Markus Ostarek

Presentations

Displaying 1 - 17 of 17
  • Bergmann, C., Van Gils, T., Ackermann, L., Ostarek, M., Van Paridon, J., & Montero-Melis, G. (2020). The many colours of dolphins: Colour knowledge across development. Poster presented at Many Paths to Language (virtual MPaL 2020), Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
  • Giglio, L., Ostarek, M., Hagoort, P., & Weber, K. (2020). Production-comprehension asymmetries for constituent structure building in the language network. Poster presented at the Twelfth Annual (Virtual) Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language (SNL 2020).
  • Hintz, F., Ostarek, M., De Nijs, M., Joosen, D., & Huettig, F. (2019). N’Sync or A’Sync? The role of timing when acquiring spoken and written word forms in a tonal language. Poster presented at the 21st Meeting of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCoP 2019), Tenerife, Spain.

    Abstract

    Theories of reading propose that the quality of word form representations affects reading comprehension. One claim is that synchronous retrieval of orthographic and phonological representations leads to better performance than asynchronous retrieval. Based on this account, one may hypothesize that synchronous rather than asynchronous presentation of orthographic and phonological forms should be beneficial when establishing the mapping between both, as it should lead to tighter couplings. We tested this hypothesis in two multi-session experiments, where participants studied isolated words of a tonal language unknown to them, Chinese. During study, written (using Pinyin transcription) and spoken word forms were presented simultaneously or in asynchronous fashion (audio-first, written-first). In both experiments, we observed an advantage for asynchronous over synchronous presentation at test, with audio-first presentation being most beneficial. These results suggest that the timing of written and spoken word forms has profound effects on the ease of learning a new tonal language.
  • Isaksson, P., Ostarek, M., & Montero-Melis, G. (2019). Does visual imagery impede reasoning? Evidence from L2 speakers. Poster presented at the 21st Meeting of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCoP 2019), Tenerife, Spain.
  • Ostarek, M., Alday, P. M., Gawel, O., Wolfgruber, J., Knudsen, B., Mantegna, F., & Huettig, F. (2019). Is neural entrainment a basic mechanism for structure building?. Poster presented at the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language (SNL 2019), Helsinki, Finland.
  • Ostarek, M., & Huettig, F. (2019). Towards a unified theory of semantic cognition. Talk presented at the 21st Meeting of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCoP 2019). Tenerife, Spain. 2019-09-25 - 2019-09-28.
  • Ostarek, M., Van Paridon, J., Hagoort, P., & Huettig, F. (2018). Multi-voxel pattern analysis reveals conceptual flexibility and invariance in language. Poster presented at the 10th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language (SNL 2018), Québec City, Canada.
  • Ostarek, M., Van Paridon, J., & Huettig, F. (2017). Conceptual processing of up/down words (cloud/grass) recruits cortical oculomotor areas central for planning and executing saccadic eye movements. Talk presented at the 10th Embodied and Situated Language Processing Conference. Moscow, Russia. 2017-09-10 - 2017-09-12.
  • Ostarek, M., & Huettig, F. (2017). Grounding language in vision [Invited talk]. Talk presented at the University of California Davis. Davis, CA, USA.
  • Ostarek, M., Van Paridon, J., Evans, S., & Huettig, F. (2017). Processing of up/down words recruits the cortical oculomotor network. Poster presented at the 24th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, CA, USA.
  • Hiroya, S., Jasmin, K., Krishnan, S., Lima, C., Ostarek, M., Boebinger, D., & Scott, S. K. (2016). Speech rhythm measure of non-native speech using a statistical phoneme duration model. Poster presented at the 8th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language, London, UK.

