Skip to main content


Neural basis of conceptual semantic representations

Trainee Achievements

Neural basis of conceptual semantic representations

Due to her interdisciplinary IGERT training, trainee Bonnie Breining is able to integrate a variety of research methods in order to investigate theoretically motivated, linguistically and psychologically informed questions using neuroimaging and behavioral data from clinical populations. Currently, she is investigating the relationship between behavioral performance on a variety of tasks tapping semantic knowledge and areas of atrophy in the brains of individuals with primary progressive aphasia, a neurodegenerative condition impacting language production and comprehension. The goal of this research is to better understand the neural basis of conceptual semantic representations. Preliminary results suggest that the anterior temporal lobe is critical for understanding object concepts but not for understanding action concepts, providing only partial support for one hypothesis suggesting that this area acts as a central hub for semantic representations.