Different roles of lateral anterior temporal lobe and inferior parietal lobule in coding function and manipulation tool knowledge: Evidence from an rTMS study

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A remarkable cognitive ability in humans is the competency to use a wide variety of different tools. Two cortical regions, the anterior temporal lobes (ATL) and left inferior parietal lobule (IPL), have been proposed to make differential contributions to two kinds of knowledge about tools - function vs. manipulation. We used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and two semantic decision tasks to assess the role of these regions in healthy participants. Participants made semantic decisions about the function (what for) or manipulation (how) of tools used in daily life. The stimulation of ATL resulted in longer responses for the " function" judgments, whilst stimulation of IPL yielded longer responses for the " manipulation" judgments. In line with the neuropsychological literature, these results are discussed within hub-and-spoke framework of semantic memory. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1128-1135
Number of pages7
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011