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Brain and Language

Srinivas Chivukula, Brian K Pikul, Keith L Black, Nader Pouratian, Susan Y Bookheimer
We evaluated plasticity in speech supplemental motor area (SMA) tissue in two patients using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), following resection of tumors in or associated with the dominant hemisphere speech SMA. Patient A underwent resection of a anaplastic astrocytoma NOS associated with the left speech SMA, experienced SMA syndrome related mutism postoperatively, but experienced full recovery 14 months later. FMRI performed 32 months after surgery demonstrated a migration of speech SMA to homologous contralateral hemispheric regional tissue...
May 18, 2018: Brain and Language
Jolijn Vanderauwera, Astrid De Vos, Stephanie J Forkel, Marco Catani, Jan Wouters, Maaike Vandermosten, Pol Ghesquière
Insight in the developmental trajectory of the neuroanatomical reading correlates is important to understand related cognitive processes and disorders. In adults, a dual pathway model has been suggested encompassing a dorsal phonological and a ventral orthographic white matter system. This dichotomy seems not present in pre-readers, and the specific role of ventral white matter in reading remains unclear. Therefore, the present longitudinal study investigated the relation between ventral white matter and cognitive processes underlying reading in children with a broad range of reading skills (n = 61)...
May 18, 2018: Brain and Language
Xiaoqing Li, Yiya Chen
An auditory oddball paradigm was employed to examine the unattended processing of pitch variation which functions to signal hierarchically different levels of meaning contrasts. Four oddball conditions were constructed by varying the pitch contour of critical words embedded in a Mandarin Chinese sentence. Two conditions included lexical-level word meaning contrasts (i.e. TONE condition) and the other two sentence-level information-status contrasts (i.e. ACCENTUATION condition). Both included stimuli with early vs...
May 16, 2018: Brain and Language
K Neophytou, C Manouilidou, L Stockall, A Marantz
Complex morphological processing has been extensively studied in the past decades. However, most of this work has either focused on only certain steps involved in this process, or it has been conducted on a few languages, like English. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the spatiotemporal cortical processing profile of the distinct steps previously reported in the literature, from decomposition to re-composition of morphologically complex items, in a relatively understudied language, Greek. Using magnetoencephalography, we confirm the role of the fusiform gyrus in early, form-based morphological decomposition, we relate the syntactic licensing of stem-suffix combinations to the ventral visual processing stream, somewhat independent from lexical access for the stem, and we further elucidate the role of orbitofrontal regions in semantic composition...
May 16, 2018: Brain and Language
Rachel Ryskin, Zhenghan Qi, Natalie V Covington, Melissa Duff, Sarah Brown-Schmidt
Verb bias-the co-occurrence frequencies between a verb and the syntactic structures it may appear with-is a critical and reliable linguistic cue for online sentence processing. In particular, listeners use this information to disambiguate sentences with multiple potential syntactic parses (e.g., Feel the frog with the feather.). Further, listeners dynamically update their representations of specific verbs in the face of new evidence about verb-structure co-occurrence. Yet, little is known about the biological memory systems that support the use and dynamic updating of verb bias...
May 15, 2018: Brain and Language
Daniela Sammler, Katrin Cunitz, Sarah M E Gierhan, Alfred Anwander, Jens Adermann, Jürgen Meixensberger, Angela D Friederici
The relevance of left dorsal and ventral fiber pathways for syntactic and semantic comprehension is well established, while pathways for prosody are little explored. The present study examined linguistic prosodic structure building in a patient whose right arcuate/superior longitudinal fascicles and posterior corpus callosum were transiently compromised by a vasogenic peritumoral edema. Compared to ten matched healthy controls, the patient's ability to detect irregular prosodic structure significantly improved between pre- and post-surgical assessment...
May 11, 2018: Brain and Language
Oliver Cheadle, Clarissa Sorger, Peter Howell
Feedback delivered over auditory and vibratory afferent pathways has different effects on the fluency of people who stutter (PWS). These features were exploited to investigate the neural structures involved in stuttering. The speech signal vibrated locations on the body (vibrotactile feedback, VTF). Eleven PWS read passages under VTF and control (no-VTF) conditions. All combinations of vibration amplitude, synchronous or delayed VTF and vibrator position (hand, sternum or forehead) were presented. Control conditions were performed at the beginning, middle and end of test sessions...
