Displaying 1 - 48 of 48
  • Alday, P. M., Schlesewsky, M., & Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I. (2017). Electrophysiology Reveals the Neural Dynamics of Naturalistic Auditory Language Processing: Event-Related Potentials Reflect Continuous Model Update. eNeuro, 4(6): e0311. doi:10.1523/ENEURO.0311-16.2017.

    Abstract

    The recent trend away from ANOVA-based analyses places experimental investigations into the neurobiology of cognition in more naturalistic and ecologically valid designs within reach. Using mixed-effects models for epoch-based regression, we demonstrate the feasibility of examining event-related potentials (ERPs), and in particular the N400, to study the neural dynamics of human auditory language processing in a naturalistic setting. Despite the large variability between trials during naturalistic stimulation, we replicated previous findings from the literature: the effects of frequency, animacy, word order and find previously unexplored interaction effects. This suggests a new perspective on ERPs, namely as a continuous modulation reflecting continuous stimulation instead of a series of discrete and essentially sequential processes locked to discrete events. Significance Statement Laboratory experiments on language often lack ecologicalal validity. In addition to the intrusive laboratory equipment, the language used is often highly constrained in an attempt to control possible confounds. More recent research with naturalistic stimuli has been largely confined to fMRI, where the low temporal resolution helps to smooth over the uneven finer structure of natural language use. Here, we demonstrate the feasibility of using naturalistic stimuli with temporally sensitive methods such as EEG and MEG using modern computational approaches and show how this provides new insights into the nature of ERP components and the temporal dynamics of language as a sensory and cognitive process. The full complexity of naturalistic language use cannot be captured by carefully controlled designs alone.
  • Alday, P. M., Schlesewsky, M., & Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I. (2017). Commentary on Sanborn and Chater: Posterior Modes Are Attractor Basins. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 21(7), 491-492. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2017.04.003.
  • Barthel, M., Meyer, A. S., & Levinson, S. C. (2017). Next speakers plan their turn early and speak after turn-final ‘go-signals’. Frontiers in Psychology, 8: 393. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00393.

    Abstract

    In conversation, turn-taking is usually fluid, with next speakers taking their turn right after the end of the previous turn. Most, but not all, previous studies show that next speakers start to plan their turn early, if possible already during the incoming turn. The present study makes use of the list-completion paradigm (Barthel et al., 2016), analyzing speech onset latencies and eye-movements of participants in a task-oriented dialogue with a confederate. The measures are used to disentangle the contributions to the timing of turn-taking of early planning of content on the one hand and initiation of articulation as a reaction to the upcoming turn-end on the other hand. Participants named objects visible on their computer screen in response to utterances that did, or did not, contain lexical and prosodic cues to the end of the incoming turn. In the presence of an early lexical cue, participants showed earlier gaze shifts toward the target objects and responded faster than in its absence, whereas the presence of a late intonational cue only led to faster response times and did not affect the timing of participants' eye movements. The results show that with a combination of eye-movement and turn-transition time measures it is possible to tease apart the effects of early planning and response initiation on turn timing. They are consistent with models of turn-taking that assume that next speakers (a) start planning their response as soon as the incoming turn's message can be understood and (b) monitor the incoming turn for cues to turn-completion so as to initiate their response when turn-transition becomes relevant
  • Belke, E., Shao, Z., & Meyer, A. S. (2017). Strategic origins of early semantic facilitation in the blocked-cyclic naming paradigm. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 43(10), 1659-1668. doi:10.1037/xlm0000399.

    Abstract

    In the blocked-cyclic naming paradigm, participants repeatedly name small sets of objects that do or do not belong to the same semantic category. A standard finding is that, after a first presentation cycle where one might find semantic facilitation, naming is slower in related (homogeneous) than in unrelated (heterogeneous) sets. According to competitive theories of lexical selection, this is because the lexical representations of the object names compete more vigorously in homogeneous than in heterogeneous sets. However, Navarrete, del Prato, Peressotti, and Mahon (2014) argued that this pattern of results was not due to increased lexical competition but to weaker repetition priming in homogeneous compared to heterogeneous sets. They demonstrated that when homogeneous sets were not repeated immediately but interleaved with unrelated sets, semantic relatedness induced facilitation rather than interference. We replicate this finding but also show that the facilitation effect has a strategic origin: It is substantial when sets are separated by pauses, making it easy for participants to notice the relatedness within some sets and use it to predict upcoming items. However, the effect is much reduced when these pauses are eliminated. In our view, the semantic facilitation effect does not constitute evidence against competitive theories of lexical selection. It can be accounted for within any framework that acknowledges strategic influences on the speed of object naming in the blocked-cyclic naming paradigm.
  • Bosker, H. R. (2017). Accounting for rate-dependent category boundary shifts in speech perception. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 79, 333-343. doi:10.3758/s13414-016-1206-4.

    Abstract

    The perception of temporal contrasts in speech is known to be influenced by the speech rate in the surrounding context. This rate-dependent perception is suggested to involve general auditory processes since it is also elicited by non-speech contexts, such as pure tone sequences. Two general auditory mechanisms have been proposed to underlie rate-dependent perception: durational contrast and neural entrainment. The present study compares the predictions of these two accounts of rate-dependent speech perception by means of four experiments in which participants heard tone sequences followed by Dutch target words ambiguous between /ɑs/ “ash” and /a:s/ “bait”. Tone sequences varied in the duration of tones (short vs. long) and in the presentation rate of the tones (fast vs. slow). Results show that the duration of preceding tones did not influence target perception in any of the experiments, thus challenging durational contrast as explanatory mechanism behind rate-dependent perception. Instead, the presentation rate consistently elicited a category boundary shift, with faster presentation rates inducing more /a:s/ responses, but only if the tone sequence was isochronous. Therefore, this study proposes an alternative, neurobiologically plausible, account of rate-dependent perception involving neural entrainment of endogenous oscillations to the rate of a rhythmic stimulus.
  • Bosker, H. R., & Kösem, A. (2017). An entrained rhythm's frequency, not phase, influences temporal sampling of speech. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2017 (pp. 2416-2420). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2017-73.

