Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 9324
  • Akamine, S., Ghaleb, E., Rasenberg, M., Fernandez, R., Meyer, A. S., & Özyürek, A. (in press). Speakers align both their gestures and words not only to establish but also to maintain reference to create shared labels for novel objects in interaction. In Proceedings of the 46th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2024).
  • Araújo, S., Reis, A., Faísca, L., & Petersson, K. M. (in press). Brain sensitivity to words and the “word recognition potential”. In D. Marques, & J. H. Toscano (Eds.), De las neurociencias a la neuropsicologia: el estúdio del cerebro humano. Barranquilla, Colombia: Corporación Universitaria Reformada.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (in press). Evolution of counting systems. In E. Aldridge, A. Breitbarth, K. É. Kiss, A. Ledgeway, J. Salmon, & A. Simonenko (Eds.), Wiley Blackwell companion to diachronic linguistics. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (in press). Latin varieties and the study of language. Social stratification in language evolution. In Latin vulgaire - latin tardif XIV. Turnhout: Brepols.
  • Ben-Ami, S., Ganesh, S., Gilad-Gutnick, S., Gupta, P., Ralekar, C., Rubio-Fernandez, P., Sha, P., Shukla., V., & Sinha, P. (in press). Form perception as a bridge to real-world functional proficiency. In Proceedings of the 46th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2024).
  • Defina, R. (in press). Tense, aspect, and mood in Avatime. Afrika und Übersee.

    Abstract

    The Ghana-Togo Mountain languages are a typologically distinct group of languages within the Kwa branch of the Niger-Congo language family. Until recently, they have received very little documentary attention, and are still greatly under-described. Where there is information regarding the tense, aspect, and mood system, Ghana-Togo Mountain languages are described as tense and aspect prominent. In contrast, Kwa languages are typically aspect and mood prominent, with little to no grammatical tense marking. Is the apparent greater emphasis on tense one of the typological features that separates the Ghana- Togo Mountain languages from the other Kwa languages? Or has tense been overrepresented due to the lack of description? In the case of Avatime, it is the latter. Previous accounts have described Avatime with a strong focus on tense. However, when the semantics are considered in more detail, we see that none of the forms contains an inherent specification for tense. While there is often a default interpretation in the past, present or future, this default can easily be overridden. Thus, Avatime has a typical Kwa system with a focus on aspect and mood and no grammatical tense.
  • García-Marín, L. M., Campos, A. I., Diaz-Torres, S., Rabinowitz, J. A., Ceja, Z., Mitchell, B. L., Grasby, K. L., Thorp, J. G., Agartz, I., Alhusaini, S., Ames, D., Amouyel, P., Andreassen, O. A., Arfanakis, K., Arias Vasquez, A., Athanasiu, L., Bastin, M. E., Beiser, A. S., Bennett, D. A., Bis, J. C. García-Marín, L. M., Campos, A. I., Diaz-Torres, S., Rabinowitz, J. A., Ceja, Z., Mitchell, B. L., Grasby, K. L., Thorp, J. G., Agartz, I., Alhusaini, S., Ames, D., Amouyel, P., Andreassen, O. A., Arfanakis, K., Arias Vasquez, A., Athanasiu, L., Bastin, M. E., Beiser, A. S., Bennett, D. A., Bis, J. C., Boks, M. P. M., Boomsma, D. I., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Buitelaar, J. K., Burkhardt, R., Cahn, W., Calhoun, V. D., Carmichael, O. T., Chakravarty, M., Chen, Q., Ching, C. R. K., Cichon, S., Crespo-Facorro, B., Crivello, F., Dale, A. M., Smith, G. D., De Geus, E. J. C., De Jager, P. L., De Zubicaray, G. I., Debette, S., DeCarli, C., Depondt, C., Desrivières, S., Djurovic, S., Ehrlich, S., Erk, S., Espeseth, T., Fernández, G., Filippi, I., Fisher, S. E., Fleischman, D. A., Fletcher, E., Fornage, M., Forstner, A. J., Francks, C., Franke, B., Ge, T., Goldman, A. L., Grabe, H. J., Green, R. C., Grimm, O., Groenewold, N. A., Gruber, O., Gudnason, V., Håberg, A. K., Haukvik, U. K., Heinz, A., Hibar, D. P., Hilal, S., Himali, J. J., Ho, B.-C., Hoehn, D. F., Hoekstra, P. J., Hofer, E., Hoffmann, W., Holmes, A. J., Homuth, G., Hosten, N., Ikram, M. K., Ipser, J. C., Jack Jr, C. R., Jahanshad, N., Jönsson, E. G., Kahn, R. S., Kanai, R., Klein, M., Knol, M. J., Launer, L. J., Lawrie, S. M., Le Hellard, S., Lee, P. H., Lemaître, H., Li, S., Liewald, D. C. M., Lin, H., Longstreth Jr, W. T. L., Lopez, O. L., Luciano, M., Maillard, P., Marquand, A. F., Martin, N. G., Martinot, J.-L., Mather, K. A., Mattay, V. S., McMahon, K. L., Mecocci, P., Melle, I., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., Mirza-Schreiber, N., Milaneschi, Y., Mosley, T. H., Mühleisen, T. W., Müller-Myhsok, B., Muñoz Maniega, S., Nauck, M., Nho, K., Niessen, W. J., Nöthen, M. M., Nyquist, P. A., Oosterlaan, J., Pandolfo, M., Paus, T., Pausova, Z., Penninx, B. W. J. H., Pike, G. B., Psaty, B. M., Pütz, B., Reppermund, S., Rietschel, M. D., Risacher, S. L., Romanczuk-Seiferth, N., Romero-Garcia, R., Roshchupkin, G. V., Rotter, J. I., Sachdev, P. S., Sämann, P. G., Saremi, A., Sargurupremraj, M., Saykin, A. J., Schmaal, L., Schmidt, H., Schmidt, R., Schofield, P. R., Scholz, M., Schumann, G., Schwarz, E., Shen, L., Shin, J., Sisodiya, S. M., Smith, A. V., Smoller, J. W., Soininen, H. S., Steen, V. M., Stein, D. J., Stein, J. L., Thomopoulos, S. I., Toga, A., Tordesillas-Gutiérrez, D. T., Trollor, J. N., Valdes-Hernandez, M. C., Van 't Ent, D., Van Bokhoven, H., Van der Meer, D., Van der Wee, N. J. A., Vázquez-Bourgon, J., Veltman, D. J., Vernooij, M. W., Villringer, A., Vinke, L. N., Völzke, H., Walter, H., Wardlaw, J. M., Weinberger, D. R., Weiner, M. W., Wen, W., Westlye, L. T., Westman, E., White, T., Witte, A. V., Wolf, C., Yang, J., Zwiers, M. P., Ikram, M. A., Seshadri, S., Thompson, P. M., Satizabal, C. L., Medland, S. E., & Rentería, M. E. (in press). Genomic analysis of intracranial and subcortical brain volumes yields polygenic scores accounting for brain variation across ancestries. Nature Genetics.
  • Ghaleb, E., Burenko, I., Rasenberg, M., Pouw, W., Uhrig, P., Holler, J., Toni, I., Ozyurek, A., & Fernandez, R. (in press). Cospeech gesture detection through multi-phase sequence labeling. In IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV).
  • Ghaleb, E., Rasenberg, M., Pouw, W., Toni, I., Holler, J., Özyürek, A., & Fernandez, R. (in press). Analysing cross-speaker convergence through the lens of automatically detected shared linguistic constructions. In Proceedings of the 46th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2024).
  • Göksun, T., Aktan-Erciyes, A., Karadöller, D. Z., & Demir-Lira, Ö. E. (in press). Multifaceted nature of early vocabulary development: Connecting child characteristics with parental input types. Child Development Perspectives.
  • Hammarström, H., & Parkvall, M. (in press). Basic Constituent Order in Pidgin and Creole Languages: Inheritance or Universals? Journal of Language Contact.
  • Jara-Ettinger, J., & Rubio-Fernandez, P. (in press). Demonstratives as attention tools: Evidence of mentalistic representations in language. PNAS.
  • Kurth, F., Schijven, D., Van den Heuvel, O. A., Hoogman, M., Van Rooij, D., Stein, D. J., Buitelaar, J. K., Bölte, S., Auzias, G., Kushki, A., Venkatasubramanian, G., Rubia, K., Bollmann, S., Isaksson, J., Jaspers-Fayer, F., Marsh, R., Batistuzzo, M. C., Arnold, P. D., Bressan, R. A., Stewart, E. S. Kurth, F., Schijven, D., Van den Heuvel, O. A., Hoogman, M., Van Rooij, D., Stein, D. J., Buitelaar, J. K., Bölte, S., Auzias, G., Kushki, A., Venkatasubramanian, G., Rubia, K., Bollmann, S., Isaksson, J., Jaspers-Fayer, F., Marsh, R., Batistuzzo, M. C., Arnold, P. D., Bressan, R. A., Stewart, E. S., Gruner, P., Sorensen, L., Pan, P. M., Silk, T. J., Gur, R. C., Cubillo, A. I., Haavik, J., O'Gorman Tuura, R. L., Hartman, C. A., Calvo, R., McGrath, J., Calderoni, S., Jackowski, A., Chantiluke, K. C., Satterthwaite, T. D., Busatto, G. F., Nigg, J. T., Gur, R. E., Retico, A., Tosetti, M., Gallagher, L., Szeszko, P. R., Neufeld, J., Ortiz, A. E., Ghisleni, C., Lazaro, L., Hoekstra, P. J., Anagnostou, E., Hoekstra, L., Simpson, B., Plessen, J. K., Deruelle, C., Soreni, N., James, A., Narayanaswamy, J., Reddy, J. Y. C., Fitzgerald, J., Bellgrove, M. A., Salum, G. A., Janssen, J., Muratori, F., Vila, M., Garcia Giral, M., Ameis, S. H., Bosco, P., Lundin Remnélius, K., Huyser, C., Pariente, J. C., Jalbrzikowski, M., Rosa, P. G. P., O'Hearn, K. M., Ehrlich, S., Mollon, J., Zugman, A., Christakou, A., Arango, C., Fisher, S. E., Kong, X.-Z., Franke, B., Medland, S. E., Thomopoulos, S. I., Jahanshad, N., Glahn, D. C., Thompson, P. M., Francks, C., & Luders, E. (in press). Large-scale analysis of structural brain asymmetries during neurodevelopment: Age effects and sex differences in 4,265 children and adolescents. Human Brain Mapping.
  • Long, M., & Rubio-Fernandez, P. (in press). Beyond typicality: Lexical category affects the use and processing of color words. In Proceedings of the 46th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2024).
  • Nölle, J., Raviv, L., Graham, K. E., Hartmann, S., Jadoul, Y., Josserand, M., Matzinger, T., Mudd, K., Pleyer, M., Slonimska, A., Wacewicz, S., & Watson, S. (Eds.). (in press). Proceedings of the International Conference on the Evolution of Language 2024 (Evolang XV). The Evolution of Language Conferences.
  • O’Meara, C., Kung, S. S., & Majid, A. (in press). The challenge of olfactory ideophones: Reconsidering ineffability from the Totonac-Tepehua perspective. International Journal of American Linguistics.
  • Ronderos, C. R., Zhang, Y., & Rubio-Fernandez, P. (in press). Weighted parameters in demonstrative use: The case of Spanish teens and adults. In Proceedings of the 46th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2024).
  • Rubio-Fernandez, P. (in press). Cultural evolutionary pragmatics: An empirical approach to the relation between language and social cognition. In B. Geurts, & R. Moore (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Rubio-Fernandez, P., Long, M., Shukla, V., Bhatia, B., Mahapatra, A., Ralekar, C., Ben-Ami, S., & Sinha, P. (in press). Multimodal communication in newly sighted children: An investigation of the relation between visual experience and pragmatic development. In Proceedings of the 46th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2024).
  • Schreiner, M. S., Zettersten, M., Bergmann, C., Frank, M. C., Fritzsche, T., Gonzalez-Gomez, N., Hamlin, K., Kartushina, N., Kellier, D. J., Mani, N., Mayor, J., Saffran, J., Shukla, M., Silverstein, P., Soderstrom, M., & Lippold, M. (in press). Limited evidence of test-retest reliability in infant-directed speech preference in a large pre-registered infant experiment. Developmental Science.
  • Slonimska, A., & Özyürek, A. (in press). Methods to study evolution of iconicity in sign languages. In L. Raviv, & C. Boeckx (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Approaches to Language Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • De Vos, C. (in press). Language of perception in Kata Kolok. In A. Majid, & S. C. Levinson (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Language of Perception. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Abstract

    This study describes the sensory lexicon on the domains of colour, taste, shape, smell and touch of a rural sign language called Kata Kolok (KK). Taste was highly codable for Kata Kolok signers, who used a dedicated set of signs and facial expressions to indicate each of the taste stimuli. The second most codable perceptual domain was shape, for which signers often used classifiers and tracing gestures that reflected the shape of the object directly. Smell had a comparatively intermediate level of codability, but this was due, for the most part, to the use of evaluative terms. Although Kata Kolok has a dedicated set of colour signs, these leave large parts of the colour spectrum unnamed, resulting in low degrees of codability in this sensory domain. Unnamed colours were frequently described by iconic-indexical forms such as object labelling and pointing strategies. Touch was the least codable domain for Kata Kolok, which resulted in a wide range of iconically motivated constructions including a restricted set of domain-specific lexical signs, classifiers, tracing gestures, object labelling, and general evaluative terms.
  • Wong, M. M. K., Sha, Z., Lütje, L., Kong, X., Van Heukelum, S., Van de Berg, W. D. J., Jonkman, L. E., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (in press). The neocortical infrastructure for language involves region-specific patterns of laminar gene expression. PNAS.

    Abstract

    The language network of the human brain has core components in the inferior frontal cortex and superior/middle temporal cortex, with left-hemisphere dominance in most people. Functional specialization and interconnectivity of these neocortical regions is likely to be reflected in their molecular and cellular profiles. Excitatory connections between cortical regions arise and innervate according to layer-specific patterns. Here we generated a new gene expression dataset from human postmortem cortical tissue samples from core language network regions, using spatial transcriptomics to discriminate gene expression across cortical layers. Integration of these data with existing single-cell expression data identified 56 genes that showed differences in laminar expression profiles between frontal and temporal language cortex together with upregulation in layer II/III and/or layer V/VI excitatory neurons. Based on data from large-scale genome-wide screening in the population, DNA variants within these 56 genes showed set-level associations with inter-individual variation in structural connectivity between left-hemisphere frontal and temporal language cortex, and with predisposition to dyslexia. The axon guidance genes SLIT1 and SLIT2 were consistently implicated. These findings identify region-specific patterns of laminar gene expression as a feature of the brain’s language network.

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  • Ahn, D., & Ferreira, V. S. (2024). Shared vs separate structural representations: Evidence from cumulative cross-language structural priming. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 77(1), 174-190. doi:10.1177/17470218231160942.

