Neurobiology of Language -
Brain oscillations in language
Brain Oscillations in Language
As an integral part of a larger project called the Mother of All Unification Studies (MOUS), 204 participants had electrical, structural, behavioural, and genetic information collected while they either listened to or read word lists and sentences. The results of the study showed that almost all frequency bands: delta (0.5-3.5 Hz), theta (4-7 Hz), alpha (8– 10 Hz), beta (13–30 Hz), and gamma (30–100 Hz) are involved in language comprehension, with specific roles for each band in areas all over the brain. In particular, slow oscillations in the delta and theta band lined up with the inherent rhythm in speech sounds, which might be part of what allows us to parse speech. For reading, the oscillations involved with the unification, prediction, and language memory processes were identified – and most interestingly were detected in areas in both hemispheres, contrary to many other studies suggesting the predominant involvement of the left hemisphere in language processing. In total, the results show insight into the function of, and provide fertile ground for future research into, neural oscillations in language.
Nietzsche Lam obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. She also holds an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience from the Donders Institute of Radboud University Nijmegen. She currently works in medical communications in Amsterdam.