Beta oscillations relate to the N400m during language comprehension
Article first published online: 4 APR 2012
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Human Brain Mapping
Volume 33, Issue 12, pages 2898–2912, December 2012
How to Cite
Wang, L., Jensen, O., van den Brink, D., Weder, N., Schoffelen, J.-M., Magyari, L., Hagoort, P. and Bastiaansen, M. (2012), Beta oscillations relate to the N400m during language comprehension. Hum. Brain Mapp., 33: 2898–2912. doi: 10.1002/hbm.21410
- Issue published online: 7 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 4 APR 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 21 JUN 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 JUN 2011
- Manuscript Received: 17 SEP 2010
- language comprehension;
- semantic violation;
- beta oscillations
The relationship between the evoked responses (ERPs/ERFs) and the event-related changes in EEG/MEG power that can be observed during sentence-level language comprehension is as yet unclear. This study addresses a possible relationship between MEG power changes and the N400m component of the event-related field. Whole-head MEG was recorded while subjects listened to spoken sentences with incongruent (IC) or congruent (C) sentence endings. A clear N400m was observed over the left hemisphere, and was larger for the IC sentences than for the C sentences. A time–frequency analysis of power revealed a decrease in alpha and beta power over the left hemisphere in roughly the same time range as the N400m for the IC relative to the C condition. A linear regression analysis revealed a positive linear relationship between N400m and beta power for the IC condition, not for the C condition. No such linear relation was found between N400m and alpha power for either condition. The sources of the beta decrease were estimated in the LIFG, a region known to be involved in semantic unification operations. One source of the N400m was estimated in the left superior temporal region, which has been related to lexical retrieval. We interpret our data within a framework in which beta oscillations are inversely related to the engagement of task-relevant brain networks. The source reconstructions of the beta power suppression and the N400m effect support the notion of a dynamic communication between the LIFG and the left superior temporal region during language comprehension. Hum Brain Mapp, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.