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Speech and language

Giulia Prete, Anita D'Anselmo, Luca Tommasi, Alfredo Brancucci
Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) has been increasingly adopted to modulate perceptual and cognitive functions, but the effects on auditory perception are still relatively uncharted. Starting from the evidence that a stronger right ear advantage effect (REA) in dichotic listening positively correlates with speech sound processing, the present study was aimed at modulating the REA by means of high-frequency transcranial Random Noise Stimulation (hf-tRNS). Stimulation was applied over the auditory cortex (AC) either unilaterally (Experiment 1, N = 50) or bilaterally (Experiment 2, N = 24) during a verbal dichotic listening task...
March 13, 2018: Brain and Cognition
Jennifer Thomson, Melanie Gee, Karen Sage, Traci Walker
BACKGROUND: Aphasia assessment is traditionally divided into formal and informal approaches. Informal assessment is useful in developing a rich understanding of the person with aphasia's performance, e.g., describing performance in the context of real-world activities, and exploring the impact of environmental and/or partner supports upon communication. However, defining 'informal assessment' is problematic and can result in clinical issues including idiosyncratic practices regarding why, when and how to apply informal assessment...
March 15, 2018: International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders
Henkjan Honing
In recent years, music and musicality have been the focus of an increasing amount of research effort. This has led to a growing role and visibility of the contribution of (bio)musicology to the field of neuroscience and cognitive sciences at large. While it has been widely acknowledged that there are commonalities between speech, language, and musicality, several researchers explain this by considering musicality as an epiphenomenon of language. However, an alternative hypothesis is that musicality is an innate and widely shared capacity for music that can be seen as a natural, spontaneously developing set of traits based on and constrained by our cognitive abilities and their underlying biology...
March 15, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Wei-En J Tseng, Siew-Na Lim, Lu-An Chen, Shuo-Bin Jou, Hsiang-Yao Hsieh, Mei-Yun Cheng, Chun-Wei Chang, Han-Tao Li, Hsing-I Chiang, Tony Wu
Whether the cognitive processing of music and speech relies on shared or distinct neuronal mechanisms remains unclear. Music and language processing in the brain are right and left temporal functions, respectively. We studied patients with musicogenic epilepsy (ME) that was specifically triggered by popular songs to analyze brain hyperexcitability triggered by specific stimuli. The study included two men and one woman (all right-handed, aged 35-55 years). The patients had sound-triggered left temporal ME in response to popular songs with vocals, but not to instrumental, classical, or nonvocal piano solo versions of the same song...
March 15, 2018: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Lozina Shoaib, Sharifullah Khan, Muhammad Azeem Abbas, Ahmad Salman
OBJECTIVE: To mitigate the communication barriers of profound hearing-impaired children by enabling their word articulation ability. METHODS: This pre-experimental pilot study was conducted from September 2016 to March 2017 at the National Special Education Centre for Hearing Impaired Children, Islamabad, Pakistan, and comprised deaf children of both genders aged 5-8 years. A specially designed software application for lip-reading was employed to help the subjects articulate words...
March 2018: JPMA. the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Jong Min Kim, Seung Beom Woo, Zeeihn Lee, Sung Jae Heo, Donghwi Park
RATIONALE: Verbal auditory agnosia is the selective inability to recognize verbal sounds. Patients with this disorder lose the ability to understand language, write from dictation, and repeat words with reserved ability to identify nonverbal sounds. However, to the best of our knowledge, there was no report about verbal auditory agnosia in adult patient with traumatic brain injury. PATIENT CONCERNS: He was able to clearly distinguish between language and nonverbal sounds, and he did not have any difficulty in identifying the environmental sounds...
March 2018: Medicine (Baltimore)
Neina F Ferguson, Julie M Estis
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if brief video-recorded patient simulation training increased students' ability to assess feeding skills in preterm infants. Method: Baccalaureate-level nursing students (N = 52) and graduate-level speech-language pathology students (N = 42) were randomized to 1 of 2 groups: didactic training (N = 51) or didactic training plus video simulation (N = 43). Outcome measures included knowledge test scores, calculated clinical judgment scores, and clinical marker documentation accuracy...
March 9, 2018: American Journal of Speech-language Pathology
Khetsiwe P Masuku, Munyane Mophosho, Muziwakhe Tshabalala
Background: Aphasia is an acquired impairment in language and in the cognitive processes that underlie language. Aphasia affects the quality of life of the person with aphasia (PWA) and his or her families in various ways in diverse contexts and cultures. It is therefore important that speech language therapists understand how different contextual and cultural factors may mediate experiences. Purpose: The aim of the study was to describe the caregiving experience of female caregivers of PWA residing in Tembisa, a township situated in the east of Johannesburg...
2018: African Journal of Disability
Nicole Netelenbos, Robbin L Gibb, Fangfang Li, Claudia L R Gonzalez
Executive function (EF) and language learning play a prominent role in early childhood development. Empirical research continues to point to a concurrent relation between these two faculties. What has been given little attention, however, is the association between EF and speech articulation abilities in children. This study investigated this relation in children aged 4-6 years. Significant correlations indicated that children with better EF [via parental report of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) inventory] exhibited stronger speech sound production abilities in the articulation of the "s" and "sh" sounds...
2018: Frontiers in Psychology
Zhizhou Deng, Bharath Chandrasekaran, Suiping Wang, Patrick C M Wong
In second language acquisition studies, the high talker variability training approach has been frequently used to train participants to learn new speech patterns. However, the neuroplasticity induced by training is poorly understood. In the present study, native English speakers were trained on non-native pitch patterns (linguistic tones from Mandarin Chinese) in multi-talker (N = 16) or single-talker (N = 16) training conditions. We focused on two aspects of multi-talker training, voice processing and lexical phonology accessing, and used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain activation and functional connectivity (FC) of two regions of interest in a tone identification task conducted before and after training, namely the anterior part of the right superior temporal gyrus (aRSTG) and the posterior left superior temporal gyrus (pLSTG)...
