Language, perception, and the schematic representation of spatial relations
Brain and Language
Hemispheric specialization, Lesion studies, Semantics, Spatial cognition
Schemas are abstract nonverbal representations that parsimoniously depict spatial relations. Despite their ubiquitous use in maps and diagrams, little is known about their neural instantiation. We sought to determine the extent to which schematic representations are neurally distinguished from language on the one hand, and from rich perceptual representations on the other. In patients with either left hemisphere damage or right hemisphere damage, a battery of matching tasks depicting categorical spatial relations was used to probe for the comprehension of basic spatial concepts across distinct representational formats (words, pictures, and schemas). Left hemisphere patients underperformed right hemisphere patients across all tasks. However, focused residual analyses using voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping (VLSM) suggest that (1) left hemisphere deficits in the representation of categorical spatial relations are difficult to distinguish from deficits in naming these relations and (2) the right hemisphere plays a special role in extracting schematic representations from richly textured pictures. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
Amorapanth, P., Kranjec, A., Bromberger, B., Lehet, M., Widick, P., Woods, A., Kimberg, D., & Chatterjee, A. (2012). Language, perception, and the schematic representation of spatial relations. Brain and Language, 120 (3), 226-236. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2011.09.007