Left anterior temporal lobe and bilateral anterior cingulate cortex are semantic hub regions: Evidence from behavior-nodal degree mapping in brain-damaged patients

Ying Zhao, Luping Song, Junhua Ding, Nan Lin, Qiang Wang, Xiaoxia Du, Rong Sun, Zaizhu Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The organizational principles of semantic memory in the human brain are still controversial. Although studies have shown that the semantic system contains hub regions that bind information from different sensorimotoric modalities to form concepts, it is unknown whether there are hub regions other than the anterior temporal lobe (ATL). Meanwhile, previous studies have rarely used network measurements to explore the hubs or correlated network indexes with semantic performance, although the most direct supportive evidence of hubs should come from the network perspective. To fill this gap, we correlated the brain-network index with semantic performance in 86 brain-damaged patients.Weespecially selected the nodal degree measure that reflects how well a node is connected in the network. The measure was calculated as the total number of connections of a given node with other nodes in the resting-state functionalMRInetwork. Semantic ability was measured using the performance of both general and modality-specific (object form, color, motion, sound, manipulation, and function) semantic tasks. We found that the left ATL and the bilateral anterior cingulate cortex could be semantic hubs because the reduced nodal degree values of these regions could effectively predict the deficits in both general and modality-specific semantic performance. Moreover, the effects remained when the analyses were performed only in the patients who did not have lesions in these regions. The two hub regions might support semantic representations and executive control processes, respectively. These data provide empirical evidence for the distributed-plus-hub theory of semantic memory from the network perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-151
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • Brain-damaged patient
  • Graph-theoretical network analysis
  • Lesion– behavior correlation
  • Semantic hub
  • Semantic network

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