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Language, Cognition and Neuroscience

Denise Y Harvey, Hilary J Traut, Erica L Middleton
Naming pictures from the same semantic category hinders subsequent naming from that category (i.e., semantic interference), irrespective of the number of intervening different-category exemplars named. Persistent semantic interference has been well documented in chronometric studies, and has been attributed to experience-driven adjustments in the strength of connections between semantic and lexical representations. However, whether parallel effects exist in speech error data remains unclear. In the current study, people with aphasia, a speaker population prone to naming errors, provided naming responses to a large picture corpus presented in random order that comprised multiple exemplars drawn from several different categories...
2019: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Matthias Berkes, Deanna C Friesen, Ellen Bialystok
Two studies investigated how cultural context and familiarity impact lexical access in Korean-English bilingual and English monolingual adults. ERPs were recorded while participants decided whether a word and picture matched or not. Pictures depicted versions of objects that were prototypically associated with North American or Korean culture and named in either English or Korean, creating culturally congruent and incongruent trials. For bilinguals, culturally congruent trials facilitated responding but ERP results showed that images from both cultures were processed similarly...
2018: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Gabriela Meade, Brittany Lee, Katherine J Midgley, Phillip J Holcomb, Karen Emmorey
This study investigated the electrophysiological signatures of phonological and semantic priming in American Sign Language (ASL). Deaf signers made semantic relatedness judgments to pairs of ASL signs separated by a 1300 ms prime-target SOA. Phonologically related sign pairs shared two of three phonological parameters (handshape, location, and movement). Target signs preceded by phonologically related and semantically related prime signs elicited smaller negativities within the N300 and N400 windows than those preceded by unrelated primes...
2018: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Dave F Kleinschmidt
One of the persistent puzzles in understanding human speech perception is how listeners cope with talker variability. One thing that might help listeners is structure in talker variability: rather than varying randomly, talkers of the same gender, dialect, age, etc. tend to produce language in similar ways. Listeners are sensitive to this covariation between linguistic variation and socio-indexical variables. In this paper I present new techniques based on ideal observer models to quantify (1) the amount and type of structure in talker variation ( informativity of a grouping variable), and (2) how useful such structure can be for robust speech recognition in the face of talker variability (the utility of a grouping variable)...
2018: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Clinton L Johns, Andrew A Jahn, Hannah R Jones, Dave Kush, Peter J Molfese, Julie A Van Dyke, James S Magnuson, Whitney Tabor, W Einar Mencl, Donald P Shankweiler, David Braze
This exploratory study investigated relations between individual differences in cortical grey matter structure and young adult readers' cognitive profiles. Whole-brain analyses revealed neuroanatomical correlations with word and nonword reading ability (decoding), and experience with printed matter. Decoding was positively correlated with grey matter volume (GMV) in left superior temporal sulcus, and thickness (GMT) in right superior temporal gyrus. Print exposure was negatively correlated with GMT in left inferior frontal gyrus (pars opercularis) and left fusiform gyrus (including the visual word form area)...
2018: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Dennis Norris, Sachiko Kinoshita, Jane Hall, Richard Henson
Humans have an almost unbounded ability to adapt their behaviour to perform different tasks. In the laboratory, this flexibility is sometimes viewed as a nuisance factor that prevents access to the underlying cognitive mechanisms of interest. For example, in order to study "automatic" lexical processing, psycholinguists have used masked priming or evoked potentials. However, the pattern of masked priming can be radically altered by changing the task. In lexical decision, priming is observed for words but not for nonwords, yet in a same-different matching task, priming is observed for same responses but not for different responses, regardless of whether the target is a word or a nonword [Norris & Kinoshita, 2008...
2018: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Daniel Schmidtke, Christina L Gagné, Victor Kuperman, Thomas L Spalding, Benjamin V Tucker
Previous research has shown that compound word recognition involves selecting a relational meaning (e.g., 'box for letters' for letterbox ) out of a set of competing relational meanings for the same compound. We conducted five experiments to investigate the role of competition between relational meanings across visual and auditory compound word processing. In Experiment 1 conceptual relations judgments were collected for 604 English compound words. From this database we computed an information-theoretic measure of competition between conceptual relations - entropy of conceptual relations ...
