Two approaches to repetition suppression

Hum Brain Mapp. 2006 May;27(5):411-6. doi: 10.1002/hbm.20242.


Repetition suppression refers to the phenomenon that prior processing of stimuli (or stimulus attributes) decreases activation elicited by processing subsequent stimuli with identical attributes. We present two complementary approaches to identify regions that show repetition suppression for subsequent sentences with either identical: (1) sentence forms or (2) speakers. The first categorical approach simply compares sentences that are presented in Same and Different blocks. The second factorial approach operationally defines repetition suppression as decreased activation for the subsequent Same stimulus relative to its preceding sentence. To account for nonspecific time confounds, this approach tests for a repetition x condition (Same or Different) interaction. Surprisingly, the two approaches revealed different results: Only the categorical analysis detected sentence repetition effects in multiple regions within a bilateral frontotemporal system that has previously been implicated in sentence processing. These discrepancies might be due to the different efficiencies with which the particular contrasts were estimated or spurious differences in stimuli or attentional set that could not be entirely controlled within a single subject. Finally, we combined the two approaches in a [global null] conjunction analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Frontal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / standards
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / trends
  • Language Tests
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / standards
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / trends
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Speech Perception / physiology*
  • Temporal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology
  • Verbal Behavior / physiology