Trials and tribulations when attempting to decode semantic representations from MEG responses to written text

Gayane Ghazaryan*, Marijn van Vliet, Aino Saranpää, Lotta Lammi, Tiina Lindh-Knuutila, Annika Hultén, Sasa Kivisaari, Riitta Salmelin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Several studies have been published which show that it is possible to decode semantic representations directly from brain responses. This has been repeatedly successful when the stimuli used were pictures of objects. However, there is a distinct scarcity of studies decoding responses to orthographic stimuli, particularly those employing time-sensitive imaging methods. We use examples from our own research to highlight the challenges we have faced when attempting to decode semantic representations from MEG responses to written words. We discuss differences in brain responses to pictures and orthographic stimuli to determine the characteristics of the brain responses that allow for successful decoding of semantics. We suspect the limited number of published studies on this topic indicates that these challenges are not unique to our experience. By bringing attention to these issues, we hope to stimulate a new wave of discussion leading to eventual progress.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3273798.2023.2219353
Number of pages12
JournalLanguage, Cognition and Neuroscience
Early online date2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • decoding
  • language
  • magnetoencephalography
  • Semantics
  • written words

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