Contextual acquisition of concrete and abstract words: Behavioural and electrophysiological evidence

Researchers from the Laboratory of Behavioural Neurodynamics at St Petersburg University have studied neural mechanisms of contextual acquisition of concrete and abstract words using high-density electroencephalography.

Abstract and concrete words differ in their cognitive and neuronal underpinnings, but the exact mechanisms underlying these distinctions are unclear. The authors investigated differences between these two semantic types by analysing brain responses to newly learnt words with fully controlled psycholinguistic properties. Experimental participants learned 20 novel abstract and concrete words in the context of short stories. After the learning session, event-related potentials (ERPs) to newly learned items were recorded, and acquisition outcomes were assessed behaviourally in a range of lexical and semantic tasks. 

The research outcomes have been published in the journal Brain Sciences.

Close Menu