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Open AccessArticle

Neural Adaptation Effects in Conceptual Processing

Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università di Milano-Bicocca, 1, P.zza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 20125 Milano, Italy
Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Università di Parma, 39/E, Via Volturno, 43125 Parma, Italy
Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università di Bologna, 5, Viale Berti Pichat, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione, CNR, 44, Via S. Martino della Battaglia, 00185 Roma, Italy
Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Metaboliche e Neuroscienze, Università di Modena, 287, Via Giuseppe Campi, 41125 Modena, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: John Coverdale
Behav. Sci. 2015, 5(3), 353-371;
Received: 5 May 2015 / Revised: 10 July 2015 / Accepted: 22 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
PDF [1649 KB, uploaded 31 July 2015]


We investigated the conceptual processing of nouns referring to objects characterized by a highly typical color and orientation. We used a go/no-go task in which we asked participants to categorize each noun as referring or not to natural entities (e.g., animals) after a selective adaptation of color-edge neurons in the posterior LV4 region of the visual cortex was induced by means of a McCollough effect procedure. This manipulation affected categorization: the green-vertical adaptation led to slower responses than the green-horizontal adaptation, regardless of the specific color and orientation of the to-be-categorized noun. This result suggests that the conceptual processing of natural entities may entail the activation of modality-specific neural channels with weights proportional to the reliability of the signals produced by these channels during actual perception. This finding is discussed with reference to the debate about the grounded cognition view. View Full-Text
Keywords: grounded cognition; conceptual processing; neural adaptation; McCollough effect grounded cognition; conceptual processing; neural adaptation; McCollough effect

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Marino, B.F.M.; Borghi, A.M.; Gemmi, L.; Cacciari, C.; Riggio, L. Neural Adaptation Effects in Conceptual Processing. Behav. Sci. 2015, 5, 353-371.

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