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Neural Pattern Similarity in the Left IFG and Fusiform Is Associated with Novel Word Learning.


Previous studies have revealed that greater neural pattern similarity across repetitions is associated with better subsequent memory. In this study, we used an artificial language training paradigm and representational similarity analysis to examine whether neural pattern similarity across repetitions before training was associated with post-training behavioral performance. Twenty-four native Chinese speakers were trained to learn a logographic artificial language for 12 days and behavioral performance was recorded using the word naming and picture naming tasks. Participants were scanned while performing a passive viewing task before training, after 4-day training and after 12-day training. Results showed that pattern similarity in the left pars opercularis (PO) and fusiform gyrus (FG) before training was negatively associated with reaction time (RT) in both word naming and picture naming tasks after training. These results suggest that neural pattern similarity is an effective neurofunctional predictor of novel word learning in addition to word memory.

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