    Abstract

    How do bilingual speakers represent the information that guides the assembly of words into sentences for their two languages? The shared-syntax account argues that bilinguals have a single, shared representation of the sentence structures that exist in both languages. Structural priming has been shown to be equal within and across languages, providing support for the shared-syntax account. However, equivalent levels of structural priming within and across languages could be observed even if structural representations are separate and connected, due to frequent switches between languages, which is a property of standard structural priming paradigms. Here, we investigated whether cumulative structural priming (i.e., structural priming across blocks rather than trial-by-trial), which does not involve frequent switches between languages, also shows equivalent levels of structural priming within- and cross-languages. Mixed results point towards a possibility that cumulative structural priming can be more persistent within- compared to cross-languages, suggesting a separate-and-connected account of bilingual structural representations. We discuss these results in terms of the current literature on bilingual structural representations and highlight the value of diversity in paradigms and less-studied languages.
  • Ahn, D., Ferreira, V. S., & Gollan, T. H. (2024). Structural representation in the native language after extended second-language immersion: Evidence from acceptability judgment and memory-recall. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. Advance online publication. doi:10.1017/S1366728923000950.

    Abstract

    Knowing the sentence structures (i.e., information that guides the assembly of words into sentences) is crucial in language knowledge. This knowledge must be stable for successful communication, but when learning another language that uses different structures, speakers must adjust their structural knowledge. Here, we examine how newly acquired second language (L2) knowledge influences first language (L1) structure knowledge. We compared two groups of Korean speakers: Korean-immersed speakers living in Korea (with little English exposure) versus English-immersed speakers who acquired English late and were living in the US (with more English exposure). We used acceptability judgment and sentence production tasks on Korean sentences in English and Korean word orders. Results suggest that acceptability and structural usage in L1 change after exposure to L2, but not in a way that matches L2 structures. Instead, L2 exposure might lead to increased difficulties in the selection and retrieval of word orders while using L1.
  • Alispahic, S., Pellicano, E., Cutler, A., & Antoniou, M. (2024). Multiple talker processing in autistic adult listeners. Scientific Reports, 14: 14698. doi:10.1038/s41598-024-62429-w.

    Abstract

    Accommodating talker variability is a complex and multi-layered cognitive process. It involves shifting attention to the vocal characteristics of the talker as well as the linguistic content of their speech. Due to an interdependence between voice and phonological processing, multi-talker environments typically incur additional processing costs compared to single-talker environments. A failure or inability to efficiently distribute attention over multiple acoustic cues in the speech signal may have detrimental language learning consequences. Yet, no studies have examined effects of multi-talker processing in populations with atypical perceptual, social and language processing for communication, including autistic people. Employing a classic word-monitoring task, we investigated effects of talker variability in Australian English autistic (n = 24) and non-autistic (n = 28) adults. Listeners responded to target words (e.g., apple, duck, corn) in randomised sequences of words. Half of the sequences were spoken by a single talker and the other half by multiple talkers. Results revealed that autistic participants’ sensitivity scores to accurately-spotted target words did not differ to those of non-autistic participants, regardless of whether they were spoken by a single or multiple talkers. As expected, the non-autistic group showed the well-established processing cost associated with talker variability (e.g., slower response times). Remarkably, autistic listeners’ response times did not differ across single- or multi-talker conditions, indicating they did not show perceptual processing costs when accommodating talker variability. The present findings have implications for theories of autistic perception and speech and language processing.

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  • Anijs, M. (2024). Networks within networks: Probing the neuronal and molecular underpinnings of language-related disorders using human cell models. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Arana, S., Hagoort, P., Schoffelen, J.-M., & Rabovsky, M. (2024). Perceived similarity as a window into representations of integrated sentence meaning. Behavior Research Methods, 56(3), 2675-2691. doi:10.3758/s13428-023-02129-x.

    Abstract

    When perceiving the world around us, we are constantly integrating pieces of information. The integrated experience consists of more than just the sum of its parts. For example, visual scenes are defined by a collection of objects as well as the spatial relations amongst them and sentence meaning is computed based on individual word semantic but also syntactic configuration. Having quantitative models of such integrated representations can help evaluate cognitive models of both language and scene perception. Here, we focus on language, and use a behavioral measure of perceived similarity as an approximation of integrated meaning representations. We collected similarity judgments of 200 subjects rating nouns or transitive sentences through an online multiple arrangement task. We find that perceived similarity between sentences is most strongly modulated by the semantic action category of the main verb. In addition, we show how non-negative matrix factorization of similarity judgment data can reveal multiple underlying dimensions reflecting both semantic as well as relational role information. Finally, we provide an example of how similarity judgments on sentence stimuli can serve as a point of comparison for artificial neural networks models (ANNs) by comparing our behavioral data against sentence similarity extracted from three state-of-the-art ANNs. Overall, our method combining the multiple arrangement task on sentence stimuli with matrix factorization can capture relational information emerging from integration of multiple words in a sentence even in the presence of strong focus on the verb.
  • Aravena-Bravo, P., Cristia, A., Garcia, R., Kotera, H., Nicolas, R. K., Laranjo, R., Arokoyo, B. E., Benavides-Varela, S., Benders, T., Boll-Avetisyan, N., Cychosz, M., Ben, R. D., Diop, Y., Durán-Urzúa, C., Havron, N., Manalili, M., Narasimhan, B., Omane, P. O., Rowland, C. F., Kolberg, L. S. Aravena-Bravo, P., Cristia, A., Garcia, R., Kotera, H., Nicolas, R. K., Laranjo, R., Arokoyo, B. E., Benavides-Varela, S., Benders, T., Boll-Avetisyan, N., Cychosz, M., Ben, R. D., Diop, Y., Durán-Urzúa, C., Havron, N., Manalili, M., Narasimhan, B., Omane, P. O., Rowland, C. F., Kolberg, L. S., Ssemata, A. S., Styles, S. J., Troncoso-Acosta, B., & Woon, F. T. (2024). Towards diversifying early language development research: The first truly global international summer/winter school on language acquisition (/L+/) 2021. Journal of Cognition and Development, 25(2), 242-260. doi:10.1080/15248372.2023.2231083.

    Abstract

    With a long-term aim of empowering researchers everywhere to contribute to work on language development, we organized the First Truly Global /L+/ International Summer/ Winter School on Language Acquisition, a free 5-day virtual school for early career researchers. In this paper, we describe the school, our experience organizing it, and lessons learned. The school had a diverse organizer team, composed of 26 researchers (17 from under represented areas: Subsaharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Central and South America); and a diverse volunteer team, with a total of 95 volunteers from 35 different countries, nearly half from under represented areas. This helped world-wide Page 5 of 5 promotion of the school, leading to 958 registrations from 88 different countries, with 300 registrants (based in 63 countries, 80% from under represented areas) selected to participate in the synchronous aspects of the event. The school employed asynchronous (pre-recorded lectures, which were close-captioned) and synchronous elements (e.g., discussions to place the recorded lectures into participants' context; networking events) across three time zones. A post-school questionnaire revealed that 99% of participants enjoyed taking part in the school. Not with standing these positive quantitative outcomes, qualitative comments suggested we fell short in several areas, including the geographic diversity among lecturers and greater customization of contents to the participants’ contexts. Although much remains to be done to promote inclusivity in linguistic research, we hope our school will contribute to empowering researchers to investigate and publish on language acquisition in their home languages, to eventually result in more representative theories and empirical generalizations

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    https://osf.io/fbnda
  • Baths, V., Jartarkar, M., Sood, S., Lewis, A. G., Ostarek, M., & Huettig, F. (2024). Testing the involvement of low-level visual representations during spoken word processing with non-Western students and meditators practicing Sudarshan Kriya Yoga. Brain Research, 1838: 148993. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2024.148993.

    Abstract

    Previous studies, using the Continuous Flash Suppression (CFS) paradigm, observed that (Western) university students are better able to detect otherwise invisible pictures of objects when they are presented with the corresponding spoken word shortly before the picture appears. Here we attempted to replicate this effect with non-Western university students in Goa (India). A second aim was to explore the performance of (non-Western) meditators practicing Sudarshan Kriya Yoga in Goa in the same task. Some previous literature suggests that meditators may excel in some tasks that tap visual attention, for example by exercising better endogenous and exogenous control of visual awareness than non-meditators. The present study replicated the finding that congruent spoken cue words lead to significantly higher detection sensitivity than incongruent cue words in non-Western university students. Our exploratory meditator group also showed this detection effect but both frequentist and Bayesian analyses suggest that the practice of meditation did not modulate it. Overall, our results provide further support for the notion that spoken words can activate low-level category-specific visual features that boost the basic capacity to detect the presence of a visual stimulus that has those features. Further research is required to conclusively test whether meditation can modulate visual detection abilities in CFS and similar tasks.
  • Bayram, F., Kubota, M., & Pereira Soares, S. M. (2024). Editorial: The next phase in heritage language studies: methodological considerations and advancements. Frontiers in Psychology, 15: 1392474. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2024.1392474.
  • Bazzi, L., Brouwer, S., Khan, Z. N., Verdonschot, R. G., & Foucart, A. (2024). War feels less horrid in a foreign accent: Exploring the impact of the foreign accent on emotionality. Frontiers in Language Sciences, 3: 1357828. doi:10.3389/flang.2024.1357828.

    Abstract

    Introduction: The processing of a foreign accent is known to increase cognitive load for the native listener, establish psychological distance with the foreign-accented speaker, and even influence decision-making. Similarly, research in the field of emotional processing indicates that a foreign accent may impact the native listener's emotionality. Taking these aspects into consideration, the current study aimed to confirm the hypothesis that a foreign accent, compared to a native accent, significantly affects the processing of affective-laden words.

    Methods: In order to test this hypothesis, native Spanish speakers participated in an online experiment in which they rated on a Likert scale the valence and arousal of positive, neutral and negative words presented in native and foreign accents.

    Results: Results confirm a foreign accent effect on emotional processing whereby positively valenced words are perceived as less positive and negatively valenced words as less negative when processed in a foreign accent compared to a native accent. Moreover, the arousal provoked by emotion words is lesser when words are processed in a foreign than a native accent.

    Discussion: We propose possible, not mutually exclusive, explanations for the effect based on linguistic fluency, language attitudes and the linguistic context of language acquisition. Although further research is needed to confirm them, these explanations may be relevant for models of language comprehension and language learning. The observation of a reduction in emotionality resulting from a foreign accent is important for society as important decisions are made by representatives with diverse language and accent backgrounds. Our findings demonstrate that the choice of the language, which entails speaking in a native or a foreign accent, can be crucial when discussing topics such as the consequences of wars, pandemics, or natural disasters on human beings.

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  • Bianco, R., Zuk, N. J., Bigand, F., Quarta, E., Grasso, S., Arnese, F., Ravignani, A., Battaglia-Mayer, A., & Novembre, G. (2024). Neural encoding of musical expectations in a non-human primate. Current Biology, 34(2), 444-450. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2023.12.019.

    Abstract

    The appreciation of music is a universal trait of humankind.1,2,3 Evidence supporting this notion includes the ubiquity of music across cultures4,5,6,7 and the natural predisposition toward music that humans display early in development.8,9,10 Are we musical animals because of species-specific predispositions? This question cannot be answered by relying on cross-cultural or developmental studies alone, as these cannot rule out enculturation.11 Instead, it calls for cross-species experiments testing whether homologous neural mechanisms underlying music perception are present in non-human primates. We present music to two rhesus monkeys, reared without musical exposure, while recording electroencephalography (EEG) and pupillometry. Monkeys exhibit higher engagement and neural encoding of expectations based on the previously seeded musical context when passively listening to real music as opposed to shuffled controls. We then compare human and monkey neural responses to the same stimuli and find a species-dependent contribution of two fundamental musical features—pitch and timing12—in generating expectations: while timing- and pitch-based expectations13 are similarly weighted in humans, monkeys rely on timing rather than pitch. Together, these results shed light on the phylogeny of music perception. They highlight monkeys’ capacity for processing temporal structures beyond plain acoustic processing, and they identify a species-dependent contribution of time- and pitch-related features to the neural encoding of musical expectations.
  • Bignardi, G., Smit, D. J. A., Vessel, E. A., Trupp, M. D., Ticini, L. F., Fisher, S. E., & Polderman, T. J. C. (2024). Genetic effects on variability in visual aesthetic evaluations are partially shared across visual domains. Communications Biology, 7: 55. doi:10.1038/s42003-023-05710-4.

    Abstract

    The aesthetic values that individuals place on visual images are formed and shaped over a lifetime. However, whether the formation of visual aesthetic value is solely influenced by environmental exposure is still a matter of debate. Here, we considered differences in aesthetic value emerging across three visual domains: abstract images, scenes, and faces. We examined variability in two major dimensions of ordinary aesthetic experiences: taste-typicality and evaluation-bias. We build on two samples from the Australian Twin Registry where 1547 and 1231 monozygotic and dizygotic twins originally rated visual images belonging to the three domains. Genetic influences explained 26% to 41% of the variance in taste-typicality and evaluation-bias. Multivariate analyses showed that genetic effects were partially shared across visual domains. Results indicate that the heritability of major dimensions of aesthetic evaluations is comparable to that of other complex social traits, albeit lower than for other complex cognitive traits. The exception was taste-typicality for abstract images, for which we found only shared and unique environmental influences. Our study reveals that diverse sources of genetic and environmental variation influence the formation of aesthetic value across distinct visual domains and provides improved metrics to assess inter-individual differences in aesthetic value.

    Additional information

    supplementary information
  • Boen, R., Kaufmann, T., Van der Meer, D., Frei, O., Agartz, I., Ames, D., Andersson, M., Armstrong, N. J., Artiges, E., Atkins, J. R., Bauer, J., Benedetti, F., Boomsma, D. I., Brodaty, H., Brosch, K., Buckner, R. L., Cairns, M. J., Calhoun, V., Caspers, S., Cichon, S. and 96 moreBoen, R., Kaufmann, T., Van der Meer, D., Frei, O., Agartz, I., Ames, D., Andersson, M., Armstrong, N. J., Artiges, E., Atkins, J. R., Bauer, J., Benedetti, F., Boomsma, D. I., Brodaty, H., Brosch, K., Buckner, R. L., Cairns, M. J., Calhoun, V., Caspers, S., Cichon, S., Corvin, A. P., Crespo Facorro, B., Dannlowski, U., David, F. S., De Geus, E. J., De Zubicaray, G. I., Desrivières, S., Doherty, J. L., Donohoe, G., Ehrlich, S., Eising, E., Espeseth, T., Fisher, S. E., Forstner, A. J., Fortaner Uyà, L., Frouin, V., Fukunaga, M., Ge, T., Glahn, D. C., Goltermann, J., Grabe, H. J., Green, M. J., Groenewold, N. A., Grotegerd, D., Hahn, T., Hashimoto, R., Hehir-Kwa, J. Y., Henskens, F. A., Holmes, A. J., Haberg, A. K., Haavik, J., Jacquemont, S., Jansen, A., Jockwitz, C., Jonsson, E. G., Kikuchi, M., Kircher, T., Kumar, K., Le Hellard, S., Leu, C., Linden, D. E., Liu, J., Loughnan, R., Mather, K. A., McMahon, K. L., McRae, A. F., Medland, S. E., Meinert, S., Moreau, C. A., Morris, D. W., Mowry, B. J., Muhleisen, T. W., Nenadić, I., Nöthen, M. M., Nyberg, L., Owen, M. J., Paolini, M., Paus, T., Pausova, Z., Persson, K., Quidé, Y., Reis Marques, T., Sachdev, P. S., Sando, S. B., Schall, U., Scott, R. J., Selbæk, G., Shumskaya, E., Silva, A. I., Sisodiya, S. M., Stein, F., Stein, D. J., Straube, B., Streit, F., Strike, L. T., Teumer, A., Teutenberg, L., Thalamuthu, A., Tooney, P. A., Tordesillas-Gutierrez, D., Trollor, J. N., Van 't Ent, D., Van den Bree, M. B. M., Van Haren, N. E. M., Vazquez-Bourgon, J., Volzke, H., Wen, W., Wittfeld, K., Ching, C. R., Westlye, L. T., Thompson, P. M., Bearden, C. E., Selmer, K. K., Alnæs, D., Andreassen, O. A., & Sonderby, I. E. (2024). Beyond the global brain differences: Intra-individual variability differences in 1q21.1 distal and 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 deletion carriers. Biological Psychiatry, 95(2), 147-160. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2023.08.018.

