ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2012, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (10): 1551-1559.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2012.01551

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Neural Mechanism of Resolving Lexical Ambiguity

HUANG Fu-Rong;ZHOU Zhi-Jin   

  1. (Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior (CCNU), Ministry of Education; Key Laboratory of Human Development and Mental Health of Hubei Province; School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China)
  • Received:2012-01-16 Online:2012-10-15 Published:2012-10-23
  • Contact: ZHOU Zhi-Jin

Abstract: One important issue on language is how the brain processes and represents lexical semantics. Previous studies with various paradigms reveal that sentential information can be used to suppress contextually inappropriate meanings in the LH but not in the RH. However, recent studies find RH not only activate a broader semantic field, but also use contextual information to resolute lexical ambiguity. Neuroimaging studies indicate that lexical ambiguous words are mediated by strong brain activations in the left-dominant network of fronto-temporal brain regions. The IFG plays an important role in selecting an appropriate meaning and inhibiting inappropriate meaning from multiple alternatives.

Key words: lexical ambiguity resolution, semantic selection, semantic integration