Процессы автоматической активации и торможения моторных областей коры головного мозга при восприятии речевой информации
To address the hotly debated question of motor system involvement in language comprehension, we recorded neuromagnetic responses elicited in the human brain by unattended action related spoken verbs and nouns and scrutinized their time course and neuroanatomical substrates. We found that already very early on, from ~80 ms after disambiguation point when the words could be identified from the available acoustic information, both verbs and nouns produced characteristic somatotopic activations in the motor strip, with words related to different body parts activating the corresponding body representations. Strikingly, along with this categoryspecific activation, we observed suppression of motor cortex activation by competitor words with incompatible semantics, documenting operation of the neurophysiological principles of lateral/surround inhibition in neural word processing. The extremely early onset of these activations and deactivations, their emergence in the absence of attention, and their similar presence for words of different lexical classes strongly suggest automatic involvement of motor-specific circuits in the perception of action related language.