    Abstract

    Brain oscillations have been shown to track the slow amplitude fluctuations in speech during comprehension. Moreover, there is evidence that these stimulus-induced cortical rhythms may persist even after the driving stimulus has ceased. However, how exactly this neural entrainment shapes speech perception remains debated. This behavioral study investigated whether and how the frequency and phase of an entrained rhythm would influence the temporal sampling of subsequent speech. In two behavioral experiments, participants were presented with slow and fast isochronous tone sequences, followed by Dutch target words ambiguous between as /ɑs/ “ash” (with a short vowel) and aas /a:s/ “bait” (with a long vowel). Target words were presented at various phases of the entrained rhythm. Both experiments revealed effects of the frequency of the tone sequence on target word perception: fast sequences biased listeners to more long /a:s/ responses. However, no evidence for phase effects could be discerned. These findings show that an entrained rhythm’s frequency, but not phase, influences the temporal sampling of subsequent speech. These outcomes are compatible with theories suggesting that sensory timing is evaluated relative to entrained frequency. Furthermore, they suggest that phase tracking of (syllabic) rhythms by theta oscillations plays a limited role in speech parsing.
  • Bosker, H. R., & Reinisch, E. (2017). Foreign languages sound fast: evidence from implicit rate normalization. Frontiers in Psychology, 8: 1063. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01063.

    Abstract

    Anecdotal evidence suggests that unfamiliar languages sound faster than one’s native language. Empirical evidence for this impression has, so far, come from explicit rate judgments. The aim of the present study was to test whether such perceived rate differences between native and foreign languages have effects on implicit speech processing. Our measure of implicit rate perception was “normalization for speaking rate”: an ambiguous vowel between short /a/ and long /a:/ is interpreted as /a:/ following a fast but as /a/ following a slow carrier sentence. That is, listeners did not judge speech rate itself; instead, they categorized ambiguous vowels whose perception was implicitly affected by the rate of the context. We asked whether a bias towards long /a:/ might be observed when the context is not actually faster but simply spoken in a foreign language. A fully symmetrical experimental design was used: Dutch and German participants listened to rate matched (fast and slow) sentences in both languages spoken by the same bilingual speaker. Sentences were followed by nonwords that contained vowels from an /a-a:/ duration continuum. Results from Experiments 1 and 2 showed a consistent effect of rate normalization for both listener groups. Moreover, for German listeners, across the two experiments, foreign sentences triggered more /a:/ responses than (rate matched) native sentences, suggesting that foreign sentences were indeed perceived as faster. Moreover, this Foreign Language effect was modulated by participants’ ability to understand the foreign language: those participants that scored higher on a foreign language translation task showed less of a Foreign Language effect. However, opposite effects were found for the Dutch listeners. For them, their native rather than the foreign language induced more /a:/ responses. Nevertheless, this reversed effect could be reduced when additional spectral properties of the context were controlled for. Experiment 3, using explicit rate judgments, replicated the effect for German but not Dutch listeners. We therefore conclude that the subjective impression that foreign languages sound fast may have an effect on implicit speech processing, with implications for how language learners perceive spoken segments in a foreign language.

    Supplementary material

    data sheet 1.docx
  • Bosker, H. R., Reinisch, E., & Sjerps, M. J. (2017). Cognitive load makes speech sound fast, but does not modulate acoustic context effects. Journal of Memory and Language, 94, 166-176. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2016.12.002.

    Abstract

    In natural situations, speech perception often takes place during the concurrent execution of other cognitive tasks, such as listening while viewing a visual scene. The execution of a dual task typically has detrimental effects on concurrent speech perception, but how exactly cognitive load disrupts speech encoding is still unclear. The detrimental effect on speech representations may consist of either a general reduction in the robustness of processing of the speech signal (‘noisy encoding’), or, alternatively it may specifically influence the temporal sampling of the sensory input, with listeners missing temporal pulses, thus underestimating segmental durations (‘shrinking of time’). The present study investigated whether and how spectral and temporal cues in a precursor sentence that has been processed under high vs. low cognitive load influence the perception of a subsequent target word. If cognitive load effects are implemented through ‘noisy encoding’, increasing cognitive load during the precursor should attenuate the encoding of both its temporal and spectral cues, and hence reduce the contextual effect that these cues can have on subsequent target sound perception. However, if cognitive load effects are expressed as ‘shrinking of time’, context effects should not be modulated by load, but a main effect would be expected on the perceived duration of the speech signal. Results from two experiments indicate that increasing cognitive load (manipulated through a secondary visual search task) did not modulate temporal (Experiment 1) or spectral context effects (Experiment 2). However, a consistent main effect of cognitive load was found: increasing cognitive load during the precursor induced a perceptual increase in its perceived speech rate, biasing the perception of a following target word towards longer durations. This finding suggests that cognitive load effects in speech perception are implemented via ‘shrinking of time’, in line with a temporal sampling framework. In addition, we argue that our results align with a model in which early (spectral and temporal) normalization is unaffected by attention but later adjustments may be attention-dependent.
  • Bosker, H. R. (2017). How our own speech rate influences our perception of others. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 43(8), 1225-1238. doi:10.1037/xlm0000381.

    Abstract

    In conversation, our own speech and that of others follow each other in rapid succession. Effects of the surrounding context on speech perception are well documented but, despite the ubiquity of the sound of our own voice, it is unknown whether our own speech also influences our perception of other talkers. This study investigated context effects induced by our own speech through six experiments, specifically targeting rate normalization (i.e., perceiving phonetic segments relative to surrounding speech rate). Experiment 1 revealed that hearing pre-recorded fast or slow context sentences altered the perception of ambiguous vowels, replicating earlier work. Experiment 2 demonstrated that talking at a fast or slow rate prior to target presentation also altered target perception, though the effect of preceding speech rate was reduced. Experiment 3 showed that silent talking (i.e., inner speech) at fast or slow rates did not modulate the perception of others, suggesting that the effect of self-produced speech rate in Experiment 2 arose through monitoring of the external speech signal. Experiment 4 demonstrated that, when participants were played back their own (fast/slow) speech, no reduction of the effect of preceding speech rate was observed, suggesting that the additional task of speech production may be responsible for the reduced effect in Experiment 2. Finally, Experiments 5 and 6 replicate Experiments 2 and 3 with new participant samples. Taken together, these results suggest that variation in speech production may induce variation in speech perception, thus carrying implications for our understanding of spoken communication in dialogue settings.
  • Bosker, H. R. (2017). The role of temporal amplitude modulations in the political arena: Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2017 (pp. 2228-2232). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2017-142.

