Specific lexico-semantic predictions are associated with unique spatial and temporal patterns of neural activity

  1. Lin Wang  Is a corresponding author
  2. Gina Kuperberg
  3. Ole Jensen
  1. Massachusetts General Hospital, United States
  2. University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Abstract

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.

Data availability

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

Author details

  1. Lin Wang

    Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, United States
    For correspondence
    wanglinsisi@gmail.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-6911-0660
  2. Gina Kuperberg

    Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Ole Jensen

    Centre for Human Brain Health, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-8193-8348

Funding

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.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Matthew H Davis, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Ethics

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.

Version history

  1. Received: June 14, 2018
  2. Accepted: December 20, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: December 21, 2018 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: January 7, 2019 (version 2)

Copyright

© 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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  1. Lin Wang
  2. Gina Kuperberg
  3. Ole Jensen
(2018)
Specific lexico-semantic predictions are associated with unique spatial and temporal patterns of neural activity
eLife 7:e39061.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.39061

Share this article

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.39061

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