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Language, Cognition and Neuroscience

Benedikt Zoefel, Matthew H Davis
Transcranial electric stimulation (tES), comprising transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), involves applying weak electrical current to the scalp, which can be used to modulate membrane potentials and thereby modify neural activity. Critically, behavioural or perceptual consequences of this modulation provide evidence for a causal role of neural activity in the stimulated brain region for the observed outcome. We present tES as a tool for the investigation of which neural responses are necessary for successful speech perception and comprehension...
August 9, 2017: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Jie Zhuang, Barry J Devereux
As spoken language unfolds over time the speech input transiently activates multiple candidates at different levels of the system - phonological, lexical, and syntactic - which in turn leads to short-lived between-candidate competition. In an fMRI study, we investigated how different kinds of linguistic competition may be modulated by the presence or absence of a prior context (Tyler 1984; Tyler et al. 2008). We found significant effects of lexico-phonological competition for isolated words, but not for words in short phrases, with high competition yielding greater activation in left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) and posterior temporal regions...
February 7, 2017: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Gabriel Kreiman
There has been extensive discussion in the literature about the extent to which cortical representations can be described as localist or distributed. Here we discuss a simple null model that encompasses a family of related architectures describing the transformation of signals throughout the parts of the visual system involved in object recognition. This family of models constitutes a rigorous first approximation to explain the neurophysiological properties of ventral visual cortex. This null model contains both distributed and local representations throughout the entire hierarchy of computations and the responses of individual units are meaningful and interpretable when encoding is adequately defined for each computational stage...
2017: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Maximilian Riesenhuber, Laurie S Glezer
Our recent work has shown that the Visual Word Form Area (VWFA) in left occipitotemporal cortex contains an orthographic lexicon based on neuronal representations highly selective for individual written real words (RW) and that learning novel words selectively increases neural specificity in the VWFA. But, how quickly does this change in neural tuning occur and how much training is required for new words to be codified in the VWFA? Here we present evidence that plasticity in the VWFA from broad to tight tuning can be obtained in a short time span, with no explicit training, and with comparatively few exposures, further strengthening the case for a highly plastic visual lexicon in the VWFA and for localist representations in the visual processing hierarchy...
2017: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Iva Ivanova, Holly P Branigan, Janet F McLean, Albert Costa, Martin J Pickering
We frequently experience and successfully process anomalous utterances. Here we examine whether people do this by 'correcting' syntactic anomalies to yield well-formed representations. In two structural priming experiments, participants' syntactic choices in picture description were influenced as strongly by previously comprehended anomalous (missing-verb) prime sentences as by well-formed prime sentences. Our results suggest that comprehenders can reconstruct the constituent structure of anomalous utterances - even when such utterances lack a major structural component such as the verb...
2017: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Jill Weisberg, Amy Lynn Hubbard, Karen Emmorey
To examine whether more ecologically valid co-speech gesture stimuli elicit brain responses consistent with those found by studies that relied on scripted stimuli, we presented participants with spontaneously produced, meaningful co-speech gesture during fMRI scanning (n = 28). Speech presented with gesture (versus either presented alone) elicited heightened activity in bilateral posterior superior temporal, premotor, and inferior frontal regions. Within left temporal and premotor, but not inferior frontal regions, we identified small clusters with superadditive responses, suggesting that these discrete regions support both sensory and semantic integration...
2017: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Stephen M Wilson
Lesion-symptom mapping studies aim to make inferences about the functional neuroanatomy of spoken language understanding by investigating relationships between damage to different brain regions and the various speech perception and comprehension deficits that result. Voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping (VLSM), voxel-based morphometry (VBM), and studies focused on specific cortical regions of interest or fiber pathways have all yielded insights regarding the localization of different components of spoken language processing...
2017: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Simon W Davis, Matthew L Stanley, Morris Moscovitch, Roberto Cabeza
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2017: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Antoine J Shahin, Stanley Shen, Jess R Kerlin
We examined the relationship between tolerance for audiovisual onset asynchrony (AVOA) and the spectrotemporal fidelity of the spoken words and the speaker's mouth movements. In two experiments that only varied in the temporal order of sensory modality, visual speech leading (exp1) or lagging (exp2) acoustic speech, participants watched intact and blurred videos of a speaker uttering trisyllabic words and nonwords that were noise vocoded with 4-, 8-, 16-, and 32-channels. They judged whether the speaker's mouth movements and the speech sounds were in-sync or out-of-sync...