    Abstract

    Background

    The 1q21.1 distal and 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 CNVs exhibit regional and global brain differences compared to non-carriers. However, interpreting regional differences is challenging if a global difference drives the regional brain differences. Intra-individual variability measures can be used to test for regional differences beyond global differences in brain structure.

    Methods

    Magnetic resonance imaging data were used to obtain regional brain values for 1q21.1 distal deletion (n=30) and duplication (n=27), and 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 deletion (n=170) and duplication (n=243) carriers and matched non-carriers (n=2,350). Regional intra-deviation (RID) scores i.e., the standardized difference between an individual’s regional difference and global difference, were used to test for regional differences that diverge from the global difference.

    Results

    For the 1q21.1 distal deletion carriers, cortical surface area for regions in the medial visual cortex, posterior cingulate and temporal pole differed less, and regions in the prefrontal and superior temporal cortex differed more than the global difference in cortical surface area. For the 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 deletion carriers, cortical thickness in regions in the medial visual cortex, auditory cortex and temporal pole differed less, and the prefrontal and somatosensory cortex differed more than the global difference in cortical thickness.

    Conclusion

    We find evidence for regional effects beyond differences in global brain measures in 1q21.1 distal and 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 CNVs. The results provide new insight into brain profiling of the 1q21.1 distal and 15q11.2 BP1-BP2 CNVs, with the potential to increase our understanding of mechanisms involved in altered neurodevelopment.

    Additional information

    supplementary material
  • Bonandrini, R., Gornetti, E., & Paulesu, E. (2024). A meta-analytical account of the functional lateralization of the reading network. Cortex, 177, 363-384. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2024.05.015.

    Abstract

    The observation that the neural correlates of reading are left-lateralized is ubiquitous in the cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychological literature. Still, reading is served by a constellation of neural units, and the extent to which these units are consistently left-lateralized is unclear. In this regard, the functional lateralization of the fusiform gyrus is of particular interest, by virtue of its hypothesized role as a “visual word form area”. A quantitative Activation Likelihood Estimation meta-analysis was conducted on activation foci from 35 experiments investigating silent reading, and both a whole-brain and a bayesian ROI-based approach were used to assess the lateralization of the data submitted to meta-analysis. Perirolandic areas showed the highest level of left-lateralization, the fusiform cortex and the parietal cortex exhibited only a moderate pattern of left-lateralization, while in the occipital, insular cortices and in the cerebellum the lateralization turned out to be the lowest observed. The relatively limited functional lateralization of the fusiform gyrus was further explored in a regression analysis on the lateralization profile of each study. The functional lateralization of the fusiform gyrus during reading was positively associated with the lateralization of the precentral and inferior occipital gyri and negatively associated with the lateralization of the triangular portion of the inferior frontal gyrus and of the temporal pole. Overall, the present data highlight how lateralization patterns differ within the reading network. Furthermore, the present data highlight how the functional lateralization of the fusiform gyrus during reading is related to the degree of functional lateralization of other language brain areas.
  • Bujok, R., Meyer, A. S., & Bosker, H. R. (2024). Audiovisual perception of lexical stress: Beat gestures and articulatory cues. Language and Speech. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/00238309241258162.

    Abstract

    Human communication is inherently multimodal. Auditory speech, but also visual cues can be used to understand another talker. Most studies of audiovisual speech perception have focused on the perception of speech segments (i.e., speech sounds). However, less is known about the influence of visual information on the perception of suprasegmental aspects of speech like lexical stress. In two experiments, we investigated the influence of different visual cues (e.g., facial articulatory cues and beat gestures) on the audiovisual perception of lexical stress. We presented auditory lexical stress continua of disyllabic Dutch stress pairs together with videos of a speaker producing stress on the first or second syllable (e.g., articulating VOORnaam or voorNAAM). Moreover, we combined and fully crossed the face of the speaker producing lexical stress on either syllable with a gesturing body producing a beat gesture on either the first or second syllable. Results showed that people successfully used visual articulatory cues to stress in muted videos. However, in audiovisual conditions, we were not able to find an effect of visual articulatory cues. In contrast, we found that the temporal alignment of beat gestures with speech robustly influenced participants' perception of lexical stress. These results highlight the importance of considering suprasegmental aspects of language in multimodal contexts.
  • Bulut, T., & Hagoort, P. (2024). Contributions of the left and right thalami to language: A meta-analytic approach. Brain Structure & Function. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s00429-024-02795-3.

    Abstract

    Background: Despite a pervasive cortico-centric view in cognitive neuroscience, subcortical structures including the thalamus have been shown to be increasingly involved in higher cognitive functions. Previous structural and functional imaging studies demonstrated cortico-thalamo-cortical loops which may support various cognitive functions including language. However, large-scale functional connectivity of the thalamus during language tasks has not been examined before. Methods: The present study employed meta-analytic connectivity modeling to identify language-related coactivation patterns of the left and right thalami. The left and right thalami were used as regions of interest to search the BrainMap functional database for neuroimaging experiments with healthy participants reporting language-related activations in each region of interest. Activation likelihood estimation analyses were then carried out on the foci extracted from the identified studies to estimate functional convergence for each thalamus. A functional decoding analysis based on the same database was conducted to characterize thalamic contributions to different language functions. Results: The results revealed bilateral frontotemporal and bilateral subcortical (basal ganglia) coactivation patterns for both the left and right thalami, and also right cerebellar coactivations for the left thalamus, during language processing. In light of previous empirical studies and theoretical frameworks, the present connectivity and functional decoding findings suggest that cortico-subcortical-cerebellar-cortical loops modulate and fine-tune information transfer within the bilateral frontotemporal cortices during language processing, especially during production and semantic operations, but also other language (e.g., syntax, phonology) and cognitive operations (e.g., attention, cognitive control). Conclusion: The current findings show that the language-relevant network extends beyond the classical left perisylvian cortices and spans bilateral cortical, bilateral subcortical (bilateral thalamus, bilateral basal ganglia) and right cerebellar regions.

    Additional information

    supplementary information
  • Burchardt, L., Van de Sande, Y., Kehy, M., Gamba, M., Ravignani, A., & Pouw, W. (2024). A toolkit for the dynamic study of air sacs in siamang and other elastic circular structures. PLOS Computational Biology, 20(6): e1012222. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1012222.

    Abstract

    Biological structures are defined by rigid elements, such as bones, and elastic elements, like muscles and membranes. Computer vision advances have enabled automatic tracking of moving animal skeletal poses. Such developments provide insights into complex time-varying dynamics of biological motion. Conversely, the elastic soft-tissues of organisms, like the nose of elephant seals, or the buccal sac of frogs, are poorly studied and no computer vision methods have been proposed. This leaves major gaps in different areas of biology. In primatology, most critically, the function of air sacs is widely debated; many open questions on the role of air sacs in the evolution of animal communication, including human speech, remain unanswered. To support the dynamic study of soft-tissue structures, we present a toolkit for the automated tracking of semi-circular elastic structures in biological video data. The toolkit contains unsupervised computer vision tools (using Hough transform) and supervised deep learning (by adapting DeepLabCut) methodology to track inflation of laryngeal air sacs or other biological spherical objects (e.g., gular cavities). Confirming the value of elastic kinematic analysis, we show that air sac inflation correlates with acoustic markers that likely inform about body size. Finally, we present a pre-processed audiovisual-kinematic dataset of 7+ hours of closeup audiovisual recordings of siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus) singing. This toolkit (https://github.com/WimPouw/AirSacTracker) aims to revitalize the study of non-skeletal morphological structures across multiple species.
  • Casillas, M., Foushee, R., Méndez Girón, J., Polian, G., & Brown, P. (2024). Little evidence for a noun bias in Tseltal spontaneous speech. First Language. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/01427237231216571.

    Abstract

    This study examines whether children acquiring Tseltal (Mayan) demonstrate a noun bias – an overrepresentation of nouns in their early vocabularies. Nouns, specifically concrete and animate nouns, are argued to universally predominate in children’s early vocabularies because their referents are naturally available as bounded concepts to which linguistic labels can be mapped. This early advantage for noun learning has been documented using multiple methods and across a diverse collection of language populations. However, past evidence bearing on a noun bias in Tseltal learners has been mixed. Tseltal grammatical features and child–caregiver interactional patterns dampen the salience of nouns and heighten the salience of verbs, leading to the prediction of a diminished noun bias and perhaps even an early predominance of verbs. We here analyze the use of noun and verb stems in children’s spontaneous speech from egocentric daylong recordings of 29 Tseltal learners between 0;9 and 4;4. We find weak to no evidence for a noun bias using two separate analytical approaches on the same data; one analysis yields a preliminary suggestion of a flipped outcome (i.e. a verb bias). We discuss the implications of these findings for broader theories of learning bias in early lexical development.
  • Çetinçelik, M., Rowland, C. F., & Snijders, T. M. (2024). Does the speaker’s eye gaze facilitate infants’ word segmentation from continuous speech? An ERP study. Developmental Science, 27(2): e13436. doi:10.1111/desc.13436.

    Abstract

    The environment in which infants learn language is multimodal and rich with social cues. Yet, the effects of such cues, such as eye contact, on early speech perception have not been closely examined. This study assessed the role of ostensive speech, signalled through the speaker's eye gaze direction, on infants’ word segmentation abilities. A familiarisation-then-test paradigm was used while electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded. Ten-month-old Dutch-learning infants were familiarised with audio-visual stories in which a speaker recited four sentences with one repeated target word. The speaker addressed them either with direct or with averted gaze while speaking. In the test phase following each story, infants heard familiar and novel words presented via audio-only. Infants’ familiarity with the words was assessed using event-related potentials (ERPs). As predicted, infants showed a negative-going ERP familiarity effect to the isolated familiarised words relative to the novel words over the left-frontal region of interest during the test phase. While the word familiarity effect did not differ as a function of the speaker's gaze over the left-frontal region of interest, there was also a (not predicted) positive-going early ERP familiarity effect over right fronto-central and central electrodes in the direct gaze condition only. This study provides electrophysiological evidence that infants can segment words from audio-visual speech, regardless of the ostensiveness of the speaker's communication. However, the speaker's gaze direction seems to influence the processing of familiar words.
  • Chalfoun, A., Rossi, G., & Stivers, T. (2024). The magic word? Face-work and the functions of 'please' in everyday requests. Social Psychology Quarterly. doi:10.1177/01902725241245141.

    Abstract

    Expressions of politeness such as 'please' are prominent elements of interactional conduct that are explicitly targeted in early socialization and are subject to cultural expectations around socially desirable behavior. Yet their specific interactional functions remain poorly understood. Using conversation analysis supplemented with systematic coding, this study investigates when and where interactants use 'please' in everyday requests. We find that 'please' is rare, occurring in only 7 percent of request attempts. Interactants use 'please' to manage face-threats when a request is ill fitted to its immediate interactional context. Within this, we identify two environments in which 'please' prototypically occurs. First, 'please' is used when the requestee has demonstrated unwillingness to comply. Second, 'please' is used when the request is intrusive due to its incompatibility with the requestee’s engagement in a competing action trajectory. Our findings advance research on politeness and extend Goffman’s theory of face-work, with particular salience for scholarship on request behavior.
  • Collins, J. (2024). Linguistic areas and prehistoric migrations. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Coopmans, C. W., Mai, A., & Martin, A. E. (2024). “Not” in the brain and behavior. PLOS Biology, 22: e3002656. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.3002656.
  • Cornelis, S. S., IntHout, J., Runhart, E. H., Grunewald, O., Lin, S., Corradi, Z., Khan, M., Hitti-Malin, R. J., Whelan, L., Farrar, G. J., Sharon, D., Van den Born, L. I., Arno, G., Simcoe, M., Michaelides, M., Webster, A. R., Roosing, S., Mahroo, O. A., Dhaenens, C.-M., Cremers, F. P. M. Cornelis, S. S., IntHout, J., Runhart, E. H., Grunewald, O., Lin, S., Corradi, Z., Khan, M., Hitti-Malin, R. J., Whelan, L., Farrar, G. J., Sharon, D., Van den Born, L. I., Arno, G., Simcoe, M., Michaelides, M., Webster, A. R., Roosing, S., Mahroo, O. A., Dhaenens, C.-M., Cremers, F. P. M., & ABCA4 Study Group (2024). Representation of women among individuals with mild variants in ABCA4-associated retinopathy: A meta-analysis. JAMA Ophthalmology, 142(5), 463-471. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2024.0660.

    Abstract

    Importance
    Previous studies indicated that female sex might be a modifier in Stargardt disease, which is an ABCA4-associated retinopathy.

    Objective
    To investigate whether women are overrepresented among individuals with ABCA4-associated retinopathy who are carrying at least 1 mild allele or carrying nonmild alleles.

    Data Sources
    Literature data, data from 2 European centers, and a new study. Data from a Radboudumc database and from the Rotterdam Eye Hospital were used for exploratory hypothesis testing.

    Study Selection
    Studies investigating the sex ratio in individuals with ABCA4-AR and data from centers that collected ABCA4 variant and sex data. The literature search was performed on February 1, 2023; data from the centers were from before 2023.

    Data Extraction and Synthesis
    Random-effects meta-analyses were conducted to test whether the proportions of women among individuals with ABCA4-associated retinopathy with mild and nonmild variants differed from 0.5, including subgroup analyses for mild alleles. Sensitivity analyses were performed excluding data with possibly incomplete variant identification. χ2 Tests were conducted to compare the proportions of women in adult-onset autosomal non–ABCA4-associated retinopathy and adult-onset ABCA4-associated retinopathy and to investigate if women with suspected ABCA4-associated retinopathy are more likely to obtain a genetic diagnosis. Data analyses were performed from March to October 2023.

