Lost for emotion words: What motor and limbic brain activity reveals about autism and semantic theory.
Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) are characterised by deficits in understanding and expressing emotions and are frequently accompanied by alexithymia, a difficulty in understanding and expressing emotion words. Words are differentially represented in the brain according to their semantic category and these difficulties in ASC predict reduced activation to emotion-related words in limbic structures crucial for affective processing. Semantic theories view 'emotion actions' as critical for learning the semantic relationship between a word and the emotion it describes, such that emotion words typically activate the cortical motor systems involved in expressing emotion actions such as facial expressions. As ASC are also characterised by motor deficits and atypical brain structure and function in these regions, motor structures would also be expected to show reduced activation during emotion-semantic processing. Here we used event-related fMRI to compare passive processing of emotion words in comparison to abstract verbs and animal names in typically-developing controls and individuals with ASC. Relatively reduced brain activation in ASC for emotion words, but not matched control words, was found in motor areas and cingulate cortex specifically. The degree of activation evoked by emotion words in the motor system was also associated with the extent of autistic traits as revealed by the Autism Spectrum Quotient. We suggest that hypoactivation of motor and limbic regions for emotion-word processing may underlie difficulties in processing emotional language in ASC. The role that sensorimotor systems and their connections might play in the affective and social-communication difficulties in ASC is discussed.
The article discusses one argument in favor of descriptive theory of reference of proper names against the theory of direct reference which appeals to a famous example of the ship of Theseus. The author defends the latter theory by means of distinguishing the object of direct reference and its principles of individuation. The argument is discussed with reference to the works of H. Chandler, L. Linsky, S. Kripke, N. Salmon and other theorists.
This is an interdisciplinary volume that focuses on the central topic of the representation of events, namely cross-cultural differences in representing time and space, as well as various aspects of the conceptualisation of space and time. It brings together research on space and time from a variety of angles, both theoretical and methodological. Crossing boundaries between and among disciplines such as linguistics, psychology, philosophy, or anthropology forms a creative platform in a bold attempt to reveal the complex interaction of language, culture, and cognition in the context of human communication and interaction.
The authors address the nature of spatial and temporal constructs from a number of perspectives, such as cultural specificity in determining time intervals in an Amazonian culture, distinct temporalities in a specific Mongolian hunter community, Russian-specific conceptualisation of temporal relations, Seri and Yucatec frames of spatial reference, memory of events in space and time, and metaphorical meaning stemming from perception and spatial artefacts, to name but a few themes.
The article deals, in a typological perspective, with verbs describing sounds of inanimate objects (cf. the noise of a door being opened, of coins in somebody’s pocket, of a river, etc.). The analysis is based on the data from four languages (Russian, German, Komi-Zyrjan, Khanty), which were obtained from dictionaries, corpora and field investigation. We discuss, first, the primary meanings of these verbs and identify the parameters that underlie semantic distinctions between them (type of sound source and its features, type of situation causing the emission of a sound, acoustic properties of sounds). Then we consider the derived meanings of sound verbs, which are developed through metonymic and metaphoric shifts and analyze the mechanisms behind each of these shifts. Finally, we examine a type of semantic change in our data which cannot be explained in terms of either of those mechanisms and hence represents a separate kind of meaning shift.
The volume is a collection of papers devoted to the expression of motion concepts in various languages which were written by The authors of the volume include researchers in linguistics, computer science, psychology and cognitive science.
Meaningful life is emotionally marked off. That’s the general point that Johansen (IPBS: Integrative Psychological & Behavioral Science 44, 2010) makes which is of great importance. Fictional abstractions use to make the point even more salient. As an example I’ve examined Borges’ famous fiction story. Along with the examples of Johansen it provides an informative case of exploring symbolic mechanisms which bind meaning with emotions. This particular mode of analysis draws forth poetry and literature in general to be treated as a “meaningful life laboratory”. Ways of explanation of emotional effect the art exercises on people, which had been disclosed within this laboratory, however, constitute a significant distinction in terms that I have designated as “referential” and “substantive”. The former appeals to something that has already been charged with emotional power, whereas the latter comes to effect by means of special symbolic mechanisms creating the emotional experience within the situation. Johansen, who tends to explain emotions exerted by the art without leaving the semiotic perspective, is drawn towards the “referential” type of explanation. Based upon discussions in theory of metaphor and Robert Witkin’s sociological theory of arts it is demonstrated an insufficient of “referential” explanation. To overcome a monopoly of “referential” explanation of emotional engagement, in particular, in literature, means to break away from the way of reasoning, stating endless references to “something else”, presupposing the existence of something already significant and therefore sharing its effects.
In this article we present the results of research into discourse features characterising a lexico-semantic group of synonyms denoting a human being: human being, person, individual, personality and man. The main tool for analysis was language corpora, which made it possible not only to determine more precisely the functional styles the lexemes tend to be used in, but also to describe thematic characteristics of the texts in which the analysed lexical units show the highest frequency of use
Students' internet usage attracts the attention of many researchers in different countries. Differences in internet penetration in diverse countries lead us to ask about the interaction of medium and culture in this process. In this paper we present an analysis based on a sample of 825 students from 18 Russian universities and discuss findings on particularities of students' ICT usage. On the background of the findings of the study, based on data collected in 2008-2009 year during a project "A сross-cultural study of the new learning culture formation in Germany and Russia", we discuss the problem of plagiarism in Russia, the availability of ICT features in Russian universities and an evaluation of the attractiveness of different categories of ICT usage and gender specifics in the use of ICT.
The distractive effects on attentional task performance in different paradigms are analyzed in this paper. I demonstrate how distractors may negatively affect (interference effect), positively (redundancy effect) or neutrally (null effect). Distractor effects described in literature are classified in accordance with their hypothetical source. The general rule of the theory is also introduced. It contains the formal prediction of the particular distractor effect, based on entropy and redundancy measures from the mathematical theory of communication (Shannon, 1948). Single- vs dual-process frameworks are considered for hypothetical mechanisms which underpin the distractor effects. Distractor profiles (DPs) are also introduced for the formalization and simple visualization of experimental data concerning the distractor effects. Typical shapes of DPs and their interpretations are discussed with examples from three frequently cited experiments. Finally, the paper introduces hierarchical hypothesis that states the level-fashion modulating interrelations between distractor effects of different classes.
The results of cross-cultural research of implicit theories of innovativeness among students and teachers, representatives of three ethnocultural groups: Russians, the people of the North Caucasus (Chechens and Ingushs) and Tuvinians (N=804) are presented. Intergroup differences in implicit theories of innovativeness are revealed: the ‘individual’ theories of innovativeness prevail among Russians and among the students, the ‘social’ theories of innovativeness are more expressed among respondents from the North Caucasus, Tuva and among the teachers. Using the structural equations modeling the universal model of values impact on implicit theories of innovativeness and attitudes towards innovations is constructed. Values of the Openness to changes and individual theories of innovativeness promote the positive relation to innovations. Results of research have shown that implicit theories of innovativeness differ in different cultures, and values make different impact on the attitudes towards innovations and innovative experience in different cultures.