You are here: Home Publications Neural entrainment determines the words we hear

Neural entrainment determines the words we hear

Kösem, A., Bosker, H. R., Takashima, A., Meyer, A. S., Jensen, O., & Hagoort, P. (2017). Neural entrainment determines the words we hear. BioRxiv. doi:10.1101/175000.
Low-frequency neural entrainment to rhythmic input has been hypothesized as a canonical mechanism that shapes sensory perception in time. Neural entrainment is deemed particularly relevant for speech analysis, as it would contribute to the extraction of discrete linguistic elements from continuous acoustic signals. Yet, its causal influence in speech perception has been difficult to establish. Here, we provide evidence that oscillations build temporal predictions about the duration of speech tokens that directly influence perception. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), we studied neural dynamics during listening to sentences that changed in speech rate. We observed neural entrainment to preceding speech rhythms persisting for several cycles after the change in rate. The sustained entrainment was associated with changes in the perceived duration of the last word’s vowel, resulting in the perception of words with radically different meanings. These findings support oscillatory models of speech processing, suggesting that neural oscillations actively shape speech perception.
About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.

 

Street address
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands


Mailing address
P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
Fax:        +31-24-3521213
E-mail:   


Public Outreach Officer
Charlotte Horn