the onset of the predicted words, both the spatial and temporal patterns of brain activity were more similar when the same words were predicted than when different words were predicted. The temporal patterns localized to the left inferior and medial temporal lobe. These findings provide evidence that unique spatial and temporal patterns of neural activity are associated with item-specific lexico-semantic predictions. We suggest that the unique spatial patterns reflected the prediction of spatially distributed semantic features associated with the predicted word, and that the left inferior/medial temporal lobe played a role in temporally 'binding' these features, giving rise to unique lexico-semantic predictions.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figures 2 and 3.
Article and author information
Natural Science Foundation of China (31540079)
- Lin Wang
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01 HD08252)
- Gina Kuperberg
James S. McDonnell Foundation Understanding Human Cognition Collaborative Award (220020448)
- Ole Jensen
Wellcome Trust Investigator Award in Science (207550)
- Ole Jensen
Royal Society (Wolfson Research Merit)
- Ole Jensen
Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China (2012CB825500)
- Lin Wang
Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China (2015CB351701)
- Lin Wang
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (H15037). Thirty-four students from the Beijing area were initially recruited by advertisement. All gave informed consent and were paid for their time.
- Matthew H Davis, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
- Received: June 14, 2018
- Accepted: December 20, 2018
- Accepted Manuscript published: December 21, 2018 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: January 7, 2019 (version 2)
© 2018, Wang et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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