Displaying 1 - 20 of 22
  • Brown-Schmidt, S., & Konopka, A. E. (2011). Experimental approaches to referential domains and the on-line processing of referring expressions in unscripted conversation. Information, 2, 302-326. doi:10.3390/info2020302.

    Abstract

    This article describes research investigating the on-line processing of language in unscripted conversational settings. In particular, we focus on the process of formulating and interpreting definite referring expressions. Within this domain we present results of two eye-tracking experiments addressing the problem of how speakers interrogate the referential domain in preparation to speak, how they select an appropriate expression for a given referent, and how addressees interpret these expressions. We aim to demonstrate that it is possible, and indeed fruitful, to examine unscripted, conversational language using modified experimental designs and standard hypothesis testing procedures.
  • Ganushchak, L. Y., Christoffels, I., & Schiller, N. (2011). The use of electroencephalography (EEG) in language production research: A review. Frontiers in Psychology, 2, 208. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00208.

    Abstract

    Speech production long avoided electrophysiological experiments due to the suspicion that potential artifacts caused by muscle activity of overt speech may lead to a bad signal-to-noise ratio in the measurements. Therefore, researchers have sought to assess speech production by using indirect speech production tasks, such as tacit or implicit naming, delayed naming, or metalinguistic tasks, such as phoneme monitoring. Covert speech may, however, involve different processes than overt speech production. Recently, overt speech has been investigated using EEG. As the number of papers published is rising steadily, this clearly indicates the increasing interest and demand for overt speech research within the field of cognitive neuroscience of language. Our main goal here is to review all currently available results of overt speech production involving EEG measurements, such as picture naming, Stroop naming, and reading aloud. We conclude that overt speech production can be successfully studied using electrophysiological measures, for instance, event-related brain potentials (ERPs). We will discuss possible relevant components in the ERP waveform of speech production and aim to address the issue of how to interpret the results of ERP research using overt speech, and whether the ERP components in language production are comparable to results from other fields.
  • Ganushchak, L. Y., Verdonschot, R. G., & Schiller, N. O. (2011). When leaf becomes neuter: Event related potential evidence for grammatical gender transfer in bilingualism. Neuroreport, 22(3), 106-110. doi:10.1097/WNR.0b013e3283427359.

    Abstract

    This study addressed the question as to whether grammatical properties of a first language are transferred to a second language. Dutch-English bilinguals classified Dutch words in white print according to their grammatical gender and colored words (i.e. Dutch common and neuter words, and their English translations) according to their color. Both the classifications were made with the same hand (congruent trials) or different hands (incongruent trials). Performance was more erroneous and the error-elated negativity was enhanced on incongruent compared with congruent trials. This effect was independent of the language in which words were presented. These results provide evidence for the fact thatbilinguals may transfer grammatical characteristics oftheir first language to a second language, even when such characteristics are absent in the grammar of the latter.

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  • Habets, B., Kita, S., Shao, Z., Ozyurek, A., & Hagoort, P. (2011). The role of synchrony and ambiguity in speech–gesture integration during comprehension. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 1845-1854. doi:10.1162/jocn.2010.21462.

    Abstract

    During face-to-face communication, one does not only hear speech but also see a speaker's communicative hand movements. It has been shown that such hand gestures play an important role in communication where the two modalities influence each other's interpretation. A gesture typically temporally overlaps with coexpressive speech, but the gesture is often initiated before (but not after) the coexpressive speech. The present ERP study investigated what degree of asynchrony in the speech and gesture onsets are optimal for semantic integration of the concurrent gesture and speech. Videos of a person gesturing were combined with speech segments that were either semantically congruent or incongruent with the gesture. Although gesture and speech always overlapped in time, gesture and speech were presented with three different degrees of asynchrony. In the SOA 0 condition, the gesture onset and the speech onset were simultaneous. In the SOA 160 and 360 conditions, speech was delayed by 160 and 360 msec, respectively. ERPs time locked to speech onset showed a significant difference between semantically congruent versus incongruent gesture–speech combinations on the N400 for the SOA 0 and 160 conditions. No significant difference was found for the SOA 360 condition. These results imply that speech and gesture are integrated most efficiently when the differences in onsets do not exceed a certain time span because of the fact that iconic gestures need speech to be disambiguated in a way relevant to the speech context.
  • Hartsuiker, R. J., Huettig, F., & Olivers, C. N. (Eds.). (2011). Visual search and visual world: Interactions among visual attention, language, and working memory [Special Issue]. Acta Psychologica, 137(2). doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2011.01.005.
  • Hartsuiker, R. J., Huettig, F., & Olivers, C. N. (2011). Visual search and visual world: Interactions among visual attention, language, and working memory (introduction to the special issue). Acta Psychologica, 137(2), 135-137. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2011.01.005.
  • Hintz, F. (2011). Language-mediated eye movements and cognitive control. Master Thesis, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (Nijmegen)/University of Leipzig.

