A cortical network for semantics: (De)constructing the N400

Ellen F. Lau, Colin Phillips, David Poeppel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Measuring event-related potentials (ERPs) has been fundamental to our understanding of how language is encoded in the brain. One particular ERP response, the N400 response, has been especially influential as an index of lexical and semantic processing. However, there remains a lack of consensus on the interpretation of this component. Resolving this issue has important consequences for neural models of language comprehension. Here we show that evidence bearing on where the N400 response is generated provides key insights into what it reflects. A neuroanatomical model of semantic processing is used as a guide to interpret the pattern of activated regions in functional MRI, magnetoencephalography and intracranial recordings that are associated with contextual semantic manipulations that lead to N400 effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)920-933
Number of pages14
JournalNature Reviews Neuroscience
Volume9
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Fingerprint

Semantics
Evoked Potentials
Language
Magnetoencephalography
Consensus
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Brain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

A cortical network for semantics : (De)constructing the N400. / Lau, Ellen F.; Phillips, Colin; Poeppel, David.

In: Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Vol. 9, No. 12, 12.2008, p. 920-933.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lau, Ellen F. ; Phillips, Colin ; Poeppel, David. / A cortical network for semantics : (De)constructing the N400. In: Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 2008 ; Vol. 9, No. 12. pp. 920-933.
@article{c6807a71acef4cfeb4bde0926087383f,
title = "A cortical network for semantics: (De)constructing the N400",
abstract = "Measuring event-related potentials (ERPs) has been fundamental to our understanding of how language is encoded in the brain. One particular ERP response, the N400 response, has been especially influential as an index of lexical and semantic processing. However, there remains a lack of consensus on the interpretation of this component. Resolving this issue has important consequences for neural models of language comprehension. Here we show that evidence bearing on where the N400 response is generated provides key insights into what it reflects. A neuroanatomical model of semantic processing is used as a guide to interpret the pattern of activated regions in functional MRI, magnetoencephalography and intracranial recordings that are associated with contextual semantic manipulations that lead to N400 effects.",
author = "Lau, {Ellen F.} and Colin Phillips and David Poeppel",
year = "2008",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1038/nrn2532",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "9",
pages = "920--933",
journal = "Nature Reviews Neuroscience",
issn = "1471-003X",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "12",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A cortical network for semantics

T2 - (De)constructing the N400

AU - Lau, Ellen F.

AU - Phillips, Colin

AU - Poeppel, David

PY - 2008/12

Y1 - 2008/12

N2 - Measuring event-related potentials (ERPs) has been fundamental to our understanding of how language is encoded in the brain. One particular ERP response, the N400 response, has been especially influential as an index of lexical and semantic processing. However, there remains a lack of consensus on the interpretation of this component. Resolving this issue has important consequences for neural models of language comprehension. Here we show that evidence bearing on where the N400 response is generated provides key insights into what it reflects. A neuroanatomical model of semantic processing is used as a guide to interpret the pattern of activated regions in functional MRI, magnetoencephalography and intracranial recordings that are associated with contextual semantic manipulations that lead to N400 effects.

AB - Measuring event-related potentials (ERPs) has been fundamental to our understanding of how language is encoded in the brain. One particular ERP response, the N400 response, has been especially influential as an index of lexical and semantic processing. However, there remains a lack of consensus on the interpretation of this component. Resolving this issue has important consequences for neural models of language comprehension. Here we show that evidence bearing on where the N400 response is generated provides key insights into what it reflects. A neuroanatomical model of semantic processing is used as a guide to interpret the pattern of activated regions in functional MRI, magnetoencephalography and intracranial recordings that are associated with contextual semantic manipulations that lead to N400 effects.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=56549091312&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=56549091312&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/nrn2532

DO - 10.1038/nrn2532

M3 - Article

VL - 9

SP - 920

EP - 933

JO - Nature Reviews Neuroscience

JF - Nature Reviews Neuroscience

SN - 1471-003X

IS - 12

ER -