Developmental changes of association strength and categorical relatedness on semantic processing in the brain
- PMID: 30593860[PubMed].
Semantic knowledge has thematic relations of contiguity based on association and taxonomic relations of similarity based on shared features to form categories. It is unknown if there are distinct brain networks between thematic and taxonomic organizations in children and if this distinction is related to changes in specialized brain regions with age and/or skill. We orthogonally manipulated association strength (strong, weak) and categorical relatedness (high, low) to examine 10- to 14-year-old children over a two-year interval. Moreover, we examined whether initial behavioral performance predicted brain activation changes. Weak versus strong association strength produced greater activation over time in left middle temporal gyrus and inferior frontal gyrus, and initial accuracy predicted activation changes in the latter. Moreover, high versus low categorical relatedness produced greater activation over time in left occipito-temporal cortex and precuneus, and initial accuracy predicted activation changes in the latter. These developmental findings suggest different organization for thematic and taxonomic relations.