Narrative comprehension beyond language: Common brain networks activated by a movie and its script

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Researchers

  • Pia Tikka
  • Janne Kauttonen
  • Yevhen Hlushchuk

Research units

  • Tallinn University
  • Laurea University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Helsinki

Abstract

Narratives surround us in our everyday life in different forms. In the sensory brain areas, the processing of narratives is dependent on the media of presentation, be that in audiovisual or written form. However, little is known of the brain areas that process complex narrative content mediated by various forms. To isolate these regions, we looked for the functional networks reacting in a similar manner to the same narrative content despite different media of presentation. We collected 3-T fMRI whole brain data from 31 healthy human adults during two separate runs when they were either viewing a movie or reading its screenplay text. The independent component analysis (ICA) was used to separate 40 components. By correlating the components’ time-courses between the two different media conditions, we could isolate 5 functional networks that particularly related to the same narrative content. These TOP-5 components with the highest correlation covered fronto-temporal, parietal, and occipital areas with no major involvement of primary visual or auditory cortices. Interestingly, the top-ranked network with highest modality-invariance also correlated negatively with the dialogue predictor, thus pinpointing that narrative comprehension entails processes that are not language-reliant. In summary, our novel experiment design provided new insight into narrative comprehension networks across modalities.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0200134
JournalPloS one
Volume13
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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