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Brain and Language

S K Ries, V Piai, D Perry, S Griffin, K Jordan, R Henry, R T Knight, M S Berger
Human language is organized along two main processing streams connecting posterior temporal cortex and inferior frontal cortex in the left hemisphere, travelling dorsal and ventral to the Sylvian fissure. Some views propose a dorsal motor versus ventral semantic division. Others propose division by combinatorial mechanism, with the dorsal stream responsible for combining elements into a sequence and the ventral stream for forming semantic dependencies independent of sequential order. We acquired data from direct cortical stimulation in the left hemisphere in 17 neurosurgical patients and subcortical resection in a subset of 10 patients as part of awake language mapping...
February 11, 2019: Brain and Language
Sendy Caffarra, Martha Mendoza, Doug Davidson
The left anterior negativity (LAN) is an ERP component that has been often associated with morphosyntactic processing, but recent reports have questioned whether the LAN effect, in fact, exists. The present project examined whether the LAN effect, observed in the grand average response to local agreement violations, is the result of the overlap between two different ERP effects (N400, P600) at the level of subjects (n = 80), items (n = 120), or trials (n = 6160). By-subject, by-item, and by-trial analyses of the ERP effect between 300 and 500 ms showed a LAN for 55% of the participants, 46% of the items, and 49% of the trials...
February 4, 2019: Brain and Language
Laurie S Glezer, Xiong Jiang, Megan M Luetje, Eileen M Napoliello, Judy Kim, Maximilian Riesenhuber, Guinevere F Eden
Typical readers rely on two brain pathways for word processing in the left hemisphere: temporo-parietal cortex (TPC) and inferior frontal cortex (IFC), thought to subserve phonological decoding, and occipito-temporal cortex (OTC), including the "visual word form area" (VWFA), thought to subserve orthographic processing. How these regions are affected in developmental dyslexia has been a topic of intense research. We employed fMRI rapid adaptation (fMRI-RA) in adults with low reading skills to examine in independently-defined functional regions of interest (ROIs) phonological selectivity to written words in left TPC and IFC, and to orthographic selectivity to written words in OTC...
February 2, 2019: Brain and Language
Caitlin Hilverman, Sarah Brown-Schmidt, Melissa C Duff
When we communicate, we alter our language and gesture based on the mutually shared knowledge - common ground - that we have with our listener. How memory supports these alterations remain unclear. We asked healthy adults and patients with hippocampal amnesia to engage in a referential communication task. Previous work suggests that common ground can be encoded by distinct memory systems; Amnesic patients show normal learning and referential label use as common ground increases, but inconsistently mark these labels with definite determiners (e...
January 21, 2019: Brain and Language
María José Torres-Prioris, Diana López-Barroso, Núria Roé-Vellvé, José Paredes-Pacheco, Guadalupe Dávila, Marcelo L Berthier
Repetitive verbal behaviors such as conduite d'approche (CdA) and mitigated echolalia (ME) are well-known phenomena since early descriptions of aphasia. Nevertheless, there is no substantial fresh knowledge on their clinical features, neural correlates and treatment interventions. In the present study we take advantage of three index cases of chronic fluent aphasia showing CdA, ME or both symptoms to dissect their clinical and neural signatures. Using multimodal neuroimaging (structural magnetic resonance imaging and [18]-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography during resting state), we found that despite of the heterogeneous lesions in terms of etiology (stroke, traumatic brain injury), volume and location, CdA was present when the lesion affected in greater extent the left dorsal language pathway, while ME resulted from preferential damage to the left ventral stream...
January 18, 2019: Brain and Language
Thomas Hans Fritz, Friederike Schütte, Agnes Steixner, Oliver Contier, Hellmuth Obrig, Arno Villringer
Musical excerpts have been shown to have the capacity to prime the processing of target words and vice versa, strongly suggesting that music can convey concepts. However, to date no study has investigated an influence of musical semantics on novel word acquisition, thus corroborating evidence for a similarity of underlying semantic processing of music and words behaviourally. The current study investigates whether semantic content of music can assist the acquisition of novel words. Forty novel words and their German translation were visually presented to 26 participants accompanied by either semantically congruent or incongruent music...
January 6, 2019: Brain and Language
Dillon A Hambrook, Matthew S Tata
Attention is crucial to speech comprehension in real-world, noisy environments. Selective phase-tracking between low-frequency brain dynamics and the envelope of target speech is a proposed mechanism to reject competing distractors. Studies have supported this theory in the case of a single distractor, but have not considered how tracking is systematically affected by varying distractor set sizes. We recorded electroencephalography (EEG) during selective listening to both natural and vocoded speech as distractor set-size varied from two to six voices...
January 4, 2019: Brain and Language
Tai-Li Chou, Ciao-Han Wong, Shiou-Yuan Chen, Li-Ying Fan, James R Booth
Semantic knowledge has thematic relations of contiguity based on association and taxonomic relations of similarity based on shared features to form categories. It is unknown if there are distinct brain networks between thematic and taxonomic organizations in children and if this distinction is related to changes in specialized brain regions with age and/or skill. We orthogonally manipulated association strength (strong, weak) and categorical relatedness (high, low) to examine 10- to 14-year-old children over a two-year interval...
December 26, 2018: Brain and Language
Ludo Max, Mahrukh Kadri, Takashi Mitsuya, Venu Balasubramanian
Although the underlying neural mechanisms remain unknown for both persistent developmental stuttering (PSD) and acquired neurogenic stuttering (ANS), few studies have examined similarities/differences between these two disorders. We evaluated in both PDS (n = 35) and ANS (n = 5) phonetic, word class, word length, and word position variables that are widely believed to influence at which loci within utterances PDS speakers' stuttering is most likely to occur. For both groups, (a) word weights based on the combination of variables were greater for stuttered vs...
