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Emmendorfer, A. K., Bonte, M., Jansma, B. M., & Kotz, S. A. (2023). Sensitivity to syllable stress regularities in externally but not self‐triggered speech in Dutch. European Journal of Neuroscience, 58(1), 2297-2314. doi:10.1111/ejn.16003.
AbstractSeveral theories of predictive processing propose reduced sensory and neural responses to anticipated events. Support comes from magnetoencephalography/electroencephalography (M/EEG) studies, showing reduced auditory N1 and P2 responses to self-generated compared to externally generated events, or when the timing and form of stimuli are more predictable. The current study examined the sensitivity of N1 and P2 responses to statistical speech regularities. We employed a motor-to-auditory paradigm comparing event-related potential (ERP) responses to externally and self-triggered pseudowords. Participants were presented with a cue indicating which button to press (motor-auditory condition) or which pseudoword would be presented (auditory-only condition). Stimuli consisted of the participant's own voice uttering pseudowords that varied in phonotactic probability and syllable stress. We expected to see N1 and P2 suppression for self-triggered stimuli, with greater suppression effects for more predictable features such as high phonotactic probability and first-syllable stress in pseudowords. In a temporal principal component analysis (PCA), we observed an interaction between syllable stress and condition for the N1, where second-syllable stress items elicited a larger N1 than first-syllable stress items, but only for externally generated stimuli. We further observed an effect of syllable stress on the P2, where first-syllable stress items elicited a larger P2. Strikingly, we did not observe motor-induced suppression for self-triggered stimuli for either the N1 or P2 component, likely due to the temporal predictability of the stimulus onset in both conditions. Taking into account previous findings, the current results suggest that sensitivity to syllable stress regularities depends on task demands.
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Emmendorfer, A. K., Correia, J. M., Jansma, B. M., Kotz, S. A., & Bonte, M. (2020). ERP mismatch response to phonological and temporal regularities in speech. Scientific Reports, 10: 9917. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-66824-x.
AbstractPredictions of our sensory environment facilitate perception across domains. During speech perception, formal and temporal predictions may be made for phonotactic probability and syllable stress patterns, respectively, contributing to the efficient processing of speech input. The current experiment employed a passive EEG oddball paradigm to probe the neurophysiological processes underlying temporal and formal predictions simultaneously. The component of interest, the mismatch negativity (MMN), is considered a marker for experience-dependent change detection, where its timing and amplitude are indicative of the perceptual system’s sensitivity to presented stimuli. We hypothesized that more predictable stimuli (i.e. high phonotactic probability and first syllable stress) would facilitate change detection, indexed by shorter peak latencies or greater peak amplitudes of the MMN. This hypothesis was confirmed for phonotactic probability: high phonotactic probability deviants elicited an earlier MMN than low phonotactic probability deviants. We do not observe a significant modulation of the MMN to variations in syllable stress. Our findings confirm that speech perception is shaped by formal and temporal predictability. This paradigm may be useful to investigate the contribution of implicit processing of statistical regularities during (a)typical language development.
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