On the boundaries between decision and action: Effector-selective lateralization of beta-frequency power is modulated by the lexical frequency of printed words

Michele Scaltritti, Remo Job, F. Xavier Alario, Simone Sulpizio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Current computational and neuroscientific models of decision-making posit a discrete, serial processing distinction between upstream decisional stages and downstream processes of motor-response implementation. We investigated this framework in the context of two-alternative forced-choice tasks on linguistic stimuli, words and pseudowords. In two experiments, we assessed the impact of lexical frequency and action semantics on two effector-selective EEG indexes of motor-response activation: the lateralized readiness potential and the lateralization of beta-frequency power. This allowed us to track potentially continuous streams of processing progressively mapping the evaluation of linguistic stimuli onto corresponding response channels. Whereas action semantics showed no influence on EEG indexes of motor-response activation, lexical frequency affected the lateralization of response-locked beta-frequency power. We argue that these observations point toward a continuity between linguistic processing of word input stimuli and implementation of corresponding choice in terms of motor behavior. This interpretation challenges the commonly held as-sumpti on of a di screte processi ng di sti ncti on between decisional and motor-response processes in the context of decisions based on symbolic stimuli. ■.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2131-2144
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Volume32
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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