May 7, 2018: Brain and Language
Visar Berisha, Davis Gilton, Leslie C Baxter, Steven R Corman, Chris Blais, Gene Brewer, Scott Ruston, B Hunter Ball, Kimberly M Wingert, Beate Peter, Corianne Rogalsky
The neurobiology of bilingualism is hotly debated. The present study examines whether normalized cortical measurements can be used to reliably classify monolinguals versus bilinguals in a structural MRI dataset of Farsi-English bilinguals and English monolinguals. A decision tree classifier classified bilinguals with an average correct classification rate of 85%, and monolinguals with a rate of 71.4%. The most relevant regions for classification were the right supramarginal gyrus, left inferior temporal gyrus and left inferior frontal gyrus...
April 30, 2018: Brain and Language
Ao Chen, Varghese Peter, Frank Wijnen, Hugo Schnack, Denis Burnham
Language experience shapes musical and speech pitch processing. We investigated whether speaking a lexical tone language natively modulates neural processing of pitch in language and music as well as their correlation. We tested tone language (Mandarin Chinese), and non-tone language (Dutch) listeners in a passive oddball paradigm measuring mismatch negativity (MMN) for (i) Chinese lexical tones and (ii) three-note musical melodies with similar pitch contours. For lexical tones, Chinese listeners showed a later MMN peak than the non-tone language listeners, whereas for MMN amplitude there were no significant differences between groups...
April 21, 2018: Brain and Language
Joao Leote, Juan M Castellote, Jordi Casanova-Molla, Judith Navarro-Otano, Rita G Nunes, Hugo A Ferreira, Josep Valls-Sole
In certain circumstances, words can be uttered as an involuntary action. We hypothesize that, once pronunciation of a word is fully prepared it can be triggered as a reflex with no need for cortical processing. We used modified protocols of picture naming tasks, with different levels of cognitive demands, to measure reaction time to word pronunciation (RTWP). In test trials, picture presentation was accompanied by a startling auditory stimulus (SAS). When one and the same picture was repeatedly shown, SAS shortened RTWP by about 30% (StartReact effect), which did not occur when random pictures were shown...
April 17, 2018: Brain and Language
Richard J Binney, Sameer A Ashaie, Bonnie M Zuckerman, Jinyi Hung, Jamie Reilly
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) was paired with eye tracking to elucidate contributions of frontal, temporoparietal and anterior temporal cortex to early visual search patterns during picture naming (e.g., rapid visual scanning to diagnostic semantic features). Neurotypical adults named line drawings of objects prior to and following tDCS in three separate sessions, each employing a unique electrode montage. The gaze data revealed montage by stimulation (pre/post) interaction effects characterized by longer initial visual fixations (mean difference = 89 ms; Cohen's d = ...
April 11, 2018: Brain and Language
Francesco Ianì, Dalila Burin, Adriana Salatino, Lorenzo Pia, Raffaella Ricci, Monica Bucciarelli
Memory for action phrases improves in the listeners when the speaker accompanies them with gestures compared to when the speaker stays still. Since behavioral studies revealed a pivotal role of the listeners' motor system, we aimed to disentangle the role of primary motor and premotor cortices. Participants had to recall phrases uttered by a speaker in two conditions: in the gesture condition, the speaker performed gestures congruent with the action; in the no-gesture condition, the speaker stayed still. In Experiment 1, half of the participants underwent inhibitory rTMS over the hand/arm region of the left premotor cortex (PMC) and the other half over the hand/arm region of the left primary motor cortex (M1)...
April 10, 2018: Brain and Language
Anthony J Angwin, Wayne J Wilson, David A Copland, Robert J Barry, Grace Myatt, Wendy L Arnott
It has been proposed that white noise can improve cognitive performance for some individuals, particularly those with lower attention, and that this effect may be mediated by dopaminergic circuitry. Given existing evidence that semantic priming is modulated by dopamine, this study investigated whether white noise can facilitate semantic priming. Seventy-eight adults completed an auditory semantic priming task with and without white noise, at either a short or long inter-stimulus interval (ISI). Measures of both direct and indirect semantic priming were examined...