    Abstract

    Speech is an acoustic signal with inherent amplitude modulations in the 1-9 Hz range. Recent models of speech perception propose that this rhythmic nature of speech is central to speech recognition. Moreover, rhythmic amplitude modulations have been shown to have beneficial effects on language processing and the subjective impression listeners have of the speaker. This study investigated the role of amplitude modulations in the political arena by comparing the speech produced by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the three presidential debates of 2016. Inspection of the modulation spectra, revealing the spectral content of the two speakers’ amplitude envelopes after matching for overall intensity, showed considerably greater power in Clinton’s modulation spectra (compared to Trump’s) across the three debates, particularly in the 1-9 Hz range. The findings suggest that Clinton’s speech had a more pronounced temporal envelope with rhythmic amplitude modulations below 9 Hz, with a preference for modulations around 3 Hz. This may be taken as evidence for a more structured temporal organization of syllables in Clinton’s speech, potentially due to more frequent use of preplanned utterances. Outcomes are interpreted in light of the potential beneficial effects of a rhythmic temporal envelope on intelligibility and speaker perception.
  • Doumas, L. A. A., Hamer, A., Puebla, G., & Martin, A. E. (2017). A theory of the detection and learning of structured representations of similarity and relative magnitude. In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, & E. Davelaar (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2017) (pp. 1955-1960). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Responding to similarity, difference, and relative magnitude (SDM) is ubiquitous in the animal kingdom. However, humans seem unique in the ability to represent relative magnitude (‘more’/‘less’) and similarity (‘same’/‘different’) as abstract relations that take arguments (e.g., greater-than (x,y)). While many models use structured relational representations of magnitude and similarity, little progress has been made on how these representations arise. Models that developuse these representations assume access to computations of similarity and magnitude a priori, either encoded as features or as output of evaluation operators. We detail a mechanism for producing invariant responses to “same”, “different”, “more”, and “less” which can be exploited to compute similarity and magnitude as an evaluation operator. Using DORA (Doumas, Hummel, & Sandhofer, 2008), these invariant responses can serve be used to learn structured relational representations of relative magnitude and similarity from pixel images of simple shapes
  • De Groot, F., Huettig, F., & Olivers, C. N. L. (2017). Language-induced visual and semantic biases in visual search are subject to task requirements. Visual Cognition, 25, 225-240. doi:10.1080/13506285.2017.1324934.

    Abstract

    Visual attention is biased by both visual and semantic representations activated by words. We investigated to what extent language-induced visual and semantic biases are subject to task demands. Participants memorized a spoken word for a verbal recognition task, and performed a visual search task during the retention period. Crucially, while the word had to be remembered in all conditions, it was either relevant for the search (as it also indicated the target) or irrelevant (as it only served the memory test afterwards). On critical trials, displays contained objects that were visually or semantically related to the memorized word. When the word was relevant for the search, eye movement biases towards visually related objects arose earlier and more strongly than biases towards semantically related objects. When the word was irrelevant, there was still evidence for visual and semantic biases, but these biases were substantially weaker, and similar in strength and temporal dynamics, without a visual advantage. We conclude that language-induced attentional biases are subject to task requirements.
  • Hintz, F., Meyer, A. S., & Huettig, F. (2017). Predictors of verb-mediated anticipatory eye movements in the visual world. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 43(9), 1352-1374. doi:10.1037/xlm0000388.

    Abstract

    Many studies have demonstrated that listeners use information extracted from verbs to guide anticipatory eye movements to objects in the visual context that satisfy the selection restrictions of the verb. An important question is what underlies such verb-mediated anticipatory eye gaze. Based on empirical and theoretical suggestions, we investigated the influence of five potential predictors of this behavior: functional associations and general associations between verb and target object, as well as the listeners’ production fluency, receptive vocabulary knowledge, and non-verbal intelligence. In three eye-tracking experiments, participants looked at sets of four objects and listened to sentences where the final word was predictable or not predictable (e.g., “The man peels/draws an apple”). On predictable trials only the target object, but not the distractors, were functionally and associatively related to the verb. In Experiments 1 and 2, objects were presented before the verb was heard. In Experiment 3, participants were given a short preview of the display after the verb was heard. Functional associations and receptive vocabulary were found to be important predictors of verb-mediated anticipatory eye gaze independent of the amount of contextual visual input. General word associations did not and non-verbal intelligence was only a very weak predictor of anticipatory eye movements. Participants’ production fluency correlated positively with the likelihood of anticipatory eye movements when participants were given the long but not the short visual display preview. These findings fit best with a pluralistic approach to predictive language processing in which multiple mechanisms, mediating factors, and situational context dynamically interact. 
  • Hoedemaker, R. S., Ernst, J., Meyer, A. S., & Belke, E. (2017). Language production in a shared task: Cumulative semantic interference from self- and other-produced context words. Acta Psychologica, 172, 55-63. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2016.11.007.

    Abstract

    This study assessed the effects of semantic context in the form of self-produced and other-produced words on subsequent language production. Pairs of participants performed a joint picture naming task, taking turns while naming a continuous series of pictures. In the single-speaker version of this paradigm, naming latencies have been found to increase for successive presentations of exemplars from the same category, a phenomenon known as Cumulative Semantic Interference (CSI). As expected, the joint-naming task showed a within-speaker CSI effect, such that naming latencies increased as a function of the number of category exemplars named previously by the participant (self-produced items). Crucially, we also observed an across-speaker CSI effect, such that naming latencies slowed as a function of the number of category members named by the participant's task partner (other-produced items). The magnitude of the across-speaker CSI effect did not vary as a function of whether or not the listening participant could see the pictures their partner was naming. The observation of across-speaker CSI suggests that the effect originates at the conceptual level of the language system, as proposed by Belke's (2013) Conceptual Accumulation account. Whereas self-produced and other-produced words both resulted in a CSI effect on naming latencies, post-experiment free recall rates were higher for self-produced than other-produced items. Together, these results suggest that both speaking and listening result in implicit learning at the conceptual level of the language system but that these effects are independent of explicit learning as indicated by item recall.
  • Hoedemaker, R. S., & Gordon, P. C. (2017). The onset and time course of semantic priming during rapid recognition of visual words. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 43(5), 881-902. doi:10.1037/xhp0000377.

