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Poster C51, Thursday, November 9, 10:00 – 11:15 am, Harborview and Loch Raven Ballrooms

Developmental changes during semantic judgments to Chinese characters: A Longitudinal Study of Effective Connectivity

Li-Ying Fan1,2,3, Tai-Li Chou3,4,5;1School of Linguistic Sciences and Arts, Jiangsu Normal University, China, 2Collaborative Innovation Center for Language Ability, Jiangsu Normal University, China, 3Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taiwan, 4Neurobiology and Cognitive Science Center, National Taiwan University, Taiwan, 5Graduate Institute of Brain and Mind Sciences, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Previous cross-sectional studies have investigated neural correlates of semantic processing. However, it is little known whether the patterns of effective connectivity with semantic processing change developmentally in a longitudinal study. Thirty-five typically developing children (7- to 14-year-olds) were recruited in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study to examine the developmental changes of semantic processing over a two-year interval. Character pairs were arranged in a continuous variable according to association strength (i.e. strong versus weak), and participants were asked to indicate if character pairs were related in meaning during semantic judgments. Dynamic causal modelling (DCM) was used to investigate the effective connectivity over time. We set up a model with four cortical regions (left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), left middle temporal gyrus (MTG), left inferior parietal lobule (IPL), and left fusiform gyrus (FG)) to evaluate dynamic interaction during semantic judgments. Our connectivity results showed that greater developmental changes (from time 1 to time 2) of the bottom-up effects from FG to other regions (IFG, MTG, and IPL) were stronger than other effects for strong association pairs. Taken together, the connectivity findings suggest developmental changes in bottom-up influences with a direct mapping from orthography to semantics, including access to semantic representations as well as links to working memory and cognitive control for processing Chinese characters.

Topic Area: Meaning: Lexical Semantics

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