March 10, 2018: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Wei Tang, Xi-Jian Wang, Jia-Qi Li, Chang Liu, Qi Dong, Yun Nan
Music and language are two intricately linked communication modalities in humans. A deficit in music pitch processing as manifested in the condition of congenital amusia has been related to difficulties in lexical tone processing for both tone and non-tonal languages. However, it is still unclear whether amusia also affects the perception of vowel phonemes in quiet and in noise. In this study, we examined vowel-plus-tone identification in quiet and noise conditions among Mandarin-speaking amusics with and without speech tone difficulties (tone agnosics and pure amusics, respectively), and IQ- and age-matched controls...
March 6, 2018: Hearing Research
Sonja Suntrup-Krueger, Jens Minnerup, Paul Muhle, Inga Claus, Jens Burchard Schröder, Thomas Marian, Tobias Warnecke, Marianne Kalic, Klaus Berger, Rainer Dziewas
BACKGROUND: Early dysphagia screening and appropriate management are recommended by current guidelines to reduce complications and case fatality in acute stroke. However, data on the potential benefit of changes in dysphagia care on patient outcome are limited. Our objective was to assess the degree of implementation of dysphagia guidelines and determine the impact of modifications in dysphagia screening and treatment practices on disease complications and outcome in stroke patients over time...
March 13, 2018: Cerebrovascular Diseases
Grigori Yourganov, Julius Fridriksson, Brielle Stark, Christopher Rorden
We examined the effect of lesion on the resting-state functional connectivity in chronic post-stroke patients. We found many instances of strong correlations in BOLD signal measured at different locations within the lesion, making it hard to distinguish from the connectivity between intact and strongly connected regions. Regression of the mean cerebro-spinal fluid signal did not alleviate this problem. The connectomes computed by exclusion of lesioned voxels were not good predictors of the behavioral measures...
2018: NeuroImage: Clinical
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...
March 6, 2018: Brain and Language
Wang Li, Qian Zhaopeng, Feng Yijun, Niu Haijun
An electrolarynx (EL) is one of the most popular voice rehabilitation technologies used after laryngectomy. However, most ELs generate monotonic EL speech, which has been shown to create a particular deficit in speech intelligibility, especially for Chinese Mandarin (Mandarin). Mandarin is a tonal language that makes lexical distinctions using variations in tone. Our purpose is to design an EL that can produce the four Mandarin tones, and to evaluate its performance. We designed a fundamental frequency (F0) control method for Mandarin EL speech and manufactured a touch-controlled electrolarynx (T-EL) prototype...
March 2018: IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Katherine Scantlebury, Morag Bixley, Iain Williamson
In the United Kingdom, speech and language therapists (SLTs) and Stroke Association communication support coordinators (CSCs) are both employed to provide services for people with communication difficulties following stroke. There is very little literature of this type of collaborative working. This research is unique because it explores collaborative working between SLTs who are employed by the National Health Service and CSCs who are employed by the Stroke Association. Five CSCs and seven SLTs from the East of England participated in a series of in-depth interviews...
March 9, 2018: Journal of Interprofessional Care
Zhang Huihong, Wang Pan, Zhang Chunfeng, Wang Yan, Zhang Hui, Cai Li, Zhou Yuying
Objectives: Cognition and speech disorders are the most common symptoms of dementia in neurodegenerative disease. Here, we present a detailed clinical evaluation of a case of logopenic variant of primary progressive aphasia (lv-PPA), an atypical form of Alzheimer disease (AD), including cognitive testing over time, brain imaging, electrophysiology, and tests of olfactory function. Case report: We present the case of a 58-year-old man suffering from progressive language difficulties who was finally diagnosed with lv-PPA...
2018: Translational Neuroscience
Philip A Huebner, Jon A Willits
Previous research has suggested that distributional learning mechanisms may contribute to the acquisition of semantic knowledge. However, distributional learning mechanisms, statistical learning, and contemporary "deep learning" approaches have been criticized for being incapable of learning the kind of abstract and structured knowledge that many think is required for acquisition of semantic knowledge. In this paper, we show that recurrent neural networks, trained on noisy naturalistic speech to children, do in fact learn what appears to be abstract and structured knowledge...
2018: Frontiers in Psychology
Steven Moran, Damián E Blasi, Robert Schikowski, Aylin C Küntay, Barbara Pfeiler, Shanley Allen, Sabine Stoll
How does a child map words to grammatical categories when words are not overtly marked either lexically or prosodically? Recent language acquisition theories have proposed that distributional information encoded in sequences of words or morphemes might play a central role in forming grammatical classes. To test this proposal, we analyze child-directed speech from seven typologically diverse languages to simulate maximum variation in the structures of the world's languages. We ask whether the input to children contains cues for assigning syntactic categories in frequent frames, which are frequently occurring nonadjacent sequences of words or morphemes...
March 5, 2018: Cognition
Musetta C Fu, Basia Belza, Huong Nguyen, Rebecca Logsdon, Steven Demorest
PURPOSE: Participating in a group-singing program may be beneficial to healthy aging through engaging in active music-making activities and breathing exercises. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and impact of a 12-week group singing program on cognitive function, lung health and quality of life (QoL) of older adults. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A pre and post-test quasi-experimental design evaluated the impact of a group-singing program on older adult health...
February 23, 2018: Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
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