An fMRI study of stimulus equivalence

DW Dickins*, KD Singh, N Roberts, P Burns, JJ Downes, P Jimmieson, RP Bentall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In order to study brain activation during the formation of equivalence relations, 12 subjects underwent fMRI during matching-to-sample (MTS) tests of (1) previously trained arbitrary relationships between iconic stimuli and the untrained, emergent relations of (2) symmetry, (3) transitivity, and (4) symmetry with transitivity, plus a test of verbal fluency (VF); Brain activation was similar in all MTS tasks and in the VF task. In particular, both types of task activated dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and posterior parietal cortex bilaterally. However VF, but not the MTS tasks, activated Broca's area. In three of the four MTS tasks, behavioural accuracy was significantly correlated with left lateralisation:of DLPFC activity. Brain activation patterns during equivalence thus resembled those involved in semantic processing underlying language, without involving regions concerned with the simple sub-vocal articulation of stimulus names. NeuroReport 12:405-411 (C) 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-411
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2001

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Broca's area
  • dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • emergent relations
  • equivalence relations
  • fMRI
  • matching-to-sample
  • symmetry
  • transitivity
  • verbal fluency


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