Dissecting the dynamics between frontotemporal language network and sensory cortices in perceiving, recognising and using objects


  • Dr Rocco Chiou

    University of Manchester

Project summary

There is a transitional process that converts sensory-motoric experiences, such as contracting leg muscles, to conceptual knowledge - understanding the difference between jumping, running and kicking. For centuries, social scientists have been studying human cognition using psychometric measures. The advent of neuroimaging and neurostimulation significantly broadens our understanding about conceptual knowledge and how it is implemented in the brain.
I aim to unravel the mechanisms in the brain that enable humans to conceptualise the world. This research will straddle biomedical science (neuroimaging, neuroanatomy) and social science (cognitive psychology, linguistics). This multidisciplinary approach is crucial. Approaching from a combined brain-behaviour angle, I will fuse neuroscientific investigation with cognitive-psychological models to generate a a theory that links cognition – all semantically-driven verbal /non-verbal behaviour – to the brain as multiple functionally independent neural modules or an integrated network. I will be investigating the principal cognitive dimensions that the brain adopts to categorise objects and where they are implemented neurally; the circumstances in which conceptual knowledge guides perception and where this occurs; and how the brain formulates knowledge about abstract entities and how it differs from knowledge about perceptible concrete objects.