Faculté des Sciences appliquées
Faculté des Sciences appliquées

Modeling and dynamical analysis of cortical network activity in semantic priming

Dejace, Caroline ULiège
Promotor(s) : Sacré, Pierre ULiège
Date of defense : 4-Sep-2023/5-Sep-2023 • Permalink :
Title : Modeling and dynamical analysis of cortical network activity in semantic priming
Translated title : [fr] Modélisation et analyse dynamique de l'activité d'un réseau cortical dans l'amorçage sémantique
Author : Dejace, Caroline ULiège
Date of defense  : 4-Sep-2023/5-Sep-2023
Advisor(s) : Sacré, Pierre ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Drion, Guillaume ULiège
Majerus, Steve ULiège
Franci, Alessio 
Language : English
Number of pages : 154
Keywords : [en] semantic priming
[en] network model
[en] rate model
[en] phase portrait
[en] bifurcations
[en] psychology experiments
Discipline(s) : Engineering, computing & technology > Electrical & electronics engineering
Engineering, computing & technology > Computer science
Engineering, computing & technology > Multidisciplinary, general & others
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology > Neurosciences & behavior
Research unit : PsyNCog
Target public : Researchers
Professionals of domain
General public
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Master en ingénieur civil biomédical, à finalité spécialisée
Faculty: Master thesis of the Faculté des Sciences appliquées


[en] The semantic priming paradigm, involved in language comprehension, refers to the facilitated processing and retrieval of a word (known as target) following the previous processing of another semantically related word (known as prime). Literature on semantic priming reveals a vivid debate about the nature of priming: it can be associative (e.g. afraid-scared), semantic, that is “true relations of meanings”, (e.g. sheep-goat) or a combination of both (e.g. cat-dog). This debate impacts then how the semantic memory, coding words’ meaning, is modeled and how the priming is thought to occur.

Brunel and Lavigne (2009) designed a network model that studies semantic priming as a function of a set of parameters. In addition, they used an input-output relationship that is mathematically good-looking but rather difficult to manipulate numerically. This master thesis thus focuses on assessing whether using a more standard and a more numerically stable input-output relationship, such as a sigmoid function, would give a qualitatively similar dynamic behavior to the original model. Furthermore, the thesis investigates the parameter sensitivity. To these ends, the network model is simplified into a one-dimensional model and the dynamic behavior is investigated for both input-output relationships. The modified model is then tested with experimental-like stimuli to mimic real psychology experiments and to understand semantic memory functioning.

Dynamical analysis performed on the derived one-dimensional model reveals that the dynamic behavior remains qualitatively the same when using one or the other input-output
relationship. Results also suggest parameter sensitivity of the original model. The modified model with experimental-like stimuli suggests that the semantic memory system should be in a bistable regime to observe semantic priming. Activation of a word in semantic memory depends then on the amplitude and the duration of the stimulus. Extension to higher-order dimensions is also discussed.



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  • Dejace, Caroline ULiège Université de Liège > Master ing. civ. biomed., à fin.


Committee's member(s)

  • Drion, Guillaume ULiège Université de Liège - ULiège > Dép. d'électric., électron. et informat. (Inst.Montefiore) > Systèmes et modélisation
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
  • Majerus, Steve ULiège Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de Psychologie > Mémoire et langage
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
  • Franci, Alessio
  • Total number of views 54
  • Total number of downloads 68

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