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  • Huettig, F., Singh, N., & Mishra, R. K. (2011). Language-mediated visual orienting behavior in low and high literates. Frontiers in Psychology, 2: e285. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00285.

    Abstract

    The influence of formal literacy on spoken language-mediated visual orienting was investigated by using a simple look and listen task (cf. Huettig & Altmann, 2005) which resembles every day behavior. In Experiment 1, high and low literates listened to spoken sentences containing a target word (e.g., 'magar', crocodile) while at the same time looking at a visual display of four objects (a phonological competitor of the target word, e.g., 'matar', peas; a semantic competitor, e.g., 'kachuwa', turtle, and two unrelated distractors). In Experiment 2 the semantic competitor was replaced with another unrelated distractor. Both groups of participants shifted their eye gaze to the semantic competitors (Experiment 1). In both experiments high literates shifted their eye gaze towards phonological competitors as soon as phonological information became available and moved their eyes away as soon as the acoustic information mismatched. Low literates in contrast only used phonological information when semantic matches between spoken word and visual referent were impossible (Experiment 2) but in contrast to high literates these phonologically-mediated shifts in eye gaze were not closely time-locked to the speech input. We conclude that in high literates language-mediated shifts in overt attention are co-determined by the type of information in the visual environment, the timing of cascaded processing in the word- and object-recognition systems, and the temporal unfolding of the spoken language. Our findings indicate that low literates exhibit a similar cognitive behavior but instead of participating in a tug-of-war among multiple types of cognitive representations, word-object mapping is achieved primarily at the semantic level. If forced, for instance by a situation in which semantic matches are not present (Experiment 2), low literates may on occasion have to rely on phonological information but do so in a much less proficient manner than their highly literate counterparts.
  • Huettig, F., & Altmann, G. (2011). Looking at anything that is green when hearing ‘frog’: How object surface colour and stored object colour knowledge influence language-mediated overt attention. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64(1), 122-145. doi:10.1080/17470218.2010.481474.

    Abstract

    Three eye-tracking experiments investigated the influence of stored colour knowledge, perceived surface colour, and conceptual category of visual objects on language-mediated overt attention. Participants heard spoken target words whose concepts are associated with a diagnostic colour (e.g., "spinach"; spinach is typically green) while their eye movements were monitored to (a) objects associated with a diagnostic colour but presented in black and white (e.g., a black-and-white line drawing of a frog), (b) objects associated with a diagnostic colour but presented in an appropriate but atypical colour (e.g., a colour photograph of a yellow frog), and (c) objects not associated with a diagnostic colour but presented in the diagnostic colour of the target concept (e.g., a green blouse; blouses are not typically green). We observed that colour-mediated shifts in overt attention are primarily due to the perceived surface attributes of the visual objects rather than stored knowledge about the typical colour of the object. In addition our data reveal that conceptual category information is the primary determinant of overt attention if both conceptual category and surface colour competitors are copresent in the visual environment.
  • Huettig, F., Olivers, C. N. L., & Hartsuiker, R. J. (2011). Looking, language, and memory: Bridging research from the visual world and visual search paradigms. Acta Psychologica, 137, 138-150. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2010.07.013.

    Abstract

    In the visual world paradigm as used in psycholinguistics, eye gaze (i.e. visual orienting) is measured in order to draw conclusions about linguistic processing. However, current theories are underspecified with respect to how visual attention is guided on the basis of linguistic representations. In the visual search paradigm as used within the area of visual attention research, investigators have become more and more interested in how visual orienting is affected by higher order representations, such as those involved in memory and language. Within this area more specific models of orienting on the basis of visual information exist, but they need to be extended with mechanisms that allow for language-mediated orienting. In the present paper we review the evidence from these two different – but highly related – research areas. We arrive at a model in which working memory serves as the nexus in which long-term visual as well as linguistic representations (i.e. types) are bound to specific locations (i.e. tokens or indices). The model predicts that the interaction between language and visual attention is subject to a number of conditions, such as the presence of the guiding representation in working memory, capacity limitations, and cognitive control mechanisms.
  • Huettig, F., Rommers, J., & Meyer, A. S. (2011). Using the visual world paradigm to study language processing: A review and critical evaluation. Acta Psychologica, 137, 151-171. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2010.11.003.