    Main Outcomes and Measures
    Proportion of women per ABCA4-associated retinopathy group. The exploratory testing included sex ratio comparisons for individuals with ABCA4-associated retinopathy vs those with other autosomal retinopathies and for individuals with ABCA4-associated retinopathy who underwent genetic testing vs those who did not.

    Results
    Women were significantly overrepresented in the mild variant group (proportion, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.56-0.62; P < .001) but not in the nonmild variant group (proportion, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.46-0.54; P = .89). Sensitivity analyses confirmed these results. Subgroup analyses on mild variants showed differences in the proportions of women. Furthermore, in the Radboudumc database, the proportion of adult women among individuals with ABCA4-associated retinopathy (652/1154 = 0.56) was 0.10 (95% CI, 0.05-0.15) higher than among individuals with other retinopathies (280/602 = 0.47).

    Conclusions and Relevance
    This meta-analysis supports the likelihood that sex is a modifier in developing ABCA4-associated retinopathy for individuals with a mild ABCA4 allele. This finding may be relevant for prognosis predictions and recurrence risks for individuals with ABCA4-associated retinopathy. Future studies should further investigate whether the overrepresentation of women is caused by differences in the disease mechanism, by differences in health care–seeking behavior, or by health care discrimination between women and men with ABCA4-AR.
  • Corps, R. E., & Pickering, M. (2024). Response planning during question-answering: Does deciding what to say involve deciding how to say it? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 31, 839-848. doi:10.3758/s13423-023-02382-3.

    Abstract

    To answer a question, speakers must determine their response and formulate it in words. But do they decide on a response before formulation, or do they formulate different potential answers before selecting one? We addressed this issue in a verbal question-answering experiment. Participants answered questions more quickly when they had one potential answer (e.g., Which tourist attraction in Paris is very tall?) than when they had multiple potential answers (e.g., What is the name of a Shakespeare play?). Participants also answered more quickly when the set of potential answers were on average short rather than long, regardless of whether there was only one or multiple potential answers. Thus, participants were not affected by the linguistic complexity of unselected but plausible answers. These findings suggest that participants select a single answer before formulation.
  • Cos, F., Bujok, R., & Bosker, H. R. (2024). Test-retest reliability of audiovisual lexical stress perception after >1.5 years. In Y. Chen, A. Chen, & A. Arvaniti (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2024 (pp. 871-875). doi:10.21437/SpeechProsody.2024-176.

    Abstract

    In natural communication, we typically both see and hear our conversation partner. Speech comprehension thus requires the integration of auditory and visual information from the speech signal. This is for instance evidenced by the Manual McGurk effect, where the perception of lexical stress is biased towards the syllable that has a beat gesture aligned to it. However, there is considerable individual variation in how heavily gestural timing is weighed as a cue to stress. To assess within-individualconsistency, this study investigated the test-retest reliability of the Manual McGurk effect. We reran an earlier Manual McGurk experiment with the same participants, over 1.5 years later. At the group level, we successfully replicated the Manual McGurk effect with a similar effect size. However, a correlation of the by-participant effect sizes in the two identical experiments indicated that there was only a weak correlation between both tests, suggesting that the weighing of gestural information in the perception of lexical stress is stable at the group level, but less so in individuals. Findings are discussed in comparison to other measures of audiovisual integration in speech perception. Index Terms: Audiovisual integration, beat gestures, lexical stress, test-retest reliability
  • Yu, Y., Cui, H., Haas, S. S., New, F., Sanford, N., Yu, K., Zhan, D., Yang, G., Gao, J., Wei, D., Qiu, J., Banaj, N., Boomsma, D. I., Breier, A., Brodaty, H., Buckner, R. L., Buitelaar, J. K., Cannon, D. M., Caseras, X., Clark, V. P. Yu, Y., Cui, H., Haas, S. S., New, F., Sanford, N., Yu, K., Zhan, D., Yang, G., Gao, J., Wei, D., Qiu, J., Banaj, N., Boomsma, D. I., Breier, A., Brodaty, H., Buckner, R. L., Buitelaar, J. K., Cannon, D. M., Caseras, X., Clark, V. P., Conrod, P. J., Crivello, F., Crone, E. A., Dannlowski, U., Davey, C. G., De Haan, L., De Zubicaray, G. I., Di Giorgio, A., Fisch, L., Fisher, S. E., Franke, B., Glahn, D. C., Grotegerd, D., Gruber, O., Gur, R. E., Gur, R. C., Hahn, T., Harrison, B. J., Hatton, S., Hickie, I. B., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Jamieson, A. J., Jernigan, T. L., Jiang, J., Kalnin, A. J., Kang, S., Kochan, N. A., Kraus, A., Lagopoulos, J., Lazaro, L., McDonald, B. C., McDonald, C., McMahon, K. L., Mwangi, B., Piras, F., Rodriguez‐Cruces, R., Royer, J., Sachdev, P. S., Satterthwaite, T. D., Saykin, A. J., Schumann, G., Sevaggi, P., Smoller, J. W., Soares, J. C., Spalletta, G., Tamnes, C. K., Trollor, J. N., Van't Ent, D., Vecchio, D., Walter, H., Wang, Y., Weber, B., Wen, W., Wierenga, L. M., Williams, S. C. R., Wu, M., Zunta‐Soares, G. B., Bernhardt, B., Thompson, P., Frangou, S., Ge, R., & ENIGMA-Lifespan Working Group (2024). Brain‐age prediction: Systematic evaluation of site effects, and sample age range and size. Human Brain Mapping, 45(10): e26768. doi:10.1002/hbm.26768.

    Abstract

    Structural neuroimaging data have been used to compute an estimate of the biological age of the brain (brain-age) which has been associated with other biologically and behaviorally meaningful measures of brain development and aging. The ongoing research interest in brain-age has highlighted the need for robust and publicly available brain-age models pre-trained on data from large samples of healthy individuals. To address this need we have previously released a developmental brain-age model. Here we expand this work to develop, empirically validate, and disseminate a pre-trained brain-age model to cover most of the human lifespan. To achieve this, we selected the best-performing model after systematically examining the impact of seven site harmonization strategies, age range, and sample size on brain-age prediction in a discovery sample of brain morphometric measures from 35,683 healthy individuals (age range: 5–90 years; 53.59% female). The pre-trained models were tested for cross-dataset generalizability in an independent sample comprising 2101 healthy individuals (age range: 8–80 years; 55.35% female) and for longitudinal consistency in a further sample comprising 377 healthy individuals (age range: 9–25 years; 49.87% female). This empirical examination yielded the following findings: (1) the accuracy of age prediction from morphometry data was higher when no site harmonization was applied; (2) dividing the discovery sample into two age-bins (5–40 and 40–90 years) provided a better balance between model accuracy and explained age variance than other alternatives; (3) model accuracy for brain-age prediction plateaued at a sample size exceeding 1600 participants. These findings have been incorporated into CentileBrain (https://centilebrain.org/#/brainAGE2), an open-science, web-based platform for individualized neuroimaging metrics.
  • Dalla Bella, S., Janaqi, S., Benoit, C.-E., Farrugia, N., Bégel, V., Verga, L., Harding, E. E., & Kotz, S. A. (2024). Unravelling individual rhythmic abilities using machine learning. Scientific Reports, 14(1): 1135. doi:10.1038/s41598-024-51257-7.

    Abstract

    Humans can easily extract the rhythm of a complex sound, like music, and move to its regular beat, like in dance. These abilities are modulated by musical training and vary significantly in untrained individuals. The causes of this variability are multidimensional and typically hard to grasp in single tasks. To date we lack a comprehensive model capturing the rhythmic fingerprints of both musicians and non-musicians. Here we harnessed machine learning to extract a parsimonious model of rhythmic abilities, based on behavioral testing (with perceptual and motor tasks) of individuals with and without formal musical training (n = 79). We demonstrate that variability in rhythmic abilities and their link with formal and informal music experience can be successfully captured by profiles including a minimal set of behavioral measures. These findings highlight that machine learning techniques can be employed successfully to distill profiles of rhythmic abilities, and ultimately shed light on individual variability and its relationship with both formal musical training and informal musical experiences.

    Additional information

    supplementary materials
  • Dikshit, A. P., Das, D., Samal, R. R., Parashar, K., Mishra, C., & Parashar, S. (2024). Optimization of (Ba1-xCax)(Ti0.9Sn0.1)O3 ceramics in X-band using Machine Learning. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 982: 173797. doi:10.1016/j.jallcom.2024.173797.

    Abstract

    Developing efficient electromagnetic interference shielding materials has become significantly important in present times. This paper reports a series of (Ba1-xCax)(Ti0.9Sn0.1)O3 (BCTS) ((x =0, 0.01, 0.05, & 0.1)ceramics synthesized by conventional method which were studied for electromagnetic interference shielding (EMI) applications in X-band (8-12.4 GHz). EMI shielding properties and all S parameters (S11 & S12) of BCTS ceramic pellets were measured in the frequency range (8-12.4 GHz) using a Vector Network Analyser (VNA). The BCTS ceramic pellets for x = 0.05 showed maximum total effective shielding of 46 dB indicating good shielding behaviour for high-frequency applications. However, the development of lead-free ceramics with different concentrations usually requires iterative experiments resulting in, longer development cycles and higher costs. To address this, we used a machine learning (ML) strategy to predict the EMI shielding for different concentrations and experimentally verify the concentration predicted to give the best EMI shielding. The ML model predicted BCTS ceramics with concentration (x = 0.06, 0.07, 0.08, and 0.09) to have higher shielding values. On experimental verification, a shielding value of 58 dB was obtained for x = 0.08, which was significantly higher than what was obtained experimentally before applying the ML approach. Our results show the potential of using ML in accelerating the process of optimal material development, reducing the need for repeated experimental measures significantly.
  • Ding, R., Ten Oever, S., & Martin, A. E. (2024). Delta-band activity underlies referential meaning representation during pronoun resolution. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 36(7), 1472-1492. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_02163.

    Abstract

    Human language offers a variety of ways to create meaning, one of which is referring to entities, objects, or events in the world. One such meaning maker is understanding to whom or to what a pronoun in a discourse refers to. To understand a pronoun, the brain must access matching entities or concepts that have been encoded in memory from previous linguistic context. Models of language processing propose that internally stored linguistic concepts, accessed via exogenous cues such as phonological input of a word, are represented as (a)synchronous activities across a population of neurons active at specific frequency bands. Converging evidence suggests that delta band activity (1–3 Hz) is involved in temporal and representational integration during sentence processing. Moreover, recent advances in the neurobiology of memory suggest that recollection engages neural dynamics similar to those which occurred during memory encoding. Integrating from these two research lines, we here tested the hypothesis that neural dynamic patterns, especially in delta frequency range, underlying referential meaning representation, would be reinstated during pronoun resolution. By leveraging neural decoding techniques (i.e., representational similarity analysis) on a magnetoencephalogram data set acquired during a naturalistic story-listening task, we provide evidence that delta-band activity underlies referential meaning representation. Our findings suggest that, during spoken language comprehension, endogenous linguistic representations such as referential concepts may be proactively retrieved and represented via activation of their underlying dynamic neural patterns.
  • Dingemanse, M., & Enfield, N. J. (2024). Interactive repair and the foundations of language. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 28(1), 30-42. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2023.09.003.

    Abstract

    The robustness and flexibility of human language is underpinned by a machinery of interactive repair. Repair is deeply intertwined with two core properties of human language: reflexivity (it can communicate about itself) and accountability (it is used to publicly enforce social norms). We review empirical and theoretical advances from across the cognitive sciences that mark interactive repair as a domain of pragmatic universals, a key place to study metacognition in interaction, and a system that enables collective computation. This provides novel insights on the role of repair in comparative cognition, language development and human-computer interaction. As an always-available fallback option and an infrastructure for negotiating social commitments, interactive repair is foundational to the resilience, complexity, and flexibility of human language.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2024). Interjections at the heart of language. Annual Review of Linguistics, 10, 257-277. doi:10.1146/annurev-linguistics-031422-124743.
  • Donnelly, S., Rowland, C. F., Chang, F., & Kidd, E. (2024). A comprehensive examination of prediction‐based error as a mechanism for syntactic development: Evidence from syntactic priming. Cognitive Science, 48(4): e13431. doi:10.1111/cogs.13431.

    Abstract

    Prediction-based accounts of language acquisition have the potential to explain several different effects in child language acquisition and adult language processing. However, evidence regarding the developmental predictions of such accounts is mixed. Here, we consider several predictions of these accounts in two large-scale developmental studies of syntactic priming of the English dative alternation. Study 1 was a cross-sectional study (N = 140) of children aged 3−9 years, in which we found strong evidence of abstract priming and the lexical boost, but little evidence that either effect was moderated by age. We found weak evidence for a prime surprisal effect; however, exploratory analyses revealed a protracted developmental trajectory for verb-structure biases, providing an explanation as for why prime surprisal effects are more elusive in developmental populations. In a longitudinal study (N = 102) of children in tightly controlled age bands at 42, 48, and 54 months, we found priming effects emerged on trials with verb overlap early but did not observe clear evidence of priming on trials without verb overlap until 54 months. There was no evidence of a prime surprisal effect at any time point and none of the effects were moderated by age. The results relating to the emergence of the abstract priming and lexical boost effects are consistent with prediction-based models, while the absence of age-related effects appears to reflect the structure-specific challenges the dative presents to English-acquiring children. Overall, our complex pattern of findings demonstrates the value of developmental data sets in testing psycholinguistic theory.

    Additional information

    table S1 and S2 appendix A, B, C and D
  • Eekhof, L. S. (2024). Reading the mind: The relationship between social cognition and narrative processing. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Eekhof, L. S., & Mar, R. A. (2024). Does reading about fictional minds make us more curious about real ones? Language and Cognition, 16(1), 176-196. doi:10.1017/langcog.2023.30.

    Abstract

    Although there is a large body of research assessing whether exposure to narratives boosts social cognition immediately afterward, not much research has investigated the underlying mechanism of this putative effect. This experiment investigates the possibility that reading a narrative increases social curiosity directly afterward, which might explain the short-term boosts in social cognition reported by some others. We developed a novel measure of state social curiosity and collected data from participants (N = 222) who were randomly assigned to read an excerpt of narrative fiction or expository nonfiction. Contrary to our expectations, we found that those who read a narrative exhibited less social curiosity afterward than those who read an expository text. This result was not moderated by trait social curiosity. An exploratory analysis uncovered that the degree to which texts present readers with social targets predicted less social curiosity. Our experiment demonstrates that reading narratives, or possibly texts with social content in general, may engage and fatigue social-cognitive abilities, causing a temporary decrease in social curiosity. Such texts might also temporarily satisfy the need for social connection, temporarily reducing social curiosity. Both accounts are in line with theories describing how narratives result in better social cognition over the long term.
  • Eising, E., Vino, A., Mabie, H. L., Campbell, T. F., Shriberg, L. D., & Fisher, S. E. (2024). Genome sequencing of idiopathic speech delay. Human Mutation, 2024: 9692863. doi:10.1155/2024/9692863.

