Are Action Concept Deficits Embodied in a Topographic Manner in Adults with Cerebral Palsy?

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  • In Cerebral Palsy (CP) children commonly experience semantic deficits. The cause of semantic deficits, and persistence into adulthood, are unknown. The social network hypothesis states decreased frequency of language use in CP individuals leads to impoverished lexico-semantic representations. The embodied cognition hypothesis emphasizes the role of the motor system in processing action concepts. In this study, participants first completed a sentence-reading task while their event related potentials (ERPs) to semantically incongruent sentences were collected. No evidence was found that CP individuals process domain-general semantic incongruence differently to neurotypicals. Participants then made action decisions on lower-limb (kick), and psychological verbs (believe) in an identity-priming paradigm. The ERP component of interest was the N400. There was no evidence to suggest CP individuals have action verb impairments. If the motor system contributes but is not necessary for action semantics, then participants may present no deficits when compared to neurotypicals as shown here.

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  • Copyright © 2019 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
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  • 2019


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