Neural Substrates of Specialized Knowledge Representation: An fMRI study
2014, Vol. XIX-1, pp. 15-32
Brain-imaging techniques can be applied in specialized language research to provide insights into how specialized concepts are represented, and processed in the brain. The fMRI study described in this paper focused on general and specialized lexical units and the perception of semantic meaning by expert geologists and non-geologists. The subjects performed semantic matching tasks and made decisions in regards to general language words and specialized terms designating specialized tools and familiar household utensils. The linguistic processing of specialized terms was found to be modulated by the individual’s previous experience with the objects. These results strengthen the hypothesis that when performing a domain-specific task, experts activate different brain systems from novices. This provides data regarding which brain systems are involved in cognitive processes.