2018: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Yongqiang Feng, Yan Xiao, Yonghong Yan, Ludo Max
We investigated Mandarin speakers' control of lexical tone production with F0-perturbed auditory feedback. Subjects produced high level (T1), mid rising (T2), low dipping (T3), and high falling (T4) tones in conditions with (a) no perturbation, (b) T1 shifted down, (c) T1 shifted down and T3 shifted up, or (d) T1 shifted down and T3 shifted up but without producing other tones. Speakers and new subjects also completed a tone identification task with unaltered and F0-perturbed productions. With only T1 perturbed down, speakers adapted by raising F0 relative to no-perturbation...
2018: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Laurel A Lawyer, David P Corina
Numerous studies have shown evidence for a sparse lexicon in speech perception, often in the guise of underspecification, where certain information is omitted in the specification of phonological forms. While previous work has made a good case for underspecifying certain features of single speech sounds, the role of phonological context in underspecification has been overlooked. Contextually-mediated underspecification is particularly relevant to conceptualizations of the lexicon, as it is couched in item-specific (as opposed to phoneme-specific) patterning...
2018: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Shannon M Sheppard, Katherine J Midgley, Tracy Love, Lewis P Shapiro, Phillip J Holcomb
This study investigated the interaction of prosody and thematic fit/plausibility information during the processing of sentences containing temporary early closure (correct) or late closure (incorrect) syntactic ambiguities using event-related potentials (ERPs). Early closure sentences with congruent and incongruent prosody were presented where the temporarily ambiguous NP was either a plausible or an implausible continuation for the subordinate verb (e.g. "While the band played the song/beer pleased all the customers...
2018: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Amy M Lieberman, Arielle Borovsky, Rachel I Mayberry
Prediction during sign language comprehension may enable signers to integrate linguistic and non-linguistic information within the visual modality. In two eyetracking experiments, we investigated American Sign language (ASL) semantic prediction in deaf adults and children (aged 4-8 years). Participants viewed ASL sentences in a visual world paradigm in which the sentence-initial verb was either neutral or constrained relative to the sentence-final target noun. Adults and children made anticipatory looks to the target picture before the onset of the target noun in the constrained condition only, showing evidence for semantic prediction...
2018: 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...
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
Laurel A Lawyer, David P Corina
This study examines the relationship between patterns of variation and speech perception using two English prefixes: 'in-'/'im-' and 'un-'. In natural speech, 'in-' varies due to an underlying process of phonological assimilation, while 'un-' shows a pattern of surface variation, assimilating before labial stems. In a go/no-go lexical decision experiment, subjects were presented a set of 'mispronounced' stimuli in which the prefix nasal was altered (replacing [n] with [m], or vice versa), in addition to real words with unaltered prefixes...
2017: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Jonathan E Peelle
In this review I introduce the historical context and methods of optical neuroimaging, leading to the modern use of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and high-density diffuse optical tomography (HD-DOT) to study human brain function. In its most frequent application, optical neuroimaging measures a hemodynamically-mediated signal indirectly related to neural processing, similar to that captured by fMRI. Compared to other approaches to measuring human brain function, optical imaging has many advantages: it is noninvasive, frequently portable, acoustically silent, robust to motion and muscle movement, and appropriate in many situations in which fMRI is not possible (for example, due to implanted medical devices)...
2017: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
Arielle Borovsky
Listeners easily interpret speech about novel events in everyday conversation; however, much of research on mechanisms of spoken language comprehension, by design, capitalises on event knowledge that is familiar to most listeners. This paper explores how listeners generalise from previous experience during incremental processing of novel spoken sentences. In two studies, participants initially heard stories that conveyed novel event mappings between agents, actions and objects, and their ability to interpret a novel, related event in real-time was measured via eye-tracking...
2017: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience
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