Neuron. 2003 May 8;38(3):487-97

Spatiotemporal dynamics of modality-specific and supramodal word processing

Marinkovic K, Dhond RP, Dale AM, Glessner M, Carr V, Halgren E.


The ability of written and spoken words to access the same semantic meaning provides a test case for the multimodal convergence of information from sensory to associative areas. Using anatomically constrained magnetoencephalography (aMEG), the present study investigated the stages of word comprehension in real time in the auditory and visual modalities, as subjects participated in a semantic judgment task. Activity spread from the primary sensory areas along the respective ventral processing streams and converged in anterior temporal and inferior prefrontal regions, primarily on the left at around 400 ms. Comparison of response patterns during repetition priming between the two modalities suggest that they are initiated by modality-specific memory systems, but that they are eventually elaborated mainly in supramodal areas.

PMID: 12741994