    Abstract

    Genetic investigations of people with speech and language disorders can provide windows into key aspects of human biology. Most genomic research into impaired speech development has so far focused on childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), a rare neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties with coordinating rapid fine motor sequences that underlie proficient speech. In 2001, pathogenic variants of FOXP2 provided the first molecular genetic accounts of CAS aetiology. Since then, disruptions in several other genes have been implicated in CAS, with a substantial proportion of cases being explained by high-penetrance variants. However, the genetic architecture underlying other speech-related disorders remains less well understood. Thus, in the present study, we used systematic DNA sequencing methods to investigate idiopathic speech delay, as characterized by delayed speech development in the absence of a motor speech diagnosis (such as CAS), a language/reading disorder, or intellectual disability. We performed genome sequencing in a cohort of 23 children with a rigorous diagnosis of idiopathic speech delay. For roughly half of the sample (ten probands), sufficient DNA was also available for genome sequencing in both parents, allowing discovery of de novo variants. In the thirteen singleton probands, we focused on identifying loss-of-function and likely damaging missense variants in genes intolerant to such mutations. We found that one speech delay proband carried a pathogenic frameshift deletion in SETD1A, a gene previously implicated in a broader variable monogenic syndrome characterized by global developmental problems including delayed speech and/or language development, mild intellectual disability, facial dysmorphisms, and behavioural and psychiatric symptoms. Of note, pathogenic SETD1A variants have been independently reported in children with CAS in two separate studies. In other probands in our speech delay cohort, likely pathogenic missense variants were identified affecting highly conserved amino acids in key functional domains of SPTBN1 and ARF3. Overall, this study expands the phenotype spectrum associated with pathogenic SETD1A variants, to also include idiopathic speech delay without CAS or intellectual disability, and suggests additional novel potential candidate genes that may harbour high-penetrance variants that can disrupt speech development.

    Additional information

    supplemental table
  • Engelen, M. M., Franken, M.-C.-J.-P., Stipdonk, L. W., Horton, S. E., Jackson, V. E., Reilly, S., Morgan, A. T., Fisher, S. E., Van Dulmen, S., & Eising, E. (2024). The association between stuttering burden and psychosocial aspects of life in adults. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 67(5), 1385-1399. doi:10.1044/2024_JSLHR-23-00562.

    Abstract

    Purpose:
    Stuttering is a speech condition that can have a major impact on a person's quality of life. This descriptive study aimed to identify subgroups of people who stutter (PWS) based on stuttering burden and to investigate differences between these subgroups on psychosocial aspects of life.

    Method:
    The study included 618 adult participants who stutter. They completed a detailed survey examining stuttering symptomatology, impact of stuttering on anxiety, education and employment, experience of stuttering, and levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. A two-step cluster analytic procedure was performed to identify subgroups of PWS, based on self-report of stuttering frequency, severity, affect, and anxiety, four measures that together inform about stuttering burden.

    Results:
    We identified a high- (n = 230) and a low-burden subgroup (n = 372). The high-burden subgroup reported a significantly higher impact of stuttering on education and employment, and higher levels of general depression, anxiety, stress, and overall impact of stuttering. These participants also reported that they trialed more different stuttering therapies than those with lower burden.

    Conclusions:
    Our results emphasize the need to be attentive to the diverse experiences and needs of PWS, rather than treating them as a homogeneous group. Our findings also stress the importance of personalized therapeutic strategies for individuals with stuttering, considering all aspects that could influence their stuttering burden. People with high-burden stuttering might, for example, have a higher need for psychological therapy to reduce stuttering-related anxiety. People with less emotional reactions but severe speech distortions may also have a moderate to high burden, but they may have a higher need for speech techniques to communicate with more ease. Future research should give more insights into the therapeutic needs of people highly burdened by their stuttering.
  • Evans, M. J., Clough, S., Duff, M. C., & Brown‐Schmidt, S. (2024). Temporal organization of narrative recall is present but attenuated in adults with hippocampal amnesia. Hippocampus. Advance online publication. doi:10.1002/hipo.23620.

    Abstract

    Studies of the impact of brain injury on memory processes often focus on the quantity and episodic richness of those recollections. Here, we argue that the organization of one's recollections offers critical insights into the impact of brain injury on functional memory. It is well-established in studies of word list memory that free recall of unrelated words exhibits a clear temporal organization. This temporal contiguity effect refers to the fact that the order in which word lists are recalled reflects the original presentation order. Little is known, however, about the organization of recall for semantically rich materials, nor how recall organization is impacted by hippocampal damage and memory impairment. The present research is the first study, to our knowledge, of temporal organization in semantically rich narratives in three groups: (1) Adults with bilateral hippocampal damage and severe declarative memory impairment, (2) adults with bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) damage and no memory impairment, and (3) demographically matched non-brain-injured comparison participants. We find that although the narrative recall of adults with bilateral hippocampal damage reflected the temporal order in which those narratives were experienced above chance levels, their temporal contiguity effect was significantly attenuated relative to comparison groups. In contrast, individuals with vmPFC damage did not differ from non-brain-injured comparison participants in temporal contiguity. This pattern of group differences yields insights into the cognitive and neural systems that support the use of temporal organization in recall. These data provide evidence that the retrieval of temporal context in narrative recall is hippocampal-dependent, whereas damage to the vmPFC does not impair the temporal organization of narrative recall. This evidence of limited but demonstrable organization of memory in participants with hippocampal damage and amnesia speaks to the power of narrative structures in supporting meaningfully organized recall despite memory impairment.

    Additional information

    supporting information
  • Ge, R., Yu, Y., Qi, Y. X., Fan, Y.-n., Chen, S., Gao, C., Haas, S. S., New, F., Boomsma, D. I., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Buckner, R., Caseras, X., Crivello, F., Crone, E. A., Erk, S., Fisher, S. E., Franke, B., Glahn, D. C., Dannlowski, U. Ge, R., Yu, Y., Qi, Y. X., Fan, Y.-n., Chen, S., Gao, C., Haas, S. S., New, F., Boomsma, D. I., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Buckner, R., Caseras, X., Crivello, F., Crone, E. A., Erk, S., Fisher, S. E., Franke, B., Glahn, D. C., Dannlowski, U., Grotegerd, D., Gruber, O., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Schumann, G., Tamnes, C. K., Walter, H., Wierenga, L. M., Jahanshad, N., Thompson, P. M., Frangou, S., & ENIGMA Lifespan Working Group (2024). Normative modelling of brain morphometry across the lifespan with CentileBrain: Algorithm benchmarking and model optimisation. The Lancet Digital Health, 6(3), e211-e221. doi:10.1016/S2589-7500(23)00250-9.

    Abstract

    The value of normative models in research and clinical practice relies on their robustness and a systematic comparison of different modelling algorithms and parameters; however, this has not been done to date. We aimed to identify the optimal approach for normative modelling of brain morphometric data through systematic empirical benchmarking, by quantifying the accuracy of different algorithms and identifying parameters that optimised model performance. We developed this framework with regional morphometric data from 37 407 healthy individuals (53% female and 47% male; aged 3–90 years) from 87 datasets from Europe, Australia, the USA, South Africa, and east Asia following a comparative evaluation of eight algorithms and multiple covariate combinations pertaining to image acquisition and quality, parcellation software versions, global neuroimaging measures, and longitudinal stability. The multivariate fractional polynomial regression (MFPR) emerged as the preferred algorithm, optimised with non-linear polynomials for age and linear effects of global measures as covariates. The MFPR models showed excellent accuracy across the lifespan and within distinct age-bins and longitudinal stability over a 2-year period. The performance of all MFPR models plateaued at sample sizes exceeding 3000 study participants. This model can inform about the biological and behavioural implications of deviations from typical age-related neuroanatomical changes and support future study designs. The model and scripts described here are freely available through CentileBrain.
  • Fitz, H., Hagoort, P., & Petersson, K. M. (2024). Neurobiological causal models of language processing. Neurobiology of Language, 5(1), 225-247. doi:10.1162/nol_a_00133.

    Abstract

    The language faculty is physically realized in the neurobiological infrastructure of the human brain. Despite significant efforts, an integrated understanding of this system remains a formidable challenge. What is missing from most theoretical accounts is a specification of the neural mechanisms that implement language function. Computational models that have been put forward generally lack an explicit neurobiological foundation. We propose a neurobiologically informed causal modeling approach which offers a framework for how to bridge this gap. A neurobiological causal model is a mechanistic description of language processing that is grounded in, and constrained by, the characteristics of the neurobiological substrate. It intends to model the generators of language behavior at the level of implementational causality. We describe key features and neurobiological component parts from which causal models can be built and provide guidelines on how to implement them in model simulations. Then we outline how this approach can shed new light on the core computational machinery for language, the long-term storage of words in the mental lexicon and combinatorial processing in sentence comprehension. In contrast to cognitive theories of behavior, causal models are formulated in the “machine language” of neurobiology which is universal to human cognition. We argue that neurobiological causal modeling should be pursued in addition to existing approaches. Eventually, this approach will allow us to develop an explicit computational neurobiology of language.
  • He, J., Frances, C., Creemers, A., & Brehm, L. (2024). Effects of irrelevant unintelligible and intelligible background speech on spoken language production. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/17470218231219971.

    Abstract

    Earlier work has explored spoken word production during irrelevant background speech such as intelligible and unintelligible word lists. The present study compared how different types of irrelevant background speech (word lists vs. sentences) influenced spoken word production relative to a quiet control condition, and whether the influence depended on the intelligibility of the background speech. Experiment 1 presented native Dutch speakers with Chinese word lists and sentences. Experiment 2 presented a similar group with Dutch word lists and sentences. In both experiments, the lexical selection demands in speech production were manipulated by varying name agreement (high vs. low) of the to-be-named pictures. Results showed that background speech, regardless of its intelligibility, disrupted spoken word production relative to a quiet condition, but no effects of word lists versus sentences in either language were found. Moreover, the disruption by intelligible background speech compared with the quiet condition was eliminated when planning low name agreement pictures. These findings suggest that any speech, even unintelligible speech, interferes with production, which implies that the disruption of spoken word production is mainly phonological in nature. The disruption by intelligible background speech can be reduced or eliminated via top–down attentional engagement.
  • Frances, C. (2024). Good enough processing: What have we learned in the 20 years since Ferreira et al. (2002)? Frontiers in Psychology, 15: 1323700. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2024.1323700.

    Abstract

    Traditionally, language processing has been thought of in terms of complete processing of the input. In contrast to this, Ferreira and colleagues put forth the idea of good enough processing. The proposal was that during everyday processing, ambiguities remain unresolved, we rely on heuristics instead of full analyses, and we carry out deep processing only if we need to for the task at hand. This idea has gathered substantial traction since its conception. In the current work, I review the papers that have tested the three key claims of good enough processing: ambiguities remain unresolved and underspecified, we use heuristics to parse sentences, and deep processing is only carried out if required by the task. I find mixed evidence for these claims and conclude with an appeal to further refinement of the claims and predictions of the theory.
  • Giglio, L., Ostarek, M., Sharoh, D., & Hagoort, P. (2024). Diverging neural dynamics for syntactic structure building in naturalistic speaking and listening. PNAS, 121(11): e2310766121. doi:10.1073/pnas.2310766121.

    Abstract

    The neural correlates of sentence production have been mostly studied with constraining task paradigms that introduce artificial task effects. In this study, we aimed to gain a better understanding of syntactic processing in spontaneous production vs. naturalistic comprehension. We extracted word-by-word metrics of phrase-structure building with top-down and bottom-up parsers that make different hypotheses about the timing of structure building. In comprehension, structure building proceeded in an integratory fashion and led to an increase in activity in posterior temporal and inferior frontal areas. In production, structure building was anticipatory and predicted an increase in activity in the inferior frontal gyrus. Newly developed production-specific parsers highlighted the anticipatory and incremental nature of structure building in production, which was confirmed by a converging analysis of the pausing patterns in speech. Overall, the results showed that the unfolding of syntactic processing diverges between speaking and listening.
  • Goltermann*, O., Alagöz*, G., Molz, B., & Fisher, S. E. (2024). Neuroimaging genomics as a window into the evolution of human sulcal organization. Cerebral Cortex, 34(3): bhae078. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhae078.

    Abstract

    * Ole Goltermann and Gökberk Alagöz contributed equally.
    Primate brain evolution has involved prominent expansions of the cerebral cortex, with largest effects observed in the human lineage. Such expansions were accompanied by fine-grained anatomical alterations, including increased cortical folding. However, the molecular bases of evolutionary alterations in human sulcal organization are not yet well understood. Here, we integrated data from recently completed large-scale neuroimaging genetic analyses with annotations of the human genome relevant to various periods and events in our evolutionary history. These analyses identified single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) heritability enrichments in fetal brain human-gained enhancer (HGE) elements for a number of sulcal structures, including the central sulcus, which is implicated in human hand dexterity. We zeroed in on a genomic region that harbors DNA variants associated with left central sulcus shape, an HGE element, and genetic loci involved in neurogenesis including ZIC4, to illustrate the value of this approach for probing the complex factors contributing to human sulcal evolution.

    Additional information

    supplementary data link to preprint
  • González-Peñas, J., Alloza, C., Brouwer, R., Díaz-Caneja, C. M., Costas, J., González-Lois, N., Gallego, A. G., De Hoyos, L., Gurriarán, X., Andreu-Bernabeu, Á., Romero-García, R., Fañanas, L., Bobes, J., Pinto, A. G., Crespo-Facorro, B., Martorell, L., Arrojo, M., Vilella, E., Guitiérrez-Zotes, A., Perez-Rando, M. González-Peñas, J., Alloza, C., Brouwer, R., Díaz-Caneja, C. M., Costas, J., González-Lois, N., Gallego, A. G., De Hoyos, L., Gurriarán, X., Andreu-Bernabeu, Á., Romero-García, R., Fañanas, L., Bobes, J., Pinto, A. G., Crespo-Facorro, B., Martorell, L., Arrojo, M., Vilella, E., Guitiérrez-Zotes, A., Perez-Rando, M., Moltó, M. D., CIBERSAM group, Buimer, E., Van Haren, N., Cahn, W., O’Donovan, M., Kahn, R. S., Arango, C., Hulshoff Pol, H., Janssen, J., & Schnack, H. (2024). Accelerated cortical thinning in schizophrenia is associated with rare and common predisposing variation to schizophrenia and neurodevelopmental disorders. Biological Psychiatry. Advance online publication. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2024.03.011.

    Abstract

    Background

    Schizophrenia is a highly heritable disorder characterized by increased cortical thinning throughout the lifespan. Studies have reported a shared genetic basis between schizophrenia and cortical thickness. However, no genes whose expression is related to abnormal cortical thinning in schizophrenia have been identified.

    Methods

    We conducted linear mixed models to estimate the rates of accelerated cortical thinning across 68 regions from the Desikan-Killiany atlas in individuals with schizophrenia compared to healthy controls from a large longitudinal sample (NCases = 169 and NControls = 298, aged 16-70 years). We studied the correlation between gene expression data from the Allen Human Brain Atlas and accelerated thinning estimates across cortical regions. We finally explored the functional and genetic underpinnings of the genes most contributing to accelerated thinning.

