When senses meet functions: an amodal stage in conceptual processing

Keng yu Lin, Shiao hui Chan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Research has shown that concepts are associated with modality-specific features widely distributed in the brain and that semantic hubs or convergence zones may exist to mediate or integrate distributed representations. Although much neuropsychological and neuroimaging literature has provided support for the existence of hubs/convergence zones from the spatial perspective, opinions differ as to whether the representations in the hubs/convergence zones are modality-specific or amodal. The current ERP study aimed to explore whether there is an amodal stage in conceptual processing from the temporal perspective. Participants were presented with prime-target pairs and were asked to judge whether the prime (a sensory or functional feature) could be an attribute of the target (a noun in a natural or artifactual category). The results revealed that a semantic hub or convergence zone may be reached no later than 350–450 ms in conceptual processing and that the representations in the hub may be amodal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-75
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cognitive Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 2


  • Amodal processing
  • ERP
  • conceptual flexibility
  • conceptual processing
  • modality-specific feature
  • semantic category

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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