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      Effect of Action Verbs on the Performance of a Complex Movement

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          The interaction between language and motor action has been approached by studying the effect of action verbs, kinaesthetic imagery and mental subtraction upon the performance of a complex movement, the squat vertical jump (SVJ). The time of flight gave the value of the height of the SVJ and was measured with an Optojump® and a Myotest® apparatuses. The results obtained by the effects of the cognitive stimuli showed a statistically significant improvement of the SVJ performance after either loudly or silently pronouncing, hearing or reading the verb saute ( jump in French language). Action verbs specific for other motor actions ( pince =  pinch, lèche =  lick) or non-specific ( bouge =  move) showed no or little effect. A meaningless verb for the French subjects ( tiáo =  jump in Chinese) showed no effect as did rêve ( dream), tombe ( fall) and stop. The verb gagne ( win) improved significantly the SVJ height, as did its antonym perds ( lose) suggesting a possible influence of affects in the subjects’ performance. The effect of the specific action verb jump upon the heights of SVJ was similar to that obtained after kinaesthetic imagery and after mental subtraction of two digits numbers from three digits ones; possibly, in the latter, because of the intervention of language in calculus. It appears that the effects of the specific action verb jump did seem effective but not totally exclusive for the enhancement of the SVJ performance. The results imply an interaction among language and motor brain areas in the performance of a complex movement resulting in a clear specificity of the corresponding action verb. The effect upon performance may probably be influenced by the subjects’ intention, increased attention and emotion produced by cognitive stimuli among which action verbs.

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          Worldwide human relationships inferred from genome-wide patterns of variation.

          Human genetic diversity is shaped by both demographic and biological factors and has fundamental implications for understanding the genetic basis of diseases. We studied 938 unrelated individuals from 51 populations of the Human Genome Diversity Panel at 650,000 common single-nucleotide polymorphism loci. Individual ancestry and population substructure were detectable with very high resolution. The relationship between haplotype heterozygosity and geography was consistent with the hypothesis of a serial founder effect with a single origin in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, we observed a pattern of ancestral allele frequency distributions that reflects variation in population dynamics among geographic regions. This data set allows the most comprehensive characterization to date of human genetic variation.
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            The Brain's concepts: the role of the Sensory-motor system in conceptual knowledge.

            Concepts are the elementary units of reason and linguistic meaning. They are conventional and relatively stable. As such, they must somehow be the result of neural activity in the brain. The questions are: Where? and How? A common philosophical position is that all concepts-even concepts about action and perception-are symbolic and abstract, and therefore must be implemented outside the brain's sensory-motor system. We will argue against this position using (1) neuroscientific evidence; (2) results from neural computation; and (3) results about the nature of concepts from cognitive linguistics. We will propose that the sensory-motor system has the right kind of structure to characterise both sensory-motor and more abstract concepts. Central to this picture are the neural theory of language and the theory of cogs, according to which, brain structures in the sensory-motor regions are exploited to characterise the so-called "abstract" concepts that constitute the meanings of grammatical constructions and general inference patterns.
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              Somatotopic representation of action words in human motor and premotor cortex.

              Since the early days of research into language and the brain, word meaning was assumed to be processed in specific brain regions, which most modern neuroscientists localize to the left temporal lobe. Here we use event-related fMRI to show that action words referring to face, arm, or leg actions (e.g., to lick, pick, or kick), when presented in a passive reading task, differentially activated areas along the motor strip that either were directly adjacent to or overlapped with areas activated by actual movement of the tongue, fingers, or feet. These results demonstrate that the referential meaning of action words has a correlate in the somatotopic activation of motor and premotor cortex. This rules out a unified "meaning center" in the human brain and supports a dynamic view according to which words are processed by distributed neuronal assemblies with cortical topographies that reflect word semantics.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                3 July 2013
                : 8
                : 7
                [1 ]Centre de Recherche et d’Innovation sur le Sport (CRIS, EA 647), Université de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Villeurbanne, France
                [2 ]Département de Physiothérapie, Faculté de Santé Publique-I, Université Libanaise Rafic Hariri, Hadath-Beyrouth, Lebanon
                [3 ]Unité de Recherche, Institut Supérieur d’Ostéopathie (ISOSTEO), Limonest-Lyon, France
                French National Centre for Scientific Research, France
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: TR PF ARS RM. Performed the experiments: TR CC RM. Analyzed the data: TR PF RM. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: CC RM. Wrote the paper: TR PF RM.


                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Pages: 9
                These authors have no support or funding to report.
                Research Article
                Behavioral Neuroscience
                Cognitive Neuroscience
                Motor Systems
                Mental Health
                Verbal Behavior
                Social and Behavioral Sciences
                Cultural Anthropology
                Natural Language
                Natural Language
                Natural Language
                Verbal Behavior



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