    Results

    We described a global pattern of accelerated cortical thinning in individuals with schizophrenia compared to healthy controls. Genes underexpressed in cortical regions exhibiting this accelerated thinning were downregulated in several psychiatric disorders and were enriched for both common and rare disrupting variation for schizophrenia and neurodevelopmental disorders. In contrast, none of these enrichments were observed for baseline cross-sectional cortical thickness differences.

    Conclusions

    Our findings suggest that accelerated cortical thinning, rather than cortical thickness alone, serves as an informative phenotype for neurodevelopmental disruptions in schizophrenia. We highlight the genetic and transcriptomic correlates of this accelerated cortical thinning, emphasizing the need for future longitudinal studies to elucidate the role of genetic variation and the temporal-spatial dynamics of gene expression in brain development and aging in schizophrenia.

    Additional information

    supplementary materials
  • Goral, M., Antolovic, K., Hejazi, Z., & Schulz, F. M. (2024). Using a translanguaging framework to examine language production in a trilingual person with aphasia. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/02699206.2024.2328240.

    Abstract

    When language abilities in aphasia are assessed in clinical and research settings, the standard practice is to examine each language of a multilingual person separately. But many multilingual individuals, with and without aphasia, mix their languages regularly when they communicate with other speakers who share their languages. We applied a novel approach to scoring language production of a multilingual person with aphasia. Our aim was to discover whether the assessment outcome would differ meaningfully when we count accurate responses in only the target language of the assessment session versus when we apply a translanguaging framework, that is, count all accurate responses, regardless of the language in which they were produced. The participant is a Farsi-German-English speaking woman with chronic moderate aphasia. We examined the participant’s performance on two picture-naming tasks, an answering wh-question task, and an elicited narrative task. The results demonstrated that scores in English, the participant’s third-learned and least-impaired language did not differ between the two scoring methods. Performance in German, the participant’s moderately impaired second language benefited from translanguaging-based scoring across the board. In Farsi, her weakest language post-CVA, the participant’s scores were higher under the translanguaging-based scoring approach in some but not all of the tasks. Our findings suggest that whether a translanguaging-based scoring makes a difference in the results obtained depends on relative language abilities and on pragmatic constraints, with additional influence of the linguistic distances between the languages in question.
  • De Gregorio, C., Maiolini, M., Raimondi, T., Carugati, F., Miaretsoa, L., Valente, D., Torti, V., Giacoma, C., Ravignani, A., & Gamba, M. (2024). Isochrony as ancestral condition to call and song in a primate. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/nyas.15151.

    Abstract

    Animal songs differ from calls in function and structure, and have comparative and translational value, showing similarities to human music. Rhythm in music is often distributed in quantized classes of intervals known as rhythmic categories. These classes have been found in the songs of a few nonhuman species but never in their calls. Are rhythmic categories song-specific, as in human music, or can they transcend the song–call boundary? We analyze the vocal displays of one of the few mammals producing both songs and call sequences: Indri indri. We test whether rhythmic categories (a) are conserved across songs produced in different contexts, (b) exist in call sequences, and (c) differ between songs and call sequences. We show that rhythmic categories occur across vocal displays. Vocalization type and function modulate deployment of categories. We find isochrony (1:1 ratio, like the rhythm of a ticking clock) in all song types, but only advertisement songs show three rhythmic categories (1:1, 1:2, 2:1 ratios). Like songs, some call types are also isochronous. Isochrony is the backbone of most indri vocalizations, unlike human speech, where it is rare. In indri, isochrony underlies both songs and hierarchy-less call sequences and might be ancestral to both.

    Additional information

    tables
  • Guzmán Chacón, E., Ovando-Tellez, M., Thiebaut de Schotten, M., & Forkel, S. J. (2024). Embracing digital innovation in neuroscience: 2023 in review at NEUROCCINO. Brain Structure & Function, 229, 251-255. doi:10.1007/s00429-024-02768-6.
  • Hagoort, P., & Özyürek, A. (2024). Extending the architecture of language from a multimodal perspective. Topics in Cognitive Science. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/tops.12728.

    Abstract

    Language is inherently multimodal. In spoken languages, combined spoken and visual signals (e.g., co-speech gestures) are an integral part of linguistic structure and language representation. This requires an extension of the parallel architecture, which needs to include the visual signals concomitant to speech. We present the evidence for the multimodality of language. In addition, we propose that distributional semantics might provide a format for integrating speech and co-speech gestures in a common semantic representation.
  • Hartmann, S., Wacewicz, S., Ravignani, A., Valente, D., Rodrigues, E. D., Asano, R., & Jadoul, Y. (2024). Delineating the field of language evolution research: A quantitative analysis of peer-review patterns at the Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE 2022). Interaction studies, 25(1), 100-117. doi:10.1075/is.00024.har.

    Abstract

    Research on language evolution is an established subject area yet permeated by terminological controversies about which topics should be considered pertinent to the field and which not. By consequence, scholars focusing on language evolution struggle in providing precise demarcations of the discipline, where even the very central notions of evolution and language are elusive. We aimed at providing a data-driven characterisation of language evolution as a field of research by relying on quantitative analysis of data drawn from 697 reviews on 255 submissions from the Joint Conference on Language Evolution 2022 (Kanazawa, Japan). Our results delineate a field characterized by a core of main research topics such as iconicity, sign language, multimodality. Despite being explored within the framework of language evolution research, only very recently these topics became popular in linguistics. As a result, language evolution has the potential to emerge as a forefront of linguistic research, bringing innovation to the study of language. We also see the emergence of more recent topics like rhythm, music, and vocal learning. Furthermore, the community identifies cognitive science, primatology, archaeology, palaeoanthropology, and genetics as key areas, encouraging empirical rather than theoretical work. With new themes, models, and methodologies emerging, our results depict an intrinsically multidisciplinary and evolving research field, likely adapting as language itself.
  • Hegemann, L., Corfield, E. C., Askelund, A. D., Allegrini, A. G., Askeland, R. B., Ronald, A., Ask, H., St Pourcain, B., Andreassen, O. A., Hannigan, L. J., & Havdahl, A. (2024). Genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity in early neurodevelopmental traits in the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study. Molecular Autism, 15: 25. doi:10.1186/s13229-024-00599-0.

    Abstract

    Background
    Autism and different neurodevelopmental conditions frequently co-occur, as do their symptoms at sub-diagnostic threshold levels. Overlapping traits and shared genetic liability are potential explanations.

    Methods
    In the population-based Norwegian Mother, Father, and Child Cohort study (MoBa), we leverage item-level data to explore the phenotypic factor structure and genetic architecture underlying neurodevelopmental traits at age 3 years (N = 41,708–58,630) using maternal reports on 76 items assessing children’s motor and language development, social functioning, communication, attention, activity regulation, and flexibility of behaviors and interests.

    Results
    We identified 11 latent factors at the phenotypic level. These factors showed associations with diagnoses of autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions. Most shared genetic liabilities with autism, ADHD, and/or schizophrenia. Item-level GWAS revealed trait-specific genetic correlations with autism (items rg range = − 0.27–0.78), ADHD (items rg range = − 0.40–1), and schizophrenia (items rg range = − 0.24–0.34). We find little evidence of common genetic liability across all neurodevelopmental traits but more so for several genetic factors across more specific areas of neurodevelopment, particularly social and communication traits. Some of these factors, such as one capturing prosocial behavior, overlap with factors found in the phenotypic analyses. Other areas, such as motor development, seemed to have more heterogenous etiology, with specific traits showing a less consistent pattern of genetic correlations with each other.

    Conclusions
    These exploratory findings emphasize the etiological complexity of neurodevelopmental traits at this early age. In particular, diverse associations with neurodevelopmental conditions and genetic heterogeneity could inform follow-up work to identify shared and differentiating factors in the early manifestations of neurodevelopmental traits and their relation to autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions. This in turn could have implications for clinical screening tools and programs.
  • Heim, F., Scharff, C., Fisher, S. E., Riebel, K., & Ten Cate, C. (2024). Auditory discrimination learning and acoustic cue weighing in female zebra finches with localized FoxP1 knockdowns. Journal of Neurophysiology, 131, 950-963. doi:10.1152/jn.00228.2023.

    Abstract

    Rare disruptions of the transcription factor FOXP1 are implicated in a human neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by autism and/or intellectual disability with prominent problems in speech and language abilities. Avian orthologues of this transcription factor are evolutionarily conserved and highly expressed in specific regions of songbird brains, including areas associated with vocal production learning and auditory perception. Here, we investigated possible contributions of FoxP1 to song discrimination and auditory perception in juvenile and adult female zebra finches. They received lentiviral knockdowns of FoxP1 in one of two brain areas involved in auditory stimulus processing, HVC (proper name) or CMM (caudomedial mesopallium). Ninety-six females, distributed over different experimental and control groups were trained to discriminate between two stimulus songs in an operant Go/Nogo paradigm and subsequently tested with an array of stimuli. This made it possible to assess how well they recognized and categorized altered versions of training stimuli and whether localized FoxP1 knockdowns affected the role of different features during discrimination and categorization of song. Although FoxP1 expression was significantly reduced by the knockdowns, neither discrimination of the stimulus songs nor categorization of songs modified in pitch, sequential order of syllables or by reversed playback were affected. Subsequently, we analyzed the full dataset to assess the impact of the different stimulus manipulations for cue weighing in song discrimination. Our findings show that zebra finches rely on multiple parameters for song discrimination, but with relatively more prominent roles for spectral parameters and syllable sequencing as cues for song discrimination.

    NEW & NOTEWORTHY In humans, mutations of the transcription factor FoxP1 are implicated in speech and language problems. In songbirds, FoxP1 has been linked to male song learning and female preference strength. We found that FoxP1 knockdowns in female HVC and caudomedial mesopallium (CMM) did not alter song discrimination or categorization based on spectral and temporal information. However, this large dataset allowed to validate different cue weights for spectral over temporal information for song recognition.
  • Hersh, T. A., Ravignani, A., & Whitehead, H. (2024). Cetaceans are the next frontier for vocal rhythm research. PNAS, 121(25): e2313093121. doi:10.1073/pnas.2313093121.

    Abstract

    While rhythm can facilitate and enhance many aspects of behavior, its evolutionary trajectory in vocal communication systems remains enigmatic. We can trace evolutionary processes by investigating rhythmic abilities in different species, but research to date has largely focused on songbirds and primates. We present evidence that cetaceans—whales, dolphins, and porpoises—are a missing piece of the puzzle for understanding why rhythm evolved in vocal communication systems. Cetaceans not only produce rhythmic vocalizations but also exhibit behaviors known or thought to play a role in the evolution of different features of rhythm. These behaviors include vocal learning abilities, advanced breathing control, sexually selected vocal displays, prolonged mother–infant bonds, and behavioral synchronization. The untapped comparative potential of cetaceans is further enhanced by high interspecific diversity, which generates natural ranges of vocal and social complexity for investigating various evolutionary hypotheses. We show that rhythm (particularly isochronous rhythm, when sounds are equally spaced in time) is prevalent in cetacean vocalizations but is used in different contexts by baleen and toothed whales. We also highlight key questions and research areas that will enhance understanding of vocal rhythms across taxa. By coupling an infraorder-level taxonomic assessment of vocal rhythm production with comparisons to other species, we illustrate how broadly comparative research can contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the prevalence, evolution, and possible functions of rhythm in animal communication.

    Additional information

    supporting information
  • Hintz, F., McQueen, J. M., & Meyer, A. S. (2024). Using psychometric network analysis to examine the components of spoken word recognition. Journal of Cognition, 7(1): 10. doi:10.5334/joc.340.

    Abstract

    Using language requires access to domain-specific linguistic representations, but also draws on domain-general cognitive skills. A key issue in current psycholinguistics is to situate linguistic processing in the network of human cognitive abilities. Here, we focused on spoken word recognition and used an individual differences approach to examine the links of scores in word recognition tasks with scores on tasks capturing effects of linguistic experience, general processing speed, working memory, and non-verbal reasoning. 281 young native speakers of Dutch completed an extensive test battery assessing these cognitive skills. We used psychometric network analysis to map out the direct links between the scores, that is, the unique variance between pairs of scores, controlling for variance shared with the other scores. The analysis revealed direct links between word recognition skills and processing speed. We discuss the implications of these results and the potential of psychometric network analysis for studying language processing and its embedding in the broader cognitive system.

    Additional information

    network analysis of dataset A and B
  • Hintz, F., & Meyer, A. S. (Eds.). (2024). Individual differences in language skills [Special Issue]. Journal of Cognition, 7(1).
  • Hintz, F., Shkaravska, O., Dijkhuis, M., Van 't Hoff, V., Huijsmans, M., Van Dongen, R. C., Voeteé, L. A., Trilsbeek, P., McQueen, J. M., & Meyer, A. S. (2024). IDLaS-NL – A platform for running customized studies on individual differences in Dutch language skills via the internet. Behavior Research Methods, 56(3), 2422-2436. doi:10.3758/s13428-023-02156-8.

    Abstract

    We introduce the Individual Differences in Language Skills (IDLaS-NL) web platform, which enables users to run studies on individual differences in Dutch language skills via the internet. IDLaS-NL consists of 35 behavioral tests, previously validated in participants aged between 18 and 30 years. The platform provides an intuitive graphical interface for users to select the tests they wish to include in their research, to divide these tests into different sessions and to determine their order. Moreover, for standardized administration the platform
    provides an application (an emulated browser) wherein the tests are run. Results can be retrieved by mouse click in the graphical interface and are provided as CSV-file output via email. Similarly, the graphical interface enables researchers to modify and delete their study configurations. IDLaS-NL is intended for researchers, clinicians, educators and in general anyone conducting fundaental research into language and general cognitive skills; it is not intended for diagnostic purposes. All platform services are free of charge. Here, we provide a
    description of its workings as well as instructions for using the platform. The IDLaS-NL platform can be accessed at www.mpi.nl/idlas-nl.
  • Hope, T. M. H., Neville, D., Talozzi, L., Foulon, C., Forkel, S. J., Thiebaut de Schotten, M., & Price, C. J. (2024). Testing the disconnectome symptom discoverer model on out-of-sample post-stroke language outcomes. Brain, 147(2), e11-e13. doi:10.1093/brain/awad352.

    Abstract

    Stroke is common, and its consequent brain damage can cause various cognitive impairments. Associations between where and how much brain lesion damage a patient has suffered, and the particular impairments that injury has caused (lesion-symptom associations) offer potentially compelling insights into how the brain implements cognition.1 A better understanding of those associations can also fill a gap in current stroke medicine by helping us to predict how individual patients might recover from post-stroke impairments.2 Most recent work in this area employs machine learning models trained with data from stroke patients whose mid-to-long-term outcomes are known.2-4 These machine learning models are tested by predicting new outcomes—typically scores on standardized tests of post-stroke impairment—for patients whose data were not used to train the model. Traditionally, these validation results have been shared in peer-reviewed publications describing the model and its training. But recently, and for the first time in this field (as far as we know), one of these pre-trained models has been made public—The Disconnectome Symptom Discoverer model (DSD) which draws its predictors from structural disconnection information inferred from stroke patients’ brain MRI.5

    Here, we test the DSD model on wholly independent data, never seen by the model authors, before they published it. Specifically, we test whether its predictive performance is just as accurate as (i.e. not significantly worse than) that reported in the original (Washington University) dataset, when predicting new patients’ outcomes at a similar time post-stroke (∼1 year post-stroke) and also in another independent sample tested later (5+ years) post-stroke. A failure to generalize the DSD model occurs if it performs significantly better in the Washington data than in our data from patients tested at a similar time point (∼1 year post-stroke). In addition, a significant decrease in predictive performance for the more chronic sample would be evidence that lesion-symptom associations differ at ∼1 year post-stroke and >5 years post-stroke.
  • De Hoyos, L., Barendse, M. T., Schlag, F., Van Donkelaar, M. M. J., Verhoef, E., Shapland, C. Y., Klassmann, A., Buitelaar, J., Verhulst, B., Fisher, S. E., Rai, D., & St Pourcain, B. (2024). Structural models of genome-wide covariance identify multiple common dimensions in autism. Nature Communications, 15: 1770. doi:10.1038/s41467-024-46128-8.

    Abstract

    Common genetic variation has been associated with multiple symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, our knowledge of shared genetic factor structures contributing to this highly heterogeneous neurodevelopmental condition is limited. Here, we developed a structural equation modelling framework to directly model genome-wide covariance across core and non-core ASD phenotypes, studying autistic individuals of European descent using a case-only design. We identified three independent genetic factors most strongly linked to language/cognition, behaviour and motor development, respectively, when studying a population-representative sample (N=5,331). These analyses revealed novel associations. For example, developmental delay in acquiring personal-social skills was inversely related to language, while developmental motor delay was linked to self-injurious behaviour. We largely confirmed the three-factorial structure in independent ASD-simplex families (N=1,946), but uncovered simplex-specific genetic overlap between behaviour and language phenotypes. Thus, the common genetic architecture in ASD is multi-dimensional and contributes, in combination with ascertainment-specific patterns, to phenotypic heterogeneity.
  • Huettig, F., & Hulstijn, J. (2024). The Enhanced Literate Mind Hypothesis. Topics in Cognitive Science. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/tops.12731.

    Abstract

    In the present paper we describe the Enhanced Literate Mind (ELM) hypothesis. As individuals learn to read and write, they are, from then on, exposed to extensive written-language input and become literate. We propose that acquisition and proficient processing of written language (‘literacy’) leads to, both, increased language knowledge as well as enhanced language and non-language (perceptual and cognitive) skills. We also suggest that all neurotypical native language users, including illiterate, low literate, and high literate individuals, share a Basic Language Cognition (BLC) in the domain of oral informal language. Finally, we discuss the possibility that the acquisition of ELM leads to some degree of ‘knowledge parallelism’ between BLC and ELM in literate language users, which has implications for empirical research on individual and situational differences in spoken language processing.
  • Jadoul, Y., De Boer, B., & Ravignani, A. (2024). Parselmouth for bioacoustics: Automated acoustic analysis in Python. Bioacoustics, 33(1), 1-19. doi:10.1080/09524622.2023.2259327.

    Abstract

    Bioacoustics increasingly relies on large datasets and computational methods. The need to batch-process large amounts of data and the increased focus on algorithmic processing require software tools. To optimally assist in a bioacoustician’s workflow, software tools need to be as simple and effective as possible. Five years ago, the Python package Parselmouth was released to provide easy and intuitive access to all functionality in the Praat software. Whereas Praat is principally designed for phonetics and speech processing, plenty of bioacoustics studies have used its advanced acoustic algorithms. Here, we evaluate existing usage of Parselmouth and discuss in detail several studies which used the software library. We argue that Parselmouth has the potential to be used even more in bioacoustics research, and suggest future directions to be pursued with the help of Parselmouth.
  • Jansen, M. G., Zwiers, M. P., Marques, J. P., Chan, K.-S., Amelink, J., Altgassen, M., Oosterman, J. M., & Norris, D. G. (2024). The Advanced BRain Imaging on ageing and Memory (ABRIM) data collection: Study protocol and rationale. PLOS ONE, 19(6): e0306006. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0306006.

    Abstract

    To understand the neurocognitive mechanisms that underlie heterogeneity in cognitive ageing, recent scientific efforts have led to a growing public availability of imaging cohort data. The Advanced BRain Imaging on ageing and Memory (ABRIM) project aims to add to these existing datasets by taking an adult lifespan approach to provide a cross-sectional, normative database with a particular focus on connectivity, myelinization and iron content of the brain in concurrence with cognitive functioning, mechanisms of reserve, and sleep-wake rhythms. ABRIM freely shares MRI and behavioural data from 295 participants between 18–80 years, stratified by age decade and sex (median age 52, IQR 36–66, 53.20% females). The ABRIM MRI collection consists of both the raw and pre-processed structural and functional MRI data to facilitate data usage among both expert and non-expert users. The ABRIM behavioural collection includes measures of cognitive functioning (i.e., global cognition, processing speed, executive functions, and memory), proxy measures of cognitive reserve (e.g., educational attainment, verbal intelligence, and occupational complexity), and various self-reported questionnaires (e.g., on depressive symptoms, pain, and the use of memory strategies in daily life and during a memory task). In a sub-sample (n = 120), we recorded sleep-wake rhythms using an actigraphy device (Actiwatch 2, Philips Respironics) for a period of 7 consecutive days. Here, we provide an in-depth description of our study protocol, pre-processing pipelines, and data availability. ABRIM provides a cross-sectional database on healthy participants throughout the adult lifespan, including numerous parameters relevant to improve our understanding of cognitive ageing. Therefore, ABRIM enables researchers to model the advanced imaging parameters and cognitive topologies as a function of age, identify the normal range of values of such parameters, and to further investigate the diverse mechanisms of reserve and resilience.
  • Kakimoto, N., Wongratwanich, P., Shimamoto, H., Kitisubkanchana, J., Tsujimoto, T., Shimabukuro, K., Verdonschot, R. G., Hasegawa, Y., & Murakami, S. (2024). Comparison of T2 values of the displaced unilateral disc and retrodiscal tissue of temporomandibular joints and their implications. Scientific Reports, 14: 1705. doi:10.1038/s41598-024-52092-6.

    Abstract

    Unilateral anterior disc displacement (uADD) has been shown to affect the contralateral joints qualitatively. This study aims to assess the quantitative T2 values of the articular disc and retrodiscal tissue of patients with uADD at 1.5 Tesla (T). The study included 65 uADD patients and 17 volunteers. The regions of interest on T2 maps were evaluated. The affected joints demonstrated significantly higher articular disc T2 values (31.5 ± 3.8 ms) than those of the unaffected joints (28.9 ± 4.5 ms) (P < 0.001). For retrodiscal tissue, T2 values of the unaffected (37.8 ± 5.8 ms) and affected joints (41.6 ± 7.1 ms) were significantly longer than those of normal volunteers (34.4 ± 3.2 ms) (P < 0.001). Furthermore, uADD without reduction (WOR) joints (43.3 ± 6.8 ms) showed statistically higher T2 values than the unaffected joints of both uADD with reduction (WR) (33.9 ± 3.8 ms) and uADDWOR (38.9 ± 5.8 ms), and the affected joints of uADDWR (35.8 ± 4.4 ms). The mean T2 value of the unaffected joints of uADDWOR was significantly longer than that of healthy volunteers (P < 0.001). These results provided quantitative evidence for the influence of the affected joints on the contralateral joints.
  • Karaca, F., Brouwer, S., Unsworth, S., & Huettig, F. (2024). Morphosyntactic predictive processing in adult heritage speakers: Effects of cue availability and spoken and written language experience. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 39(1), 118-135. doi:10.1080/23273798.2023.2254424.

    Abstract

    We investigated prediction skills of adult heritage speakers and the role of written and spoken language experience on predictive processing. Using visual world eye-tracking, we focused on predictive use of case-marking cues in verb-medial and verb-final sentences in Turkish with adult Turkish heritage speakers (N = 25) and Turkish monolingual speakers (N = 24). Heritage speakers predicted in verb-medial sentences (when verb-semantic and case-marking cues were available), but not in verb-final sentences (when only case-marking cues were available) while monolinguals predicted in both. Prediction skills of heritage speakers were modulated by their spoken language experience in Turkish and written language experience in both languages. Overall, these results strongly suggest that verb-semantic information is needed to scaffold the use of morphosyntactic cues for prediction in heritage speakers. The findings also support the notion that both spoken and written language experience play an important role in predictive spoken language processing.
  • Karadöller, D. Z., Peeters, D., Manhardt, F., Özyürek, A., & Ortega, G. (2024). Iconicity and gesture jointly facilitate learning of second language signs at first exposure in hearing non-signers. Language Learning. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/lang.12636.

    Abstract

    When learning a spoken second language (L2), words overlapping in form and meaning with one’s native language (L1) help break into the new language. When non-signing speakers learn a sign language as L2, such forms are absent because of the modality differences (L1:speech, L2:sign). In such cases, non-signing speakers might use iconic form-meaning mappings in signs or their own gestural experience as gateways into the to-be-acquired sign language. Here, we investigated how both these factors may contribute jointly to the acquisition of sign language vocabulary by hearing non-signers. Participants were presented with three types of sign in NGT (Sign Language of the Netherlands): arbitrary signs, iconic signs with high or low gesture overlap. Signs that were both iconic and highly overlapping with gestures boosted learning most at first exposure, and this effect remained the day after. Findings highlight the influence of modality-specific factors supporting the acquisition of a signed lexicon.
  • Karsan, Ç., Ocak, F., & Bulut, T. (2024). Characterization of speech and language phenotype in the 8p23.1 syndrome. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s00787-024-02448-0.

    Abstract

    The 8p23.1 duplication syndrome is a rare genetic condition with an estimated prevalence rate of 1 out of 58,000. Although the syndrome was associated with speech and language delays, a comprehensive assessment of speech and language functions has not been undertaken in this population. To address this issue, the present study reports rigorous speech and language, in addition to oral-facial and developmental, assessment of a 50-month-old Turkish-speaking boy who was diagnosed with the 8p23.1 duplication syndrome. Standardized tests of development, articulation and phonology, receptive and expressive language and a language sample analysis were administered to characterize speech and language skills in the patient. The language sample was obtained in an ecologically valid, free play and conversation context. The language sample was then analyzed and compared to a database of age-matched typically-developing children (n = 33) in terms of intelligibility, morphosyntax, semantics/vocabulary, discourse, verbal facility and percentage of errors at word and utterance levels. The results revealed mild to severe problems in articulation and phonology, receptive and expressive language skills, and morphosyntax (mean length of utterance in morphemes). Future research with larger sample sizes and employing detailed speech and language assessment is needed to delineate the speech and language profile in individuals with the 8p23.1 duplication syndrome, which will guide targeted speech and language interventions.
  • Kimmel, M., Schneider, S. M., & Fisher, V. J. (2024). "Introjecting" imagery: A process model of how minds and bodies are co-enacted. Language Sciences, 102: 101602. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2023.101602.

    Abstract

    Somatic practices frequently use imagery, typically via verbal instructions, to scaffold sensorimotor organization and experience, a phenomenon we term “introjection”. We argue that introjection is an imagery practice in which sensorimotor and conceptual aspects are co-orchestrated, suggesting the necessity of crosstalk between somatics, phenomenology, psychology, embodied-enactive cognition, and linguistic research on embodied simulation. We presently focus on the scarcely addressed details of the process necessary to enact instructions of a literal or metaphoric nature through the body. Based on vignettes from dance, Feldenkrais, and Taichi practice, we describe introjection as a complex form of processual sense-making, in which context-interpretive, mental, attentional and physical sub-processes recursively braid. Our analysis focuses on how mental and body-related processes progressively align, inform and augment each other. This dialectic requires emphasis on the active body, which implies that uni-directional models (concept ⇒ body) are inadequate and should be replaced by interactionist alternatives (concept ⇔ body). Furthermore, we emphasize that both the source image itself and the body are specifically conceptualized for the context through constructive operations, and both evolve through their interplay. At this level introjection employs representational operations that are embedded in enactive dynamics of a fully situated person.
  • Knol, M. J., Poot, R. A., Evans, T. E., Satizabal, C. L., Mishra, A., Sargurupremraj, M., Van der Auwera, S., Duperron, M.-G., Jian, X., Hostettler, I. C., Van Dam-Nolen, D. H. K., Lamballais, S., Pawlak, M. A., Lewis, C. E., Carrion Castillo, A., Van Erp, T. G. M., Reinbold, C. S., Shin, J., Sholz, M., Håberg, A. K. Knol, M. J., Poot, R. A., Evans, T. E., Satizabal, C. L., Mishra, A., Sargurupremraj, M., Van der Auwera, S., Duperron, M.-G., Jian, X., Hostettler, I. C., Van Dam-Nolen, D. H. K., Lamballais, S., Pawlak, M. A., Lewis, C. E., Carrion Castillo, A., Van Erp, T. G. M., Reinbold, C. S., Shin, J., Sholz, M., Håberg, A. K., Kämpe, A., Li, G. H. Y., Avinun, R., Atkins, J. R., Hsu, F.-C., Amod, A. R., Lam, M., Tsuchida, A., Teunissen, M. W. A., Aygün, N., Patel, Y., Liang, D., Beiser, A. S., Beyer, F., Bis, J. C., Bos, D., Bryan, R. N., Bülow, R., Caspers, S., Catheline, G., Cecil, C. A. M., Dalvie, S., Dartigues, J.-F., DeCarli, C., Enlund-Cerullo, M., Ford, J. M., Franke, B., Freedman, B. I., Friedrich, N., Green, M. J., Haworth, S., Helmer, C., Hoffmann, P., Homuth, G., Ikram, M. K., Jack, C. R., Jahanshad, N., Jockwitz, C., Kamatani, Y., Knodt, A. R., Li, S., Lim, K., Longstreth, W. T., Macciardi, F., The Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium, The Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium, Mäkitie, O., Mazoyer, B., Medland, S. E., Miyamoto, S., Moebus, S., Mosley, T. H., Muetzel, R., Mühleisen, T. W., Nagata, M., Nakahara, S., Palmer, N. D., Pausova, Z., Preda, A., Quidé, Y., Reay, W. R., Roshchupkin, G. V., Schmidt, R., Schreiner, P. J., Setoh, K., Shapland, C. Y., Sidney, S., St Pourcain, B., Stein, J. L., Tabara, Y., Teumer, A., Uhlmann, A., Van de Lught, A., Vernooij, M. W., Werring, D. J., Windham, B. G., Witte, A. V., Wittfeld, K., Yang, Q., Yoshida, K., Brunner, H. G., Le Grand, Q., Sim, K., Stein, D. J., Bowden, D. W., Cairns, M. J., Hariri, A. R., Cheung, C.-L., Andersson, S., Villringer, A., Paus, T., Chichon, S., Calhoun, V. D., Crivello, F., Launer, L. J., White, T., Koudstaal, P. J., Houlden, H., Fornage, M., Matsuda, F., Grabe, H. J., Ikram, M. A., Debette, S., Thompson, P. M., Seshadri, S., & Adams, H. H. H. (2024). Genetic variants for head size share genes and pathways with cancer. Cell Reports Medicine, 5(5): 101529. doi:10.1016/j.xcrm.2024.101529.

    Abstract

    The size of the human head is highly heritable, but genetic drivers of its variation within the general population remain unmapped. We perform a genome-wide association study on head size (N = 80,890) and identify 67 genetic loci, of which 50 are novel. Neuroimaging studies show that 17 variants affect specific brain areas, but most have widespread effects. Gene set enrichment is observed for various cancers and the p53, Wnt, and ErbB signaling pathways. Genes harboring lead variants are enriched for macrocephaly syndrome genes (37-fold) and high-fidelity cancer genes (9-fold), which is not seen for human height variants. Head size variants are also near genes preferentially expressed in intermediate progenitor cells, neural cells linked to evolutionary brain expansion. Our results indicate that genes regulating early brain and cranial growth incline to neoplasia later in life, irrespective of height. This warrants investigation of clinical implications of the link between head size and cancer.

    Additional information

    link to supplemental information
  • Kocsis, K., Düngen, D., Jadoul, Y., & Ravignani, A. (2024). Harbour seals use rhythmic percussive signalling in interaction and display. Animal Behaviour, 207, 223-234. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2023.09.014.

    Abstract

    Multimodal rhythmic signalling abounds across animal taxa. Studying its mechanisms and functions can highlight adaptive components in highly complex rhythmic behaviours, like dance and music. Pinnipeds, such as the harbour seal, Phoca vitulina, are excellent comparative models to assess rhythmic capacities. Harbour seals engage in rhythmic percussive behaviours which, until now, have not been described in detail. In our study, eight zoo-housed harbour seals (two pups, two juveniles and four adults) were passively monitored by audio and video during their pupping/breeding season. All juvenile and adult animals performed percussive signalling with their fore flippers in agonistic conditions, both on land and in water. Flipper slap sequences produced on the ground or on the seals' bodies were often highly regular in their interval duration, that is, were quasi-isochronous, at a 200–600 beats/min pace. Three animals also showed significant lateralization in slapping. In contrast to slapping on land, display slapping in water, performed only by adult males, showed slower tempo by one order of magnitude, and a rather motivic temporal structure. Our work highlights that percussive communication is a significant part of harbour seals' behavioural repertoire. We hypothesize that its forms of rhythm production may reflect adaptive functions such as regulating internal states and advertising individual traits.
  • Koutamanis, E. (2024). Spreading the word: Cross-linguistic influence in the bilingual child's lexicon. PhD Thesis, Radboud University, Nijmegen.
  • Koutamanis, E., Kootstra, G. J., Dijkstra, T., & Unsworth, S. (2024). Cognate facilitation in single- and dual-language contexts in bilingual children’s word processing. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 14(4), 577-608. doi:10.1075/lab.23009.kou.

    Abstract

    We examined the extent to which cognate facilitation effects occurred in simultaneous bilingual children’s production and comprehension and how these were modulated by language dominance and language context. Bilingual Dutch-German children, ranging from Dutch-dominant to German-dominant, performed picture naming and auditory lexical decision tasks in single-language and dual-language contexts. Language context was manipulated with respect to the language of communication (with the experimenter and in instructional videos) and by means of proficiency tasks. Cognate facilitation effects emerged in both production and comprehension and interacted with both dominance and context. In a single-language context, stronger cognate facilitation effects were found for picture naming in children’s less dominant language, in line with previous studies on individual differences in lexical activation. In the dual-language context, this pattern was reversed, suggesting inhibition of the dominant language at the decision level. Similar effects were observed in lexical decision. These findings provide evidence for an integrated bilingual lexicon in simultaneous bilingual children and shed more light on the complex interplay between lexicon-internal and lexicon-external factors modulating the extent of lexical cross-linguistic influence more generally.
  • Koutamanis, E., Kootstra, G. J., Dijkstra, T., & Unsworth, S. (2024). Cross-linguistic influence in the simultaneous bilingual child's lexicon: An eye-tracking and primed picture selection study. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 27(3), 377-387. doi:10.1017/S136672892300055X.

    Abstract

    In a between-language lexical priming study, we examined to what extent the two languages in a simultaneous bilingual child's lexicon interact, while taking individual differences in language exposure into account. Primary-school-aged Dutch–Greek bilinguals performed a primed picture selection task combined with eye-tracking. They matched pictures to auditorily presented Dutch target words preceded by Greek prime words. Their reaction times and eye movements were recorded. We tested for effects of between-language phonological priming, translation priming, and phonological priming through translation. Priming effects emerged in reaction times and eye movements in all three conditions, at different stages of processing, and unaffected by language exposure. These results extend previous findings for bilingual toddlers and bilingual adults. Processing similarities between these populations indicate that, across different stages of development, bilinguals have an integrated lexicon that is accessed in a language-nonselective way and is susceptible to interactions within and between different types of lexical representation.
  • Kram, L., Ohlerth, A.-K., Ille, S., Meyer, B., & Krieg, S. M. (2024). CompreTAP: Feasibility and reliability of a new language comprehension mapping task via preoperative navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation. Cortex, 171, 347-369. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2023.09.023.

    Abstract

    Objective: Stimulation-based language mapping approaches that are used pre- and intra-operatively employ predominantly overt language tasks requiring sufficient language pro-duction abilities. Yet, these production-based setups are often not feasible in brain tumor patients with severe expressive aphasia. This pilot study evaluated the feasibility and reliability of a newly developed language comprehension task with preoperative navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (nTMS).
    Methods: Fifteen healthy subjects and six brain tumor patients with severe expressiven aphasia unable to perform classic overt naming tasks underwent preoperative nTMS language mapping based on an auditory single-word Comprehension TAsk for Perioperative mapping (CompreTAP). Comprehension was probed by button-press responses to auditory stimuli, hence not requiring overt language responses. Positive comprehension areas were identified when stimulation elicited an incorrect or delayed button press. Error categories,case-wise cortical error rate distribution and inter-rater reliability between two experienced specialists were examined.
    Results: Overall, the new setup showed to be feasible. Comprehension-disruptions induced by nTMS manifested in no responses, delayed or hesitant responses, searching behavior or selection of wrong target items across all patients and controls and could be performed even in patients with severe expressive aphasia. The analysis agreement between both specialists was substantial for classifying comprehension-positive and -negative sites. Extensive left-hemispheric individual cortical comprehension sites were identified for all patients. Apart from one case presenting with transient worsening of aphasic symptoms.
  • Kubota, M., Alonso, J. G., Anderssen, M., Jensen, I. N., Luque, A., Pereira Soares, S. M., Prystauka, Y., Vangsnes, Ø. A., Sandstedt, J. J., & Rothman, J. (2024). Bilectal exposure modulates neural signatures to conflicting grammatical properties: Norway as a natural laboratory. Language Learning, 74(2), 436-467. doi:10.1111/lang.12608.

    Abstract

    The current study investigated gender (control) and number (target) agreement processing in Northern and non-Northern Norwegians living in Northern Norway. Participants varied in exposure to Northern Norwegian (NN) dialect(s), where number marking differs from most other Norwegian dialects. In a comprehension task involving reading NN dialect writing, P600 effects for number agreement were significantly affected by NN exposure. The more exposure the NN nonnatives had, the larger the P600 was, driven by the presence of number agreement (ungrammatical in NN). In contrast, less exposure correlated to the inverse: P600 driven by the absence of number agreement (ungrammatical in most other dialects). The NN natives showed P600 driven by the presence of number agreement regardless of exposure. These findings suggests that bilectalism entails the representation of distinct mental grammars for each dialect. However, like all instances of bilingualism, bilectalism exists on a continuum whereby linguistic processing is modulated by linguistic experience.
  • Kumarage, S., Donnelly, S., & Kidd, E. (2024). A meta-analysis of syntactic priming experiments in children. Journal of Memory and Language, 138: 104532. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2024.104532.

    Abstract

    A substantial literature exists using the syntactic priming methodology with children to test hypotheses regarding the acquisition of syntax, under the assumption that priming effects reveal both the presence of syntactic knowledge and the underlying nature of learning mechanisms supporting the acquisition of grammar. Here we present the first meta-analysis of syntactic priming studies in children. We identified 37 eligible studies and extracted 108 effect sizes corresponding to 76 samples of 2,378 unique participants. Our analysis confirmed a medium-to-large syntactic priming effect. The overall estimate of the priming effect was a log odds ratio of 1.44 (Cohen’s d = 0.80). This is equivalent to a structure that occurs 50 % of the time when unprimed occurring 81 % of the time when primed. Several variables moderated the magnitude of priming in children, including (i) within- or between-subjects design, (ii) lexical overlap, (iii) structural alternation investigated and, (iv) the animacy configuration of syntactic arguments. There was little evidence of publication bias in the size of the main priming effect, however, power analyses showed that, while studies typically have enough power to identify the basic priming effect, they are typically underpowered when their focus is on moderators of priming. The results provide a foundation for future research, suggesting several avenues of enquiry.
  • Lai, J., Chan, A., & Kidd, E. (2024). Production of relative clauses in Cantonese-speaking children with and without Developmental Language Disorder. Brain and Language, 254: 105425. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2024.105425.

    Abstract

    Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) has been explained as either a deficit deriving from an abstract representational deficit or as emerging from difficulties in acquiring and coordinating multiple interacting cues guiding learning. These competing explanations are often difficult to decide between when tested on European languages. This paper reports an experimental study of relative clause (RC) production in Cantonese-speaking children with and without DLD, which enabled us to test multiple developmental predictions derived from one prominent theory − emergentism. Children with DLD (N = 22; aged 6;6–9;7) were compared with age-matched typically-developing peers (N = 23) and language-matched, typically-developing children (N = 21; aged 4;7–7;6) on a sentence repetition task. Results showed that children’s production across multiple RC types was influenced by structural frequency, general semantic complexity, and the linear order of constituents, with the DLD group performing worse than their age-matched and language-matched peers. The results are consistent with the emergentist explanation of DLD.
  • Lameira, A. R., Hardus, M. E., Ravignani, A., Raimondi, T., & Gamba, M. (2024). Recursive self-embedded vocal motifs in wild orangutans. eLife, 12: RP88348. doi:10.7554/eLife.88348.3.

    Abstract

    Recursive procedures that allow placing a vocal signal inside another of a similar kind provide a neuro-computational blueprint for syntax and phonology in spoken language and human song. There are, however, no known vocal sequences among nonhuman primates arranged in self-embedded patterns that evince vocal recursion or potential incipient or evolutionary transitional forms thereof, suggesting a neuro-cognitive transformation exclusive to humans. Here, we uncover that wild flanged male orangutan long calls feature rhythmically isochronous call sequences nested within isochronous call sequences, consistent with two hierarchical strata. Remarkably, three temporally and acoustically distinct call rhythms in the lower stratum were not related to the overarching rhythm at the higher stratum by any low multiples, which suggests that these recursive structures were neither the result of parallel non-hierarchical procedures nor anatomical artifacts of bodily constraints or resonances. Findings represent a case of temporally recursive hominid vocal combinatorics in the absence of syntax, semantics, phonology, or music. Second-order combinatorics, ‘sequences within sequences’, involving hierarchically organized and cyclically structured vocal sounds in ancient hominids may have preluded the evolution of recursion in modern language-able humans.
  • Leitner, C., D’Este, G., Verga, L., Rahayel, S., Mombelli, S., Sforza, M., Casoni, F., Zucconi, M., Ferini-Strambi, L., & Galbiati, A. (2024). Neuropsychological changes in isolated REM sleep behavior disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Neuropsychology Review, 34(1), 41-66. doi:10.1007/s11065-022-09572-1.

    Abstract

    The aim of this meta-analysis is twofold: (a) to assess cognitive impairments in isolated rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (iRBD) patients compared to healthy controls (HC); (b) to quantitatively estimate the risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease in iRBD patients according to baseline cognitive assessment. To address the first aim, cross-sectional studies including polysomnography-confirmed iRBD patients, HC, and reporting neuropsychological testing were included. To address the second aim, longitudinal studies including polysomnography-confirmed iRBD patients, reporting baseline neuropsychological testing for converted and still isolated patients separately were included. The literature search was conducted based on PRISMA guidelines and the protocol was registered at PROSPERO (CRD42021253427). Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies were searched from PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Embase databases. Publication bias and statistical heterogeneity were assessed respectively by funnel plot asymmetry and using I2. Finally, a random-effect model was performed to pool the included studies. 75 cross-sectional (2,398 HC and 2,460 iRBD patients) and 11 longitudinal (495 iRBD patients) studies were selected. Cross-sectional studies showed that iRBD patients performed significantly worse in cognitive screening scores (random-effects (RE) model = –0.69), memory (RE model = –0.64), and executive function (RE model = –0.50) domains compared to HC. The survival analyses conducted for longitudinal studies revealed that lower executive function and language performance, as well as the presence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), at baseline were associated with an increased risk of conversion at follow-up. Our study underlines the importance of a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment in the context of iRBD.

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  • Leonetti, S., Cimarelli, G., Hersh, T. A., & Ravignani, A. (2024). Why do dogs wag their tails? Biology Letters, 20(1): 20230407. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2023.0407.

    Abstract

    Tail wagging is a conspicuous behaviour in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris). Despite how much meaning humans attribute to this display, its quantitative description and evolutionary history are rarely studied. We summarize what is known about the mechanism, ontogeny, function and evolution of this behaviour. We suggest two hypotheses to explain its increased occurrence and frequency in dogs compared to other canids. During the domestication process, enhanced rhythmic tail wagging behaviour could have (i) arisen as a by-product of selection for other traits, such as docility and tameness, or (ii) been directly selected by humans, due to our proclivity for rhythmic stimuli. We invite testing of these hypotheses through neurobiological and ethological experiments, which will shed light on one of the most readily observed yet understudied animal behaviours. Targeted tail wagging research can be a window into both canine ethology and the evolutionary history of characteristic human traits, such as our ability to perceive and produce rhythmic behaviours.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2024). The dark matter of pragmatics: Known unknowns. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781009489584.

    Abstract

    This Element tries to discern the known unknowns in the field
    of pragmatics, the ‘Dark Matter’ of the title. We can identify a key
    bottleneck in human communication, the sheer limitation on the speed
    of speech encoding: pragmatics occupies the niche nestled between
    slow speech encoding and fast comprehension. Pragmatic strategies
    are tricks for evading this tight encoding bottleneck by meaning more
    than you say. Five such tricks are reviewed, which are all domains where
    we have made considerable progress. We can then ask for each of these
    areas, where have we neglected to push the frontier forward? These are
    the known unknowns of pragmatics, key areas, and topics for future
    research. The Element thus offers a brief review of some central areas of
    pragmatics, and a survey of targets for future research.

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