University of Twente Student Theses


‘Drifting Away’ or ‘Drifting a Car’ : the categorization of semantic concepts across languages

Reiter, L.C. (2021) ‘Drifting Away’ or ‘Drifting a Car’ : the categorization of semantic concepts across languages.

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Abstract:Despite the longstanding interest in the topic of conceptual knowledge, it has not been settled how concepts are processed and how this knowledge is represented within the brain. A recent fMRI study by Huth et al. (2016) was able to shed more light on this. They identified eleven concept categories and were able to create a 'semantic atlas' of the cerebral cortex. However, it was questioned whether this representation aligns with the active categorization of words and whether this can be applied to other languages. A card sorting study was conducted and a questionnaire administered investigating six categories from the semantic atlas. To assess whether the translation of the semantic concepts from English to German has an influence, a between-subjects design was applied. Twenty-two participants conducted the card sorting and questionnaire with the original English words, while 19 participants received translations. The findings revealed that the categories could only be partially recreated. Therefore, the representation of concepts could not fully account for the use of conceptual knowledge. The categorization differed to an extent between the languages. However, these differences did not lead to significant differences regarding the correspondence to the categories from the semantic atlas.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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