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Volume 15 (2019) Volume 14 (2018) Volume 13 (2017) Volume 12 (2016) Volume 11 (2015) Volume 10 (2014) Volume 9 (2013) Volume 8 (2012) Volume 7 (2011) Volume 6 (2010) Volume 5 (2009) Volume 4 (2008) Volume 3 (2007) Volume 2 (2006) Volume 1 (2005)

Volume 15 Issue 4 (2019)

Brain Activation During Conceptual Processing of Action and Sound Verbs original article

pp. 236-255 | First published on 20 October 2019 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0272-4

Margot Popp, Natalie M. Trumpp, Eun-Jin Sim, Markus Kiefer


Grounded cognition approaches to conceptual representations postulate a close link between conceptual knowledge and the sensorimotor brain systems. The present fMRI study tested, whether a feature-specific representation of concepts, as previously demonstrated for nouns, can also be found for action- and sound-related verbs. Participants were presented with action- and soundrelated verbs along with pseudoverbs while performing a lexical decision task. Sound-related verbs activated auditory areas in the temporal cortex, whereas action-related verbs activated brain regions in the superior frontal gyrus and the cerebellum, albeit only at a more liberal threshold. This differential brain activation during conceptual verb processing partially overlapped with or was adjacent to brain regions activated during the functional localizers probing sound perception or action execution. Activity in brain areas involved in the processing of action information was parametrically modulated by ratings of action relevance. Comparisons of action- and sound-related verbs with pseudoverbs revealed activation for both verb categories in auditory and motor areas. In contrast to proposals of strong grounded cognition approaches, our study did not demonstrate a considerable overlap of activations for action- and sound-related verbs and for the corresponding functional localizer tasks. However, in line with weaker variants of grounded cognition theories, the differential activation pattern for action- and sound-related verbs was near corresponding sensorimotor brain regions depending on conceptual feature relevance. Possibly, action-sound coupling resulted in a mutual activation of the motor and the auditory system for both action- and sound-related verbs, thereby reducing the effect sizes for the differential contrasts.

Keywords: embodied cognition, grounded cognition theory, action-related concepts, sound-related concepts, language, functional magnetic resonance imaging

Development and Validation of a Shortened Language-Specific Version of the UNRAVEL Placekeeping Ability Performance Measuring Tool original article

pp. 256-264 | First published on 20 October 2019 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0273-3

Agata Kopacz, Cezary Biele, Aldona Zdrodowska


The current study aimed to develop a shortened language-specific (Polish) version of the UNRAVEL task (Altmann, Trafton, & Hambrick, 2014) and to verify whether the adaptation yields valid and reliable data about placekeeping ability. Since the original procedure is intended to investigate task performance referring to placekeeping operations under conditions of task interruptions, we used this tool in the context of a multitasking situation. The adopted version differs from the original in that we reduced the number of steps in the procedure and changed the rules set, using an acronym WINDA (a word meaning elevator in Polish). Participants were asked to try to keep their place in the WINDA sequence, make a two-alternative forced choice regarding one feature of a presented stimulus, and to continue the task after the interruption at the place where they had left off. Similarly to the original task, reliability of sequence errors was high, suggesting that the WINDA task is suitable for measuring individual differences in placekeeping performance. The results suggest that the adaptation process that we employed to create the WINDA task can be utilized to generate other language adaptations of this tool (characterized by different levels of difficulty) targeted at specific subject groups.

Keywords: placekeeping ability, interruptions, multitasking, WINDA procedure, language-specific adaptation of the UNRAVEL task