Neurolinguistic Processing of Psychological Verbs


Psychological verbs are used to communicate how we feel by describing mental states such as ‘love,’ ‘amuse,’ and ‘bother.’ These verbs denote a particular class of concepts and have been found across many languages to have unique syntactic and semantic properties that offer a window in to how meaning is grammatically encoded. Aphasiology, electrophysiology, and neuroimaging studies have leveraged the unique conceptual and grammatical properties of these verbs to shed light on neural mechanisms involved in representing concepts, identifying argument roles, and building complex compositional meanings. A recurring theme across this diverse field is the challenge of linking the representational properties of these verbs, which remain debated in linguistics, with specific neurobiological mechanisms.

The International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Second Edition