Neuroscientists create ‘atlas’ showing how words are organised in the brain

One person’s right cerebral hemisphere. The overlaid words, when heard in context, are predicted to evoke strong responses near the corresponding location. Green words are mostly visual and tactile, red words are mostly social. Illustration: Copyright Alexander Huth / The Regents of the University of California Scientists have created an “atlas of the brain” that reveals how the meanings of words are arranged across different regions of the organ. Like a colourful quilt laid over the cortex, the atlas displays in rainbow hues how individual words and the concepts they convey can be grouped together in clumps of white matter. “Our goal was to build a giant atlas that shows how one specific aspect of language is represented in the brain, in this case semantics, or the meanings of words,”…


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