Roberto Bottini

Roberto Bottini
Università degli Studi di Trento | UNITN · CIMEC - Center for Mind/Brain Sciences

phD

About

47
Publications
7,881
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565
Citations

Publications

Publications (47)
Article
hMT+/V5 is a region in the middle occipito-temporal cortex that responds preferentially to visual motion in sighted people. In case of early visual deprivation, hMT+/V5 enhances its response to moving sounds. Whether hMT+/V5 contains information about motion directions and whether the functional enhancement observed in the blind is motion specific,...
Article
Synesthesia represents an atypical merging of percepts, in which a given sensory experience (e.g., words, letters, music) triggers sensations in a different perceptual domain (e.g., color). According to recent estimates, the vast majority of the reported cases of synesthesia involve a visual experience. Purely non-visual synesthesia is extremely ra...
Article
Humans capitalize on statistical cues to discriminate fundamental units of information within complex streams of sensory input. We sought neural evidence for this phenomenon by combining fast periodic visual stimulation (FPVS) and EEG recordings. Skilled readers were exposed to sequences of linguistic items with decreasing familiarity, presented at...
Article
words are typically more difficult to identify than concrete words in lexical-decision, word-naming, and recall tasks. This behavioral advantage, known as the concreteness effect, is often considered as evidence for embodied semantics, which emphasizes the role of sensorimotor experience in the comprehension of word meaning. In this view, online se...
Preprint
Full-text available
How does blindness affect the brain network supporting spatial hearing? We used a combined functional and diffusion MRI approach to study the impact of early blindness on the brain networks typically coding for audio–visual motion and location. Whole-brain functional univariate analysis revealed preferential response to auditory motion in a dorsal...
Article
Full-text available
Our brain constructs reality through narrative and argumentative thought. Some hypotheses argue that these two modes of cognitive functioning are irreducible, reflecting distinct mental operations underlain by separate neural bases; Others ascribe both to a unitary neural system dedicated to long-timescale information. We addressed this question by...
Preprint
Research on the neural underpinnings of category-selective processes has recently received a boost with a highly sensitive behavior-free approach that combines Fast Periodic Visual Stimulation (FPVS) and EEG. However, while this research has focused on previously acquired categorical knowledge (e.g., known words vs. pseudowords), we employed this t...
Article
How do humans compute approximate number? According to one influential theory, approximate number representations arise in the intraparietal sulcus and are amodal, meaning that they arise independent of any sensory modality. Alternatively, approximate number may be computed initially within sensory systems. Here we tested for sensitivity to approxi...
Preprint
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How is conceptual knowledge organized and retrieved by the brain? Recent evidence points to the anterior temporal lobe (ATL) as a crucial semantic hub integrating both abstract and concrete conceptual features according to a dorsal-to-medial gradient. It is however unclear when this conceptual gradient emerges and how semantic information reaches t...
Article
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In human and non-human animals, conceptual knowledge is partially organized according to low-dimensional geometries that rely on brain structures and computations involved in spatial representations. Recently, two separate lines of research have investigated cognitive maps, that are associated with the hippocampal formation and are similar to world...
Preprint
Do supraliminal and subliminal priming capture different facets of words’ semantic representations? We used metaphorical priming between space and time as a test bed for this question. While people conceptualize time along the lateral and sagittal axes, only the latter mapping comes up in language (the future is in front of you, not to your right)....
Article
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Is vision necessary for the development of the categorical organization of the Ventral Occipito-Temporal Cortex (VOTC)? We used fMRI to characterize VOTC responses to eight categories presented acoustically in sighted and early blind individuals, and visually in a separate sighted group. We observed that VOTC reliably encodes sound categories in si...
Article
Full-text available
Is vision necessary for the development of the categorical organization of the Ventral Occipito-Temporal Cortex (VOTC)? We used fMRI to characterize VOTC responses to eight categories presented acoustically in sighted and early blind individuals, and visually in a separate sighted group. We observed that VOTC reliably encodes sound categories in si...
Article
Full-text available
Is vision necessary for the development of the categorical organization of the Ventral Occipito-Temporal Cortex (VOTC)? We used fMRI to characterize VOTC responses to eight categories presented acoustically in sighted and early blind individuals, and visually in a separate sighted group. We observed that VOTC reliably encodes sound categories in si...
Article
If conceptual retrieval is partially based on the simulation of sensorimotor experience, people with a different sensorimotor experience, such as congenitally blind people, should retrieve concepts in a different way. However, studies investigating the neural basis of several conceptual domains (e.g., actions, objects, places) showed a very limited...
Article
Full-text available
How perceptual information is encoded into language and conceptual knowledge is a debated topic in cognitive (neuro)science. We present modality norms for 643 Italian adjectives, which referred to one of the five perceptual modalities or were abstract. Overall, words were rated as mostly connected to the visual modality and least connected to the o...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Ventral Occipito-Temporal Cortex (VOTC) shows reliable category selective response to visual information. Do the development, topography and information content of this categorical organization depend on visual input or even visual experience? To further address this question, we used fMRI to characterize the brain responses to eight categories...
Preprint
How perceptual information is encoded into language and conceptual knowledge is a debated topic in cognitive (neuro)science. We present modality exclusivity norms for 643 Italian property words referring to all five perceptual modalities, plus a set of abstract words. Overall, words were rated as mostly connected to the visual modality and least co...
Article
Non-arbitrary sound-shape correspondences (SSC), such as the "bouba-kiki" effect, have been consistently observed across languages and together with other sound-symbolic phenomena challenge the classic linguistic dictum of the arbitrariness of the sign. Yet, it is unclear what makes a sound "round" or "spiky" to the human mind. Here we tested the h...
