Enhancing lexical ambiguity resolution by brain polarization of the right posterior superior temporal sulcus

Yael Peretz, Michal Lavidor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous studies have reported a hemispheric asymmetry in processing dominant (e.g., paper) and subordinate (e.g., farmer) associations of ambiguous words (pen). Here we applied sham and anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) over Wernicke's area and its right homologue to test whether we can modulate the selective hemispheric expertise in processing lexical ambiguity. Ambiguous prime words were presented followed by target words that could be associated to the dominant or subordinate meaning of the prime in a semantic relatedness task. Anodal stimulation of the right Wernicke's area significantly decreased response time (RTs) to subordinate but not dominant associations compared to sham stimulation. There was also a complementary trend of faster responses to dominant associations following anodal stimulation of Wernicke's area. The results support brain asymmetry in processing lexical ambiguity and show that tDCS can enhance complex language processing even in a sample of highly literate individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1056-1062
Number of pages7
JournalCortex
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
M. Lavidor is supported by a grant no. 100/10 from the Israel Science Foundation, and ERC start up grant and a Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN-LAN: PITN-G-2008-214570 ).

Keywords

  • Hemispheres
  • Language lateralization
  • Lexical ambiguity
  • Semantic processing
  • TDCS

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Enhancing lexical ambiguity resolution by brain polarization of the right posterior superior temporal sulcus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this