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Abstract #5362

Representation of Taxonomic and Thematic Knowledge of the Human Brain

Yangwen Xu1, Weiwei Men2, Tianyi Qian3, Thomas Beck4, Jiahong Gao2, and Yanchao Bi1

1National Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning & IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, People's Republic of China, 2Center for MRI research, Peking University, Beijing, People's Republic of China, 3MR Collaboration NE Asia, Siemens Healthcare, Beijing, People's Republic of China, 4Siemens Healthcare, Erlangen, Germany

Decades of studies have identified a list of brain areas specific to a certain taxonomic category. However, neural representations incorporating both taxonomic and thematic knowledge are not well understood. In this study, we applied representational similarity analyses to investigate the underlying organizing principles of high-resolution neural activation patterns induced by different categories and themes at different cortical levels. In contrast to taxonomic representation, we did not find specific neural substrates representing thematic knowledge. Instead, neural activation patterns specific to thematic information emerged only when taxonomic differences were controlled for. These results suggest that the brain is dominated by taxonomic knowledge and then modified by thematic knowledge.

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