Neural correlates of the semantic interference effect: New evidence from transcranial direct current stimulation

A. Pisoni, C. Papagno, Z. Cattaneo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In two experiments, we combined a semantic blocked naming paradigm with anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to shed light on the neural correlates of the semantic interference (SI) effect. In particular, prior to the naming task, anodal tDCS was applied over the left superior temporal gyrus (STG, Experiment 1) or the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG, Experiment 2) to enhance cortical excitability in these regions. In both experiments, participants were tested in two sessions in which either real or sham tDCS was delivered. We found that anodal tDCS over the left STG significantly increased the SI effect, whereas anodal tDCS over the left IFG led to a reduction of the SI effect. Overall, our data confirm the existence of a distributed cortical network involved in lexical retrieval and show that both the left IFG and the left STG play a causal role in this process. In particular, the left IFG is likely to be critical in resolving the conflict between competitor lexical representations, while the left STG seems to be the neural locus of the lexical representational system, where competition among different lexical representations occurs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-67
Number of pages12
JournalNeuroscience
Volume223
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 25 2012

Keywords

  • Left inferior frontal gyrus
  • Left superior temporal gyrus
  • Lexical access
  • Naming
  • Semantic interference
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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