December 26, 2018: Brain and Language
Mikael Novén, Andrea Schremm, Markus Nilsson, Merle Horne, Mikael Roll
Aptitude for and proficiency in acquiring new languages varies in the human population but their neural bases are largely unknown. We investigated the influence of cortical thickness on language learning predictors measured by the LLAMA tests and a pitch-change discrimination test. The LLAMA tests are first language-independent assessments of language learning aptitude for vocabulary, phonetic working memory, sound-symbol correspondence (not used in this study), and grammatical inferencing. Pitch perception proficiency is known to predict aptitude for learning new phonology...
December 18, 2018: Brain and Language
Yunju Nam, Upyong Hong
In Korean, it is allowed for an adjective to modify a distant noun that appears after an intervening relative clause instead of an adjacent noun. The current study investigated the time course of syntactic and semantic integration between an adjective (A) and an adjacent noun (N1) and/or a distant noun (N2) during on-line reading comprehension of Korean sentences. Semantic congruence between adjectives and nouns were manipulated, such that A was congruent with both N1 and N2, either with N1 or N2, or with none of N1/N2...
December 14, 2018: Brain and Language
Songhee Kim, Liina Pylkkänen
Characterizing the precise computations carried out by the various nodes of the semantic network remains a central challenge. One of the better understood nodes within this system is the left anterior temporal lobe (LATL), which shows an early (∼250 ms) amplitude increase if the semantic composition between the current word and its context is in some ways "simple." As this type of effect has only been demonstrated for noun-modifier composition, we asked if a similar pattern is elicited for verb phrase composition...
December 6, 2018: Brain and Language
Daniel L Drane, Nigel P Pedersen
The effects of epilepsy and its treatments have contributed significantly to language models. The setting of epilepsy surgery, which allows for careful pre- and postsurgical evaluation of patients with cognitive testing and neuroimaging, has produced a wealth of language findings. Moreover, a new wave of surgical interventions, including stereotactic laser ablation and radio frequency ablation, have contributed new insights and corrections to language models as they can make extremely precise, focal lesions...
February 2019: Brain and Language
Tim Saltuklaroglu, Andrew Bowers, Ashley W Harkrider, Devin Casenhiser, Kevin J Reilly, David E Jenson, David Thornton
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2018: Brain and Language
Riikka Möttönen, Patti Adank, Jeremy I Skipper
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2018: Brain and Language
Lorna C Quandt, Emily Kubicek
Bilingual individuals automatically translate written words from one language to another. While this process is established in spoken-language bilinguals, there is less known about its occurrence in deaf bilinguals who know signed and spoken languages. Since sign language uses motion and space to convey linguistic content, it is possible that action simulation in the brain's sensorimotor system plays a role in this process. We recorded EEG from deaf participants fluent in ASL as they read individual English words and found significant differences in alpha and beta EEG at central electrode sites during the reading of English words whose ASL translations use two hands, compared to English words whose ASL translations use one hand...
December 2018: Brain and Language
Jacqueline Cummine, Carol A Boliek, Tessa McKibben, Aamn Jaswal, Marc F Joanisse
The left angular gyrus has long been implicated in semantic processing. Here we tested whether or not transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the left angular gyrus modulated reading performance. Adult readers (N = 77) (1) read aloud words that varied in degree of imageability, a semantic word property known to activate the angular gyrus, and (2) completed an N-back task (control task). Individuals were randomly assigned to either the anodal, cathodal or sham stimulation conditions. We found that anodal (p = 0...
November 24, 2018: Brain and Language
Laura Bechtold, Christian Bellebaum, Sophie Egan, Marco Tettamanti, Marta Ghio
Embodied theories assign experience a crucial role in shaping conceptual representations. Supporting evidence comes mostly from studies on concrete concepts, where e.g., motor expertise facilitated action concept processing. This study examined experience-dependent effects on abstract concept processing. We asked participants with high and low mathematical expertise to perform a lexical decision task on mathematical and nonmathematical abstract words, while acquiring event-related potentials. Analyses revealed an interaction of expertise and word type on the amplitude of a fronto-central N400 and a centro-parietal late positive component (LPC)...
November 11, 2018: Brain and Language
Svetlana Malyutina, Valeriya Zelenkova, Olga Buivolova, Elise J Oosterhuis, Nikita Zmanovsky, Matteo Feurra
Patient studies and brain stimulation evidence suggest that language processing can be enhanced by altering the interhemispheric balance: namely, preferentially enhancing left-hemisphere activity while suppressing right-hemisphere activity. To our knowledge, no study has yet compared the effects of such bilateral brain stimulation to both logically necessary control conditions (separate left- and right-hemisphere stimulation). This study did so in a between-group sham-controlled design, applying transcranial direct current stimulation over Broca's area and/or its homologue in 72 healthy participants...
November 2018: Brain and Language
Emily L Coderre, Neil Cohn, Sally K Slipher, Mariya Chernenok, Kerry Ledoux, Barry Gordon
Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have notable language difficulties, including with understanding narratives. However, most narrative comprehension studies have used written or spoken narratives, making it unclear whether narrative difficulties stem from language impairments or more global impairments in the kinds of general cognitive processes (such as understanding meaning and structural sequencing) that are involved in narrative comprehension. Using event-related potentials (ERPs), we directly compared semantic comprehension of linguistic narratives (short sentences) and visual narratives (comic panels) in adults with ASD and typically-developing (TD) adults...
November 2018: Brain and Language
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