Cognition and maps : reading and scene comprehension extensively overlap topological viusal, auditory and somatomotor maps in the human cortex

Sood, Mariam Reeny (2016) Cognition and maps : reading and scene comprehension extensively overlap topological viusal, auditory and somatomotor maps in the human cortex. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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Cortical mapping techniques using fMRI have been instrumental in identifying the boundaries of topological maps in early sensory areas. The presence of topological maps beyond early sensory areas raises the possibility that they might play a significant role in other cognitive systems, and that topological mapping might help to delineate areas involved in higher cognitive processes. This thesis investigates the three way interplay between the full extent of topologically mapped sensory-motor regions (detected using retinotopic, tonotopic and somatomotor mapping) and activation observed during two high level comprehension specific tasks in the same set of subjects across the whole cortex. In the first set of studies, I combined surface based visual, auditory, and somatomotor mapping methods with a naturalistic reading comprehension task to provide a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the cortical overlap between sensory-motor maps in all major modalities, and reading processing regions. The results suggest that cortical activation during naturalistic reading comprehension overlaps more extensively with topological sensorymotor maps than has been heretofore appreciated. To further differentiate the activations observed during the reading study, a separate fMRI study involving a purely picture-based narrative scene comprehension task was carried out on the same set of subjects. The results from the cumulative dataset suggest that the reading and scene activations are centred around the same regions in the occipito-parietal, temporal and frontal cortex. The shared activations between reading and scene also largely overlap with topological cortical maps. Additionally, there are regions overlapping with maps in occipito-parietal, temporal and frontal cortex that are distinct to either reading or scene processing. Finally, the mapping studies also identified several previously unreported maps in the cortex including a visual and a tonotopic map in the cingulate cortex, and several tonotopic maps in the frontal cortex.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
School/Department: School of Social Sciences, History & Philosophy > Psychosocial Studies
Depositing User: ORBIT Editor
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2016 11:47
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 12:47

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