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Language, Cognition and Neuroscience

Katy Carlson, Jesse A Harris
This paper explores the processing of sentences with a much less coordinator (I don't own a pink hat, much less a red one). This understudied ellipsis sentence, one of several focus-sensitive coordination structures, imposes syntactic and semantic conditions on the relationship between the correlate (a pink hat) and remnant (a red one). We present the case of zero-adjective contrast, in which an NP remnant introduces an adjective without an overt counterpart in the correlate (I don't own a hat, much less a red one)...
2018: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Erin Gustafson, Matthew Goldrick
Speakers track the probability that a word will occur in a particular context and utilize this information during phonetic processing. For example, content words that have high probability within a discourse tend to be realized with reduced acoustic/articulatory properties. Such probabilistic information may influence L1 and L2 speech processing in distinct ways (reflecting differences in linguistic experience across groups and the overall difficulty of L2 speech processing). To examine this issue, L1 and L2 speakers performed a referential communication task, describing sequences of simple actions...
2018: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Angela Fink, Gary M Oppenheim, Matthew Goldrick
This study investigates the interaction of lexical access and articulation in spoken word production, examining two dimensions along which theories vary. First, does articulatory variation reflect a fixed plan, or do lexical access-articulatory interactions continue after response initiation? Second, to what extent are interactive mechanisms hard-wired properties of the production system, as opposed to flexible? In two picture-naming experiments, we used semantic neighbor manipulations to induce lexical and conceptual co-activation...
2018: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Xin Xie, F Sayako Earle, Emily B Myers
Lexically-guided phonetic retuning helps listeners adapt to the phonetic "fingerprint" of a talker. Previous findings show that listeners can generalise from one accented talker to another accented talker, but only for phonetically similar talkers. We tested whether sleep-mediated consolidation promotes generalisation across accented talkers who are not phonetically similar. Native-English participants were trained on a Mandarin-accented talker and tested on this talker and an untrained Mandarin talker. Experiment 1 showed adaptation for the trained talker and a weak transfer to the untrained talker...
2018: 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
Xiaoping Fang, Charles Perfetti, Joseph Stafura
In acquiring word meanings, learners are often confronted by a single word form that is mapped to two or more meanings. For example, long after how to roller-"skate", one may learn that "skate" is also a kind of fish. Such learning of new meanings for familiar words involves two potentially contrasting processes, relative to new form-new meaning learning: 1) Form-based familiarity may facilitate learning a new meaning, and 2) meaning-based interference may inhibit learning a new meaning. We examined these two processes by having native English speakers learn new, unrelated meanings for familiar (high frequency) and less familiar (low frequency) English words, as well as for unfamiliar (novel or pseudo-) words...
2017: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Nai Ding, Lucia Melloni, Xing Tian, David Poeppel
To flexibly convey meaning, the human language faculty iteratively combines smaller units such as words into larger structures such as phrases based on grammatical principles. During comprehension, however, it remains unclear how the brain encodes the relationship between words and combines them into phrases. One hypothesis is that internal grammatical principles governing language generation are also used to parse the hierarchical syntactic structure of spoken language during comprehension. An alternative hypothesis suggests, in contrast, that decoding language during comprehension solely relies on statistical relationships between words or strings of words, i...
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
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