How neurons make meaning: brain mechanisms for embodied and abstract-symbolic semantics

  title={How neurons make meaning: brain mechanisms for embodied and abstract-symbolic semantics},
  author={Friedemann Pulverm{\"u}ller},
  journal={Trends in Cognitive Sciences},
  • F. Pulvermüller
  • Published 1 September 2013
  • Psychology
  • Trends in Cognitive Sciences

Figures from this paper

Neural reuse of action perception circuits for language, concepts and communication
A Neurobiologically Constrained Cortex Model of Semantic Grounding With Spiking Neurons and Brain-Like Connectivity
The present neurocomputational model integrates seemingly divergent experimental results about conceptualization and explains both semantic hubs and category-specific areas as an emergent process causally determined by two major factors: neuroanatomical connectivity structure and correlated neuronal activation during language learning.
Conceptual grounding of language in action and perception: a neurocomputational model of the emergence of category specificity and semantic hubs
By relating neuroanatomical structure and cellular‐level learning mechanisms with system‐level cognitive function, this model offers a neurobiological account of category‐general and category‐specific semantic areas based on the different cortical distributions of the underlying semantic circuits.
Neurobiological Mechanisms for Semantic Feature Extraction and Conceptual Flexibility
These linguistic-semantic examples show that specific mechanisms are required to account for context-dependent semantic function or conceptual "flexibility" in the processing of referential, existential, and universal statements.
Brain Oscillations, Semantic Processing, and Episodic Memory
This chapter links empirical neurophysiological findings and concepts from two different disciplines: semantic processing and episodic memory, a sub-discipline of linguistics that refers to any sort of cognitive processing which focuses on the meaning of a sensory stimulus, to address the question of how local and global neural assemblies interact by means of synchronization and desynchronization during semantic processing.


Conceptual Flexibility in the Human Brain: Dynamic Recruitment of Semantic Maps from Visual, Motor, and Motion-related Areas
The results suggest that concepts are situational-dependent mental entities composed of semantic features which are flexibly recruited from distributed, yet localized, semantic maps in modality-specific brain regions depending on contextual constraints.
The neurobiology of semantic memory
Reading salt activates gustatory brain regions: fMRI evidence for semantic grounding in a novel sensory modality.
The brain basis of gustatory semantic links of words whose meaning is primarily related to taste are explored, concluding that the meaning of taste words is grounded in distributed cortical circuits reaching into areas that process taste sensations.