Abstract

The nature of abstract and concrete semantics and differences between them have remained a debated issue in psycholinguistic and cognitive studies for decades. Most of the available behavioral and neuroimaging studies reveal distinctions between these two types of semantics, typically associated with a so-called “concreteness effect.” Many attempts have been made to explain these differences using various approaches, from purely theoretical linguistic and cognitive frameworks to neuroimaging experiments. In this brief overview, we will try to provide a snapshot of these diverse views and relationships between them and highlight the crucial issues preventing this problem from being solved. We will argue that one potentially beneficial way forward is to identify the neural mechanisms underpinning acquisition of the different types of semantics (e.g., by using neurostimulation techniques to establish causal relationships), which may help explain the distinctions found between the processing of concrete and abstract semantics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number267
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2019

Fingerprint

Brain Mapping
Semantics
Neuroimaging
Psycholinguistics
Linguistics

Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

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title = "Concrete vs. Abstract Semantics: From Mental Representations to Functional Brain Mapping",
abstract = "The nature of abstract and concrete semantics and differences between them have remained a debated issue in psycholinguistic and cognitive studies for decades. Most of the available behavioral and neuroimaging studies reveal distinctions between these two types of semantics, typically associated with a so-called “concreteness effect.” Many attempts have been made to explain these differences using various approaches, from purely theoretical linguistic and cognitive frameworks to neuroimaging experiments. In this brief overview, we will try to provide a snapshot of these diverse views and relationships between them and highlight the crucial issues preventing this problem from being solved. We will argue that one potentially beneficial way forward is to identify the neural mechanisms underpinning acquisition of the different types of semantics (e.g., by using neurostimulation techniques to establish causal relationships), which may help explain the distinctions found between the processing of concrete and abstract semantics.",
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author = "Nadezhda Mkrtychian and Evgeny Blagovechtchenski and Diana Kurmakaeva and Daria Gnedykh and Svetlana Kostromina and Yury Shtyrov",
year = "2019",
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T2 - From Mental Representations to Functional Brain Mapping

AU - Mkrtychian, Nadezhda

AU - Blagovechtchenski, Evgeny

AU - Kurmakaeva, Diana

AU - Gnedykh, Daria

AU - Kostromina, Svetlana

AU - Shtyrov, Yury

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