2017: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Joost Rommers, Danielle S Dickson, James J S Norton, Edward W Wlotko, Kara D Federmeier
Despite strong evidence for prediction during language comprehension, the underlying mechanisms, and the extent to which they are specific to language, remain unclear. Re-analyzing an ERP study, we examined responses in the time-frequency domain to expected and unexpected (but plausible) words in strongly and weakly constraining sentences, and found results similar to those reported in nonverbal domains. Relative to expected words, unexpected words elicited an increase in the theta band (4-7 Hz) in strongly constraining contexts, suggesting the involvement of control processes to deal with the consequences of having a prediction disconfirmed...
2017: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Karen L Campbell, Daniel L Schacter
Recent years have seen the rise in popularity of the resting state approach to neurocognitive aging, with many studies examining age differences in functional connectivity at rest and relating these differences to cognitive performance outside the scanner. There are many advantages to the resting state that likely contribute to its popularity and indeed, many insights have been gained from this work. However, there are also several limitations of the resting state approach that restrict its ability to contribute to the study of neurocognitive aging...
2017: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Karen L Campbell, Daniel L Schacter
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2017: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Dominik Freunberger, Dietmar Roehm
Do people predict specific word-forms during language comprehension? In an Event-Related Potential (ERP) study participants read German sentences with predictable (The goalkeeper claims that the slick ball was easy to CATCH.) and unpredictable (The kids boasted that the young horse was easy to SADDLE.) verbs. Verbs were either consistent with the expected word-form (catch/saddle) or inconsistent and therefore led to ungrammaticality (*catches/*saddles). ERPs within the N400 time-window were modulated by predictability but not by the surface-form of the verbs, suggesting that no exact word-forms were predicted...
October 20, 2016: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Kevin Schluter, Stephen Politzer-Ahles, Diogo Almeida
The representational format of speech units in long-term memory is a topic of debate. We present novel event-related brain potential evidence from the Mismatch Negativity (MMN) paradigm that is compatible with abstract, non-redundant feature-based models like the Featurally Underspecified Lexicon (FUL). First, we show that the fricatives /s/ and /f/ display an asymmetric pattern of MMN responses, which is predicted if /f/ has a fully specified place of articulation ([Labial]) but /s/ does not ([Coronal], which is lexically underspecified)...
July 2, 2016: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Ingrid Masson-Carro, Martijn Goudbeek, Emiel Krahmer
Hand gestures are tightly coupled with speech and with action. Hence, recent accounts have emphasised the idea that simulations of spatio-motoric imagery underlie the production of co-speech gestures. In this study, we suggest that action simulations directly influence the iconic strategies used by speakers to translate aspects of their mental representations into gesture. Using a classic referential paradigm, we investigate how speakers respond gesturally to the affordances of objects, by comparing the effects of describing objects that afford action performance (such as tools) and those that do not, on gesture production...
March 15, 2016: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Dennis Norris, James M McQueen, Anne Cutler
Speech perception involves prediction, but how is that prediction implemented? In cognitive models prediction has often been taken to imply that there is feedback of activation from lexical to pre-lexical processes as implemented in interactive-activation models (IAMs). We show that simple activation feedback does not actually improve speech recognition. However, other forms of feedback can be beneficial. In particular, feedback can enable the listener to adapt to changing input, and can potentially help the listener to recognise unusual input, or recognise speech in the presence of competing sounds...
January 2, 2016: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Mallory C Stites, Kara D Federmeier, Kiel Christianson
The current study investigates the online processing consequences of encountering compound words with transposed letters (TLs), to determine if TLs that cross morpheme boundaries are more disruptive to reading than those within a single morpheme, as would be predicted by accounts of obligatory morpho-orthopgrahic decomposition. Two measures of online processing, eye movements and event-related potentials (ERPs), were collected in separate experiments. Participants read sentences containing correctly spelled compound words (cupcake), or compounds with TLs occurring either across morpheme boundaries (cucpake) or within one morpheme (cupacke)...
2016: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Grant M Walker, Gregory Hickok
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2016: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Carla Contemori, Paola E Dussias
One central question in research on spoken language communication concerns how speakers decide how explicit to make a referential expression. In the present paper, we address the debate between a discourse-based approach and a listener-based approach to the choice of referring expressions by testing second language (L2) learners of English on the production of English referential expressions, and comparing their performance to a group of monolingual speakers of English. In two experiments, we found that when native speakers of English use full noun phrases, the L2 speakers tend to choose a pronoun, even when the use of a pronoun leads to ambiguity...
2016: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Bradford Z Mahon, Eduardo Navarrete
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2016: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
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