Authors: Iwabuchi Toshiki, Inui Toshio, Ogawa Kenji
Title: A functional MRI study of a picture-sentence verification task:
evidence of attention shift to the grammatical subject
Journal(書誌情報): Neuroreport, 24(6):298-302.
doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32835f8826
Abstract: Mapping the meaning of a sentence onto visual entities is a
fundamental process of daily language use, but it is unclear how
attention in the visual context influences sentence comprehension.
Aiming to examine this problem, we conducted a picture-sentence matching
experiment with scanning using functional MRI. In the experiment, a
moving picture describing an event with two colored objects was
presented on a screen. A visual cue was flashed at the position of an
object's appearance just before the event presentation, and participants
were instructed to pay attention to the visually cued object in the
picture. They were then required to read a simple Japanese sentence and
to verify whether it correctly described the previous event. To examine
the effects of visual cueing, we defined two conditions on the basis of
the relationship between the visually cued object in an event and the
grammatical subject of the subsequent sentence. When comparing the
conditions in which the visually cued object was incongruent with the
grammatical subject to the congruent conditions, participants showed a
lower hit rate, and the right frontal eye field, which is known to be
the region related to attention shift, was more activated. These
findings suggest that the attention was initially allocated to an object
encoded as the grammatical subject in the process of linking the content
of a sentence with a visual event. Therefore, the attention was shifted
from the cued object to the other object under the conditions discussed
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