    Abstract

    We describe the key features of the visual world paradigm and review the main research areas where it has been used. In our discussion we highlight that the paradigm provides information about the way language users integrate linguistic information with information derived from the visual environment. Therefore the paradigm is well suited to study one of the key issues of current cognitive psychology, namely the interplay between linguistic and visual information processing. However, conclusions about linguistic processing (e.g., about activation, competition, and timing of access of linguistic representations) in the absence of relevant visual information must be drawn with caution.
  • Huettig, F. (2011). The role of color during language-vision interactions. In R. K. Mishra, & N. Srinivasan (Eds.), Language-Cognition interface: State of the art (pp. 93-113). München: Lincom.
  • Huettig, F., & McQueen, J. M. (2011). The nature of the visual environment induces implicit biases during language-mediated visual search. Memory & Cognition, 39, 1068-1084. doi:10.3758/s13421-011-0086-z.

    Abstract

    Four eye-tracking experiments examined whether semantic and visual-shape representations are routinely retrieved from printed-word displays and used during language-mediated visual search. Participants listened to sentences containing target words which were similar semantically or in shape to concepts invoked by concurrently-displayed printed words. In Experiment 1 the displays contained semantic and shape competitors of the targets, and two unrelated words. There were significant shifts in eye gaze as targets were heard towards semantic but not shape competitors. In Experiments 2-4, semantic competitors were replaced with unrelated words, semantically richer sentences were presented to encourage visual imagery, or participants rated the shape similarity of the stimuli before doing the eye-tracking task. In all cases there were no immediate shifts in eye gaze to shape competitors, even though, in response to the Experiment 1 spoken materials, participants looked to these competitors when they were presented as pictures (Huettig & McQueen, 2007). There was a late shape-competitor bias (more than 2500 ms after target onset) in all experiments. These data show that shape information is not used in online search of printed-word displays (whereas it is used with picture displays). The nature of the visual environment appears to induce implicit biases towards particular modes of processing during language-mediated visual search.
  • Janse, E., & Ernestus, M. (2011). The roles of bottom-up and top-down information in the recognition of reduced speech: Evidence from listeners with normal and impaired hearing. Journal of Phonetics, 39(3), 330-343. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2011.03.005.
  • Johnson, E. K., & Huettig, F. (2011). Eye movements during language-mediated visual search reveal a strong link between overt visual attention and lexical processing in 36-months-olds. Psychological Research, 75, 35-42. doi:10.1007/s00426-010-0285-4.

    Abstract

    The nature of children’s early lexical processing was investigated by asking what information 36-month-olds access and use when instructed to find a known but absent referent. Children readily retrieved stored knowledge about characteristic color, i.e. when asked to find an object with a typical color (e.g. strawberry), children tended to fixate more upon an object that had the same (e.g. red plane) as opposed to a different (e.g. yellow plane) color. They did so regardless of the fact that they have had plenty of time to recognize the pictures for what they are, i.e. planes not strawberries. These data represent the first demonstration that language-mediated shifts of overt attention in young children can be driven by individual stored visual attributes of known words that mismatch on most other dimensions. The finding suggests that lexical processing and overt attention are strongly linked from an early age.
  • Johnson, E., McQueen, J. M., & Huettig, F. (2011). Toddlers’ language-mediated visual search: They need not have the words for it. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64, 1672-1682. doi:10.1080/17470218.2011.594165.

    Abstract

    Eye movements made by listeners during language-mediated visual search reveal a strong link between visual processing and conceptual processing. For example, upon hearing the word for a missing referent with a characteristic colour (e.g., “strawberry”), listeners tend to fixate a colour-matched distractor (e.g., a red plane) more than a colour-mismatched distractor (e.g., a yellow plane). We ask whether these shifts in visual attention are mediated by the retrieval of lexically stored colour labels. Do children who do not yet possess verbal labels for the colour attribute that spoken and viewed objects have in common exhibit language-mediated eye movements like those made by older children and adults? That is, do toddlers look at a red plane when hearing “strawberry”? We observed that 24-montholds lacking colour term knowledge nonetheless recognized the perceptual–conceptual commonality between named and seen objects. This indicates that language-mediated visual search need not depend on stored labels for concepts.
  • Sjerps, M. J. (2011). Adjusting to different speakers: Extrinsic normalization in vowel perception. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    Op een gemiddelde dag luisteren mensen naar spraak van heel veel verschillende mensen. Die hebben allemaal een ander stemgeluid, waardoor de woorden die zij uitspreken verschillend klinken. Luisteraars hebben daar echter weinig hinder van. Hoe is het mogelijk dat luisteraars zich zo gemakkelijk kunnen aanpassen aan verschillende sprekers? Matthias Sjerps onderzocht in zijn proefschrift een cognitief mechanisme dat luisteraars helpt om zich aan te passen aan de karakteristieken van verschillende sprekers. Hierbij maakt een luisteraar gebruik van informatie in de context. Dit mechanisme blijkt vroeg in de spraakverwerking plaats te vinden. Bovendien beïnvloedt dit mechanisme ook de perceptie van andere geluiden dan spraak. Dit laat zien dat het een zeer breed en algemeen perceptueel mechanisme betreft. Contexteffecten bleken echter sterker voor spraakgeluiden dan voor andere geluiden. Dit suggereert dat het onderzochte mechanisme, ook al is het algemeen en breed toepasbaar, versterkt kan worden door blootstelling aan taal.
  • Sjerps, M. J., Mitterer, H., & McQueen, J. M. (2011). Listening to different speakers: On the time-course of perceptual compensation for vocal-tract characteristics. Neuropsychologia, 49, 3831-3846. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.09.044.