    Abstract

    In 2 experiments, we assessed the effects of response latency and task-induced goals on the onset and time course of semantic priming during rapid processing of visual words as revealed by ocular response tasks. In Experiment 1 (ocular lexical decision task), participants performed a lexical decision task using eye movement responses on a sequence of 4 words. In Experiment 2, the same words were encoded for an episodic recognition memory task that did not require a metalinguistic judgment. For both tasks, survival analyses showed that the earliest observable effect (divergence point [DP]) of semantic priming on target-word reading times occurred at approximately 260 ms, and ex-Gaussian distribution fits revealed that the magnitude of the priming effect increased as a function of response time. Together, these distributional effects of semantic priming suggest that the influence of the prime increases when target processing is more effortful. This effect does not require that the task include a metalinguistic judgment; manipulation of the task goals across experiments affected the overall response speed but not the location of the DP or the overall distributional pattern of the priming effect. These results are more readily explained as the result of a retrospective, rather than a prospective, priming mechanism and are consistent with compound-cue models of semantic priming.
  • Huettig, F., Mishra, R. K., & Padakannaya, P. (2017). Editorial. Journal of Cultural Cognitive Science, 1( 1), 1. doi:10.1007/s41809-017-0006-2.
  • Iacozza, S., Costa, A., & Duñabeitia, J. A. (2017). What do your eyes reveal about your foreign language? Reading emotional sentences in a native and foreign language. PLoS One, 12(10): e0186027. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0186027.

    Abstract

    Foreign languages are often learned in emotionally neutral academic environments which differ greatly from the familiar context where native languages are acquired. This difference in learning contexts has been argued to lead to reduced emotional resonance when confronted with a foreign language. In the current study, we investigated whether the reactivity of the sympathetic nervous system in response to emotionally-charged stimuli is reduced in a foreign language. To this end, pupil sizes were recorded while reading aloud emotional sentences in the native or foreign language. Additionally, subjective ratings of emotional impact were provided after reading each sentence, allowing us to further investigate foreign language effects on explicit emotional understanding. Pupillary responses showed a larger effect of emotion in the native than in the foreign language. However, such a difference was not present for explicit ratings of emotionality. These results reveal that the sympathetic nervous system reacts differently depending on the language context, which in turns suggests a deeper emotional processing when reading in a native compared to a foreign language.

    Supplementary material

    pone.0186027.s001.docx
  • Ito, A., Martin, A. E., & Nieuwland, M. S. (2017). Why the A/AN prediction effect may be hard to replicate: A rebuttal to DeLong, Urbach & Kutas (2017). Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 32(8), 974-983. doi:10.1080/23273798.2017.1323112.
  • Jongman, S. R. (2017). Sustained Attention Ability Affects Simple Picture Naming. Collabra: Psychology, 3(1): 17. doi:10.1525/collabra.84.

    Abstract

    Sustained attention has previously been shown as a requirement for language production. However, this is mostly evident for difficult conditions, such as a dual-task situation. The current study provides corroborating evidence that this relationship holds even for simple picture naming. Sustained attention ability, indexed both by participants’ reaction times and individuals’ hit rate (the proportion of correctly detected targets) on a digit discrimination task, correlated with picture naming latencies. Individuals with poor sustained attention were consistently slower and their RT distributions were more positively skewed when naming pictures compared to individuals with better sustained attention. Additionally, the need to sustain attention was manipulated by changing the speed of stimulus presentation. Research has suggested that fast event rates tax sustained attention resources to a larger degree than slow event rates. However, in this study the fast event rate did not result in increased difficulty, neither for the picture naming task nor for the sustained attention task. Instead, the results point to a speed-accuracy trade-off in the sustained attention task (lower accuracy but faster responses in the fast than in the slow event rate), and to a benefit for faster rates in the picture naming task (shorter naming latencies with no difference in accuracy). Performance on both tasks was largely comparable, supporting previous findings that sustained attention is called upon during language production
  • Jongman, S. R., Roelofs, A., Scheper, A., & Meyer, A. S. (2017). Picture naming in typically developing and language impaired children: The role of sustained attention. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 52(3), 323-333. doi:10.1111/1460-6984.12275.

    Abstract

    Children with specific language impairment (SLI) have problems not only with language performance but also with sustained attention, which is the ability to maintain alertness over an extended period of time. Although there is consensus that this ability is impaired with respect to processing stimuli in the auditory perceptual modality, conflicting evidence exists concerning the visual modality. Aims To address the outstanding issue whether the impairment in sustained attention is limited to the auditory domain, or if it is domain-general. Furthermore, to test whether children's sustained attention ability relates to their word-production skills. Methods & Procedures Groups of 7–9 year olds with SLI (N = 28) and typically developing (TD) children (N = 22) performed a picture-naming task and two sustained attention tasks, namely auditory and visual continuous performance tasks (CPTs). Outcomes & Results Children with SLI performed worse than TD children on picture naming and on both the auditory and visual CPTs. Moreover, performance on both the CPTs correlated with picture-naming latencies across developmental groups. Conclusions & Implications These results provide evidence for a deficit in both auditory and visual sustained attention in children with SLI. Moreover, the study indicates there is a relationship between domain-general sustained attention and picture-naming performance in both TD and language-impaired children. Future studies should establish whether this relationship is causal. If attention influences language, training of sustained attention may improve language production in children from both developmental groups.
  • Jongman, S. R., & Meyer, A. S. (2017). To plan or not to plan: Does planning for production remove facilitation from associative priming? Acta Psychologica, 181, 40-50. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2017.10.003.

    Abstract

    Theories of conversation propose that in order to have smooth transitions from one turn to the next, speakers already plan their response while listening to their interlocutor. Moreover, it has been argued that speakers align their linguistic representations (i.e. prime each other), thereby reducing the processing costs associated with concurrent listening and speaking. In two experiments, we assessed how identity and associative priming from spoken words onto picture naming were affected by a concurrent speech planning task. In a baseline (no name) condition, participants heard prime words that were identical, associatively related, or unrelated to target pictures presented two seconds after prime onset. Each prime was accompanied by a non-target picture and followed by its recorded name. The participant did not name the non-target picture. In the plan condition, the participants first named the non-target picture, instead of listening to the recording, and then the target. In Experiment 1, where the plan- and no-plan conditions were tested between participants, priming effects of equal strength were found in the plan and no-plan condition. In Experiment 2, where the two conditions were tested within participants, the identity priming effect was maintained, but the associative priming effect was only seen in the no-plan but not in the plan condition. In this experiment, participant had to decide at the onset of each trial whether or not to name the non-target picture, rendering the task more complex than in Experiment 1. These decision processes may have interfered with the processing of the primes. Thus, associative priming can take place during speech planning, but only if the cognitive load is not too high.
  • Kunert, R., & Jongman, S. R. (2017). Entrainment to an auditory signal: Is attention involved? Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 146(1), 77-88. doi:10.1037/xge0000246.

