Food constitutes a fuel of life for human beings. It is therefore of chief importance that their recognition system readily identifies the most relevant properties of food by drawing on semantic memory. One of the most relevant properties to be considered is the level of processing impressed by humans on food. We hypothesized that recognition of raw food capitalizes on sensory properties and that of transformed food on functional properties, consistently with the hypothesis of a sensory-functional organization of semantic knowledge. To test this hypothesis, patients with Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, primary progressive aphasia, and healthy controls performed lexical-semantic tasks with food (raw and transformed) and non-food (living and nonliving) stimuli. Correlations between task performance and local grey matter concentration (VBM) and white matter fractional anisotropy (TBSS) led to two main findings. First, recognition of raw food and living things implicated occipital cortices, typically involved in processing sensory information and, second, recognition of processed food and nonliving things implicated the middle temporal gyrus and surrounding white matter tracts, regions that have been associated with functional properties. In conclusion, the present study confirms and extends the hypothesis of a sensory and a functional organization of semantic knowledge.

Food knowledge depends upon the integrity of both sensory and functional properties: a VBM, TBSS and DTI tractography study

Mazzon G.;Manganotti P.;
2019-01-01

Abstract

Food constitutes a fuel of life for human beings. It is therefore of chief importance that their recognition system readily identifies the most relevant properties of food by drawing on semantic memory. One of the most relevant properties to be considered is the level of processing impressed by humans on food. We hypothesized that recognition of raw food capitalizes on sensory properties and that of transformed food on functional properties, consistently with the hypothesis of a sensory-functional organization of semantic knowledge. To test this hypothesis, patients with Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, primary progressive aphasia, and healthy controls performed lexical-semantic tasks with food (raw and transformed) and non-food (living and nonliving) stimuli. Correlations between task performance and local grey matter concentration (VBM) and white matter fractional anisotropy (TBSS) led to two main findings. First, recognition of raw food and living things implicated occipital cortices, typically involved in processing sensory information and, second, recognition of processed food and nonliving things implicated the middle temporal gyrus and surrounding white matter tracts, regions that have been associated with functional properties. In conclusion, the present study confirms and extends the hypothesis of a sensory and a functional organization of semantic knowledge.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2950815
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