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Brain and Language

Mohammad Momenian, Reza Nilipour, Reza Ghafar Samar, Stefano F Cappa, Narly Golestani
The Persian language can be considered to have a relatively more complex and combinatorial morpho-syntax than languages like Chinese and English. For example, the Persian verbal system is largely constituted of light verb constructions, in which light verbs are combined with specific items coming from other grammatical classes to generate entirely new verbal entities. This study was designed to examine the mediating effect of language-inherent properties related to morpho-syntax on activation of the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG), a brain area involved in morpho-syntactic processing...
July 7, 2018: Brain and Language
Mirella Manfredi, Neil Cohn, Mariana De Araújo Andreoli, Paulo Sergio Boggio
Every day we integrate meaningful information coming from different sensory modalities, and previous work has debated whether conceptual knowledge is represented in modality-specific neural stores specialized for specific types of information, and/or in an amodal, shared system. In the current study, we investigated semantic processing through a cross-modal paradigm which asked whether auditory semantic processing could be modulated by the constraints of context built up across a meaningful visual narrative sequence...
July 6, 2018: Brain and Language
Rene L Utianski, Joseph R Duffy, Heather M Clark, Edythe A Strand, Hugo Botha, Christopher G Schwarz, Mary M Machulda, Matthew L Senjem, Anthony J Spychalla, Clifford R Jack, Ronald C Petersen, Val J Lowe, Jennifer L Whitwell, Keith A Josephs
Primary progressive apraxia of speech (PPAOS) is a clinical syndrome in which apraxia of speech is the initial indication of neurodegenerative disease. Prior studies of PPAOS have identified hypometabolism, grey matter atrophy, and white matter tract degeneration in the frontal gyri, precentral cortex, and supplementary motor area (SMA). Recent clinical observations suggest two distinct subtypes of PPAOS may exist. Phonetic PPAOS is characterized predominantly by distorted sound substitutions. Prosodic PPAOS is characterized predominantly by slow, segmented speech...
July 3, 2018: Brain and Language
Edvard Heikel, Jona Sassenhagen, Christian J Fiebach
Event-related brain potentials have a strong impact on neurocognitive models, as they inform about the temporal sequence of cognitive processes. Nevertheless, their value for deciding among alternative cognitive architectures is partly limited by component overlap and the possibility of ambiguity regarding component identity. Here, we apply temporally-generalized multivariate pattern analysis - a recently-proposed machine learning method capable of tracking the evolution of neurocognitive processes over time - to constrain possible alternative architectures underlying the processing of semantic incongruency in sentences...
July 3, 2018: Brain and Language
James W Lewis, Magenta J Silberman, Jeremy J Donai, Chris A Frum, Julie A Brefczynski-Lewis
Oral mimicry is thought to represent an essential process for the neurodevelopment of spoken language systems in infants, the evolution of language in hominins, and a process that could possibly aid recovery in stroke patients. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we previously reported a divergence of auditory cortical pathways mediating perception of specific categories of natural sounds. However, it remained unclear if or how this fundamental sensory organization by the brain might relate to motor output, such as sound mimicry...
June 29, 2018: Brain and Language
Joseph C Toscano, Nathaniel D Anderson, Monica Fabiani, Gabriele Gratton, Susan M Garnsey
Recent work has sought to describe the time-course of spoken word recognition, from initial acoustic cue encoding through lexical activation, and identify cortical areas involved in each stage of analysis. However, existing methods are limited in either temporal or spatial resolution, and as a result, have only provided partial answers to the question of how listeners encode acoustic information in speech. We present data from an experiment using a novel neuroimaging method, fast optical imaging, to directly assess the time-course of speech perception, providing non-invasive measurement of speech sound representations, localized to specific cortical areas...
June 27, 2018: Brain and Language
Melissa M Rundle, Donna Coch, Andrew C Connolly, Richard H Granger
In an fMRI investigation of the neural representation of word frequency and animacy, participants read high- and low-frequency words within living and nonliving semantic categories. Both temporal (left fusiform gyrus) and parietal (left supramarginal gyrus) activation patterns differentiated between animal and tool words after controlling for frequency. Activation patterns in a smaller ventral temporal region, a subset of the voxels identified in the animacy contrast, differentiated between high- and low-frequency words after controlling for animacy...
June 22, 2018: Brain and Language
Isabel M Feven-Parsons, Jeremy Goslin
If our central representation of an object is defined through embodied experience, we might expect access to action affordances to be privileged over more abstract concepts. We used event-related potentials to examine the relative time course of access to affordances. Written object names were primed with the name of an object sharing the same affordance as the target (e.g. precision-grip: "grape" primed by "tweezers") or the same taxonomic category (e.g. fruit: "grape" primed by "apple")...
June 20, 2018: Brain and Language
Malathi Thothathiri
I explored how individual cognitive differences combine with prior statistical experience to determine choice of sentence structure during speech. Participants were exposed to English language input with controlled statistical properties wherein some verbs appeared equally often in two possible structures and others appeared in only one. Subsequently, they produced sentences naturally while their brain activity was scanned. Choosing a less preferred over a more preferred structure recruited regions involved in conflict control, especially in individuals with better control abilities...
June 15, 2018: Brain and Language
E Hoyau, A Roux-Sibilon, N Boudiaf, C Pichat, E Cousin, A Krainik, A Jaillard, C Peyrin, M Baciu
In this dynamic causal modeling (DCM) study, we evaluated the effect of age on the effective connectivity of a cerebral network involved in lexical production. Younger and older adults performed an object naming task during fMRI. The DCM was used to explore the interactions between four regions of interest: the occipital cortex, OC; the lateral temporal cortex, LTC; the medial temporal cortex, MTC; and the inferior frontal cortex, IFC. We mainly focused on the modulation of the fronto-temporal interaction, according to the hypothesis that aging requires strategies that modulate the access to the semantic knowledge, either through a neural reserve mechanism (increased MTC-LTC connectivity) or through a neural compensation mechanism (supplementary IFC-MTC connectivity)...
June 15, 2018: Brain and Language
Lisa Bartha-Doering, Astrid Novak, Kathrin Kollndorfer, Gregor Kasprian, Anna-Lisa Schuler, Madison M Berl, Florian Ph S Fischmeister, William D Gaillard, Johanna Alexopoulos, Daniela Prayer, Rainer Seidl
This study considered the involvement of the mesial temporal lobe (MTL) in language and verbal memory functions in healthy children and adolescents. We investigated 30 healthy, right-handed children and adolescents, aged 7-16, with a fMRI language paradigm and a comprehensive cognitive test battery. We found significant MTL activations during language fMRI in all participants; 63% of them had left lateralized MTL activations, 20% exhibited right MTL lateralization, and 17% showed bilateral MTL involvement during the fMRI language paradigm...
June 15, 2018: 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
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
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 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 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...
May 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...
May 2018: Brain and Language
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