How meaning is represented in the human brain

How meaning is represented in the human brain
These brain maps show regions of the brain from which sentence meaning can be decoded. The brighter the area, the higher the decoding accuracy. Credit: University of Rochester / Andrew Anderson and Xixi Wang

Representations reflecting non-linguistic experience have been detected in brain activity during reading in study of healthy, native English speakers published in JNeurosci. The research brings us one step closer to a more complete characterization of human language.

Words and their relationship to one's experience are thought to be combined in the brain to enable understanding of a sentence's meaning.

Building on prior models using word co-occurrence statistics, Anderson et al. now show that integrating experiential information into previous models improves decoding of patterns of neural activity associated with meaning as participants read short sentences.

These results may guide future efforts in the diagnosis and treatment of language disorders and development of artificial intelligence systems.

More information: An integrated neural decoder of linguistic and experiential meaning, JNeurosci (2019). DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2575-18.2019

Journal information: Journal of Neuroscience
Citation: How meaning is represented in the human brain (2019, September 30) retrieved 12 April 2024 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Relating sentence representations in deep neural networks with those encoded by the brain


Feedback to editors