    Abstract

    Many natural auditory signals, including music and language, change periodically. The effect of such auditory rhythms on the brain is unclear however. One widely held view, dynamic attending theory, proposes that the attentional system entrains to the rhythm and increases attention at moments of rhythmic salience. In support, 2 experiments reported here show reduced response times to visual letter strings shown at auditory rhythm peaks, compared with rhythm troughs. However, we argue that an account invoking the entrainment of general attention should further predict rhythm entrainment to also influence memory for visual stimuli. In 2 pseudoword memory experiments we find evidence against this prediction. Whether a pseudoword is shown during an auditory rhythm peak or not is irrelevant for its later recognition memory in silence. Other attention manipulations, dividing attention and focusing attention, did result in a memory effect. This raises doubts about the suggested attentional nature of rhythm entrainment. We interpret our findings as support for auditory rhythm perception being based on auditory-motor entrainment, not general attention entrainment.
  • Lee, R., Chambers, C. G., Huettig, F., & Ganea, P. A. (2017). Children’s semantic and world knowledge overrides fictional information during anticipatory linguistic processing. In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, & E. Davelaar (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2017) (pp. 730-735). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Using real-time eye-movement measures, we asked how a fantastical discourse context competes with stored representations of semantic and world knowledge to influence children's and adults' moment-by-moment interpretation of a story. Seven-year- olds were less effective at bypassing stored semantic and world knowledge during real-time interpretation than adults. Nevertheless, an effect of discourse context on comprehension was still apparent.
  • Lev-Ari, S., & Peperkamp, S. (2017). Language for $200: Success in the environment influences grammatical alignment. Journal of Language Evolution, 2(2), 177-187. doi:10.1093/jole/lzw012.

    Abstract

    Speakers constantly learn language from the environment by sampling their linguistic input and adjusting their representations accordingly. Logically, people should attend more to the environment and adjust their behavior in accordance with it more the lower their success in the environment is. We test whether the learning of linguistic input follows this general principle in two studies: a corpus analysis of a TV game show, Jeopardy, and a laboratory task modeled after Go Fish. We show that lower (non-linguistic) success in the task modulates learning of and reliance on linguistic patterns in the environment. In Study 1, we find that poorer performance increases conformity with linguistic norms, as reflected by increased preference for frequent grammatical structures. In Study 2, which consists of a more interactive setting, poorer performance increases learning from the immediate social environment, as reflected by greater repetition of others’ grammatical structures. We propose that these results have implications for models of language production and language learning and for the propagation of language change. In particular, they suggest that linguistic changes might spread more quickly in times of crisis, or when the gap between more and less successful people is larger. The results might also suggest that innovations stem from successful individuals while their propagation would depend on relatively less successful individuals. We provide a few historical examples that are in line with the first suggested implication, namely, that the spread of linguistic changes is accelerated during difficult times, such as war time and an economic downturn
  • Lev-Ari, S., & Shao, Z. (2017). How social network heterogeneity facilitates lexical access and lexical prediction. Memory & Cognition, 45(3), 528-538. doi:10.3758/s13421-016-0675-y.

    Abstract

    People learn language from their social environment. As individuals differ in their social networks, they might be exposed to input with different lexical distributions, and these might influence their linguistic representations and lexical choices. In this article we test the relation between linguistic performance and 3 social network properties that should influence input variability, namely, network size, network heterogeneity, and network density. In particular, we examine how these social network properties influence lexical prediction, lexical access, and lexical use. To do so, in Study 1, participants predicted how people of different ages would name pictures, and in Study 2 participants named the pictures themselves. In both studies, we examined how participants’ social network properties related to their performance. In Study 3, we ran simulations on norms we collected to see how age variability in one’s network influences the distribution of different names in the input. In all studies, network age heterogeneity influenced performance leading to better prediction, faster response times for difficult-to-name items, and less entropy in input distribution. These results suggest that individual differences in social network properties can influence linguistic behavior. Specifically, they show that having a more heterogeneous network is associated with better performance. These results also show that the same factors influence lexical prediction and lexical production, suggesting the two might be related.
  • Lev-Ari, S. (2017). Talking to fewer people leads to having more malleable linguistic representations. PLoS One, 12(8): e0183593. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0183593.

    Abstract

    We learn language from our social environment. In general, the more sources we have, the less informative each of them is, and the less weight we should assign it. If this is the case, people who interact with fewer others should be more susceptible to the influence of each of their interlocutors. This paper tests whether indeed people who interact with fewer other people have more malleable phonological representations. Using a perceptual learning paradigm, this paper shows that individuals who regularly interact with fewer others are more likely to change their boundary between /d/ and /t/ following exposure to an atypical speaker. It further shows that the effect of number of interlocutors is not due to differences in ability to learn the speaker’s speech patterns, but specific to likelihood of generalizing the learned pattern. These results have implications for both language learning and language change, as they suggest that individuals with smaller social networks might play an important role in propagating linguistic changes.

    Supplementary material

    5343619.zip
  • Lev-Ari, S., van Heugten, M., & Peperkamp, S. (2017). Relative difficulty of understanding foreign accents as a marker of proficiency. Cognitive Science, 41(4), 1106-1118. doi:10.1111/cogs.12394.

    Abstract

    Foreign-accented speech is generally harder to understand than native-accented speech. This difficulty is reduced for non-native listeners who share their first language with the non-native speaker. It is currently unclear, however, how non-native listeners deal with foreign-accented speech produced by speakers of a different language. We show that the process of (second) language acquisition is associated with an increase in the relative difficulty of processing foreign-accented speech. Therefore, experiencing greater relative difficulty with foreign-accented speech compared with native speech is a marker of language proficiency. These results contribute to our understanding of how phonological categories are acquired during second language learning.
  • Mainz, N., Shao, Z., Brysbaert, M., & Meyer, A. S. (2017). Vocabulary Knowledge Predicts Lexical Processing: Evidence from a Group of Participants with Diverse Educational Backgrounds. Frontiers in Psychology, 8: 1164. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01164.

    Abstract

    Vocabulary knowledge is central to a speaker's command of their language. In previous research, greater vocabulary knowledge has been associated with advantages in language processing. In this study, we examined the relationship between individual differences in vocabulary and language processing performance more closely by (i) using a battery of vocabulary tests instead of just one test, and (ii) testing not only university students (Experiment 1) but young adults from a broader range of educational backgrounds (Experiment 2). Five vocabulary tests were developed, including multiple-choice and open antonym and synonym tests and a definition test, and administered together with two established measures of vocabulary. Language processing performance was measured using a lexical decision task. In Experiment 1, vocabulary and word frequency were found to predict word recognition speed while we did not observe an interaction between the effects. In Experiment 2, word recognition performance was predicted by word frequency and the interaction between word frequency and vocabulary, with high-vocabulary individuals showing smaller frequency effects. While overall the individual vocabulary tests were correlated and showed similar relationships with language processing as compared to a composite measure of all tests, they appeared to share less variance in Experiment 2 than in Experiment 1. Implications of our findings concerning the assessment of vocabulary size in individual differences studies and the investigation of individuals from more varied backgrounds are discussed.