April 10, 2018: Brain and Language
D C Jackson, J E Jones, D A Hsu, C E Stafstrom, J J Lin, D Almane, M A Koehn, M Seidenberg, B P Hermann
PURPOSE: To examine the impact of diverse syndromes of focal and generalized epilepsy on language function in children with new and recent onset epilepsy. Of special interest was the degree of shared language abnormality across epilepsy syndromes and the unique effects associated with specific epilepsy syndromes. METHODS: Participants were 136 youth with new or recent-onset (diagnosis within past 12 months) epilepsy and 107 healthy first-degree cousin controls...
March 30, 2018: Brain and Language
Sophia Uddin, Shannon L M Heald, Stephen C Van Hedger, Howard C Nusbaum
Environmental sounds (ES) can be understood easily when substituted for words in sentences, suggesting that linguistic context benefits may be mediated by processes more general than some language-specific theories assert. However, the underlying neural processing is not understood. EEG was recorded for spoken sentences ending in either a spoken word or a corresponding ES. Endings were either congruent or incongruent with the sentence frame, and thus were expected to produce N400 activity. However, if ES and word meanings are combined with language context by different mechanisms, different N400 responses would be expected...
April 2018: Brain and Language
Yu-Hsuan A Chang, Sogol S Javadi, Naeim Bahrami, Vedang S Uttarwar, Anny Reyes, Carrie R McDonald
Blocked and event-related fMRI designs are both commonly used to localize language networks and determine hemispheric dominance in research and clinical settings. We compared activation profiles on a semantic monitoring task using one of the two designs in a total of 43 healthy individual to determine whether task design or subject-specific factors (i.e., age, sex, or language performance) influence activation patterns. We found high concordance between the two designs within core language regions, including the inferior frontal, posterior temporal, and basal temporal region...
April 2018: Brain and Language
Zuo Zhang, Yaoru Sun, Zijian Wang
Previous studies have shown that both reading action words and observing actions engage the motor cortex and Broca's area, but it is still controversial whether a somatotopic representation exists for action verbs within the motor cortex and whether Broca's area encodes action-specific semantics for verbs. Here we examined these two issues using a set of functional MRI experiments, including word reading, action observation and a movement localiser task. Results from multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) showed a somatotopic organisation within the motor areas and action-specific activation in Broca's area for observed actions, suggesting the representation of action semantics for observed actions in these neural regions...
April 2018: Brain and Language
Yong Zhang, Kangcheng Wang, Chang Yue, Nina Mo, Deping Wu, Xu Wen, Jiang Qiu
The processing disadvantage of verbs compared to nouns and the greater vulnerability of verbs in brain damage have been ascribed to greater processing demands of morpho-syntactical or/and semantic properties for verbs, or/and visual complexity in picture-naming studies. Using picture naming, the current functional magnetic resonance imaging study examined the neural substrates underlying the semantic distinction between nouns and verbs. Under forced (externally-elicited) or free (internally-motivated) conditions, participants named a set of pictorial stimuli as objects or actions performed on/with the objects in Chinese...
April 2018: Brain and Language
Jennifer Pomp, Anne-Kathrin Bestgen, Patrick Schulze, Christina J Müller, Francesca M M Citron, Boris Suchan, Lars Kuchinke
The investigation of specific lexical categories has substantially contributed to advancing our knowledge on how meaning is neurally represented. One sensory domain that has received particularly little attention is olfaction. This study aims to investigate the neural representation of lexical olfaction. In an fMRI experiment, participants read olfactory metaphors, their literal paraphrases, and literal olfactory sentences. Regions of interest were defined by a functional localizer run of odor processing. We observed activation in secondary olfactory areas during metaphorical and literal olfactory processing, thus extending previous findings to the novel source domain of olfaction...
April 2018: Brain and Language
S Franceschini, S Mascheretti, S Bertoni, V Trezzi, C Andreola, S Gori, A Facoetti
Dyslexia (D) is a neurodevelopmental reading disorder characterized by phonological and orthographic deficits. Before phonological decoding, reading requires a specialized orthographic system for parallel letter processing that assigns letter identities to different spatial locations. The magnocellular-dorsal (MD) stream rapidly process the spatial location of visual stimuli controlling visuo-spatial attention. To investigate the visuo-spatial attention efficiency during orthographic processing, inhibition of return (IOR) was measured in adults with and without D in a lexical decision task...
April 2018: Brain and Language
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