Article
Recent studies proposed that the use of internal and external coordinate systems for perception and action may be more flexible in congenitally blind when compared to sighted individuals. To investigate this hypothesis further, we asked congenitally blind and sighted people to perform, with the hands uncrossed and crossed over the body midline, a t...
Preprint
Full-text available
We investigated the experiential bases of knowledge by asking whether people that perceive the world in a different way also show a different neurobiology of concepts. We characterized the brain activity of early-blind and sighted individuals during a conceptual retrieval task in which participants rated the perceptual similarity between color and...
Preprint
Recent studies proposed that the use of internal and external coordinate systems may be more flexible in congenitally blind when compared to sighted individuals. To investigate this hypothesis further, we asked congenitally blind and sighted people to perform, with the hands uncrossed and crossed over the body midline, a tactile TOJ and an auditory...
Preprint
Full-text available
Non-arbitrary sound-shape correspondences (SSCs) have been consistently observed across languages and together with other sound-symbolic phenomena facilitate language acquisition and may be important for language evolution. Yet, it is unclear what makes a sound “round” or“spiky” to the human mind. One possibility is that we automatically map shapes...
Article
Full-text available
Across cultures and languages, people find similarities between the products of different senses in mysterious ways. By studying what is called cross-modal correspondences, cognitive psychologists discovered that lemons are fast rather than slow, boulders are sour, and red is heavier than yellow. Are these cross-modal correspondences established vi...
Preprint
Across cultures and languages people find similarities between the products of different senses in mysterious ways. By studying what is called Cross-Modal Correspondences (CMCs), cognitive psychologists discovered that lemons are fast rather than slow, boulders are sour and red is heavier than yellow. Are these CMCs established via sensory percepti...
Article
Full-text available
The occipital cortex of early blind individuals (EB) activates during speech processing, challenging the notion of a hard-wired neurobiology of language. But, at what stage of speech processing do occipital regions participate in EB? Here we demonstrate that parieto-occipital regions in EB enhance their synchronization to acoustic fluctuations in h...
Preprint
Full-text available
The occipital cortex of early blind individuals (EB) activates during speech processing, challenging the notion of a hard-wired neurobiology of language. But, at what stage of speech processing do occipital regions participate in EB?Here we demonstrate that parieto-occipital regions in EB enhance their synchronization to acoustic fluctuations in hu...
Poster
A-modal versus Cross-modal: How input modality and visual experience affect categorical representation in the ”visual” cortex
Article
Several studies suggest that serial order in working memory (WM) is grounded on space. For a list of ordered items held in WM, items at the beginning of the list are associated with the left side of space and items at the end of the list with the right side. This suggests that maintaining items in verbal working memory is performed in strong analog...
Article
Full-text available
Theories of embodied semantics (ES) suggest that a critical part of understanding what a word means consists of simulating the sensorimotor experience related to the word’s referent. Some proponents of ES have suggested that sensorimotor activations are mandatory and highly automatic during semantic processing. Evidence supporting this claim comes...
Article
Full-text available
Across many cultures people conceptualize time as extending along a horizontal Mental Time Line (MTL). This spatial mapping of time has been shown to depend on experience with written text, and may also depend on other graphic conventions such as graphs and calendars. All of this information is typically acquired visually, suggesting that visual ex...
Article
What is the relationship between spatial language and abstract concepts? When people talk about abstract things that they can never see or touch, they often use spatial metaphors (e.g., a long vacation, a high price, a close friendship). According to theories of metaphorical mental representation, linguistic metaphors reflect underlying mental meta...
Article
Full-text available
Space and time are intimately linked in the human mind, but different theories make different predictions about the nature of this relationship. Metaphor Theory (MT) predicts an asymmetric relationship between space and time. By contrast, A Theory of Magnitude (ATOM) does not predict any cross-dimensional asymmetry, since according to ATOM spatial...
Article
Full-text available
How does culture shape our concepts? Across many cultures, people conceptualize time as if it flows along a horizontal timeline, but the direction of this implicit timeline is culture specific: Later times are on the right in some cultures but on the left in others. Here we investigated whether experience reading can determine the direction and ori...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Across different domains the magnitude of a stimulus is positively correlated with its perceived duration: bigger, brighter or louder stimuli are usually perceived to last longer than smaller, dimmer or softer ones. According to A Theory of Magnitude (ATOM), temporal and nontemporal magnitudes are linked in the human mind by virtue of sharing a com...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
How are space and time represented in the human mind? Here we evaluate two theoretical proposals, one suggesting a symmetric relationship between space and time (ATOM theory) and the other an asymmetric relationship (metaphor theory). In Experiment 1, Dutch-speakers saw 7-letter nouns that named concrete objects of various spatial lengths (tr. penc...
Article
Full-text available
Why do people accommodate to each other’s linguistic behavior? Studies of natural interactions (Giles, Taylor & Bourhis, 1973) suggest that speakers accommodate to achieve interactional goals, influencing what their interlocutor thinks or feels about them. But is this the only reason speakers accommodate? In real-world conversations, interactional...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Across cultures, people conceptualize time as if it flows along a horizontal timeline, but the direction of this implicit timeline is culture-specific: in cultures with left-to-right orthography (e.g., English-speaking cultures) time appears to flow rightward, but in cultures with right-to-left orthography (e.g., Arabic-speaking cultures) time flow...

Projects

Project (1)
Project
Goal of the project is to investigate the neural basis of spatial representation in sighted and blind using univariate and multivariate approaches on fMRI data.