    Supplementary material

    Supplementary Material Appendices.pdf
  • Martin, A. E., & Doumas, L. A. A. (2017). A mechanism for the cortical computation of hierarchical linguistic structure. PLoS Biology, 15(3): e2000663. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.2000663.

    Abstract

    Biological systems often detect species-specific signals in the environment. In humans, speech and language are species-specific signals of fundamental biological importance. To detect the linguistic signal, human brains must form hierarchical representations from a sequence of perceptual inputs distributed in time. What mechanism underlies this ability? One hypothesis is that the brain repurposed an available neurobiological mechanism when hierarchical linguistic representation became an efficient solution to a computational problem posed to the organism. Under such an account, a single mechanism must have the capacity to perform multiple, functionally related computations, e.g., detect the linguistic signal and perform other cognitive functions, while, ideally, oscillating like the human brain. We show that a computational model of analogy, built for an entirely different purpose—learning relational reasoning—processes sentences, represents their meaning, and, crucially, exhibits oscillatory activation patterns resembling cortical signals elicited by the same stimuli. Such redundancy in the cortical and machine signals is indicative of formal and mechanistic alignment between representational structure building and “cortical” oscillations. By inductive inference, this synergy suggests that the cortical signal reflects structure generation, just as the machine signal does. A single mechanism—using time to encode information across a layered network—generates the kind of (de)compositional representational hierarchy that is crucial for human language and offers a mechanistic linking hypothesis between linguistic representation and cortical computation
  • Martin, A. E., Huettig, F., & Nieuwland, M. S. (2017). Can structural priming answer the important questions about language? A commentary on Branigan and Pickering "An experimental approach to linguistic representation". Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 40: e304. doi:10.1017/S0140525X17000528.

    Abstract

    While structural priming makes a valuable contribution to psycholinguistics, it does not allow direct observation of representation, nor escape “source ambiguity.” Structural priming taps into implicit memory representations and processes that may differ from what is used online. We question whether implicit memory for language can and should be equated with linguistic representation or with language processing.
  • Maslowski, M., Meyer, A. S., & Bosker, H. R. (2017). Whether long-term tracking of speech rate affects perception depends on who is talking. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2017 (pp. 586-590). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1517.

    Abstract

    Speech rate is known to modulate perception of temporally ambiguous speech sounds. For instance, a vowel may be perceived as short when the immediate speech context is slow, but as long when the context is fast. Yet, effects of long-term tracking of speech rate are largely unexplored. Two experiments tested whether long-term tracking of rate influences perception of the temporal Dutch vowel contrast /ɑ/-/a:/. In Experiment 1, one low-rate group listened to 'neutral' rate speech from talker A and to slow speech from talker B. Another high-rate group was exposed to the same neutral speech from A, but to fast speech from B. Between-group comparison of the 'neutral' trials revealed that the low-rate group reported a higher proportion of /a:/ in A's 'neutral' speech, indicating that A sounded faster when B was slow. Experiment 2 tested whether one's own speech rate also contributes to effects of long-term tracking of rate. Here, talker B's speech was replaced by playback of participants' own fast or slow speech. No evidence was found that one's own voice affected perception of talker A in larger speech contexts. These results carry implications for our understanding of the mechanisms involved in rate-dependent speech perception and of dialogue.
  • Meyer, A. S. (2017). Structural priming is not a Royal Road to representations. Commentary on Branigan and Pickering "An experimental approach to linguistic representation". Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 40: e305. doi:10.1017/S0140525X1700053X.

    Abstract

    Branigan & Pickering (B&P) propose that the structural priming paradigm is a Royal Road to linguistic representations of any kind, unobstructed by in fl uences of psychological processes. In my view, however, they are too optimistic about the versatility of the paradigm and, more importantly, its ability to provide direct evidence about the nature of stored linguistic representations.
  • Meyer, A. S., & Gerakaki, S. (2017). The art of conversation: Why it’s harder than you might think. Contact Magazine, 43(2), 11-15. Retrieved from http://contact.teslontario.org/the-art-of-conversation-why-its-harder-than-you-might-think/.
  • Moers, C., Meyer, A. S., & Janse, E. (2017). Effects of word frequency and transitional probability on word reading durations of younger and older speakers. Language and Speech, 60(2), 289-317. doi:10.1177/0023830916649215.

    Abstract

    High-frequency units are usually processed faster than low-frequency units in language comprehension and language production. Frequency effects have been shown for words as well as word combinations. Word co-occurrence effects can be operationalized in terms of transitional probability (TP). TPs reflect how probable a word is, conditioned by its right or left neighbouring word. This corpus study investigates whether three different age groups–younger children (8–12 years), adolescents (12–18 years) and older (62–95 years) Dutch speakers–show frequency and TP context effects on spoken word durations in reading aloud, and whether age groups differ in the size of these effects. Results show consistent effects of TP on word durations for all age groups. Thus, TP seems to influence the processing of words in context, beyond the well-established effect of word frequency, across the entire age range. However, the study also indicates that age groups differ in the size of TP effects, with older adults having smaller TP effects than adolescent readers. Our results show that probabilistic reduction effects in reading aloud may at least partly stem from contextual facilitation that leads to faster reading times in skilled readers, as well as in young language learners.
  • Moers, C. (2017). The neighbors will tell you what to expect: Effects of aging and predictability on language processing. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Supplementary material

    full text via Radboud Repository
  • Nieuwland, M. S., & Martin, A. E. (2017). Neural oscillations and a nascent corticohippocampal theory of reference. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 29(5), 896-910. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_01091.

    Abstract

    The ability to use words to refer to the world is vital to the communicative power of human language. In particular, the anaphoric use of words to refer to previously mentioned concepts (antecedents) allows dialogue to be coherent and meaningful. Psycholinguistic theory posits that anaphor comprehension involves reactivating a memory representation of the antecedent. Whereas this implies the involvement of recognition memory, or the mnemonic sub-routines by which people distinguish old from new, the neural processes for reference resolution are largely unknown. Here, we report time-frequency analysis of four EEG experiments to reveal the increased coupling of functional neural systems associated with referentially coherent expressions compared to referentially problematic expressions. Despite varying in modality, language, and type of referential expression, all experiments showed larger gamma-band power for referentially coherent expressions compared to referentially problematic expressions. Beamformer analysis in high-density Experiment 4 localised the gamma-band increase to posterior parietal cortex around 400-600 ms after anaphor-onset and to frontaltemporal cortex around 500-1000 ms. We argue that the observed gamma-band power increases reflect successful referential binding and resolution, which links incoming information to antecedents through an interaction between the brain’s recognition memory networks and frontal-temporal language network. We integrate these findings with previous results from patient and neuroimaging studies, and we outline a nascent cortico-hippocampal theory of reference.
  • Ostarek, M., & Huettig, F. (2017). A task-dependent causal role for low-level visual processes in spoken word comprehension. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 43(8), 1215-1224. doi:10.1037/xlm0000375.

    Abstract

    It is well established that the comprehension of spoken words referring to object concepts relies on high-level visual areas in the ventral stream that build increasingly abstract representations. It is much less clear whether basic low-level visual representations are also involved. Here we asked in what task situations low-level visual representations contribute functionally to concrete word comprehension using an interference paradigm. We interfered with basic visual processing while participants performed a concreteness task (Experiment 1), a lexical decision task (Experiment 2), and a word class judgment task (Experiment 3). We found that visual noise interfered more with concrete vs. abstract word processing, but only when the task required visual information to be accessed. This suggests that basic visual processes can be causally involved in language comprehension, but that their recruitment is not automatic and rather depends on the type of information that is required in a given task situation.

    Supplementary material

    XLM-2016-2822_supp.docx
  • Ostarek, M., & Huettig, F. (2017). Spoken words can make the invisible visible – Testing the involvement of low-level visual representations in spoken word processing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 43, 499-508. doi:10.1037/xhp0000313.

    Abstract

    The notion that processing spoken (object) words involves activation of category-specific representations in visual cortex is a key prediction of modality-specific theories of representation that contrasts with theories assuming dedicated conceptual representational systems abstracted away from sensorimotor systems. In the present study, we investigated whether participants can detect otherwise invisible pictures of objects when they are presented with the corresponding spoken word shortly before the picture appears. Our results showed facilitated detection for congruent ("bottle" -> picture of a bottle) vs. incongruent ("bottle" -> picture of a banana) trials. A second experiment investigated the time-course of the effect by manipulating the timing of picture presentation relative to word onset and revealed that it arises as soon as 200-400ms after word onset and decays at 600ms after word onset. Together, these data strongly suggest that spoken words can rapidly activate low-level category-specific visual representations that affect the mere detection of a stimulus, i.e. what we see. More generally our findings fit best with the notion that spoken words activate modality-specific visual representations that are low-level enough to provide information related to a given token and at the same time abstract enough to be relevant not only for previously seen tokens but also for generalizing to novel exemplars one has never seen before.
  • Ostarek, M., & Vigliocco, G. (2017). Reading sky and seeing a cloud: On the relevance of events for perceptual simulation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 43(4), 579-590. doi:10.1037/xlm0000318.

    Abstract

    Previous research has shown that processing words with an up/down association (e.g., bird, foot) can influence the subsequent identification of visual targets in congruent location (at the top/bottom of the screen). However, as facilitation and interference were found under similar conditions, the nature of the underlying mechanisms remained unclear. We propose that word comprehension relies on the perceptual simulation of a prototypical event involving the entity denoted by a word in order to provide a general account of the different findings. In three experiments, participants had to discriminate between two target pictures appearing at the top or the bottom of the screen by pressing the left vs. right button. Immediately before the targets appeared, they saw an up/down word belonging to the target’s event, an up/down word unrelated to the target, or a spatially neutral control word. Prime words belonging to target event facilitated identification of targets at 250ms SOA (experiment 1), but only when presented in the vertical location where they are typically seen, indicating that targets were integrated in the simulations activated by the prime words. Moreover, at the same SOA, there was a robust facilitation effect for targets appearing in their typical location regardless of the prime type. However, when words were presented for 100ms (experiment 2) or 800ms (experiment 3), only a location non-specific priming effect was found, suggesting that the visual system was not activated. Implications for theories of semantic processing are discussed.
  • Popov, V., Ostarek, M., & Tenison, C. (2017). Inferential Pitfalls in Decoding Neural Representations. In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, & E. Davelaar (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2017) (pp. 961-966). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    A key challenge for cognitive neuroscience is to decipher the representational schemes of the brain. A recent class of decoding algorithms for fMRI data, stimulus-feature-based encoding models, is becoming increasingly popular for inferring the dimensions of neural representational spaces from stimulus-feature spaces. We argue that such inferences are not always valid, because decoding can occur even if the neural representational space and the stimulus-feature space use different representational schemes. This can happen when there is a systematic mapping between them. In a simulation, we successfully decoded the binary representation of numbers from their decimal features. Since binary and decimal number systems use different representations, we cannot conclude that the binary representation encodes decimal features. The same argument applies to the decoding of neural patterns from stimulus-feature spaces and we urge caution in inferring the nature of the neural code from such methods. We discuss ways to overcome these inferential limitations.
  • Reifegerste, J., Meyer, A. S., & Zwitserlood, P. (2017). Inflectional complexity and experience affect plural processing in younger and older readers of Dutch and German. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 32(4), 471-487. doi:10.1080/23273798.2016.1247213.

    Abstract

    According to dual-route models of morphological processing, regular inflected words can be retrieved as whole-word forms or decomposed into morphemes. Baayen, Dijkstra, and Schreuder [(1997). Singulars and plurals in Dutch: Evidence for a parallel dual-route model. Journal of AQ2 Memory and Language, 37, 94–117. doi:10.1006/jmla.1997.2509] proposed a ¶ dual-route model according to which plurals of singular-dominant words (e.g. “brides”) are decomposed, while plurals of plural-dominant words (e.g. “peas”) are accessed as whole-word units. We report two lexical-decision experiments investigating how plural processing is influenced by participants’ age (a proxy for experience with word forms) and morphological complexity of the language (German versus Dutch). For both Dutch participant groups and older German participants, we replicated the interaction between number and dominance reported by Baayen and colleagues. Younger German participants showed a main effect of number, indicating access of all plurals via decomposition. Access to stored forms seems to depend on morphological richness and experience with word forms. The data pattern fits neither full-decomposition nor full-storage models, but is compatible with dual-route models

    Supplementary material

    plcp_a_1247213_sm6144.pdf
  • Rommers, J., Meyer, A. S., & Praamstra, P. (2017). Lateralized electrical brain activity reveals covert attention allocation during speaking. Neuropsychologia, 95, 101-110. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.12.013.

    Abstract

    Speakers usually begin to speak while only part of the utterance has been planned. Earlier work has shown that speech planning processes are reflected in speakers’ eye movements as they describe visually presented objects. However, to-be-named objects can be processed to some extent before they have been fixated upon, presumably because attention can be allocated to objects covertly, without moving the eyes. The present study investigated whether EEG could track speakers’ covert attention allocation as they produced short utterances to describe pairs of objects (e.g., “dog and chair”). The processing difficulty of each object was varied by presenting it in upright orientation (easy) or in upside down orientation (difficult). Background squares flickered at different frequencies in order to elicit steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs). The N2pc component, associated with the focusing of attention on an item, was detectable not only prior to speech onset, but also during speaking. The time course of the N2pc showed that attention shifted to each object in the order of mention prior to speech onset. Furthermore, greater processing difficulty increased the time speakers spent attending to each object. This demonstrates that the N2pc can track covert attention allocation in a naming task. In addition, an effect of processing difficulty at around 200–350 ms after stimulus onset revealed early attention allocation to the second to-be-named object. The flickering backgrounds elicited SSVEPs, but SSVEP amplitude was not influenced by processing difficulty. These results help complete the picture of the coordination of visual information uptake and motor output during speaking.
  • Rowland, C. F., & Monaghan, P. (2017). Developmental psycholinguistics teaches us that we need multi-method, not single-method, approaches to the study of linguistic representation. Commentary on Branigan and Pickering "An experimental approach to linguistic representation". Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 40: e308. doi:10.1017/S0140525X17000565.

    Abstract

    In developmental psycholinguistics, we have, for many years, been generating and testing theories that propose both descriptions of adult representations and explanations of how those representations develop. We have learnt that restricting ourselves to any one methodology yields only incomplete data about the nature of linguistic representations. We argue that we need a multi-method approach to the study of representation.
  • Schuerman, W. L., Meyer, A. S., & McQueen, J. M. (2017). Mapping the speech code: Cortical responses linking the perception and production of vowels. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11: 161. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2017.00161.

    Abstract

    The acoustic realization of speech is constrained by the physical mechanisms by which it is produced. Yet for speech perception, the degree to which listeners utilize experience derived from speech production has long been debated. In the present study, we examined how sensorimotor adaptation during production may affect perception, and how this relationship may be reflected in early vs. late electrophysiological responses. Participants first performed a baseline speech production task, followed by a vowel categorization task during which EEG responses were recorded. In a subsequent speech production task, half the participants received shifted auditory feedback, leading most to alter their articulations. This was followed by a second, post-training vowel categorization task. We compared changes in vowel production to both behavioral and electrophysiological changes in vowel perception. No differences in phonetic categorization were observed between groups receiving altered or unaltered feedback. However, exploratory analyses revealed correlations between vocal motor behavior and phonetic categorization. EEG analyses revealed correlations between vocal motor behavior and cortical responses in both early and late time windows. These results suggest that participants' recent production behavior influenced subsequent vowel perception. We suggest that the change in perception can be best characterized as a mapping of acoustics onto articulation
  • Schuerman, W. L., Nagarajan, S., McQueen, J. M., & Houde, J. (2017). Sensorimotor adaptation affects perceptual compensation for coarticulation. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 141(4), 2693-2704. doi:10.1121/1.4979791.

    Abstract

    A given speech sound will be realized differently depending on the context in which it is produced. Listeners have been found to compensate perceptually for these coarticulatory effects, yet it is unclear to what extent this effect depends on actual production experience. In this study, whether changes in motor-to-sound mappings induced by adaptation to altered auditory feedback can affect perceptual compensation for coarticulation is investigated. Specifically, whether altering how the vowel [i] is produced can affect the categorization of a stimulus continuum between an alveolar and a palatal fricative whose interpretation is dependent on vocalic context is tested. It was found that participants could be sorted into three groups based on whether they tended to oppose the direction of the shifted auditory feedback, to follow it, or a mixture of the two, and that these articulatory responses, not the shifted feedback the participants heard, correlated with changes in perception. These results indicate that sensorimotor adaptation to altered feedback can affect the perception of unaltered yet coarticulatorily-dependent speech sounds, suggesting a modulatory role of sensorimotor experience on speech perception
  • Schuerman, W. L. (2017). Sensorimotor experience in speech perception. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Supplementary material

    full text via Radboud Repository
  • Skeide, M. A., Kumar, U., Mishra, R. K., Tripathi, V. N., Guleria, A., Singh, J. P., Eisner, F., & Huettig, F. (2017). Learning to read alters cortico-subcortical crosstalk in the visual system of illiterates. Science Advances, 5(3): e1602612. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1602612.

    Abstract

    Learning to read is known to result in a reorganization of the developing cerebral cortex. In this longitudinal resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study in illiterate adults we show that only 6 months of literacy training can lead to neuroplastic changes in the mature brain. We observed that literacy-induced neuroplasticity is not confined to the cortex but increases the functional connectivity between the occipital lobe and subcortical areas in the midbrain and the thalamus. Individual rates of connectivity increase were significantly related to the individualdecoding skill gains. These findings crucially complement current neurobiological concepts ofnormal and impaired literacy acquisition.
  • Smith, A. C., Monaghan, P., & Huettig, F. (2017). The multimodal nature of spoken word processing in the visual world: Testing the predictions of alternative models of multimodal integration. Journal of Memory and Language, 93, 276-303. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2016.08.005.

    Abstract

    Ambiguity in natural language is ubiquitous, yet spoken communication is effective due to integration of information carried in the speech signal with information available in the surrounding multimodal landscape. Language mediated visual attention requires visual and linguistic information integration and has thus been used to examine properties of the architecture supporting multimodal processing during spoken language comprehension. In this paper we test predictions generated by alternative models of this multimodal system. A model (TRACE) in which multimodal information is combined at the point of the lexical representations of words generated predictions of a stronger effect of phonological rhyme relative to semantic and visual information on gaze behaviour, whereas a model in which sub-lexical information can interact across modalities (MIM) predicted a greater influence of visual and semantic information, compared to phonological rhyme. Two visual world experiments designed to test these predictions offer support for sub-lexical multimodal interaction during online language processing.

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