    Abstract

    This study used an active multiple-deviant oddball design to investigate the time-course of normalization processes that help listeners deal with between-speaker variability. Electroencephalograms were recorded while Dutch listeners heard sequences of non-words (standards and occasional deviants). Deviants were [ɪ papu] or [ɛ papu], and the standard was [ɪɛpapu], where [ɪɛ] was a vowel that was ambiguous between [ɛ] and [ɪ]. These sequences were presented in two conditions, which differed with respect to the vocal-tract characteristics (i.e., the average 1st formant frequency) of the [papu] part, but not of the initial vowels [ɪ], [ɛ] or [ɪɛ] (these vowels were thus identical across conditions). Listeners more often detected a shift from [ɪɛpapu] to [ɛ papu] than from [ɪɛpapu] to [ɪ papu] in the high F1 context condition; the reverse was true in the low F1 context condition. This shows that listeners’ perception of vowels differs depending on the speaker‘s vocal-tract characteristics, as revealed in the speech surrounding those vowels. Cortical electrophysiological responses reflected this normalization process as early as about 120 ms after vowel onset, which suggests that shifts in perception precede influences due to conscious biases or decision strategies. Listeners’ abilities to normalize for speaker-vocal-tract properties are for an important part the result of a process that influences representations of speech sounds early in the speech processing stream.
  • Sjerps, M. J., Mitterer, H., & McQueen, J. M. (2011). Constraints on the processes responsible for the extrinsic normalization of vowels. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 73, 1195-1215. doi:10.3758/s13414-011-0096-8.

    Abstract

    Listeners tune in to talkers’ vowels through extrinsic normalization. We asked here whether this process could be based on compensation for the Long Term Average Spectrum (LTAS) of preceding sounds and whether the mechanisms responsible for normalization are indifferent to the nature of those sounds. If so, normalization should apply to nonspeech stimuli. Previous findings were replicated with first formant (F1) manipulations of speech. Targets on a [pIt]-[pEt] (low-high F1) continuum were labeled as [pIt] more after high-F1 than after low-F1 precursors. Spectrally-rotated nonspeech versions of these materials produced similar normalization. None occurred, however, with nonspeech stimuli that were less speech-like, even though precursor-target LTAS relations were equivalent to those used earlier. Additional experiments investigated the roles of pitch movement, amplitude variation, formant location, and the stimuli's perceived similarity to speech. It appears that normalization is not restricted to speech, but that the nature of the preceding sounds does matter. Extrinsic normalization of vowels is due at least in part to an auditory process which may require familiarity with the spectro-temporal characteristics of speech.
  • Smith, A. C., & Monaghan, P. (2011). What are the functional units in reading? Evidence for statistical variation influencing word processing. In Connectionist Models of Neurocognition and Emergent Behavior: From Theory to Applications (pp. 159-172). Singapore: World Scientific.

    Abstract

    Computational models of reading have differed in terms of whether they propose a single route forming the mapping between orthography and phonology or whether there is a lexical/sublexical route distinction. A critical test of the architecture of the reading system is how it deals with multi-letter graphemes. Rastle and Coltheart (1998) found that the presence of digraphs in nonwords but not in words led to an increase in naming times, suggesting that nonwords were processed via a distinct sequential route to words. In contrast Pagliuca, Monaghan, and McIntosh (2008) implemented a single route model of reading and showed that under conditions of visual noise the presence of digraphs in words did have an effect on naming accuracy. In this study, we investigated whether such digraph effects could be found in both words and nonwords under conditions of visual noise. If so it would suggest that effects on words and nonwords are comparable. A single route connectionist model of reading showed greater accuracy for both words and nonwords containing digraphs. Experimental results showed participants were more accurate in recognising words if they contained digraphs. However contrary to model predictions they were less accurate in recognising nonwords containing digraphs compared to controls. We discuss the challenges faced by both theoretical perspectives in interpreting these findings and in light of a psycholinguistic grain size theory of reading.

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