A paper published in the recent issue of Psychophysiology describes differences in the brains response (event-related potentials, or "ERPs") to pictures and words that describe the same object. In two studies, the authors evaluated how the brain reacts differently to a picture of an object or its name when people were looking for either the picture or the name in a visual display.
University students saw pictures of five simple objects and words corresponding to their names. Participants were instructed to keep a silent mental count of the appearance of a specific target. For instance, in the first study, they looked for the word "globe." Its appearance on screen created a noticeable brain response. "We found that the appearance of the word globe elicited a large electrical response called the P300, a positive-going ERP that occurs about 300-500 ms after the presentation of a target, " author Todd Watson states. Although it was not a target, the picture of the globe elicited a similar (although less pronounced) electrical response. In a second study, the specified object was the picture of a globe. Again, the authors found that a picture of the globe elicited a large P300. However unlike the first experiment, the other version of the object -- the word "globe" -- failed to elicit a prominent electrical response.
These intriguing results suggest that whereas a word may automatically activate a mental image of the same object (e.g., a globe), a picture does not necessarily activate its verbal name. In turn, these data suggest the possibility that processing images and words may involve distinct brain circuits that can, but do not always, "talk to" one another. These techniques could help us to understand how our brains respond differently to visual or verbal codes that describe the objects in the world around us, as well as how our brains evaluates similarity between different objects or concepts.
Jill Yablonski | EurekAlert!
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences