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!
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses