Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 5373
  • Araujo, S., Narang, V., Misra, D., Lohagun, N., Khan, O., Singh, A., Mishra, R. K., Hervais-Adelman, A., & Huettig, F. (in press). A literacy-related color-specific deficit in rapid automatized naming: Evidence from neurotypical completely illiterate and literate adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

    Abstract

    There is a robust positive relationship between reading skills and the time to name aloud an array of letters, digits, objects, or colors as quickly as possible. A convincing and complete explanation for the direction and locus of this association remains, however, elusive. In this study we investigated rapid automatized naming (RAN) of every-day objects and basic color patches in neurotypical illiterate and literate adults. Literacy acquisition and education enhanced RAN performance for both conceptual categories but this advantage was much larger for (abstract) colors than every-day objects. This result suggests that (i) literacy/education may be causal for serial rapid naming ability of non-alphanumeric items, (ii) differences in the lexical quality of conceptual representations can underlie the reading-related differential RAN performance.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (in press). Multiplication, addition, and subtraction in numerals: Variation in Latin’s decads+ from an Indo-European perspective. Journal of Latin Linguistics.
  • Corps, R. E., Liao, M., & Pickering, M. J. (in press). Evidence for two stages of prediction in non-native speakers: A visual-world eye-tracking study. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition.
  • 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.
  • Ferreira, F., & Huettig, F. (in press). Fast and slow language processing: A window into dual-process models of cognition. Commentary on De Neys. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

    Abstract

    Our understanding of dual-process models of cognition may benefit from a consideration of language processing, as language comprehension involves fast and slow processes analogous to those used for reasoning. More specifically, De Neys’s criticisms of the exclusivity assumption and the fast-to-slow switch mechanism are consistent with findings from the literature on the construction and revision of linguistic interpretations.
  • Hammarström, H., & Parkvall, M. (in press). Basic Constituent Order in Pidgin and Creole Languages: Inheritance or Universals? Journal of Language Contact.
  • Hintz, F., Khoe, Y. H., Strauß, A., Psomakas, A. J. A., & Holler, J. (in press). Electrophysiological evidence for the enhancement of gesture-speech integration by linguistic predictability during multimodal discourse comprehension. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience.

    Abstract

    In face-to-face discourse, listeners exploit cues in the input to generate predictions about upcoming words. Moreover, in addition to speech, speakers produce a multitude of visual signals, such as iconic gestures, which listeners readily integrate with incoming words. Previous studies have shown that processing of target words is facilitated when these are embedded in predictable compared to non-predictable discourses and when accompanied by iconic compared to meaningless gestures. In the present study, we investigated the interaction of both factors. We recorded electroencephalogram from 60 Dutch adults while they were watching videos of an actress producing short discourses. The stimuli consisted of an introductory and a target sentence; the latter contained a target noun. Depending on the preceding discourse, the target noun was either predictable or not. Each target noun was paired with an iconic gesture and a gesture that did not convey meaning. In both conditions, gesture presentation in the video was timed such that the gesture stroke slightly preceded the onset of the spoken target by 130 ms. Our ERP analyses revealed independent facilitatory effects for predictable discourses and iconic gestures. However, the interactive effect of both factors demonstrated that target processing (i.e., gesture-speech integration) was facilitated most when targets were part of predictable discourses and accompanied by an iconic gesture. Our results thus suggest a strong intertwinement of linguistic predictability and non-verbal gesture processing where listeners exploit predictive discourse cues to pre-activate verbal and non-verbal representations of upcoming target words.
  • 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.
  • Scheibel, M., & Indefrey, P. (in press). Top-down enhanced object recognition in blocking and priming paradigms. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.
  • Severijnen, G. G. A., Di Dona, G., Bosker, H. R., & McQueen, J. M. (in press). Tracking talker-specific cues to lexical stress: Evidence from perceptual learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.
  • Tomasek, M., Ravignani, A., Boucherie, P. H., Van Meyel, S., & Dufour, V. (in press). Vocal coordination of spontaneous vocalisations to water noise in rooks (Corvus frugilegus): An exploratory study of vocal control. Ecology and Evolution.
  • Barendse, M. T., & Rosseel, Y. (2023). Multilevel SEM with random slopes in discrete data using the pairwise maximum likelihood. British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/bmsp.12294.

    Abstract

    Pairwise maximum likelihood (PML) estimation is a promising method for multilevel models with discrete responses. Multilevel models take into account that units within a cluster tend to be more alike than units from different clusters. The pairwise likelihood is then obtained as the product of bivariate likelihoods for all within-cluster pairs of units and items. In this study, we investigate the PML estimation method with computationally intensive multilevel random intercept and random slope structural equation models (SEM) in discrete data. In pursuing this, we first reconsidered the general ‘wide format’ (WF) approach for SEM models and then extend the WF approach with random slopes. In a small simulation study we the determine accuracy and efficiency of the PML estimation method by varying the sample size (250, 500, 1000, 2000), response scales (two-point, four-point), and data-generating model (mediation model with three random slopes, factor model with one and two random slopes). Overall, results show that the PML estimation method is capable of estimating computationally intensive random intercept and random slopes multilevel models in the SEM framework with discrete data and many (six or more) latent variables with satisfactory accuracy and efficiency. However, the condition with 250 clusters combined with a two-point response scale shows more bias.

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  • Benetti, S., Ferrari, A., & Pavani, F. (2023). Multimodal processing in face-to-face interactions: A bridging link between psycholinguistics and sensory neuroscience. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 17: 1108354. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2023.1108354.

    Abstract

    In face-to-face communication, humans are faced with multiple layers of discontinuous multimodal signals, such as head, face, hand gestures, speech and non-speech sounds, which need to be interpreted as coherent and unified communicative actions. This implies a fundamental computational challenge: optimally binding only signals belonging to the same communicative action while segregating signals that are not connected by the communicative content. How do we achieve such an extraordinary feat, reliably, and efficiently? To address this question, we need to further move the study of human communication beyond speech-centred perspectives and promote a multimodal approach combined with interdisciplinary cooperation. Accordingly, we seek to reconcile two explanatory frameworks recently proposed in psycholinguistics and sensory neuroscience into a neurocognitive model of multimodal face-to-face communication. First, we introduce a psycholinguistic framework that characterises face-to-face communication at three parallel processing levels: multiplex signals, multimodal gestalts and multilevel predictions. Second, we consider the recent proposal of a lateral neural visual pathway specifically dedicated to the dynamic aspects of social perception and reconceive it from a multimodal perspective (“lateral processing pathway”). Third, we reconcile the two frameworks into a neurocognitive model that proposes how multiplex signals, multimodal gestalts, and multilevel predictions may be implemented along the lateral processing pathway. Finally, we advocate a multimodal and multidisciplinary research approach, combining state-of-the-art imaging techniques, computational modelling and artificial intelligence for future empirical testing of our model.
  • Cox, C., Bergmann, C., Fowler, E., Keren-Portnoy, T., Roepstorff, A., Bryant, G., & Fusaroli, R. (2023). A systematic review and Bayesian meta-analysis of the acoustic features of infant-directed speech. Nature Human Behaviour, 7, 114-133. doi:10.1038/s41562-022-01452-1.

    Abstract

    When speaking to infants, adults often produce speech that differs systematically from that directed to other adults. In order to quantify the acoustic properties of this speech style across a wide variety of languages and cultures, we extracted results from empirical studies on the acoustic features of infant-directed speech (IDS). We analyzed data from 88 unique studies (734 effect sizes) on the following five acoustic parameters that have been systematically examined in the literature: i) fundamental frequency (fo), ii) fo variability, iii) vowel space area, iv) articulation rate, and v) vowel duration. Moderator analyses were conducted in hierarchical Bayesian robust regression models in order to examine how these features change with infant age and differ across languages, experimental tasks and recording environments. The moderator analyses indicated that fo, articulation rate, and vowel duration became more similar to adult-directed speech (ADS) over time, whereas fo variability and vowel space area exhibited stability throughout development. These results point the way for future research to disentangle different accounts of the functions and learnability of IDS by conducting theory-driven comparisons among different languages and using computational models to formulate testable predictions.

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  • Dingemanse, M., Liesenfeld, A., Rasenberg, M., Albert, S., Ameka, F. K., Birhane, A., Bolis, D., Cassell, J., Clift, R., Cuffari, E., De Jaegher, H., Dutilh Novaes, C., Enfield, N. J., Fusaroli, R., Gregoromichelaki, E., Hutchins, E., Konvalinka, I., Milton, D., Rączaszek-Leonardi, J., Reddy, V. and 8 moreDingemanse, M., Liesenfeld, A., Rasenberg, M., Albert, S., Ameka, F. K., Birhane, A., Bolis, D., Cassell, J., Clift, R., Cuffari, E., De Jaegher, H., Dutilh Novaes, C., Enfield, N. J., Fusaroli, R., Gregoromichelaki, E., Hutchins, E., Konvalinka, I., Milton, D., Rączaszek-Leonardi, J., Reddy, V., Rossano, F., Schlangen, D., Seibt, J., Stokoe, E., Suchman, L. A., Vesper, C., Wheatley, T., & Wiltschko, M. (2023). Beyond single-mindedness: A figure-ground reversal for the cognitive sciences. Cognitive Science, 47(1): e13230. doi:10.1111/cogs.13230.

    Abstract

    A fundamental fact about human minds is that they are never truly alone: all minds are steeped in situated interaction. That social interaction matters is recognised by any experimentalist who seeks to exclude its influence by studying individuals in isolation. On this view, interaction complicates cognition. Here we explore the more radical stance that interaction co-constitutes cognition: that we benefit from looking beyond single minds towards cognition as a process involving interacting minds. All around the cognitive sciences, there are approaches that put interaction centre stage. Their diverse and pluralistic origins may obscure the fact that collectively, they harbour insights and methods that can respecify foundational assumptions and fuel novel interdisciplinary work. What might the cognitive sciences gain from stronger interactional foundations? This represents, we believe, one of the key questions for the future. Writing as a multidisciplinary collective assembled from across the classic cognitive science hexagon and beyond, we highlight the opportunity for a figure-ground reversal that puts interaction at the heart of cognition. The interactive stance is a way of seeing that deserves to be a key part of the conceptual toolkit of cognitive scientists.
  • Düngen, D., Fitch, W. T., & Ravignani, A. (2023). Hoover the talking seal. Current Biology, 33, R50-R52. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2022.12.023.
  • Garrido Rodriguez, G., Norcliffe, E., Brown, P., Huettig, F., & Levinson, S. C. (2023). Anticipatory processing in a verb-initial Mayan language: Eye-tracking evidence during sentence comprehension in Tseltal. Cognitive Science, 47(1): e13292. doi:10.1111/cogs.13219.

    Abstract

    We present a visual world eye-tracking study on Tseltal (a Mayan language) and investigate whether verbal information can be used to anticipate an upcoming referent. Basic word order in transitive sentences in Tseltal is Verb-Object-Subject (VOS). The verb is usually encountered first, making argument structure and syntactic information available at the outset, which should facilitate anticipation of the post-verbal arguments. Tseltal speakers listened to verb-initial sentences with either an object-predictive verb (e.g., ‘eat’) or a general verb (e.g., ‘look for’) (e.g., “Ya slo’/sle ta stukel on te kereme”, Is eating/is looking (for) by himself the avocado the boy/ “The boy is eating/is looking (for) an avocado by himself”) while seeing a visual display showing one potential referent (e.g., avocado) and three distractors (e.g., bag, toy car, coffee grinder). We manipulated verb type (predictive vs. general) and recorded participants' eye-movements while they listened and inspected the visual scene. Participants’ fixations to the target referent were analysed using multilevel logistic regression models. Shortly after hearing the predictive verb, participants fixated the target object before it was mentioned. In contrast, when the verb was general, fixations to the target only started to increase once the object was heard. Our results suggest that Tseltal hearers pre-activate semantic features of the grammatical object prior to its linguistic expression. This provides evidence from a verb-initial language for online incremental semantic interpretation and anticipatory processing during language comprehension. These processes are comparable to the ones identified in subject-initial languages, which is consistent with the notion that different languages follow similar universal processing principles.
  • Hagoort, P. (2023). The language marker hypothesis. Cognition, 230: 105252. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2022.105252.

    Abstract

    According to the language marker hypothesis language has provided homo sapiens with a rich symbolic system that plays a central role in interpreting signals delivered by our sensory apparatus, in shaping action goals, and in creating a powerful tool for reasoning and inferencing. This view provides an important correction on embodied accounts of language that reduce language to action, perception, emotion and mental simulation. The presence of a language system has, however, also important consequences for perception, action, emotion, and memory. Language stamps signals from perception, action, and emotional systems with rich cognitive markers that transform the role of these signals in the overall cognitive architecture of the human mind. This view does not deny that language is implemented by means of universal principles of neural organization. However, language creates the possibility to generate rich internal models of the world that are shaped and made accessible by the characteristics of a language system. This makes us less dependent on direct action-perception couplings and might even sometimes go at the expense of the veridicality of perception. In cognitive (neuro)science the pendulum has swung from language as the key to understand the organization of the human mind to the perspective that it is a byproduct of perception and action. It is time that it partly swings back again.
  • De Hoop, H., Levshina, N., & Segers, M. (2023). The effect of the use of T and V pronouns in Dutch HR communication. Journal of Pragmatics, 203, 96-109. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2022.11.017.

    Abstract

    In an online experiment among native speakers of Dutch we measured addressees' responses to emails written in the informal pronoun T or the formal pronoun V in HR communication. 172 participants (61 male, mean age 37 years) read either the V-versions or the T-versions of two invitation emails and two rejection emails by four different fictitious recruiters. After each email, participants had to score their appreciation of the company and the recruiter on five different scales each, such as The recruiter who wrote this email seems … [scale from friendly to unfriendly]. We hypothesized that (i) the V-pronoun would be more appreciated in letters of rejection, and the T-pronoun in letters of invitation, and (ii) older people would appreciate the V-pronoun more than the T-pronoun, and the other way around for younger people. Although neither of these hypotheses was supported, we did find a small effect of pronoun: Emails written in V were more highly appreciated than emails in T, irrespective of type of email (invitation or rejection), and irrespective of the participant's age, gender, and level of education. At the same time, we observed differences in the strength of this effect across different scales.
  • Kałamała, P., Chuderski, A., Szewczyk, J., Senderecka, M., & Wodniecka, Z. (2023). Bilingualism caught in a net: A new approach to understanding the complexity of bilingual experience. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 152(1), 157-174. doi:10.1037/xge0001263.

    Abstract

    The growing importance of research on bilingualism in psychology and neuroscience motivates the need for a psychometric model that can be used to understand and quantify this phenomenon. This research is the first to meet this need. We reanalyzed two data sets (N = 171 and N = 112) from relatively young adult language-unbalanced bilinguals and asked whether bilingualism is best described by the factor structure or by the network structure. The factor and network models were established on one data set and then validated on the other data set in a fully confirmatory manner. The network model provided the best fit to the data. This implies that bilingualism should be conceptualized as an emergent phenomenon arising from direct and idiosyncratic dependencies among the history of language acquisition, diverse language skills, and language-use practices. These dependencies can be reduced to neither a single universal quotient nor to some more general factors. Additional in-depth network analyses showed that the subjective perception of proficiency along with language entropy and language mixing were the most central indices of bilingualism, thus indicating that these measures can be especially sensitive to variation in the overall bilingual experience. Overall, this work highlights the great potential of psychometric network modeling to gain a more accurate description and understanding of complex (psycho)linguistic and cognitive phenomena.
  • Leitner, C., D’Este, G., Verga, L., Rahayel, S., Mombelli, S., Sforza, M., Casoni, F., Zucconi, M., Ferini-Strambi, L., & Galbiati, A. (2023). Neuropsychological changes in isolated REM sleep behavior disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Neuropsychology Review. Advance online publication. 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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  • Lemaitre, H., Le Guen, Y., Tilot, A. K., Stein, J. L., Philippe, C., Mangin, J.-F., Fisher, S. E., & Frouin, V. (2023). Genetic variations within human gained enhancer elements affect human brain sulcal morphology. NeuroImage, 265: 119773. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119773.

    Abstract

    The expansion of the cerebral cortex is one of the most distinctive changes in the evolution of the human brain. Cortical expansion and related increases in cortical folding may have contributed to emergence of our capacities for high-order cognitive abilities. Molecular analysis of humans, archaic hominins, and non-human primates has allowed identification of chromosomal regions showing evolutionary changes at different points of our phylogenetic history. In this study, we assessed the contributions of genomic annotations spanning 30 million years to human sulcal morphology measured via MRI in more than 18,000 participants from the UK Biobank. We found that variation within brain-expressed human gained enhancers, regulatory genetic elements that emerged since our last common ancestor with Old World monkeys, explained more trait heritability than expected for the left and right calloso-marginal posterior fissures and the right central sulcus. Intriguingly, these are sulci that have been previously linked to the evolution of locomotion in primates and later on bipedalism in our hominin ancestors.

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  • Lumaca, M., Bonetti, L., Brattico, E., Baggio, G., Ravignani, A., & Vuust, P. (2023). High-fidelity transmission of auditory symbolic material is associated with reduced right–left neuroanatomical asymmetry between primary auditory regions. Cerebral Cortex. Advance online publication. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhad009.

    Abstract

    The intergenerational stability of auditory symbolic systems, such as music, is thought to rely on brain processes that allow the faithful transmission of complex sounds. Little is known about the functional and structural aspects of the human brain which support this ability, with a few studies pointing to the bilateral organization of auditory networks as a putative neural substrate. Here, we further tested this hypothesis by examining the role of left–right neuroanatomical asymmetries between auditory cortices. We collected neuroanatomical images from a large sample of participants (nonmusicians) and analyzed them with Freesurfer’s surface-based morphometry method. Weeks after scanning, the same individuals participated in a laboratory experiment that simulated music transmission: the signaling games. We found that high accuracy in the intergenerational transmission of an artificial tone system was associated with reduced rightward asymmetry of cortical thickness in Heschl’s sulcus. Our study suggests that the high-fidelity copying of melodic material may rely on the extent to which computational neuronal resources are distributed across hemispheres. Our data further support the role of interhemispheric brain organization in the cultural transmission and evolution of auditory symbolic systems.
  • Mamus, E., Speed, L. J., Rissman, L., Majid, A., & Ozyurek, A. (2023). Lack of visual experience affects multimodal language production: Evidence from congenitally blind and sighted people. Cognitive Science, 47(1): e13228. doi:10.1111/cogs.13228.

    Abstract

    The human experience is shaped by information from different perceptual channels, but it is still debated whether and how differential experience influences language use. To address this, we compared congenitally blind, blindfolded, and sighted people's descriptions of the same motion events experienced auditorily by all participants (i.e., via sound alone) and conveyed in speech and gesture. Comparison of blind and sighted participants to blindfolded participants helped us disentangle the effects of a lifetime experience of being blind versus the task-specific effects of experiencing a motion event by sound alone. Compared to sighted people, blind people's speech focused more on path and less on manner of motion, and encoded paths in a more segmented fashion using more landmarks and path verbs. Gestures followed the speech, such that blind people pointed to landmarks more and depicted manner less than sighted people. This suggests that visual experience affects how people express spatial events in the multimodal language and that blindness may enhance sensitivity to paths of motion due to changes in event construal. These findings have implications for the claims that language processes are deeply rooted in our sensory experiences.
  • Manhardt, F., Brouwer, S., Van Wijk, E., & Ozyurek, A. (2023). Word order preference in sign influences speech in hearing bimodal bilinguals but not vice versa: Evidence from behavior and eye-gaze. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 26(1), 48-61. doi:10.1017/S1366728922000311.

    Abstract

    We investigated cross-modal influences between speech and sign in hearing bimodal bilin-
    guals, proficient in a spoken and a sign language, and its consequences on visual attention
    during message preparation using eye-tracking. We focused on spatial expressions in which
    sign languages, unlike spoken languages, have a modality-driven preference to mention
    grounds (big objects) prior to figures (smaller objects). We compared hearing bimodal bilin-
    guals’ spatial expressions and visual attention in Dutch and Dutch Sign Language (N = 18) to
    those of their hearing non-signing (N = 20) and deaf signing peers (N = 18). In speech, hear-
    ing bimodal bilinguals expressed more ground-first descriptions and fixated grounds more
    than hearing non-signers, showing influence from sign. In sign, they used as many
    ground-first descriptions as deaf signers and fixated grounds equally often, demonstrating
    no influence from speech. Cross-linguistic influence of word order preference and visual
    attention in hearing bimodal bilinguals appears to be one-directional modulated by
    modality-driven differences
  • Maskalenka, K., Alagöz, G., Krueger, F., Wright, J., Rostovskaya, M., Nakhuda, A., Bendall, A., Krueger, C., Walker, S., Scally, A., & Rugg-Gunn, P. J. (2023). NANOGP1, a tandem duplicate of NANOG, exhibits partial functional conservation in human naïve pluripotent stem cells. Development, 150(2): dev201155. doi:10.1242/dev.201155.

    Abstract

    Gene duplication events can drive evolution by providing genetic material for new gene functions, and they create opportunities for diverse developmental strategies to emerge between species. To study the contribution of duplicated genes to human early development, we examined the evolution and function of NANOGP1, a tandem duplicate of the transcription factor NANOG. We found that NANOGP1 and NANOG have overlapping but distinct expression profiles, with high NANOGP1 expression restricted to early epiblast cells and naïve-state pluripotent stem cells. Sequence analysis and epitope-tagging revealed that NANOGP1 is protein coding with an intact homeobox domain. The duplication that created NANOGP1 occurred earlier in primate evolution than previously thought and has been retained only in great apes, whereas Old World monkeys have disabled the gene in different ways, including homeodomain point mutations. NANOGP1 is a strong inducer of naïve pluripotency; however, unlike NANOG, it is not required to maintain the undifferentiated status of human naïve pluripotent cells. By retaining expression, sequence and partial functional conservation with its ancestral copy, NANOGP1 exemplifies how gene duplication and subfunctionalisation can contribute to transcription factor activity in human pluripotency and development.
  • Mickan, A., McQueen, J. M., Brehm, L., & Lemhöfer, K. (2023). Individual differences in foreign language attrition: A 6-month longitudinal investigation after a study abroad. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 38(1), 11-39. doi:10.1080/23273798.2022.2074479.

    Abstract

    While recent laboratory studies suggest that the use of competing languages is a driving force in foreign language (FL) attrition (i.e. forgetting), research on “real” attriters has failed to demonstrate
    such a relationship. We addressed this issue in a large-scale longitudinal study, following German students throughout a study abroad in Spain and their first six months back in Germany. Monthly,
    percentage-based frequency of use measures enabled a fine-grained description of language use.
    L3 Spanish forgetting rates were indeed predicted by the quantity and quality of Spanish use, and
    correlated negatively with L1 German and positively with L2 English letter fluency. Attrition rates
    were furthermore influenced by prior Spanish proficiency, but not by motivation to maintain
    Spanish or non-verbal long-term memory capacity. Overall, this study highlights the importance
    of language use for FL retention and sheds light on the complex interplay between language
    use and other determinants of attrition.
  • Muhinyi, A., & Rowland, C. F. (2023). Contributions of abstract extratextual talk and interactive style to preschoolers’ vocabulary development. Journal of Child Language, 50(1), 198-213. doi:10.1017/S0305000921000696.

    Abstract

    Caregiver abstract talk during shared reading predicts preschool-age children’s vocabulary development. However, previous research has focused on level of abstraction with less consideration of the style of extratextual talk. Here, we investigated the relation between these two dimensions of extratextual talk, and their contributions to variance in children’s vocabulary skills. Caregiver level of abstraction was associated with an interactive reading style. Controlling for socioeconomic status and child age, high interactivity predicted children’s concurrent vocabulary skills whereas abstraction did not. Controlling for earlier vocabulary skills, neither dimension of the extratextual talk predicted later vocabulary. Theoretical and practical relevance are discussed.
  • Raimondi, T., Di Panfilo, G., Pasquali, M., Zarantonello, M., Favaro, L., Savini, T., Gamba, M., & Ravignani, A. (2023). Isochrony and rhythmic interaction in ape duetting. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 290: 20222244. doi:10.1098/rspb.2022.2244.

    Abstract

    How did rhythm originate in humans, and other species? One cross-cultural universal, frequently found in human music, is isochrony: when note onsets repeat regularly like the ticking of a clock. Another universal consists in synchrony (e.g. when individuals coordinate their notes so that they are sung at the same time). An approach to biomusicology focuses on similarities and differences across species, trying to build phylogenies of musical traits. Here we test for the presence of, and a link between, isochrony and synchrony in a non-human animal. We focus on the songs of one of the few singing primates, the lar gibbon (Hylobates lar), extracting temporal features from their solo songs and duets. We show that another ape exhibits one rhythmic feature at the core of human musicality: isochrony. We show that an enhanced call rate overall boosts isochrony, suggesting that respiratory physiological constraints play a role in determining the song's rhythmic structure. However, call rate alone cannot explain the flexible isochrony we witness. Isochrony is plastic and modulated depending on the context of emission: gibbons are more isochronous when duetting than singing solo. We present evidence for rhythmic interaction: we find statistical causality between one individual's note onsets and the co-singer's onsets, and a higher than chance degree of synchrony in the duets. Finally, we find a sex-specific trade-off between individual isochrony and synchrony. Gibbon's plasticity for isochrony and rhythmic overlap may suggest a potential shared selective pressure for interactive vocal displays in singing primates. This pressure may have convergently shaped human and gibbon musicality while acting on a common neural primate substrate. Beyond humans, singing primates are promising models to understand how music and, specifically, a sense of rhythm originated in the primate phylogeny.
  • Rossi, E., Pereira Soares, S. M., Prystauka, Y., Nakamura, M., & Rothman, J. (2023). Riding the (brain) waves! Using neural oscillations to inform bilingualism research. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 26(1), 202-215. doi:10.1017/S1366728922000451.

    Abstract

    The study of the brains’ oscillatory activity has been a standard technique to gain insights into human neurocognition for a relatively long time. However, as a complementary analysis to ERPs, only very recently has it been utilized to study bilingualism and its neural underpinnings. Here, we provide a theoretical and methodological starter for scientists in the (psycho)linguistics and neurocognition of bilingualism field(s) to understand the bases and applications of this analytical tool. Towards this goal, we provide a description of the characteristics of the human neural (and its oscillatory) signal, followed by an in-depth description of various types of EEG oscillatory analyses, supplemented by figures and relevant examples. We then utilize the scant, yet emergent, literature on neural oscillations and bilingualism to highlight the potential of how analyzing neural oscillations can advance our understanding of the (psycho)linguistic and neurocognitive understanding of bilingualism.
  • Snijders Blok, L., Verseput, J., Rots, D., Venselaar, H., Innes, A. M., Stumpel, C., Õunap, K., Reinson, K., Seaby, E. G., McKee, S., Burton, B., Kim, K., Van Hagen, J. M., Waisfisz, Q., Joset, P., Steindl, K., Rauch, A., Li, D., Zackai, E. H., Sheppard, S. E. and 29 moreSnijders Blok, L., Verseput, J., Rots, D., Venselaar, H., Innes, A. M., Stumpel, C., Õunap, K., Reinson, K., Seaby, E. G., McKee, S., Burton, B., Kim, K., Van Hagen, J. M., Waisfisz, Q., Joset, P., Steindl, K., Rauch, A., Li, D., Zackai, E. H., Sheppard, S. E., Keena, B., Hakonarson, H., Roos, A., Kohlschmidt, N., Cereda, A., Iascone, M., Rebessi, E., Kernohan, K. D., Campeau, P. M., Millan, F., Taylor, J. A., Lochmüller, H., Higgs, M. R., Goula, A., Bernhard, B., Velasco, D. J., Schmanski, A. A., Stark, Z., Gallacher, L., Pais, L., Marcogliese, P. C., Yamamoto, S., Raun, N., Jakub, T. E., Kramer, J. M., Den Hoed, J., Fisher, S. E., Brunner, H. G., & Kleefstra, T. (2023). A clustering of heterozygous missense variants in the crucial chromatin modifier WDR5 defines a new neurodevelopmental disorder. Human Genetics and Genomics Advances, 4(1): 100157. doi:10.1016/j.xhgg.2022.100157.

    Abstract

    WDR5 is a broadly studied, highly conserved key protein involved in a wide array of biological functions. Among these functions, WDR5 is a part of several protein complexes that affect gene regulation via post-translational modification of histones. We collected data from 11 unrelated individuals with six different rare de novo germline missense variants in WDR5; one identical variant was found in five individuals, and another variant in two individuals. All individuals had neurodevelopmental disorders including speech/language delays (N=11), intellectual disability (N=9), epilepsy (N=7) and autism spectrum disorder (N=4). Additional phenotypic features included abnormal growth parameters (N=7), heart anomalies (N=2) and hearing loss (N=2). Three-dimensional protein structures indicate that all the residues affected by these variants are located at the surface of one side of the WDR5 protein. It is predicted that five out of the six amino acid substitutions disrupt interactions of WDR5 with RbBP5 and/or KMT2A/C, as part of the COMPASS (complex proteins associated with Set1) family complexes. Our experimental approaches in Drosophila melanogaster and human cell lines show normal protein expression, localization and protein-protein interactions for all tested variants. These results, together with the clustering of variants in a specific region of WDR5 and the absence of truncating variants so far, suggest that dominant-negative or gain-of-function mechanisms might be at play. All in all, we define a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with missense variants in WDR5 and a broad range of features. This finding highlights the important role of genes encoding COMPASS family proteins in neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Stivers, T., Rossi, G., & Chalfoun, A. (2023). Ambiguities in action ascription. Social Forces, 101(3), 1552-1579. doi:10.1093/sf/soac021.

    Abstract

    In everyday interactions with one another, speakers not only say things but also do things like offer, complain, reject, and compliment. Through observation, it is possible to see that much of the time people unproblematically understand what others are doing. Research on conversation has further documented how speakers’ word choice, prosody, grammar, and gesture all help others to recognize what actions they are performing. In this study, we rely on spontaneous naturally occurring conversational data where people have trouble making their actions understood to examine what leads to ambiguous actions, bringing together prior research and identifying recurrent types of ambiguity that hinge on different dimensions of social action. We then discuss the range of costs and benefits for social actors when actions are clear versus ambiguous. Finally, we offer a conceptual model of how, at a microlevel, action ascription is done. Actions in interaction are building blocks for social relations; at each turn, an action can strengthen or strain the bond between two individuals. Thus, a unified theory of action ascription at a microlevel is an essential component for broader theories of social action and of how social actions produce, maintain, and revise the social world.
  • Trujillo, J. P., & Holler, J. (2023). Interactionally embedded gestalt principles of multimodal human communication. Perspectives on Psychological Science. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/17456916221141422.

    Abstract

    Natural human interaction requires us to produce and process many different signals, including speech, hand and head gestures, and facial expressions. These communicative signals, which occur in a variety of temporal relations with each other (e.g., parallel or temporally misaligned), must be rapidly processed as a coherent message by the receiver. In this contribution, we introduce the notion of interactionally embedded, affordance-driven gestalt perception as a framework that can explain how this rapid processing of multimodal signals is achieved as efficiently as it is. We discuss empirical evidence showing how basic principles of gestalt perception can explain some aspects of unimodal phenomena such as verbal language processing and visual scene perception but require additional features to explain multimodal human communication. We propose a framework in which high-level gestalt predictions are continuously updated by incoming sensory input, such as unfolding speech and visual signals. We outline the constituent processes that shape high-level gestalt perception and their role in perceiving relevance and prägnanz. Finally, we provide testable predictions that arise from this multimodal interactionally embedded gestalt-perception framework. This review and framework therefore provide a theoretically motivated account of how we may understand the highly complex, multimodal behaviors inherent in natural social interaction.
  • Alagöz, G., Molz, B., Eising, E., Schijven, D., Francks, C., Jason L., S., & Fisher, S. E. (2022). Using neuroimaging genomics to investigate the evolution of human brain structure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(40): e2200638119. doi:10.1073/pnas.2200638119.

    Abstract

    Alterations in brain size and organization represent some of the most distinctive changes in the emergence of our species. Yet, there is limited understanding of how genetic factors contributed to altered neuroanatomy during human evolution. Here, we analyze neuroimaging and genetic data from up to 30,000 people in the UK Biobank and integrate with genomic annotations for different aspects of human evolution, including those based on ancient DNA and comparative genomics. We show that previously reported signals of recent polygenic selection for cortical anatomy are not replicable in a more ancestrally homogeneous sample. We then investigate relationships between evolutionary annotations and common genetic variants shaping cortical surface area and white-matter connectivity for each hemisphere. Our analyses identify single-nucleotide polymorphism heritability enrichment in human-gained regulatory elements that are active in early brain development, affecting surface areas of several parts of the cortex, including left-hemispheric speech-associated regions. We also detect heritability depletion in genomic regions with Neanderthal ancestry for connectivity of the uncinate fasciculus; this is a white-matter tract involved in memory, language, and socioemotional processing with relevance to neuropsychiatric disorders. Finally, we show that common genetic loci associated with left-hemispheric pars triangularis surface area overlap with a human-gained enhancer and affect regulation of ZIC4, a gene implicated in neurogenesis. This work demonstrates how genomic investigations of present-day neuroanatomical variation can help shed light on the complexities of our evolutionary past.

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    supplementary information
  • Aldosimani, M., Verdonschot, R. G., Iwamoto, Y., Nakazawa, M., Mallya, S. M., Kakimoto, N., Toyosawa, S., Kreiborg, S., & Murakami, S. (2022). Prognostic factors for lymph node metastasis from upper gingival carcinomas. Oral Radiology, 38(3), 389-396. doi:10.1007/s11282-021-00568-w.

    Abstract

    This study sought to identify tumor characteristics that associate with regional lymph node metastases in squamous cell carcinomas originating in the upper gingiva.
  • Alispahic, S., Pellicano, E., Cutler, A., & Antoniou, M. (2022). Auditory perceptual learning in autistic adults. Autism Research, 15(8), 1495-1507. doi:10.1002/aur.2778.

    Abstract

    The automatic retuning of phoneme categories to better adapt to the speech of a novel talker has been extensively documented across various (neurotypical) populations, including both adults and children. However, no studies have examined auditory perceptual learning effects in populations atypical in perceptual, social, and language processing for communication, such as populations with autism. Employing a classic lexically-guided perceptual learning paradigm, the present study investigated perceptual learning effects in Australian English autistic and non-autistic adults. The findings revealed that automatic attunement to existing phoneme categories was not activated in the autistic group in the same manner as for non-autistic control subjects. Specifically, autistic adults were able to both successfully discern lexical items and to categorize speech sounds; however, they did not show effects of perceptual retuning to talkers. These findings may have implications for the application of current sensory theories (e.g., Bayesian decision theory) to speech and language processing by autistic individuals.
    Lay Summary

    Lexically guided perceptual learning assists in the disambiguation of speech from a novel talker. The present study established that while Australian English autistic adult listeners were able to successfully discern lexical items and categorize speech sounds in their native language, perceptual flexibility in updating speaker-specific phonemic knowledge when exposed to a novel talker was not available. Implications for speech and language processing by autistic individuals as well as current sensory theories are discussed.

    Additional information

    data
  • Andreu-Bernabeu, A., Diaz-Caneja, C. M., Costas, J., De Hoyos, L., Stella, C., Gurriaran, X., Alloza, C., Fañanás, L., Bobes, J., Gonzalez-Pinto, A., Crespo-Facorro, B., Martorell, L., Vilella, E., Muntane, G., Nacher, J., Molto, M. D., Aguilar, E. J., Parellada, M., Arango, C., & González-Peñas, J. (2022). Polygenic contribution to the relationship of loneliness and social isolation with schizophrenia. Nature Communications, 13: 51. doi:10.1038/s41467-021-27598-6.

    Abstract

    Previous research suggests an association of loneliness and social isolation (LNL-ISO) with schizophrenia. Here, we demonstrate a LNL-ISO polygenic score contribution to schizophrenia risk in an independent case-control sample (N = 3,488). We then subset schizophrenia predisposing variation based on its effect on LNL-ISO. We find that genetic variation with concordant effects in both phenotypes shows significant SNP-based heritability enrichment, higher polygenic contribution in females, and positive covariance with mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, alcohol dependence, and autism. Conversely, genetic variation with discordant effects only contributes to schizophrenia risk in males and is negatively correlated with those disorders. Mendelian randomization analyses demonstrate a plausible bi-directional causal relationship between LNL-ISO and schizophrenia, with a greater effect of LNL-ISO liability on schizophrenia than vice versa. These results illustrate the genetic footprint of LNL-ISO on schizophrenia.

    Additional information

    supplementary information
  • Anijs, M., Devanna, P., & Vernes, S. C. (2022). ARHGEF39, a gene implicated in developmental language disorder, activates RHOA and is involved in cell de-adhesion and neural progenitor cell proliferation. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 15: 941494. doi:10.3389/fnmol.2022.941494.

    Abstract

    ARHGEF39 was previously implicated in developmental language disorder (DLD) via a functional polymorphism that can disrupt post-transcriptional regulation by microRNAs. ARHGEF39 is part of the family of Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RhoGEFs) that activate small Rho GTPases to regulate a wide variety of cellular processes. However, little is known about the function of ARHGEF39, or how its function might contribute to neurodevelopment or related disorders. Here, we explore the molecular function of ARHGEF39 and show that it activates the Rho GTPase RHOA and that high ARHGEF39 expression in cell cultures leads to an increase of detached cells. To explore its role in neurodevelopment, we analyse published single cell RNA-sequencing data and demonstrate that ARHGEF39 is a marker gene for proliferating neural progenitor cells and that it is co-expressed with genes involved in cell division. This suggests a role for ARHGEF39 in neurogenesis in the developing brain. The co-expression of ARHGEF39 with other RHOA-regulating genes supports RHOA as substrate of ARHGEF39 in neural cells, and the involvement of RHOA in neuropsychiatric disorders highlights a potential link between ARHGEF39 and neurodevelopment and disorder. Understanding the GTPase substrate, co-expression network, and processes downstream of ARHGEF39 provide new avenues for exploring the mechanisms by which altered expression levels of ARHGEF39 may contribute to neurodevelopment and associated disorders.

    Additional information

    tables figures
  • Bai, F., Meyer, A. S., & Martin, A. E. (2022). Neural dynamics differentially encode phrases and sentences during spoken language comprehension. PLoS Biology, 20(7): e3001713. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.3001713.

    Abstract

    Human language stands out in the natural world as a biological signal that uses a structured system to combine the meanings of small linguistic units (e.g., words) into larger constituents (e.g., phrases and sentences). However, the physical dynamics of speech (or sign) do not stand in a one-to-one relationship with the meanings listeners perceive. Instead, listeners infer meaning based on their knowledge of the language. The neural readouts of the perceptual and cognitive processes underlying these inferences are still poorly understood. In the present study, we used scalp electroencephalography (EEG) to compare the neural response to phrases (e.g., the red vase) and sentences (e.g., the vase is red), which were close in semantic meaning and had been synthesized to be physically indistinguishable. Differences in structure were well captured in the reorganization of neural phase responses in delta (approximately <2 Hz) and theta bands (approximately 2 to 7 Hz),and in power and power connectivity changes in the alpha band (approximately 7.5 to 13.5 Hz). Consistent with predictions from a computational model, sentences showed more power, more power connectivity, and more phase synchronization than phrases did. Theta–gamma phase–amplitude coupling occurred, but did not differ between the syntactic structures. Spectral–temporal response function (STRF) modeling revealed different encoding states for phrases and sentences, over and above the acoustically driven neural response. Our findings provide a comprehensive description of how the brain encodes and separates linguistic structures in the dynamics of neural responses. They imply that phase synchronization and strength of connectivity are readouts for the constituent structure of language. The results provide a novel basis for future neurophysiological research on linguistic structure representation in the brain, and, together with our simulations, support time-based binding as a mechanism of structure encoding in neural dynamics.
  • Bast, B. J., Oonk, L. C., De Nil, L., Eising, E., Koenraads, S. P., Bouwen, J., & Franken, M.-C. (2022). Ontwikkeling van stotteren: Inleiding tot een praktijkmodel. Stem- Spraak- en Taalpathologie, 27, 1-7. doi:10.21827/32.8310/2022-1.

    Abstract

    Dit artikel is de inleiding op het direct hierna volgende (Oonk e.a. 2022) waar een nieuw praktijkmodel over het ontstaan en ontwikkeling van stotteren wordt voorgesteld.

    In de dagelijkse praktijk van vooral Nederlandstalige logopedisten (-stottertherapeuten) is tot nu toe veel gebruik gemaakt van het klinische werkmodel van Bertens (1994; 2017). Dit model gaat uit van een primaire neuromusculaire timingsstoornis, welke zich niet alleen uit in het spreken, maar ook in algemene zin aanwezig is. Dit model echter, is aan revisie toe. Volgens de recente literatuur is de algemene aard van die timingstoornis niet bewezen, en zijn er veel vroegere (meer primaire) factoren aantoonbaar van belang bij het ontstaan van stotteren, met name in de genetica en in de neurologie. In dit artikel wordt deze literatuur kort samengevat, alsmede worden enkele recente modellen omschreven. Met name regulatie en terugkoppeling krijgen in recente modellen meer aandacht. Er is geen volledigheid nagestreefd, maar dit artikel is meer een tutoriale opmaat voor het hierna te presenteren model.
    (This article serves as an introduction to the accompanying paper, in which a new clinical
    model of the origin and development of stuttering is presented (Oonk e.a., 2022).
    In their clinical practice, Dutch speech language pathologists still tend to use the
    clinical model proposed by Bertens (1994; 2017). This model explains stuttering as de-
    veloping from a primary neuromuscular timing deficit, which manifests itself not only
    in speech, but in more general behaviour as well. In our opinion, this model needs to be
    updated and revised based on current scientific and clinical knowledge. There is littleevidence for the general timing deficit in Bertens’ model and, moreover, several more
    fundamental factors, especially those related to genetics and neural processes, that have
    an important role in the onset of stuttering have been reported. This paper provides a
    review and summary of these recent data, and several newer models are described. An
    important aspect of these models is the importance given to processes of regulation
    and feedback. An exhaustive overview of the existing literature has not been strived for
    but it is hoped that this paper will serve as a useful introduction to the clinical model
    presented in the accompanying paper.)
  • Bentum, M., Ten Bosch, L., Van den Bosch, A., & Ernestus, M. (2022). Speech register influences listeners’ word expectations. Brain and Language, 235: 105197. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2022.105197.

    Abstract

    We utilized the N400 effect to investigate the influence of speech register on predictive language processing. Participants listened to long stretches (4 – 15 min) of naturalistic speech from different registers (dialogues, news broadcasts, and read-aloud books), totalling approximately 50,000 words, while the EEG signal was recorded. We estimated the surprisal of words in the speech materials with the aid of a statistical language model in such a manner that it reflected different predictive processing strategies; generic, register-specific, or recency-based. The N400 amplitude was best predicted with register-specific word surprisal, indicating that the statistics of the wider context (i.e., register) influences predictive language processing. Furthermore, adaptation to speech register cannot merely be explained by recency effects; instead, listeners adapt their word anticipations to the presented speech register.
  • Bergmann, C., Dimitrova, N., Alaslani, K., Almohammadi, A., Alroqi, H., Aussems, S., Barokova, M., Davies, C., Gonzalez-Gomez, N., Gibson, S. P., Havron, N., Horowitz-Kraus, T., Kanero, J., Kartushina, N., Keller, C., Mayor, J., Mundry, R., Shinskey, J., & Mani, N. (2022). Young children’s screen time during the first COVID-19 lockdown in 12 countries. Scientific Reports, 12: 2015. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-05840-5.

    Abstract

    Older children with online schooling requirements, unsurprisingly, were reported to have increased screen time during the first COVID-19 lockdown in many countries. Here, we ask whether younger children with no similar online schooling requirements also had increased screen time during lockdown. We examined children’s screen time during the first COVID-19 lockdown in a large cohort (n = 2209) of 8-to-36-month-olds sampled from 15 labs across 12 countries. Caregivers reported that toddlers with no online schooling requirements were exposed to more screen time during lockdown than before lockdown. While this was exacerbated for countries with longer lockdowns, there was no evidence that the increase in screen time during lockdown was associated with socio-demographic variables, such as child age and socio-economic status (SES). However, screen time during lockdown was negatively associated with SES and positively associated with child age, caregiver screen time, and attitudes towards children’s screen time. The results highlight the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on young children’s screen time.

    Additional information

    supplemental information
  • Bignardi, G., Chamberlain, R., Kevenaar, S. T., Tamimy, Z., & Boomsma, D. I. (2022). On the etiology of aesthetic chills: A behavioral genetic study. Scientific Reports, 12: 3247. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-07161-z.

    Abstract

    Aesthetic chills, broadly defined as a somatic marker of peak emotional-hedonic responses, are experienced by individuals across a variety of human cultures. Yet individuals vary widely in the propensity of feeling them. These individual differences have been studied in relation to demographics, personality, and neurobiological and physiological factors, but no study to date has explored the genetic etiological sources of variation. To partition genetic and environmental sources of variation in the propensity of feeling aesthetic chills, we fitted a biometrical genetic model to data from 14127 twins (from 8995 pairs), collected by the Netherlands Twin Register. Both genetic and unique environmental factors accounted for variance in aesthetic chills, with heritability estimated at .36 ([.33, .39] 95% CI). We found females more prone than males to report feeling aesthetic chills. However, a test for genotype x sex interaction did not show evidence that heritability differs between sexes. We thus show that the propensity of feeling aesthetic chills is not shaped by nurture alone, but it also reflects underlying genetic propensities.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.

    Additional information

    Link to Preprint on BioRxiv
  • Bocanegra, B. R., Poletiek, F. H., & Zwaan, R. A. (2022). Language concatenates perceptual features into representations during comprehension. Journal of Memory and Language, 127: 104355. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2022.104355.

    Abstract

    Although many studies have investigated the activation of perceptual representations during language comprehension, to our knowledge only one previous study has directly tested how perceptual features are combined into representations during comprehension. In their classic study, Potter and Faulconer [(1979). Understanding noun phrases. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 18, 509–521.] investigated the perceptual representation of adjective-noun combinations. However, their non-orthogonal design did not allow the differentiation between conjunctive vs. disjunctive representations. Using randomized orthogonal designs, we observe evidence for disjunctive perceptual representations when participants represent feature combinations simultaneously (in several experiments; N = 469), and we observe evidence for conjunctive perceptual representations when participants represent feature combinations sequentially (In several experiments; N = 628). Our findings show that the generation of conjunctive representations during comprehension depends on the concatenation of linguistic cues, and thus suggest the construction of elaborate perceptual representations may critically depend on language.
  • De Boer, E., Ockeloen, C. W., Kampen, R. A., Hampstead, J. E., Dingemans, A. J. M., Rots, D., Lütje, L., Ashraf, T., Baker, R., Barat-Houari, M., Angle, B., Chatron, N., Denommé-Pichon, A.-S., Devinsky, O., Dubourg, C., Elmslie, F., Elloumi, H. Z., Faivre, L., Fitzgerald-Butt, S., Geneviève, D. and 30 moreDe Boer, E., Ockeloen, C. W., Kampen, R. A., Hampstead, J. E., Dingemans, A. J. M., Rots, D., Lütje, L., Ashraf, T., Baker, R., Barat-Houari, M., Angle, B., Chatron, N., Denommé-Pichon, A.-S., Devinsky, O., Dubourg, C., Elmslie, F., Elloumi, H. Z., Faivre, L., Fitzgerald-Butt, S., Geneviève, D., Goos, J. A. C., Helm, B. M., Kini, U., Lasa-Aranzasti, A., Lesca, G., Lynch, S. A., Mathijssen, I. M. J., McGowan, R., Monaghan, K. G., Odent, S., Pfundt, R., Putoux, A., Van Reeuwijk, J., Santen, G. W. E., Sasaki, E., Sorlin, A., Van der Spek, P. J., Stegmann, A. P. A., Swagemakers, S. M. A., Valenzuela, I., Viora-Dupont, E., Vitobello, A., Ware, S. M., Wéber, M., Gilissen, C., Low, K. J., Fisher, S. E., Vissers, L. E. L. M., Wong, M. M. K., & Kleefstra, T. (2022). Missense variants in ANKRD11 cause KBG syndrome by impairment of stability or transcriptional activity of the encoded protein. Genetics in Medicine, 24(10), 2051-2064. doi:10.1016/j.gim.2022.06.007.

    Abstract

    Purpose

    Although haploinsufficiency of ANKRD11 is among the most common genetic causes of neurodevelopmental disorders, the role of rare ANKRD11 missense variation remains unclear. We characterized clinical, molecular, and functional spectra of ANKRD11 missense variants.
    Methods

    We collected clinical information of individuals with ANKRD11 missense variants and evaluated phenotypic fit to KBG syndrome. We assessed pathogenicity of variants through in silico analyses and cell-based experiments.
    Results

    We identified 20 unique, mostly de novo, ANKRD11 missense variants in 29 individuals, presenting with syndromic neurodevelopmental disorders similar to KBG syndrome caused by ANKRD11 protein truncating variants or 16q24.3 microdeletions. Missense variants significantly clustered in repression domain 2 at the ANKRD11 C-terminus. Of the 10 functionally studied missense variants, 6 reduced ANKRD11 stability. One variant caused decreased proteasome degradation and loss of ANKRD11 transcriptional activity.
    Conclusion

    Our study indicates that pathogenic heterozygous ANKRD11 missense variants cause the clinically recognizable KBG syndrome. Disrupted transrepression capacity and reduced protein stability each independently lead to ANKRD11 loss-of-function, consistent with haploinsufficiency. This highlights the diagnostic relevance of ANKRD11 missense variants, but also poses diagnostic challenges because the KBG-associated phenotype may be mild and inherited pathogenic ANKRD11 (missense) variants are increasingly observed, warranting stringent variant classification and careful phenotyping.

    Additional information

    supplementary material
  • Bosker, H. R. (2022). Evidence for selective adaptation and recalibration in the perception of lexical stress. Language and Speech, 65(2), 472-490. doi:10.1177/00238309211030307.

    Abstract

    Individuals vary in how they produce speech. This variability affects both the segments (vowels and consonants) and the suprasegmental properties of their speech (prosody). Previous literature has demonstrated that listeners can adapt to variability in how different talkers pronounce the segments of speech. This study shows that listeners can also adapt to variability in how talkers produce lexical stress. Experiment 1 demonstrates a selective adaptation effect in lexical stress perception: repeatedly hearing Dutch trochaic words biased perception of a subsequent lexical stress continuum towards more iamb responses. Experiment 2 demonstrates a recalibration effect in lexical stress perception: when ambiguous suprasegmental cues to lexical stress were disambiguated by lexical orthographic context as signaling a trochaic word in an exposure phase, Dutch participants categorized a subsequent test continuum as more trochee-like. Moreover, the selective adaptation and recalibration effects generalized to novel words, not encountered during exposure. Together, the experiments demonstrate that listeners also flexibly adapt to variability in the suprasegmental properties of speech, thus expanding our understanding of the utility of listener adaptation in speech perception. Moreover, the combined outcomes speak for an architecture of spoken word recognition involving abstract prosodic representations at a prelexical level of analysis.
  • Boyce, J. O., Jackson, V. E., Van Reyk, O., Parker, R., Vogel, A. P., Eising, E., Horton, S. E., Gillespie, N. A., Scheffer, I. E., Amor, D. J., Hildebrand, M. S., Fisher, S. E., Martin, N. G., Reilly, S., Bahlo, M., & Morgan, A. T. (2022). Self-reported impact of developmental stuttering across the lifespan. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 64(10), 1297-1306. doi:10.1111/dmcn.15211.

    Abstract

    Aim

    To examine the phenomenology of stuttering across the lifespan in the largest prospective cohort to date.
    Method

    Participants aged 7 years and older with a history of developmental stuttering were recruited. Self-reported phenotypic data were collected online including stuttering symptomatology, co-occurring phenotypes, genetic predisposition, factors associated with stuttering severity, and impact on anxiety, education, and employment.
    Results

    A total of 987 participants (852 adults: 590 males, 262 females, mean age 49 years [SD = 17 years 10 months; range = 18–93 years] and 135 children: 97 males, 38 females, mean age 11 years 4 months [SD = 3 years; range = 7–17 years]) were recruited. Stuttering onset occurred at age 3 to 6 years in 64.0%. Blocking (73.2%) was the most frequent phenotype; 75.9% had sought stuttering therapy and 15.5% identified as having recovered. Half (49.9%) reported a family history. There was a significant negative correlation with age for both stuttering frequency and severity in adults. Most were anxious due to stuttering (90.4%) and perceived stuttering as a barrier to education and employment outcomes (80.7%).
    Interpretation

    The frequent persistence of stuttering and the high proportion with a family history suggest that stuttering is a complex trait that does not often resolve, even with therapy. These data provide new insights into the phenotype and prognosis of stuttering, information that is critically needed to encourage the development of more effective speech therapies.
  • Brehm, L., Cho, P. W., Smolensky, P., & Goldrick, M. A. (2022). PIPS: A parallel planning model of sentence production. Cognitive Science, 46(2): e13079. doi:10.1111/cogs.13079.

    Abstract

    Subject–verb agreement errors are common in sentence production. Many studies have used experimental paradigms targeting the production of subject–verb agreement from a sentence preamble (The key to the cabinets) and eliciting verb errors (… *were shiny). Through reanalysis of previous data (50 experiments; 102,369 observations), we show that this paradigm also results in many errors in preamble repetition, particularly of local noun number (The key to the *cabinet). We explore the mechanisms of both errors in parallelism in producing syntax (PIPS), a model in the Gradient Symbolic Computation framework. PIPS models sentence production using a continuous-state stochastic dynamical system that optimizes grammatical constraints (shaped by previous experience) over vector representations of symbolic structures. At intermediate stages in the computation, grammatical constraints allow multiple competing parses to be partially activated, resulting in stable but transient conjunctive blend states. In the context of the preamble completion task, memory constraints reduce the strength of the target structure, allowing for co-activation of non-target parses where the local noun controls the verb (notional agreement and locally agreeing relative clauses) and non-target parses that include structural constituents with contrasting number specifications (e.g., plural instead of singular local noun). Simulations of the preamble completion task reveal that these partially activated non-target parses, as well the need to balance accurate encoding of lexical and syntactic aspects of the prompt, result in errors. In other words: Because sentence processing is embedded in a processor with finite memory and prior experience with production, interference from non-target production plans causes errors.
  • Brehm, L., & Alday, P. M. (2022). Contrast coding choices in a decade of mixed models. Journal of Memory and Language, 125: 104334. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2022.104334.

    Abstract

    Contrast coding in regression models, including mixed-effect models, changes what the terms in the model mean.
    In particular, it determines whether or not model terms should be interpreted as main effects. This paper
    highlights how opaque descriptions of contrast coding have affected the field of psycholinguistics. We begin with
    a reproducible example in R using simulated data to demonstrate how incorrect conclusions can be made from
    mixed models; this also serves as a primer on contrast coding for statistical novices. We then present an analysis
    of 3384 papers from the field of psycholinguistics that we coded based upon whether a clear description of
    contrast coding was present. This analysis demonstrates that the majority of the psycholinguistic literature does
    not transparently describe contrast coding choices, posing an important challenge to reproducibility and replicability in our field.
  • He, J., Brehm, L., & Zhang, Q. (2022). Dissociation of writing processes: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study on the neural substrates for the handwritten production of Chinese characters. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 34(12), 2320-2340. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_01911.

    Abstract

    Writing is an important way to communicate in everyday life because it can convey information over time and space, but its neural substrates remain poorly known. Although the neural basis of written language production has been investigated in alphabetic scripts, it has rarely been examined in nonalphabetic languages such as Chinese. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study explored the neural substrates of handwritten word production in Chinese and identified the brain regions sensitive to the psycholinguistic factors of word frequency and syllable frequency. To capture this, we contrasted neural activation in “writing” with “speaking plus drawing” and “watching plus drawing.” Word frequency (high, low) and syllable frequency (high, low) of the picture names were manipulated. Contrasts between the tasks showed that writing Chinese characters was mainly associated with brain activation in the left frontal and parietal cortex, whereas orthographic processing and the motor procedures necessary for handwritten production were also related to activation in the right frontal and parietal cortex as well as right putamen/thalamus. These results demonstrate that writing Chinese characters requires activation in bilateral cortical regions and the right putamen/thalamus. Our results also revealed no brain activation associated with the main effects of word frequency and syllable frequency as well as their interaction, which implies that word frequency and syllable frequency may not affect the writing of Chinese characters on a neural level.
  • Brouwer, R. M., Klein, M., Grasby, K. L., Schnack, H. G., Jahanshad, N., Teeuw, J., Thomopoulos, S. I., Sprooten, E., Franz, C. E., Gogtay, N., Kremen, W. S., Panizzon, M. S., Olde Loohuis, L. M., Whelan, C. D., Aghajani, M., Alloza, C., Alnæs, D., Artiges, E., Ayesa-Arriola, R., Barker, G. J. and 180 moreBrouwer, R. M., Klein, M., Grasby, K. L., Schnack, H. G., Jahanshad, N., Teeuw, J., Thomopoulos, S. I., Sprooten, E., Franz, C. E., Gogtay, N., Kremen, W. S., Panizzon, M. S., Olde Loohuis, L. M., Whelan, C. D., Aghajani, M., Alloza, C., Alnæs, D., Artiges, E., Ayesa-Arriola, R., Barker, G. J., Bastin, M. E., Blok, E., Bøen, E., Breukelaar, I. A., Bright, J. K., Buimer, E. E. L., Bülow, R., Cannon, D. M., Ciufolini, S., Crossley, N. A., Damatac, C. G., Dazzan, P., De Mol, C. L., De Zwarte, S. M. C., Desrivières, S., Díaz-Caneja, C. M., Doan, N. T., Dohm, K., Fröhner, J. H., Goltermann, J., Grigis, A., Grotegerd, D., Han, L. K. M., Harris, M. A., Hartman, C. A., Heany, S. J., Heindel, W., Heslenfeld, D. J., Hohmann, S., Ittermann, B., Jansen, P. R., Janssen, J., Jia, T., Jiang, J., Jockwitz, C., Karali, T., Keeser, D., Koevoets, M. G. J. C., Lenroot, R. K., Malchow, B., Mandl, R. C. W., Medel, V., Meinert, S., Morgan, C. A., Mühleisen, T. W., Nabulsi, L., Opel, N., Ortiz-García de la Foz, V., Overs, B. J., Paillère Martinot, M.-L., Redlich, R., Marques, T. R., Repple, J., Roberts, G., Roshchupkin, G. V., Setiaman, N., Shumskaya, E., Stein, F., Sudre, G., Takahashi, S., Thalamuthu, A., Tordesillas-Gutiérrez, D., Van der Lugt, A., Van Haren, N. E. M., Wardlaw, J. M., Wen, W., Westeneng, H.-J., Wittfeld, K., Zhu, A. H., Zugman, A., Armstrong, N. J., Bonfiglio, G., Bralten, J., Dalvie, S., Davies, G., Di Forti, M., Ding, L., Donohoe, G., Forstner, A. J., Gonzalez-Peñas, J., Guimaraes, J. P. O. F. T., Homuth, G., Hottenga, J.-J., Knol, M. J., Kwok, J. B. J., Le Hellard, S., Mather, K. A., Milaneschi, Y., Morris, D. W., Nöthen, M. M., Papiol, S., Rietschel, M., Santoro, M. L., Steen, V. M., Stein, J. L., Streit, F., Tankard, R. M., Teumer, A., Van 't Ent, D., Van der Meer, D., Van Eijk, K. R., Vassos, E., Vázquez-Bourgon, J., Witt, S. H., the IMAGEN Consortium, Adams, H. H. H., Agartz, I., Ames, D., Amunts, K., Andreassen, O. A., Arango, C., Banaschewski, T., Baune, B. T., Belangero, S. I., Bokde, A. L. W., Boomsma, D. I., Bressan, R. A., Brodaty, H., Buitelaar, J. K., Cahn, W., Caspers, S., Cichon, S., Crespo Facorro, B., Cox, S. R., Dannlowski, U., Elvsåshagen, T., Espeseth, T., Falkai, P. G., Fisher, S. E., Flor, H., Fullerton, J. M., Garavan, H., Gowland, P. A., Grabe, H. J., Hahn, T., Heinz, A., Hillegers, M., Hoare, J., Hoekstra, P. J., Ikram, M. A., Jackowski, A. P., Jansen, A., Jönsson, E. G., Kahn, R. S., Kircher, T., Korgaonkar, M. S., Krug, A., Lemaitre, H., Malt, U. F., Martinot, J.-L., McDonald, C., Mitchell, P. B., Muetzel, R. L., Murray, R. M., Nees, F., Nenadic, I., Oosterlaan, J., Ophoff, R. A., Pan, P. M., Penninx, B. W. J. H., Poustka, L., Sachdev, P. S., Salum, G. A., Schofield, P. R., Schumann, G., Shaw, P., Sim, K., Smolka, M. N., Stein, D. J., Trollor, J., Van den Berg, L. H., Veldink, J. H., Walter, H., Westlye, L. T., Whelan, R., White, T., Wright, M. J., Medland, S. E., Franke, B., Thompson, P. M., & Hulshoff Pol, H. E. (2022). Genetic variants associated with longitudinal changes in brain structure across the lifespan. Nature Neuroscience, 25, 421-432. doi:10.1038/s41593-022-01042-4.

    Abstract

    Human brain structure changes throughout the lifespan. Altered brain growth or rates of decline are implicated in a vast range of psychiatric, developmental and neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, we identified common genetic variants that affect rates of brain growth or atrophy in what is, to our knowledge, the first genome-wide association meta-analysis of changes in brain morphology across the lifespan. Longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging data from 15,640 individuals were used to compute rates of change for 15 brain structures. The most robustly identified genes GPR139, DACH1 and APOE are associated with metabolic processes. We demonstrate global genetic overlap with depression, schizophrenia, cognitive functioning, insomnia, height, body mass index and smoking. Gene set findings implicate both early brain development and neurodegenerative processes in the rates of brain changes. Identifying variants involved in structural brain changes may help to determine biological pathways underlying optimal and dysfunctional brain development and aging.
  • Bulut, T. (2022). Meta-analytic connectivity modeling of the left and right inferior frontal gyri. Cortex, 155, 107-131. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2022.07.003.

    Abstract

    Background

    Neurocognitive models of language processing highlight the role of the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) in the functional network underlying language. Furthermore, neuroscience research has shown that IFG is not a uniform region anatomically, cytoarchitectonically or functionally. However, no previous study explored the language-related functional connectivity patterns of IFG subdivisions using a meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM) approach.
    Purpose

    The present MACM study aimed to identify language-related coactivation patterns of the left and right IFG subdivisions.
    Method

    Six regions of interest (ROIs) were defined using a probabilistic brain atlas corresponding to pars opercularis, pars triangularis and pars orbitalis of IFG in both hemispheres. The ROIs were used to search the BrainMap functional database to identify neuroimaging experiments with healthy, right-handed participants reporting language-related activations in each ROI. Activation likelihood estimation analyses were then performed on the foci extracted from the identified studies to compute functional convergence for each ROI, which was also contrasted with the other ROIs within the same hemisphere.
    Results

    A primarily left-lateralized functional network was revealed for the left and right IFG subdivisions. The left-hemispheric ROIs exhibited more robust coactivation than the right-hemispheric ROIs. Particularly, the left pars opercularis was associated with the most extensive coactivation pattern involving bilateral frontal, bilateral parietal, left temporal, left subcortical, and right cerebellar regions, while the left pars triangularis and orbitalis revealed a predominantly left-lateralized involvement of frontotemporal regions.
    Conclusion

    The findings align with the neurocognitive models of language processing that propose a division of labor among the left IFG subdivisions and their respective functional networks. Also, the opercular part of left IFG stands out as a major hub in the language network with connections to diverse cortical, subcortical and cerebellar structures.
  • Bulut, T. (2022). Neural correlates of morphological processing: An activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis. Cortex, 151, 49-69. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2022.02.010.

    Abstract

    Background

    Morphemes are the smallest building blocks of language that convey meaning or function. A controversial issue in psycho- and neurolinguistics is whether morphologically complex words consisting of multiple morphemes are processed in a combinatorial manner and, if so, which brain regions underlie this process. Relatively less is known about the neural underpinnings of morphological processing compared to other aspects of grammatical competence such as syntax.

    Purpose
    The present study aimed to shed light on the neural correlates of morphological processing by examining functional convergence for inflectional morphology reported in previous neuroimaging studies.

    Method
    A systematic literature search was performed on PubMed with search terms related to morphological complexity and neuroimaging. 16 studies (279 subjects) comparing regular inflection with stems or irregular inflection met the inclusion and exclusion criteria and were subjected to a series of activation likelihood estimation meta-analyses.

    Results
    Significant functional convergence was found in several mainly left frontal regions for processing inflectional morphology. Specifically, the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) was found to be consistently involved in morphological complexity. Diagnostic analyses revealed that involvement of posterior LIFG was robust against potential publication bias and over-influence of individual studies. Furthermore, LIFG involvement was maintained in meta-analyses of subsets of experiments that matched phonological complexity between conditions, although diagnostic analyses suggested that this conclusion may be premature.

    Conclusion
    The findings provide evidence for combinatorial processing of morphologically complex words and inform psycholinguistic accounts of complex word processing. Furthermore, they highlight the role of LIFG in processing inflectional morphology, in addition to syntactic processing as has been emphasized in previous research. In particular, posterior LIFG seems to underlie grammatical functions encompassing inflectional morphology and syntax.

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  • Byers-Heinlein, K., Bergmann, C., & Savalei, V. (2022). Six solutions for more reliable infant research. Infant and Child Development, 31(5): e2296. doi:10.1002/icd.2296.

    Abstract

    Infant research is often underpowered, undermining the robustness and replicability of our findings. Improving the reliability of infant studies offers a solution for increasing statistical power independent of sample size. Here, we discuss two senses of the term reliability in the context of infant research: reliable (large) effects and reliable measures. We examine the circumstances under which effects are strongest and measures are most reliable and use synthetic datasets to illustrate the relationship between effect size, measurement reliability, and statistical power. We then present six concrete solutions for more reliable infant research: (a) routinely estimating and reporting the effect size and measurement reliability of infant tasks, (b) selecting the best measurement tool, (c) developing better infant paradigms, (d) collecting more data points per infant, (e) excluding unreliable data from the analysis, and (f) conducting more sophisticated data analyses. Deeper consideration of measurement in infant research will improve our ability to study infant development.
  • Byun, K.-S., Roberts, S. G., De Vos, C., Zeshan, U., & Levinson, S. C. (2022). Distinguishing selection pressures in an evolving communication system: Evidence from colournaming in 'cross signing'. Frontiers in Communication, 7: 1024340. doi:10.3389/fcomm.2022.1024340.

    Abstract

    Cross-signing—the emergence of an interlanguage between users of different sign languages—offers a rare chance to examine the evolution of a natural communication system in real time. To provide an insight into this process, we analyse an annotated video corpus of 340 minutes of interaction between signers of different language backgrounds on their first meeting and after living with each other for several weeks. We focus on the evolution of shared color terms and examine the role of different selectional pressures, including frequency, content, coordination and interactional context. We show that attentional factors in interaction play a crucial role. This suggests that understanding meta-communication is critical for explaining the cultural evolution of linguistic systems.
  • Cao, Y., Oostenveld, R., Alday, P. M., & Piai, V. (2022). Are alpha and beta oscillations spatially dissociated over the cortex in context‐driven spoken‐word production? Psychophysiology, 59(6): e13999. doi:10.1111/psyp.13999.

    Abstract

    Decreases in oscillatory alpha- and beta-band power have been consistently found in spoken-word production. These have been linked to both motor preparation and conceptual-lexical retrieval processes. However, the observed power decreases have a broad frequency range that spans two “classic” (sensorimotor) bands: alpha and beta. It remains unclear whether alpha- and beta-band power decreases contribute independently when a spoken word is planned. Using a re-analysis of existing magnetoencephalography data, we probed whether the effects in alpha and beta bands are spatially distinct. Participants read a sentence that was either constraining or non-constraining toward the final word, which was presented as a picture. In separate blocks participants had to name the picture or score its predictability via button press. Irregular-resampling auto-spectral analysis (IRASA) was used to isolate the oscillatory activity in the alpha and beta bands from the background 1-over-f spectrum. The sources of alpha- and beta-band oscillations were localized based on the participants’ individualized peak frequencies. For both tasks, alpha- and beta-power decreases overlapped in left posterior temporal and inferior parietal cortex, regions that have previously been associated with conceptual and lexical processes. The spatial distributions of the alpha and beta power effects were spatially similar in these regions to the extent we could assess it. By contrast, for left frontal regions, the spatial distributions differed between alpha and beta effects. Our results suggest that for conceptual-lexical retrieval, alpha and beta oscillations do not dissociate spatially and, thus, are distinct from the classical sensorimotor alpha and beta oscillations.
  • Carota, F., Schoffelen, J.-M., Oostenveld, R., & Indefrey, P. (2022). The time course of language production as revealed by pattern classification of MEG sensor data. The Journal of Neuroscience, 42(29), 5745-5754. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1923-21.2022.

    Abstract

    Language production involves a complex set of computations, from conceptualization to articulation, which are thought to engage cascading neural events in the language network. However, recent neuromagnetic evidence suggests simultaneous meaning-to-speech mapping in picture naming tasks, as indexed by early parallel activation of frontotemporal regions to lexical semantic, phonological, and articulatory information. Here we investigate the time course of word production, asking to what extent such “earliness” is a distinctive property of the associated spatiotemporal dynamics. Using MEG, we recorded the neural signals of 34 human subjects (26 males) overtly naming 134 images from four semantic object categories (animals, foods, tools, clothes). Within each category, we covaried word length, as quantified by the number of syllables contained in a word, and phonological neighborhood density to target lexical and post-lexical phonological/phonetic processes. Multivariate pattern analyses searchlights in sensor space distinguished the stimulus-locked spatiotemporal responses to object categories early on, from 150 to 250 ms after picture onset, whereas word length was decoded in left frontotemporal sensors at 250-350 ms, followed by the latency of phonological neighborhood density (350-450 ms). Our results suggest a progression of neural activity from posterior to anterior language regions for the semantic and phonological/phonetic computations preparing overt speech, thus supporting serial cascading models of word production
  • Carter, G., & Nieuwland, M. S. (2022). Predicting definite and indefinite referents during discourse comprehension: Evidence from event‐related potentials. Cognitive Science, 46(2): e13092. doi:10.1111/cogs.13092.

    Abstract

    Linguistic predictions may be generated from and evaluated against a representation of events and referents described in the discourse. Compatible with this idea, recent work shows that predictions about novel noun phrases include their definiteness. In the current follow-up study, we ask whether people engage similar prediction-related processes for definite and indefinite referents. This question is relevant for linguistic theories that imply a processing difference between definite and indefinite noun phrases, typically because definiteness is thought to require a uniquely identifiable referent in the discourse. We addressed this question in an event-related potential (ERP) study (N = 48) with preregistration of data acquisition, preprocessing, and Bayesian analysis. Participants read Dutch mini-stories with a definite or indefinite novel noun phrase (e.g., “het/een huis,” the/a house), wherein (in)definiteness of the article was either expected or unexpected and the noun was always strongly expected. Unexpected articles elicited enhanced N400s, but unexpectedly indefinite articles also elicited a positive ERP effect at frontal channels compared to expectedly indefinite articles. We tentatively link this effect to an antiuniqueness violation, which may force people to introduce a new referent over and above the already anticipated one. Interestingly, expectedly definite nouns elicited larger N400s than unexpectedly definite nouns (replicating a previous surprising finding) and indefinite nouns. Although the exact nature of these noun effects remains unknown, expectedly definite nouns may have triggered the strongest semantic activation because they alone refer to specific and concrete referents. In sum, results from both the articles and nouns clearly demonstrate that definiteness marking has a rapid effect on processing, counter to recent claims regarding definiteness processing.
  • Chen, X., Hartsuiker, R. J., Muylle, M., Slim, M. S., & Zhang, C. (2022). The effect of animacy on structural Priming: A replication of Bock, Loebell and Morey (1992). Journal of Memory and Language, 127: 104354. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2022.104354.

    Abstract

    Bock et al. (1992) found that the binding of animacy features onto grammatical roles is susceptible to priming in sentence production. Moreover, this effect did not interact with structural priming. This finding supports an account according to which syntactic representations are insensitive to the consistency of animacy-to-structure mapping. This account has contributed greatly to the development of syntactic processing theories in language production. However, this study has never been directly replicated and the few related studies showed mixed results. A meta-analysis of these studies failed to replicate the findings of Bock et al. (1992). Therefore, we conducted a well-powered replication (n = 496) that followed the original study as closely as possible. We found an effect of structural priming and an animacy priming effect, replicating Bock et al.’s findings. In addition, we replicated Bock et al.’s (1992) observed null interaction between structural priming and animacy binding, which suggests that syntactic representations are indeed independent of semantic information about animacy.
  • Chormai, P., Pu, Y., Hu, H., Fisher, S. E., Francks, C., & Kong, X. (2022). Machine learning of large-scale multimodal brain imaging data reveals neural correlates of hand preference. NeuroImage, 262: 119534. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119534.

    Abstract

    Lateralization is a fundamental characteristic of many behaviors and the organization of the brain, and atypical lateralization has been suggested to be linked to various brain-related disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. Right-handedness is one of the most prominent markers of human behavioural lateralization, yet its neurobiological basis remains to be determined. Here, we present a large-scale analysis of handedness, as measured by self-reported direction of hand preference, and its variability related to brain structural and functional organization in the UK Biobank (N = 36,024). A multivariate machine learning approach with multi-modalities of brain imaging data was adopted, to reveal how well brain imaging features could predict individual's handedness (i.e., right-handedness vs. non-right-handedness) and further identify the top brain signatures that contributed to the prediction. Overall, the results showed a good prediction performance, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) score of up to 0.72, driven largely by resting-state functional measures. Virtual lesion analysis and large-scale decoding analysis suggested that the brain networks with the highest importance in the prediction showed functional relevance to hand movement and several higher-level cognitive functions including language, arithmetic, and social interaction. Genetic analyses of contributions of common DNA polymorphisms to the imaging-derived handedness prediction score showed a significant heritability (h2=7.55%, p <0.001) that was similar to and slightly higher than that for the behavioural measure itself (h2=6.74%, p <0.001). The genetic correlation between the two was high (rg=0.71), suggesting that the imaging-derived score could be used as a surrogate in genetic studies where the behavioural measure is not available. This large-scale study using multimodal brain imaging and multivariate machine learning has shed new light on the neural correlates of human handedness.

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  • Coopmans, C. W., De Hoop, H., Kaushik, K., Hagoort, P., & Martin, A. E. (2022). Hierarchy in language interpretation: Evidence from behavioural experiments and computational modelling. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 37(4), 420-439. doi:10.1080/23273798.2021.1980595.

    Abstract

    It has long been recognised that phrases and sentences are organised hierarchically, but many computational models of language treat them as sequences of words without computing constituent structure. Against this background, we conducted two experiments which showed that participants interpret ambiguous noun phrases, such as second blue ball, in terms of their abstract hierarchical structure rather than their linear surface order. When a neural network model was tested on this task, it could simulate such “hierarchical” behaviour. However, when we changed the training data such that they were not entirely unambiguous anymore, the model stopped generalising in a human-like way. It did not systematically generalise to novel items, and when it was trained on ambiguous trials, it strongly favoured the linear interpretation. We argue that these models should be endowed with a bias to make generalisations over hierarchical structure in order to be cognitively adequate models of human language.
  • Coopmans, C. W., De Hoop, H., Hagoort, P., & Martin, A. E. (2022). Effects of structure and meaning on cortical tracking of linguistic units in naturalistic speech. Neurobiology of Language, 3(3), 386-412. doi:10.1162/nol_a_00070.

    Abstract

    Recent research has established that cortical activity “tracks” the presentation rate of syntactic phrases in continuous speech, even though phrases are abstract units that do not have direct correlates in the acoustic signal. We investigated whether cortical tracking of phrase structures is modulated by the extent to which these structures compositionally determine meaning. To this end, we recorded electroencephalography (EEG) of 38 native speakers who listened to naturally spoken Dutch stimuli in different conditions, which parametrically modulated the degree to which syntactic structure and lexical semantics determine sentence meaning. Tracking was quantified through mutual information between the EEG data and either the speech envelopes or abstract annotations of syntax, all of which were filtered in the frequency band corresponding to the presentation rate of phrases (1.1–2.1 Hz). Overall, these mutual information analyses showed stronger tracking of phrases in regular sentences than in stimuli whose lexical-syntactic content is reduced, but no consistent differences in tracking between sentences and stimuli that contain a combination of syntactic structure and lexical content. While there were no effects of compositional meaning on the degree of phrase-structure tracking, analyses of event-related potentials elicited by sentence-final words did reveal meaning-induced differences between conditions. Our findings suggest that cortical tracking of structure in sentences indexes the internal generation of this structure, a process that is modulated by the properties of its input, but not by the compositional interpretation of its output.

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  • Coopmans, C. W., & Cohn, N. (2022). An electrophysiological investigation of co-referential processes in visual narrative comprehension. Neuropsychologia, 172: 108253. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2022.108253.

    Abstract

    Visual narratives make use of various means to convey referential and co-referential meaning, so comprehenders
    must recognize that different depictions across sequential images represent the same character(s). In this study,
    we investigated how the order in which different types of panels in visual sequences are presented affects how
    the unfolding narrative is comprehended. Participants viewed short comic strips while their electroencephalo-
    gram (EEG) was recorded. We analyzed evoked and induced EEG activity elicited by both full panels (showing a
    full character) and refiner panels (showing only a zoom of that full panel), and took into account whether they
    preceded or followed the panel to which they were co-referentially related (i.e., were cataphoric or anaphoric).
    We found that full panels elicited both larger N300 amplitude and increased gamma-band power compared to
    refiner panels. Anaphoric panels elicited a sustained negativity compared to cataphoric panels, which appeared
    to be sensitive to the referential status of the anaphoric panel. In the time-frequency domain, anaphoric panels
    elicited reduced 8–12 Hz alpha power and increased 45–65 Hz gamma-band power compared to cataphoric
    panels. These findings are consistent with models in which the processes involved in visual narrative compre-
    hension partially overlap with those in language comprehension.
  • Coopmans, C. W., Struiksma, M. E., Coopmans, P. H. A., & Chen, A. (2022). Processing of grammatical agreement in the face of variation in lexical stress: A mismatch negativity study. Language and Speech. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/00238309221098116.

    Abstract

    Previous electroencephalography studies have yielded evidence for automatic processing of syntax and lexical stress. However, these studies looked at both effects in isolation, limiting their generalizability to everyday language comprehension. In the current study, we investigated automatic processing of grammatical agreement in the face of variation in lexical stress. Using an oddball paradigm, we measured the Mismatch Negativity (MMN) in Dutch-speaking participants while they listened to Dutch subject–verb sequences (linguistic context) or acoustically similar sequences in which the subject was replaced by filtered noise (nonlinguistic context). The verb forms differed in the inflectional suffix, rendering the subject–verb sequences grammatically correct or incorrect, and leading to a difference in the stress pattern of the verb forms. We found that the MMNs were modulated in both the linguistic and nonlinguistic condition, suggesting that the processing load induced by variation in lexical stress can hinder early automatic processing of grammatical agreement. However, as the morphological differences between the verb forms correlated with differences in number of syllables, an interpretation in terms of the prosodic structure of the sequences cannot be ruled out. Future research is needed to determine which of these factors (i.e., lexical stress, syllabic structure) most strongly modulate early syntactic processing.

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  • Corps, R. E., Brooke, C., & Pickering, M. (2022). Prediction involves two stages: Evidence from visual-world eye-tracking. Journal of Memory and Language, 122: 104298. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2021.104298.

    Abstract

    Comprehenders often predict what they are going to hear. But do they make the best predictions possible? We addressed this question in three visual-world eye-tracking experiments by asking when comprehenders consider perspective. Male and female participants listened to male and female speakers producing sentences (e.g., I would like to wear the nice…) about stereotypically masculine (target: tie; distractor: drill) and feminine (target: dress, distractor: hairdryer) objects. In all three experiments, participants rapidly predicted semantic associates of the verb. But participants also predicted consistently – that is, consistent with their beliefs about what the speaker would ultimately say. They predicted consistently from the speaker’s perspective in Experiment 1, their own perspective in Experiment 2, and the character’s perspective in Experiment 3. This consistent effect occurred later than the associative effect. We conclude that comprehenders consider perspective when predicting, but not from the earliest moments of prediction, consistent with a two-stage account.

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  • Corps, R. E., Knudsen, B., & Meyer, A. S. (2022). Overrated gaps: Inter-speaker gaps provide limited information about the timing of turns in conversation. Cognition, 223: 105037. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2022.105037.

    Abstract

    Corpus analyses have shown that turn-taking in conversation is much faster than laboratory studies of speech planning would predict. To explain fast turn-taking, Levinson and Torreira (2015) proposed that speakers are highly proactive: They begin to plan a response to their interlocutor's turn as soon as they have understood its gist, and launch this planned response when the turn-end is imminent. Thus, fast turn-taking is possible because speakers use the time while their partner is talking to plan their own utterance. In the present study, we asked how much time upcoming speakers actually have to plan their utterances. Following earlier psycholinguistic work, we used transcripts of spoken conversations in Dutch, German, and English. These transcripts consisted of segments, which are continuous stretches of speech by one speaker. In the psycholinguistic and phonetic literature, such segments have often been used as proxies for turns. We found that in all three corpora, large proportions of the segments comprised of only one or two words, which on our estimate does not give the next speaker enough time to fully plan a response. Further analyses showed that speakers indeed often did not respond to the immediately preceding segment of their partner, but continued an earlier segment of their own. More generally, our findings suggest that speech segments derived from transcribed corpora do not necessarily correspond to turns, and the gaps between speech segments therefore only provide limited information about the planning and timing of turns.
  • Creaghe, N., & Kidd, E. (2022). Symbolic play as a zone of proximal development: An analysis of informational exchange. Social Development, 31(4), 1138-1156. doi:10.1111/sode.12592.

    Abstract

    Symbolic play has long been considered a beneficial context for development. According to Cultural Learning theory, one reason for this is that symbolically-infused dialogical interactions constitute a zone of proximal development. However, the dynamics of caregiver-child interactions during symbolic play are still not fully understood. In the current study, we investigated informational exchange between fifty-two 24-month-old infants and their primary caregivers during symbolic play and a comparable, non-symbolic, functional play context. We coded over 11,000 utterances for whether participants had superior, equivalent, or inferior knowledge concerning the current conversational topic. Results showed that children were significantly more knowledgeable speakers and recipients in symbolic play, whereas the opposite was the case for caregivers, who were more knowledgeable in functional play. The results suggest that, despite its potential conceptual complexity, symbolic play may scaffold development because it facilitates infants’ communicative success by promoting them to ‘co-constructors of meaning’.

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  • Creemers, A., & Embick, D. (2022). The role of semantic transparency in the processing of spoken compound words. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 48(5), 734-751. doi:10.1037/xlm0001132.

    Abstract

    The question of whether lexical decomposition is driven by semantic transparency in the lexical processing of morphologically complex words, such as compounds, remains controversial. Prior research on compound processing has predominantly examined visual processing. Focusing instead on spoken word word recognition, the present study examined the processing of auditorily presented English compounds that were semantically transparent (e.g., farmyard) or partially opaque with an opaque head (e.g., airline) or opaque modifier (e.g., pothole). Three auditory primed lexical decision experiments were run to examine to what extent constituent priming effects are affected by the semantic transparency of a compound and whether semantic transparency affects the processing of heads and modifiers equally. The results showed priming effects for both modifiers and heads regardless of their semantic transparency, indicating that individual constituents are accessed in transparent as well as opaque compounds. In addition, the results showed smaller priming effects for semantically opaque heads compared with matched transparent compounds with the same head. These findings suggest that semantically opaque heads induce an increased processing cost, which may result from the need to suppress the meaning of the head in favor of the meaning of the opaque compound.
  • Creemers, A., & Meyer, A. S. (2022). The processing of ambiguous pronominal reference is sensitive to depth of processing. Glossa Psycholinguistics, 1(1): 3. doi:10.5070/G601166.

    Abstract

    Previous studies on the processing of ambiguous pronominal reference have led to contradictory results: some suggested that ambiguity may hinder processing (Stewart, Holler, & Kidd, 2007), while others showed an ambiguity advantage (Grant, Sloggett, & Dillon, 2020) similar to what has been reported for structural ambiguities. This study provides a conceptual replication of Stewart et al. (2007, Experiment 1), to examine whether the discrepancy in earlier results is caused by the processing depth that participants engage in (cf. Swets, Desmet, Clifton, & Ferreira, 2008). We present the results from a word-by-word self-paced reading experiment with Dutch sentences that contained a personal pronoun in an embedded clause that was either ambiguous or disambiguated through gender features. Depth of processing of the embedded clause was manipulated through offline comprehension questions. The results showed that the difference in reading times for ambiguous versus unambiguous sentences depends on the processing depth: a significant ambiguity penalty was found under deep processing but not under shallow processing. No significant ambiguity advantage was found, regardless of processing depth. This replicates the results in Stewart et al. (2007) using a different methodology and a larger sample size for appropriate statistical power. These findings provide further evidence that ambiguous pronominal reference resolution is a flexible process, such that the way in which ambiguous sentences are processed depends on the depth of processing of the relevant information. Theoretical and methodological implications of these findings are discussed.
  • Cristia, A., Tsuji, S., & Bergmann, C. (2022). A meta-analytic approach to evaluating the explanatory adequacy of theories. Meta-Psychology, 6: MP.2020.2741. doi:10.15626/MP.2020.2741.

    Abstract

    How can data be used to check theories’ explanatory adequacy? The two traditional and most widespread approaches use single studies and non-systematic narrative reviews to evaluate theories’ explanatory adequacy; more
    recently, large-scale replications entered the picture. We argue here that none of these approaches fits in with
    cumulative science tenets. We propose instead Community-Augmented Meta-Analyses (CAMAs), which, like metaanalyses and systematic reviews, are built using all available data; like meta-analyses but not systematic reviews, can
    rely on sound statistical practices to model methodological effects; and like no other approach, are broad-scoped,
    cumulative and open. We explain how CAMAs entail a conceptual shift from meta-analyses and systematic reviews, a
    shift that is useful when evaluating theories’ explanatory adequacy. We then provide step-by-step recommendations
    for how to implement this approach – and what it means when one cannot. This leads us to conclude that CAMAs
    highlight areas of uncertainty better than alternative approaches that bring data to bear on theory evaluation, and
    can trigger a much needed shift towards a cumulative mindset with respect to both theory and data, leading us to
    do and view experiments and narrative reviews differently.

    Additional information

    All data available at OSF
  • Cucchiarini, C., Hubers, F., & Strik, H. (2022). Learning L2 idioms in a CALL environment: The role of practice intensity, modality, and idiom properties. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 35(4), 863-891. doi:10.1080/09588221.2020.1752734.

    Abstract

    Idiomatic expressions like hit the road or turn the tables are known to be problematic for L2 learners, but research indicates that learning L2 idiomatic language is important. Relatively few studies, most of them focusing on English idioms, have investigated how L2 idioms are actually acquired and how this process is affected by important idiom properties like transparency (the degree to which the figurative meaning of an idiom can be inferred from its literal analysis) and cross-language overlap (the degree to which L2 idioms correspond to L1 idioms). The present study employed a specially designed CALL system to investigate the effects of intensity of practice and the reading modality on learning Dutch L2 idioms, as well as the impact of idiom transparency and cross-language overlap. The results show that CALL practice with a focus on meaning and form is effective for learning L2 idioms and that the degree of practice needed depends on the properties of the idioms. L2 learners can achieve or even exceed native-like performance. Practicing reading idioms aloud does not lead to significantly higher performance than reading idioms silently.These findings have theoretical implications as they show that differences between native speakers and L2 learners are due to differences in exposure, rather than to different underlying acquisition mechanisms. For teaching practice, this study indicates that a properly designed CALL system is an effective and an ecologically sound environment for learning L2 idioms, a generally unattended area in L2 classes, and that teaching priorities should be based on degree of transparency and cross-language overlap of L2 idioms.
  • Ip, M. H. K., & Cutler, A. (2022). Juncture prosody across languages: Similar production but dissimilar perception. Laboratory Phonology, 13(1): 5. doi:10.16995/labphon.6464.

    Abstract

    How do speakers of languages with different intonation systems produce and perceive prosodic junctures in sentences with identical structural ambiguity? Native speakers of English and of Mandarin produced potentially ambiguous sentences with a prosodic juncture either earlier in the utterance (e.g., “He gave her # dog biscuits,” “他给她#狗饼干 ”), or later (e.g., “He gave her dog # biscuits,” “他给她狗 #饼干 ”). These productiondata showed that prosodic disambiguation is realised very similarly in the two languages, despite some differences in the degree to which individual juncture cues (e.g., pausing) were favoured. In perception experiments with a new disambiguation task, requiring speeded responses to select the correct meaning for structurally ambiguous sentences, language differences in disambiguation response time appeared: Mandarin speakers correctly disambiguated sentences with earlier juncture faster than those with later juncture, while English speakers showed the reverse. Mandarin-speakers with L2 English did not show their native-language response time pattern when they heard the English ambiguous sentences. Thus even with identical structural ambiguity and identically cued production, prosodic juncture perception across languages can differ.

    Additional information

    supplementary files
  • Dai, B., McQueen, J. M., Terporten, R., Hagoort, P., & Kösem, A. (2022). Distracting Linguistic Information Impairs Neural Tracking of Attended Speech. Current Research in Neurobiology, 3: 100043. doi:10.1016/j.crneur.2022.100043.

    Abstract

    Listening to speech is difficult in noisy environments, and is even harder when the interfering noise consists of intelligible speech as compared to unintelligible sounds. This suggests that the competing linguistic information interferes with the neural processing of target speech. Interference could either arise from a degradation of the neural representation of the target speech, or from increased representation of distracting speech that enters in competition with the target speech. We tested these alternative hypotheses using magnetoencephalography (MEG) while participants listened to a target clear speech in the presence of distracting noise-vocoded speech. Crucially, the distractors were initially unintelligible but became more intelligible after a short training session. Results showed that the comprehension of the target speech was poorer after training than before training. The neural tracking of target speech in the delta range (1–4 Hz) reduced in strength in the presence of a more intelligible distractor. In contrast, the neural tracking of distracting signals was not significantly modulated by intelligibility. These results suggest that the presence of distracting speech signals degrades the linguistic representation of target speech carried by delta oscillations.
  • Damatac, C. G., Soheili-Nezhad, S., Blazquez Freches, G., Zwiers, M. P., De Bruijn, S., Ikde, S., Portengen, C. M., Abelmann, A. C., Dammers, J. T., Van Rooij, D., Akkermans, S. E., Naaijen, J., Franke, B., Buitelaar, J. K., Beckmann, C. F., & Sprooten, E. (2022). Longitudinal changes of ADHD symptoms in association with white matter microstructure: A tract-specific fixel-based analysis. NeuroImage: Clinical, 35: 103057. doi:10.1016/j.nicl.2022.103057.

    Abstract

    Background

    Variation in the longitudinal course of childhood attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) coincides with neurodevelopmental maturation of brain structure and function. Prior work has attempted to determine how alterations in white matter (WM) relate to changes in symptom severity, but much of that work has been done in smaller cross-sectional samples using voxel-based analyses. Using standard diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) methods, we previously showed WM alterations were associated with ADHD symptom remission over time in a longitudinal sample of probands, siblings, and unaffected individuals. Here, we extend this work by further assessing the nature of these changes in WM microstructure by including an additional follow-up measurement (aged 18 – 34 years), and using the more physiologically informative fixel-based analysis (FBA).
    Methods

    Data were obtained from 139 participants over 3 clinical and 2 follow-up DWI waves, and analyzed using FBA in regions-of-interest based on prior findings. We replicated previously reported significant models and extended them by adding another time-point, testing whether changes in combined ADHD and hyperactivity-impulsivity (HI) continuous symptom scores are associated with fixel metrics at follow-up.
    Results

    Clinical improvement in HI symptoms over time was associated with more fiber density at follow-up in the left corticospinal tract (lCST) (tmax = 1.092, standardized effect[SE] = 0.044, pFWE = 0.016). Improvement in combined ADHD symptoms over time was associated with more fiber cross-section at follow-up in the lCST (tmax = 3.775, SE = 0.051, pFWE = 0.019).
    Conclusions

    Aberrant white matter development involves both lCST micro- and macrostructural alterations, and its path may be moderated by preceding symptom trajectory.

    Additional information

    supplementary material
  • Dideriksen, C., Christiansen, M. H., Tylén, K., Dingemanse, M., & Fusaroli, R. (2022). Quantifying the interplay of conversational devices in building mutual understanding. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Advance online publication. doi:10.1037/xge0001301.

    Abstract

    Humans readily engage in idle chat and heated discussions and negotiate tough joint decisions without ever having to think twice about how to keep the conversation grounded in mutual understanding. However, current attempts at identifying and assessing the conversational devices that make this possible are fragmented across disciplines and investigate single devices within single contexts. We present a comprehensive conceptual framework to investigate conversational devices, their relations, and how they adjust to contextual demands. In two corpus studies, we systematically test the role of three conversational devices: backchannels, repair, and linguistic entrainment. Contrasting affiliative and task-oriented conversations within participants, we find that conversational devices adaptively adjust to the increased need for precision in the latter: We show that low-precision devices such as backchannels are more frequent in affiliative conversations, whereas more costly but higher-precision mechanisms, such as specific repairs, are more frequent in task-oriented conversations. Further, task-oriented conversations involve higher complementarity of contributions in terms of the content and perspective: lower semantic entrainment and less frequent (but richer) lexical and syntactic entrainment. Finally, we show that the observed variations in the use of conversational devices are potentially adaptive: pairs of interlocutors that show stronger linguistic complementarity perform better across the two tasks. By combining motivated comparisons of several conversational contexts and theoretically informed computational analyses of empirical data the present work lays the foundations for a comprehensive conceptual framework for understanding the use of conversational devices in dialogue.
  • Dieuleveut, A., Van Dooren, A., Cournane, A., & Hacquard, V. (2022). Finding the force: How children discern possibility and necessity modals. Natural Language Semantics, 30(3), 269-310. doi:10.1007/s11050-022-09196-4.

    Abstract

    This paper investigates when and how children figure out the force of modals: that possibility modals (e.g., can/might) express possibility, and necessity modals (e.g., must/have to) express necessity. Modals raise a classic subset problem: given that necessity entails possibility, what prevents learners from hypothesizing possibility meanings for necessity modals? Three solutions to such subset problems can be found in the literature: the first is for learners to rely on downward-entailing (DE) environments (Gualmini and Schwarz in J. Semant. 26(2):185–215, 2009); the second is a bias for strong (here, necessity) meanings; the third is for learners to rely on pragmatic cues stemming from the conversational context (Dieuleveut et al. in Proceedings of the 2019 Amsterdam colloqnium, pp. 111–122, 2019a; Rasin and Aravind in Nat. Lang. Semant. 29:339–375, 2020). This paper assesses the viability of each of these solutions by examining the modals used in speech to and by 2-year-old children, through a combination of corpus studies and experiments testing the guessability of modal force based on their context of use. Our results suggest that, given the way modals are used in speech to children, the first solution is not viable and the second is unnecessary. Instead, we argue that the conversational context in which modals occur is highly informative as to their force and sufficient, in principle, to sidestep the subset problem. Our child results further suggest an early mastery of possibility—but not necessity—modals and show no evidence for a necessity bias.
  • Dijkstra, T., Peeters, D., Hieselaar, W., & van Geffen, A. (2022). Orthographic and semantic priming effects in neighbour cognates: Experiments and simulations. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. Advance online publication. doi:10.1017/S1366728922000591.

    Abstract

    To investigate how orthography and semantics interact during bilingual visual word recognition, Dutch–English bilinguals made lexical decisions in two masked priming experiments. Dutch primes and English targets were presented that were either neighbour cognates (boek – BOOK), noncognate translations (kooi – CAGE), orthographically related neighbours (neus – NEWS), or unrelated words (huid - COAT). Prime durations of 50 ms (Experiment 1) and 83 ms (Experiment 2) led to similar result patterns. Both experiments reported a large cognate facilitation effect, a smaller facilitatory noncognate translation effect, and the absence of inhibitory orthographic neighbour effects. These results indicate that cognate facilitation is in large part due to orthographic-semantic resonance. Priming results for each condition were simulated well (all r's >.50) by Multilink+, a recent computational model for word retrieval. Limitations to the role of lateral inhibition in bilingual word recognition are discussed.
  • Dima, D., Modabbernia, A., Papachristou, E., Doucet, G. E., Agartz, I., Aghajani, M., Akudjedu, T. N., Albajes‐Eizagirre, A., Alnæs, D., Alpert, K. I., Andersson, M., Andreasen, N. C., Andreassen, O. A., Asherson, P., Banaschewski, T., Bargallo, N., Baumeister, S., Baur‐Streubel, R., Bertolino, A., Bonvino, A. and 182 moreDima, D., Modabbernia, A., Papachristou, E., Doucet, G. E., Agartz, I., Aghajani, M., Akudjedu, T. N., Albajes‐Eizagirre, A., Alnæs, D., Alpert, K. I., Andersson, M., Andreasen, N. C., Andreassen, O. A., Asherson, P., Banaschewski, T., Bargallo, N., Baumeister, S., Baur‐Streubel, R., Bertolino, A., Bonvino, A., Boomsma, D. I., Borgwardt, S., Bourque, J., Brandeis, D., Breier, A., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Buitelaar, J. K., Busatto, G. F., Buckner, R. L., Calhoun, V., Canales‐Rodríguez, E. J., Cannon, D. M., Caseras, X., Castellanos, F. X., Cervenka, S., Chaim‐Avancini, T. M., Ching, C. R. K., Chubar, V., Clark, V. P., Conrod, P., Conzelmann, A., Crespo‐Facorro, B., Crivello, F., Crone, E. A., Dale, A. M., Davey, C., De Geus, E. J. C., De Haan, L., De Zubicaray, G. I., Den Braber, A., Dickie, E. W., Di Giorgio, A., Doan, N. T., Dørum, E. S., Ehrlich, S., Erk, S., Espeseth, T., Fatouros‐Bergman, H., Fisher, S. E., Fouche, J., Franke, B., Frodl, T., Fuentes‐Claramonte, P., Glahn, D. C., Gotlib, I. H., Grabe, H., Grimm, O., Groenewold, N. A., Grotegerd, D., Gruber, O., Gruner, P., Gur, R. E., Gur, R. C., Harrison, B. J., Hartman, C. A., Hatton, S. N., Heinz, A., Heslenfeld, D. J., Hibar, D. P., Hickie, I. B., Ho, B., Hoekstra, P. J., Hohmann, S., Holmes, A. J., Hoogman, M., Hosten, N., Howells, F. M., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Huyser, C., Jahanshad, N., James, A., Jernigan, T. L., Jiang, J., Jönsson, E. G., Joska, J. A., Kahn, R., Kalnin, A., Kanai, R., Klein, M., Klyushnik, T. P., Koenders, L., Koops, S., Krämer, B., Kuntsi, J., Lagopoulos, J., Lázaro, L., Lebedeva, I., Lee, W. H., Lesch, K., Lochner, C., Machielsen, M. W. J., Maingault, S., Martin, N. G., Martínez‐Zalacaín, I., Mataix‐Cols, D., Mazoyer, B., McDonald, C., McDonald, B. C., McIntosh, A. M., McMahon, K. L., McPhilemy, G., Menchón, J. M., Medland, S. E., Meyer‐Lindenberg, A., Naaijen, J., Najt, P., Nakao, T., Nordvik, J. E., Nyberg, L., Oosterlaan, J., Ortiz‐García de la Foz, V., Paloyelis, Y., Pauli, P., Pergola, G., Pomarol‐Clotet, E., Portella, M. J., Potkin, S. G., Radua, J., Reif, A., Rinker, D. A., Roffman, J. L., Rosa, P. G. P., Sacchet, M. D., Sachdev, P. S., Salvador, R., Sánchez‐Juan, P., Sarró, S., Satterthwaite, T. D., Saykin, A. J., Serpa, M. H., Schmaal, L., Schnell, K., Schumann, G., Sim, K., Smoller, J. W., Sommer, I., Soriano‐Mas, C., Stein, D. J., Strike, L. T., Swagerman, S. C., Tamnes, C. K., Temmingh, H. S., Thomopoulos, S. I., Tomyshev, A. S., Tordesillas‐Gutiérrez, D., Trollor, J. N., Turner, J. A., Uhlmann, A., Van den Heuvel, O. A., Van den Meer, D., Van der Wee, N. J. A., Van Haren, N. E. M., Van't Ent, D., Van Erp, T. G. M., Veer, I. M., Veltman, D. J., Voineskos, A., Völzke, H., Walter, H., Walton, E., Wang, L., Wang, Y., Wassink, T. H., Weber, B., Wen, W., West, J. D., Westlye, L. T., Whalley, H., Wierenga, L. M., Williams, S. C. R., Wittfeld, K., Wolf, D. H., Worker, A., Wright, M. J., Yang, K., Yoncheva, Y., Zanetti, M. V., Ziegler, G. C., Thompson, P. M., Frangou, S., & Karolinska Schizophrenia Project (KaSP) (2022). Subcortical volumes across the lifespan: Data from 18,605 healthy individuals aged 3–90 years. Human Brain Mapping, 43(1), 452-469. doi:10.1002/hbm.25320.

    Abstract

    Age has a major effect on brain volume. However, the normative studies available are constrained by small sample sizes, restricted age coverage and significant methodological variability. These limitations introduce inconsistencies and may obscure or distort the lifespan trajectories of brain morphometry. In response, we capitalized on the resources of the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta‐Analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium to examine age‐related trajectories inferred from cross‐sectional measures of the ventricles, the basal ganglia (caudate, putamen, pallidum, and nucleus accumbens), the thalamus, hippocampus and amygdala using magnetic resonance imaging data obtained from 18,605 individuals aged 3–90 years. All subcortical structure volumes were at their maximum value early in life. The volume of the basal ganglia showed a monotonic negative association with age thereafter; there was no significant association between age and the volumes of the thalamus, amygdala and the hippocampus (with some degree of decline in thalamus) until the sixth decade of life after which they also showed a steep negative association with age. The lateral ventricles showed continuous enlargement throughout the lifespan. Age was positively associated with inter‐individual variability in the hippocampus and amygdala and the lateral ventricles. These results were robust to potential confounders and could be used to examine the functional significance of deviations from typical age‐related morphometric patterns.
  • Doronina, L., Hughes, G. M., Moreno-Santillan, D., Lawless, C., Lonergan, T., Ryan, L., Jebb, D., Kirilenko, B. M., Korstian, J. M., Dávalos, L. M., Vernes, S. C., Myers, E. W., Teeling, E. C., Hiller, M., Jermiin, L. S., Schmitz, J., Springer, M. S., & Ray, D. A. (2022). Contradictory phylogenetic signals in the laurasiatheria anomaly zone. Genes, 13(5): 766. doi:10.3390/genes13050766.

    Abstract

    Relationships among laurasiatherian clades represent one of the most highly disputed topics in mammalian phylogeny. In this study, we attempt to disentangle laurasiatherian interordinal relationships using two independent genome-level approaches: (1) quantifying retrotransposon presence/absence patterns, and (2) comparisons of exon datasets at the levels of nucleotides and amino acids. The two approaches revealed contradictory phylogenetic signals, possibly due to a high level of ancestral incomplete lineage sorting. The positions of Eulipotyphla and Chiroptera as the first and second earliest divergences were consistent across the approaches. However, the phylogenetic relationships of Perissodactyla, Cetartiodactyla, and Ferae, were contradictory. While retrotransposon insertion analyses suggest a clade with Cetartiodactyla and Ferae, the exon dataset favoured Cetartiodactyla and Perissodactyla. Future analyses of hitherto unsampled laurasiatherian lineages and synergistic analyses of retrotransposon insertions, exon and conserved intron/intergenic sequences might unravel the conflicting patterns of relationships in this major mammalian clade.
  • Doumas, L. A. A., Puebla, G., Martin, A. E., & Hummel, J. E. (2022). A theory of relation learning and cross-domain generalization. Psychological Review, 129(5), 999-1041. doi:10.1037/rev0000346.

    Abstract

    People readily generalize knowledge to novel domains and stimuli. We present a theory, instantiated in a computational model, based on the idea that cross-domain generalization in humans is a case of analogical inference over structured (i.e., symbolic) relational representations. The model is an extension of the Learning and Inference with Schemas and Analogy (LISA; Hummel & Holyoak, 1997, 2003) and Discovery of Relations by Analogy (DORA; Doumas et al., 2008) models of relational inference and learning. The resulting model learns both the content and format (i.e., structure) of relational representations from nonrelational inputs without supervision, when augmented with the capacity for reinforcement learning it leverages these representations to learn about individual domains, and then generalizes to new domains on the first exposure (i.e., zero-shot learning) via analogical inference. We demonstrate the capacity of the model to learn structured relational representations from a variety of simple visual stimuli, and to perform cross-domain generalization between video games (Breakout and Pong) and between several psychological tasks. We demonstrate that the model’s trajectory closely mirrors the trajectory of children as they learn about relations, accounting for phenomena from the literature on the development of children’s reasoning and analogy making. The model’s ability to generalize between domains demonstrates the flexibility afforded by representing domains in terms of their underlying relational structure, rather than simply in terms of the statistical relations between their inputs and outputs.
  • Doust, C., Fontanillas, P., Eising, E., Gordon, S. D., Wang, Z., Alagöz, G., Molz, B., 23andMe Research Team, Quantitative Trait Working Group of the GenLang Consortium, St Pourcain, B., Francks, C., Marioni, R. E., Zhao, J., Paracchini, S., Talcott, J. B., Monaco, A. P., Stein, J. F., Gruen, J. R., Olson, R. K., Willcutt, E. G., DeFries, J. C., Pennington, B. F. and 7 moreDoust, C., Fontanillas, P., Eising, E., Gordon, S. D., Wang, Z., Alagöz, G., Molz, B., 23andMe Research Team, Quantitative Trait Working Group of the GenLang Consortium, St Pourcain, B., Francks, C., Marioni, R. E., Zhao, J., Paracchini, S., Talcott, J. B., Monaco, A. P., Stein, J. F., Gruen, J. R., Olson, R. K., Willcutt, E. G., DeFries, J. C., Pennington, B. F., Smith, S. D., Wright, M. J., Martin, N. G., Auton, A., Bates, T. C., Fisher, S. E., & Luciano, M. (2022). Discovery of 42 genome-wide significant loci associated with dyslexia. Nature Genetics. doi:10.1038/s41588-022-01192-y.

    Abstract

    Reading and writing are crucial life skills but roughly one in ten children are affected by dyslexia, which can persist into adulthood. Family studies of dyslexia suggest heritability up to 70%, yet few convincing genetic markers have been found. Here we performed a genome-wide association study of 51,800 adults self-reporting a dyslexia diagnosis and 1,087,070 controls and identified 42 independent genome-wide significant loci: 15 in genes linked to cognitive ability/educational attainment, and 27 new and potentially more specific to dyslexia. We validated 23 loci (13 new) in independent cohorts of Chinese and European ancestry. Genetic etiology of dyslexia was similar between sexes, and genetic covariance with many traits was found, including ambidexterity, but not neuroanatomical measures of language-related circuitry. Dyslexia polygenic scores explained up to 6% of variance in reading traits, and might in future contribute to earlier identification and remediation of dyslexia.
  • Drijvers, L., & Holler, J. (2022). The multimodal facilitation effect in human communication. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. Advance online publication. doi:10.3758/s13423-022-02178-x.

    Abstract

    During face-to-face communication, recipients need to rapidly integrate a plethora of auditory and visual signals. This integration of signals from many different bodily articulators, all offset in time, with the information in the speech stream may either tax the cognitive system, thus slowing down language processing, or may result in multimodal facilitation. Using the classical shadowing paradigm, participants shadowed speech from face-to-face, naturalistic dyadic conversations in an audiovisual context, an audiovisual context without visual speech (e.g., lips), and an audio-only context. Our results provide evidence of a multimodal facilitation effect in human communication: participants were faster in shadowing words when seeing multimodal messages compared with when hearing only audio. Also, the more visual context was present, the fewer shadowing errors were made, and the earlier in time participants shadowed predicted lexical items. We propose that the multimodal facilitation effect may contribute to the ease of fast face-to-face conversational interaction.
  • Drijvers, L., & Holler, J. (2022). Face-to-face spatial orientation fine-tunes the brain for neurocognitive processing in conversation. iScience, 25(11): 105413. doi:10.1016/j.isci.2022.105413.

    Abstract

    We here demonstrate that face-to-face spatial orientation induces a special ‘social mode’ for neurocognitive processing during conversation, even in the absence of visibility. Participants conversed face-to-face, face-to-face but visually occluded, and back-to-back to tease apart effects caused by seeing visual communicative signals and by spatial orientation. Using dual-EEG, we found that 1) listeners’ brains engaged more strongly while conversing in face-to-face than back-to-back, irrespective of the visibility of communicative signals, 2) listeners attended to speech more strongly in a back-to-back compared to a face-to-face spatial orientation without visibility; visual signals further reduced the attention needed; 3) the brains of interlocutors were more in sync in a face-to-face compared to a back-to-back spatial orientation, even when they could not see each other; visual signals further enhanced this pattern. Communicating in face-to-face spatial orientation is thus sufficient to induce a special ‘social mode’ which fine-tunes the brain for neurocognitive processing in conversation.
  • Düngen, D., Burkhardt, E., & El‐Gabbas, A. (2022). Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) distribution modeling on their Nordic and Barents Seas feeding grounds. Marine Mammal Science, 38(4), 1583-1608. doi:10.1111/mms.12943.

    Abstract

    Understanding cetacean distribution is essential for conservation planning and decision-making, particularly in regions subject to rapid environmental changes. Nevertheless, information on their spatiotemporal distribution is commonly limited, especially from remote areas. Species distribution models (SDMs) are powerful tools, relating species occurrences to environmental variables to predict the species' potential distribution. This study aims at using presence-only SDMs (MaxEnt) to identify suitable habitats for fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) on their Nordic and Barents Seas feeding grounds. We used spatial-block cross-validation to tune MaxEnt parameters and evaluate model performance using spatially independent testing data. We considered spatial sampling bias correction using four methods. Important environmental variables were distance to shore and sea ice edge, variability of sea surface temperature and sea surface salinity, and depth. Suitable fin whale habitats were predicted along the west coast of Svalbard, between Svalbard and the eastern Norwegian Sea, coastal areas off Iceland and southern East Greenland, and along the Knipovich Ridge to Jan Mayen. Results support that presence-only SDMs are effective tools to predict cetacean habitat suitability, particularly in remote areas like the Arctic Ocean. SDMs constitute a cost-effective method for targeting future surveys and identifying top priority sites for conservation measures.

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    supporting information
  • Eekhof, L. S., Van Krieken, K., & Willems, R. M. (2022). Reading about minds: The social-cognitive potential of narratives. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 29, 1703-1718. doi:10.3758/s13423-022-02079-z.

    Abstract

    It is often argued that narratives improve social cognition, either by appealing to social-cognitive abilities as we engage with the story world and its characters, or by conveying social knowledge. Empirical studies have found support for both a correlational and a causal link between exposure to (literary, fictional) narratives and social cognition. However, a series of failed replications has cast doubt on the robustness of these claims. Here, we review the existing empirical literature and identify open questions and challenges. An important conclusion of the review is that previous research has given too little consideration to the diversity of narratives, readers, and social-cognitive processes involved in the social-cognitive potential of narratives. We therefore establish a research agenda, proposing that future research should focus on (1) the specific text characteristics that drive the social-cognitive potential of narratives, (2) the individual differences between readers with respect to their sensitivity to this potential, and (3) the various aspects of social cognition that are potentially affected by reading narratives. Our recommendations can guide the design of future studies that will help us understand how, for whom, and in what respect exposure to narratives can advantage social cognition.
  • Eijk, L., Rasenberg, M., Arnese, F., Blokpoel, M., Dingemanse, M., Doeller, C. F., Ernestus, M., Holler, J., Milivojevic, B., Ozyurek, A., Pouw, W., Van Rooij, I., Schriefers, H., Toni, I., Trujillo, J. P., & Bögels, S. (2022). The CABB dataset: A multimodal corpus of communicative interactions for behavioural and neural analyses. NeuroImage, 264: 119734. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119734.

    Abstract

    We present a dataset of behavioural and fMRI observations acquired in the context of humans involved in multimodal referential communication. The dataset contains audio/video and motion-tracking recordings of face-to-face, task-based communicative interactions in Dutch, as well as behavioural and neural correlates of participants’ representations of dialogue referents. Seventy-one pairs of unacquainted participants performed two interleaved interactional tasks in which they described and located 16 novel geometrical objects (i.e., Fribbles) yielding spontaneous interactions of about one hour. We share high-quality video (from three cameras), audio (from head-mounted microphones), and motion-tracking (Kinect) data, as well as speech transcripts of the interactions. Before and after engaging in the face-to-face communicative interactions, participants’ individual representations of the 16 Fribbles were estimated. Behaviourally, participants provided a written description (one to three words) for each Fribble and positioned them along 29 independent conceptual dimensions (e.g., rounded, human, audible). Neurally, fMRI signal evoked by each Fribble was measured during a one-back working-memory task. To enable functional hyperalignment across participants, the dataset also includes fMRI measurements obtained during visual presentation of eight animated movies (35 minutes total). We present analyses for the various types of data demonstrating their quality and consistency with earlier research. Besides high-resolution multimodal interactional data, this dataset includes different correlates of communicative referents, obtained before and after face-to-face dialogue, allowing for novel investigations into the relation between communicative behaviours and the representational space shared by communicators. This unique combination of data can be used for research in neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, and beyond.
  • Eising, E., Mirza-Schreiber, N., De Zeeuw, E. L., Wang, C. A., Truong, D. T., Allegrini, A. G., Shapland, C. Y., Zhu, G., Wigg, K. G., Gerritse, M., Molz, B., Alagöz, G., Gialluisi, A., Abbondanza, F., Rimfeld, K., Van Donkelaar, M. M. J., Liao, Z., Jansen, P. R., Andlauer, T. F. M., Bates, T. C. and 70 moreEising, E., Mirza-Schreiber, N., De Zeeuw, E. L., Wang, C. A., Truong, D. T., Allegrini, A. G., Shapland, C. Y., Zhu, G., Wigg, K. G., Gerritse, M., Molz, B., Alagöz, G., Gialluisi, A., Abbondanza, F., Rimfeld, K., Van Donkelaar, M. M. J., Liao, Z., Jansen, P. R., Andlauer, T. F. M., Bates, T. C., Bernard, M., Blokland, K., Børglum, A. D., Bourgeron, T., Brandeis, D., Ceroni, F., Dale, P. S., Landerl, K., Lyytinen, H., De Jong, P. F., DeFries, J. C., Demontis, D., Feng, Y., Gordon, S. D., Guger, S. L., Hayiou-Thomas, M. E., Hernández-Cabrera, J. A., Hottenga, J.-J., Hulme, C., Kerr, E. N., Koomar, T., Lovett, M. W., Martin, N. G., Martinelli, A., Maurer, U., Michaelson, J. J., Moll, K., Monaco, A. P., Morgan, A. T., Nöthen, M. M., Pausova, Z., Pennell, C. E., Pennington, B. F., Price, K. M., Rajagopal, V. M., Ramus, F., Richer, L., Simpson, N. H., Smith, S., Snowling, M. J., Stein, J., Strug, L. J., Talcott, J. B., Tiemeier, H., Van de Schroeff, M. M. P., Verhoef, E., Watkins, K. E., Wilkinson, M., Wright, M. J., Barr, C. L., Boomsma, D. I., Carreiras, M., Franken, M.-C.-J., Gruen, J. R., Luciano, M., Müller-Myhsok, B., Newbury, D. F., Olson, R. K., Paracchini, S., Paus, T., Plomin, R., Schulte-Körne, G., Reilly, S., Tomblin, J. B., Van Bergen, E., Whitehouse, A. J., Willcutt, E. G., St Pourcain, B., Francks, C., & Fisher, S. E. (2022). Genome-wide analyses of individual differences in quantitatively assessed reading- and language-related skills in up to 34,000 people. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(35): e2202764119. doi:10.1073/pnas.2202764119.

    Abstract

    The use of spoken and written language is a fundamental human capacity. Individual differences in reading- and language-related skills are influenced by genetic variation, with twin-based heritability estimates of 30 to 80% depending on the trait. The genetic architecture is complex, heterogeneous, and multifactorial, but investigations of contributions of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were thus far underpowered. We present a multicohort genome-wide association study (GWAS) of five traits assessed individually using psychometric measures (word reading, nonword reading, spelling, phoneme awareness, and nonword repetition) in samples of 13,633 to 33,959 participants aged 5 to 26 y. We identified genome-wide significant association with word reading (rs11208009, P = 1.098 × 10−8) at a locus that has not been associated with intelligence or educational attainment. All five reading-/language-related traits showed robust SNP heritability, accounting for 13 to 26% of trait variability. Genomic structural equation modeling revealed a shared genetic factor explaining most of the variation in word/nonword reading, spelling, and phoneme awareness, which only partially overlapped with genetic variation contributing to nonword repetition, intelligence, and educational attainment. A multivariate GWAS of word/nonword reading, spelling, and phoneme awareness maximized power for follow-up investigation. Genetic correlation analysis with neuroimaging traits identified an association with the surface area of the banks of the left superior temporal sulcus, a brain region linked to the processing of spoken and written language. Heritability was enriched for genomic elements regulating gene expression in the fetal brain and in chromosomal regions that are depleted of Neanderthal variants. Together, these results provide avenues for deciphering the biological underpinnings of uniquely human traits.
  • Ferrari, A., Richter, D., & De Lange, F. (2022). Updating contextual sensory expectations for adaptive behaviour. The Journal of Neuroscience, 42(47), 8855-8869. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1107-22.2022.

    Abstract

    The brain has the extraordinary capacity to construct predictive models of the environment by internalizing statistical regularities in the sensory inputs. The resulting sensory expectations shape how we perceive and react to the world; at the neural level, this relates to decreased neural responses to expected than unexpected stimuli (‘expectation suppression’). Crucially, expectations may need revision as context changes. However, existing research has often neglected this issue. Further, it is unclear whether contextual revisions apply selectively to expectations relevant to the task at hand, hence serving adaptive behaviour. The present fMRI study examined how contextual visual expectations spread throughout the cortical hierarchy as participants update their beliefs. We created a volatile environment with two state spaces presented over separate contexts and controlled by an independent contextualizing signal. Participants attended a training session before scanning to learn contextual temporal associations among pairs of object images. The fMRI experiment then tested for the emergence of contextual expectation suppression in two separate tasks, respectively with task-relevant and task-irrelevant expectations. Behavioural and neural effects of contextual expectation emerged progressively across the cortical hierarchy as participants attuned themselves to the context: expectation suppression appeared first in the insula, inferior frontal gyrus and posterior parietal cortex, followed by the ventral visual stream, up to early visual cortex. This applied selectively to task-relevant expectations. Taken together, the present results suggest that an insular and frontoparietal executive control network may guide the flexible deployment of contextual sensory expectations for adaptive behaviour in our complex and dynamic world.
  • Formenti, G., Theissinger, K., Fernandes, C., Bista, I., Bombarely, A., Bleidorn, C., Ciofi, C., Crottini, A., Godoy, J. A., Höglund, J., Malukiewicz, J., Mouton, A., Oomen, R. A., Sadye, P., Palsbøll, P. J., Pampoulie, C., Ruiz-López, M. J., Svardal, H., Theofanopoulou, C., De Vries, J. and 6 moreFormenti, G., Theissinger, K., Fernandes, C., Bista, I., Bombarely, A., Bleidorn, C., Ciofi, C., Crottini, A., Godoy, J. A., Höglund, J., Malukiewicz, J., Mouton, A., Oomen, R. A., Sadye, P., Palsbøll, P. J., Pampoulie, C., Ruiz-López, M. J., Svardal, H., Theofanopoulou, C., De Vries, J., Waldvogel, A.-M., Zhang, G., Mazzoni, C. J., Jarvis, E. D., Bálint, M., & European Reference Genome Atlas (ERGA) Consortium (2022). The era of reference genomes in conservation genomics. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 37(3), 197-202. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2021.11.008.

    Abstract

    Progress in genome sequencing now enables the large-scale generation of reference genomes. Various international initiatives aim to generate reference genomes representing global biodiversity. These genomes provide unique insights into genomic diversity and architecture, thereby enabling comprehensive analyses of population and functional genomics, and are expected to revolutionize conservation genomics.
  • Frances, C., Navarra-Barindelli, E., & Martin, C. D. (2022). Speaker accent modulates the effects of orthographic and phonological similarity on auditory processing by learners of English. Frontiers in Psychology, 13. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2022.892822.

    Abstract

    The cognate effect refers to translation equivalents with similar form between languages—i.e., cognates, such as “band” (English) and “banda” (Spanish)—being processed faster than words with dissimilar forms—such as, “cloud” and “nube.” Substantive literature supports this claim, but is mostly based on orthographic similarity and tested in the visual modality. In a previous study, we found an inhibitory orthographic similarity effect in the auditory modality—i.e., greater orthographic similarity led to slower response times and reduced accuracy. The aim of the present study is to explain this effect. In doing so, we explore the role of the speaker's accent in auditory word recognition and whether native accents lead to a mismatch between the participants' phonological representation and the stimulus. Participants carried out a lexical decision task and a typing task in which they spelled out the word they heard. Words were produced by two speakers: one with a native English accent (Standard American) and the other with a non-native accent matching that of the participants (native Spanish speaker from Spain). We manipulated orthographic and phonological similarity orthogonally and found that accent did have some effect on both response time and accuracy as well as modulating the effects of similarity. Overall, the non-native accent improved performance, but it did not fully explain why high orthographic similarity items show an inhibitory effect in the auditory modality. Theoretical implications and future directions are discussed.
  • Frangou, S., Modabbernia, A., Williams, S. C. R., Papachristou, E., Doucet, G. E., Agartz, I., Aghajani, M., Akudjedu, T. N., Albajes‐Eizagirre, A., Alnæs, D., Alpert, K. I., Andersson, M., Andreasen, N. C., Andreassen, O. A., Asherson, P., Banaschewski, T., Bargallo, N., Baumeister, S., Baur‐Streubel, R., Bertolino, A. and 181 moreFrangou, S., Modabbernia, A., Williams, S. C. R., Papachristou, E., Doucet, G. E., Agartz, I., Aghajani, M., Akudjedu, T. N., Albajes‐Eizagirre, A., Alnæs, D., Alpert, K. I., Andersson, M., Andreasen, N. C., Andreassen, O. A., Asherson, P., Banaschewski, T., Bargallo, N., Baumeister, S., Baur‐Streubel, R., Bertolino, A., Bonvino, A., Boomsma, D. I., Borgwardt, S., Bourque, J., Brandeis, D., Breier, A., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Buitelaar, J. K., Busatto, G. F., Buckner, R. L., Calhoun, V., Canales‐Rodríguez, E. J., Cannon, D. M., Caseras, X., Castellanos, F. X., Cervenka, S., Chaim‐Avancini, T. M., Ching, C. R. K., Chubar, V., Clark, V. P., Conrod, P., Conzelmann, A., Crespo‐Facorro, B., Crivello, F., Crone, E. A., Dale, A. M., Davey, C., De Geus, E. J. C., De Haan, L., De Zubicaray, G. I., Den Braber, A., Dickie, E. W., Di Giorgio, A., Doan, N. T., Dørum, E. S., Ehrlich, S., Erk, S., Espeseth, T., Fatouros‐Bergman, H., Fisher, S. E., Fouche, J., Franke, B., Frodl, T., Fuentes‐Claramonte, P., Glahn, D. C., Gotlib, I. H., Grabe, H., Grimm, O., Groenewold, N. A., Grotegerd, D., Gruber, O., Gruner, P., Gur, R. E., Gur, R. C., Harrison, B. J., Hartman, C. A., Hatton, S. N., Heinz, A., Heslenfeld, D. J., Hibar, D. P., Hickie, I. B., Ho, B., Hoekstra, P. J., Hohmann, S., Holmes, A. J., Hoogman, M., Hosten, N., Howells, F. M., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Huyser, C., Jahanshad, N., James, A., Jernigan, T. L., Jiang, J., Jönsson, E. G., Joska, J. A., Kahn, R., Kalnin, A., Kanai, R., Klein, M., Klyushnik, T. P., Koenders, L., Koops, S., Krämer, B., Kuntsi, J., Lagopoulos, J., Lázaro, L., Lebedeva, I., Lee, W. H., Lesch, K., Lochner, C., Machielsen, M. W. J., Maingault, S., Martin, N. G., Martínez‐Zalacaín, I., Mataix‐Cols, D., Mazoyer, B., McDonald, C., McDonald, B. C., McIntosh, A. M., McMahon, K. L., McPhilemy, G., Menchón, J. M., Medland, S. E., Meyer‐Lindenberg, A., Naaijen, J., Najt, P., Nakao, T., Nordvik, J. E., Nyberg, L., Oosterlaan, J., Ortiz‐García Foz, V., Paloyelis, Y., Pauli, P., Pergola, G., Pomarol‐Clotet, E., Portella, M. J., Potkin, S. G., Radua, J., Reif, A., Rinker, D. A., Roffman, J. L., Rosa, P. G. P., Sacchet, M. D., Sachdev, P. S., Salvador, R., Sánchez‐Juan, P., Sarró, S., Satterthwaite, T. D., Saykin, A. J., Serpa, M. H., Schmaal, L., Schnell, K., Schumann, G., Sim, K., Smoller, J. W., Sommer, I., Soriano‐Mas, C., Stein, D. J., Strike, L. T., Swagerman, S. C., Tamnes, C. K., Temmingh, H. S., Thomopoulos, S. I., Tomyshev, A. S., Tordesillas‐Gutiérrez, D., Trollor, J. N., Turner, J. A., Uhlmann, A., Van den Heuvel, O. A., Van den Meer, D., Van der Wee, N. J. A., Van Haren, N. E. M., Van 't Ent, D., Van Erp, T. G. M., Veer, I. M., Veltman, D. J., Voineskos, A., Völzke, H., Walter, H., Walton, E., Wang, L., Wang, Y., Wassink, T. H., Weber, B., Wen, W., West, J. D., Westlye, L. T., Whalley, H., Wierenga, L. M., Wittfeld, K., Wolf, D. H., Worker, A., Wright, M. J., Yang, K., Yoncheva, Y., Zanetti, M. V., Ziegler, G. C., Karolinska Schizophrenia Project (KaSP), Thompson, P. M., & Dima, D. (2022). Cortical thickness across the lifespan: Data from 17,075 healthy individuals aged 3–90 years. Human Brain Mapping, 43(1), 431-451. doi:10.1002/hbm.25364.

    Abstract

    Delineating the association of age and cortical thickness in healthy individuals is critical given the association of cortical thickness with cognition and behavior. Previous research has shown that robust estimates of the association between age and brain morphometry require large‐scale studies. In response, we used cross‐sectional data from 17,075 individuals aged 3–90 years from the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta‐Analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium to infer age‐related changes in cortical thickness. We used fractional polynomial (FP) regression to quantify the association between age and cortical thickness, and we computed normalized growth centiles using the parametric Lambda, Mu, and Sigma method. Interindividual variability was estimated using meta‐analysis and one‐way analysis of variance. For most regions, their highest cortical thickness value was observed in childhood. Age and cortical thickness showed a negative association; the slope was steeper up to the third decade of life and more gradual thereafter; notable exceptions to this general pattern were entorhinal, temporopolar, and anterior cingulate cortices. Interindividual variability was largest in temporal and frontal regions across the lifespan. Age and its FP combinations explained up to 59% variance in cortical thickness. These results may form the basis of further investigation on normative deviation in cortical thickness and its significance for behavioral and cognitive outcomes.
  • Frey, V., De Mulder, H. N. M., Ter Bekke, M., Struiksma, M. E., Van Berkum, J. J. A., & Buskens, V. (2022). Do self-talk phrases affect behavior in ultimatum games? Mind & Society, 21, 89-119. doi:10.1007/s11299-022-00286-8.

    Abstract

    The current study investigates whether self-talk phrases can influence behavior in Ultimatum Games. In our three self-talk treatments, participants were instructed to tell themselves (i) to keep their own interests in mind, (ii) to also think of the other person, or (iii) to take some time to contemplate their decision. We investigate how such so-called experimenter-determined strategic self-talk phrases affect behavior and emotions in comparison to a control treatment without instructed self-talk. The results demonstrate that other-focused self-talk can nudge proposers towards fair behavior, as offers were higher in this group than in the other conditions. For responders, self-talk tended to increase acceptance rates of unfair offers as compared to the condition without self-talk. This effect is significant for both other-focused and contemplation-inducing self-talk but not for self-focused self-talk. In the self-focused condition, responders were most dissatisfied with unfair offers. These findings suggest that use of self-talk can increase acceptance rates in responders, and that focusing on personal interests can undermine this effect as it negatively impacts the responders’ emotional experience. In sum, our study shows that strategic self-talk interventions can be used to affect behavior in bargaining situations.

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    data and analysis files
  • Gao, Y., Meng, X., Bai, Z., Liu, X., Zhang, M., Li, H., Ding, G., Liu, L., & Booth, J. R. (2022). Left and right arcuate fasciculi are uniquely related to word reading skills in Chinese-English bilingual children. Neurobiology of Language, 3(1), 109-131. doi:10.1162/nol_a_00051.

    Abstract

    Whether reading in different writing systems recruits language-unique or language-universal neural processes is a long-standing debate. Many studies have shown the left arcuate fasciculus (AF) to be involved in phonological and reading processes. In contrast, little is known about the role of the right AF in reading, but some have suggested that it may play a role in visual spatial aspects of reading or the prosodic components of language. The right AF may be more important for reading in Chinese due to its logographic and tonal properties, but this hypothesis has yet to be tested. We recruited a group of Chinese-English bilingual children (8.2 to 12.0 years old) to explore the common and unique relation of reading skill in English and Chinese to fractional anisotropy (FA) in the bilateral AF. We found that both English and Chinese reading skills were positively correlated with FA in the rostral part of the left AF-direct segment. Additionally, English reading skill was positively correlated with FA in the caudal part of the left AF-direct segment, which was also positively correlated with phonological awareness. In contrast, Chinese reading skill was positively correlated with FA in certain segments of the right AF, which was positively correlated with visual spatial ability, but not tone discrimination ability. Our results suggest that there are language universal substrates of reading across languages, but that certain left AF nodes support phonological mechanisms important for reading in English, whereas certain right AF nodes support visual spatial mechanisms important for reading in Chinese.

    Additional information

    supplementary materials
  • Garcia, R., Roeser, J., & Kidd, E. (2022). Online data collection to address language sampling bias: Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. Linguistics Vanguard. Advance online publication. doi:10.1515/lingvan-2021-0040.

    Abstract

    The COVID-19 pandemic has massively limited how linguists can collect data, and out of necessity, researchers across several disciplines have moved data collection online. Here we argue that the rising popularity of remote web-based experiments also provides an opportunity for widening the context of linguistic research by facilitating data collection from understudied populations. We discuss collecting production data from adult native speakers of Tagalog using an unsupervised web-based experiment. Compared to equivalent lab experiments, data collection went quicker, and the sample was more diverse, without compromising data quality. However, there were also technical and human issues that come with this method. We discuss these challenges and provide suggestions on how to overcome them.
  • Garcia, R., & Kidd, E. (2022). Acquiring verb-argument structure in Tagalog: A multivariate corpus analysis of caregiver and child speech. Linguistics, 60(6), 1855-1906. doi:10.1515/ling-2021-0107.

    Abstract

    Western Austronesian languages have typologically rare but theoretically important voice systems that raise many questions about their learnability. While these languages have been featured prominently in the descriptive and typological literature, data on acquisition is sparse. In the current paper, we report on a variationist analysis of Tagalog child-directed speech using a newly collected corpus of caregiver-child interaction. We determined the constraints that condition voice use, voice selection, argument position, and thematic role assignment, thus providing the first quantitative analysis of verb argument structure variation in the language. We also examined whether children are sensitive to the constraints on variability. Our analyses showed that, despite the diversity of structures that children have to learn under Tagalog’s voice system, there are unique factors that strongly predict the speakers’ choice between the voice and word order alternations, with children’s choices related to structure alternations being similar to what is available in their input. The results thus suggest that input distributions provide many cues to the acquisition of the Tagalog voice system, making it eminently learnable despite its apparent complexity.
  • Gasparini, L., Tsuji, S., & Bergmann, C. (2022). Ten easy steps to conducting transparent, reproducible meta‐analyses for infant researchers. Infancy, 27(4), 736-764. doi:10.1111/infa.12470.

    Abstract

    Meta-analyses provide researchers with an overview of the body of evidence in a topic, with quantified estimates of effect sizes and the role of moderators, and weighting studies according to their precision. We provide a guide for conducting a transparent and reproducible meta-analysis in the field of developmental psychology within the framework of the MetaLab platform, in 10 steps: (1) Choose a topic for your meta-analysis, (2) Formulate your research question and specify inclusion criteria, (3) Preregister and document all stages of your meta-analysis, (4) Conduct the literature search, (5) Collect and screen records, (6) Extract data from eligible studies, (7) Read the data into analysis software and compute effect sizes, (8) Visualize your data, (9) Create meta-analytic models to assess the strength of the effect and investigate possible moderators, (10) Write up and promote your meta-analysis. Meta-analyses can inform future studies, through power calculations, by identifying robust methods and exposing research gaps. By adding a new meta-analysis to MetaLab, datasets across multiple topics of developmental psychology can be synthesized, and the dataset can be maintained as a living, community-augmented meta-analysis to which researchers add new data, allowing for a cumulative approach to evidence synthesis.
  • Giglio, L., Ostarek, M., Weber, K., & Hagoort, P. (2022). Commonalities and asymmetries in the neurobiological infrastructure for language production and comprehension. Cerebral Cortex, 32(7), 1405-1418. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhab287.

    Abstract

    The neurobiology of sentence production has been largely understudied compared to the neurobiology of sentence comprehension, due to difficulties with experimental control and motion-related artifacts in neuroimaging. We studied the neural response to constituents of increasing size and specifically focused on the similarities and differences in the production and comprehension of the same stimuli. Participants had to either produce or listen to stimuli in a gradient of constituent size based on a visual prompt. Larger constituent sizes engaged the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) and middle temporal gyrus (LMTG) extending to inferior parietal areas in both production and comprehension, confirming that the neural resources for syntactic encoding and decoding are largely overlapping. An ROI analysis in LIFG and LMTG also showed that production elicited larger responses to constituent size than comprehension and that the LMTG was more engaged in comprehension than production, while the LIFG was more engaged in production than comprehension. Finally, increasing constituent size was characterized by later BOLD peaks in comprehension but earlier peaks in production. These results show that syntactic encoding and parsing engage overlapping areas, but there are asymmetries in the engagement of the language network due to the specific requirements of production and comprehension.

    Additional information

    supplementary material
  • Goodhew, S. C., Reynolds, K., Edwards, M., & Kidd, E. (2022). The content of gender stereotypes embedded in language use. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 41(2), 219-231. doi:10.1177/0261927X211033930.

    Abstract

    Gender stereotypes have endured despite substantial change in gender roles. Previous work has assessed how gender stereotypes affect language production in particular interactional contexts. Here, we assessed communication biases where context was less specified: written texts to diffuse audiences. We used Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) to computationally quantify the similarity in meaning between gendered names and stereotype-linked terms in these communications. This revealed that female names were more similar in meaning to the proscriptive (undesirable) masculine terms, such as emotional.
  • Guadalupe, T., Kong, X., Akkermans, S. E. A., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2022). Relations between hemispheric asymmetries of grey matter and auditory processing of spoken syllables in 281 healthy adults. Brain Structure & Function, 227, 561-572. doi:10.1007/s00429-021-02220-z.

    Abstract

    Most people have a right-ear advantage for the perception of spoken syllables, consistent with left hemisphere dominance for speech processing. However, there is considerable variation, with some people showing left-ear advantage. The extent to which this variation is reflected in brain structure remains unclear. We tested for relations between hemispheric asymmetries of auditory processing and of grey matter in 281 adults, using dichotic listening and voxel-based morphometry. This was the largest study of this issue to date. Per-voxel asymmetry indexes were derived for each participant following registration of brain magnetic resonance images to a template that was symmetrized. The asymmetry index derived from dichotic listening was related to grey matter asymmetry in clusters of voxels corresponding to the amygdala and cerebellum lobule VI. There was also a smaller, non-significant cluster in the posterior superior temporal gyrus, a region of auditory cortex. These findings contribute to the mapping of asymmetrical structure–function links in the human brain and suggest that subcortical structures should be investigated in relation to hemispheric dominance for speech processing, in addition to auditory cortex.

    Additional information

    supplementary information
  • Gur, C., & Sumer, B. (2022). Learning to introduce referents in narration is resilient to the effects of late sign language exposure. Sign Language & Linguistics, 25(2), 205-234. doi:10.1075/sll.21004.gur.

    Abstract

    The present study investigates the effects of late sign language exposure on narrative development in Turkish Sign Language (TİD) by focusing on the introductions of main characters and the linguistic strategies used in these introductions. We study these domains by comparing narrations produced by native and late signers in TİD. The results of our study reveal that late sign language exposure does not hinder the acquisition of linguistic devices to introduce main characters in narrations. Thus, their acquisition seems to be resilient to the effects of late language exposure. Our study further suggests that a two-year exposure to sign language facilitates the acquisition of these skills in signing children even in the case of late language exposure, thus providing further support for the importance of sign language exposure to develop linguistic skills for signing children.

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