    Abstract

    We normally understand speech in our native language without effort. Recent brain imaging studies revealed a common cortical activation in left-lateralized motor area for speech production and perception. Moreover, the activity was increased by listening to speech sounds with less natural frequency information such as sinewave speech and noise-vocoded speech. Rhythm is a natural part of speech. There is a difference between a mora-timed rhythm like Japanese and a stress- timed rhythm like English. A native Japanese speaker tends to apply mora-timed rhythm to English. However, few studied have investigated the neural mechanisms of the processing of speech rhythm during speech perception. We developed a method for decomposing speech signals into speech rhythm and frequency information. English speech sounds spoken by a native Japanese speaker were manipulated such that their rhythm was stress-timed like English and more-timed like Japanese. Stress-timed rhythm was obtained from a native British English speakers’ speech. Noise-vocoding was used to minimize contributions of F0 and to control intelligibility across conditions. Twenty-one healthy right-handed native English speakers were participated. FMRI was used to image the brains of participants while they listened to the sentences. Result showed that left-lateralized supplementary motor area (SMA), a region involved in speech production, was more activated for mora-timed rhythm (non-native rhythm) than stress-timed rhythm. This suggests that integrating non-native speech rhythm with native language speech may rely on increased auditory-motor processing. In behavioral testing, native English speakers judged the naturalness of speaking rhythm of the sentences. Results confirmed participants judged English rhythm as being most natural. However, it is important that a difference between non-native rhythm and stress-timed rhythm in English speech should be quantified for further analysis. A pairwise variability index (PVI) of vocalic intervals was proposed as a speech rhythm measure. Native Japanese speakers tend to speak unnecessary vowels in English because a mora basically ends in a vowel. However, these unnecessary vowels affects PVI values: it is not appropriate to the quantification for non-native speech. In this study, we developed a statistical model of phonemic duration in English to be independent of a type of interval. Speech stimuli of English sentences (TIMIT) spoken by both English and Japanese native speakers were used. Phonemic duration for each phoneme were determined by experts. The expectation-maximization algorithm created a two-state transition model of the phonemic duration for each native language. Mean durations in each state were short and long, respectively. Results showed that a variability among states of self-transition probability for the native Japanese speaker was significantly larger than for the native English speaker (p < 0.01). This indicated that longer phonemic duration was continuously repeated for native English speakers more than for native Japanese speakers. This suggests that these structures of phonemic duration affected activity in the speech perception network.
  • Jasmin, K., Hiroya, S., Krishnan, S., Lima, C., Ostarek, M., Boebinger, D., & Scott, S. K. (2016). The neural basis of perceiving speech with a non-native rhythm. Poster presented at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, New York, USA.

    Abstract

    Rhythm is a natural part of speech. We normally under - stand spoken sentences in our native language’s rhythm without effort. Speech perception studies have typically taken rhythm for granted, and we therefore know little about how rhythmic information affects activity in the speech perception network. We developed a novel method for decompos - ing speech signals in order to separate phonetic information from rhyth - mic structure. Audio recordings of English sentences spoken by a Japanese native speaker were manipulated such that their rhythm was stress timed (like English), mora timed (like Japanese) or had phonemes with equal durations. Noise-vocoding was used to minimize contributions of F0 and to control intelligibility across conditions. Spectral rotation was also used to create unintelligible control conditions. Twenty-one healthy right-handed participants underwent behavioural testing and fMRI scans. In behavioural testing, native English participants judged the naturalness of speaking rhythm of the sentences. Results confirmed subjects judged English sen - tences as being most natural. FMRI was used to image the brains of par - ticipants while they listened to the sentences. Result showed that supple - mentary motor area (SMA), a region involved in speech production, was sensitive to rhythm naturalness. This suggests that integrating non-native speech rhythm with native language speech may rely on increased audito-ry-motor processing.
  • Ostarek, M., & Huettig, F. (2016). Sensory representations are causally involved in cognition but only when the task requires it. Talk presented at the 3rd Attentive Listener in the Visual World (AttLis) workshop. Potsdam, Germany. 2016-05-10 - 2016-05-11.
  • Ostarek, M., Ishag, A., & Huettig, F. (2016). Language comprehension does not require perceptual simulation. Poster presented at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS 2016), New York, NY, USA.
  • Ostarek, M., & Huettig, F. (2016). Spoken words can make the invisible visible: Testing the involvement of low-level visual representations in spoken word processing. Poster presented at the Eighth Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language (SNL 2016), London, UK.

    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. Although some neuroimaging evidence is consistent with such a prediction (Desai et al., 2009; Hwang et al., 2009; Lewis & Poeppel, 2014), these findings do not tell us much about the nature of the representations that were accessed. In the present study, we directly tested whether low-level visual cortex is involved in spoken word processing. Using continuous flash suppression we show that spoken words activate behaviorally relevant low-level visual representations and pin down the time-course of this effect to the first hundreds of milliseconds after word onset. We investigated whether participants (N=24) can detect otherwise invisible objects (presented for 400ms) when they are presented with the corresponding spoken word 200ms before the picture appears. We implemented a design in which all cue words appeared equally often in picture-present (50%) and picture-absent trials (50%). In half of the picture-present trials, the spoken word was congruent with the target picture ("bottle" -> picture of a bottle), while on the other half it was incongruent ("bottle" -> picture of a banana). All picture stimuli were evenly distributed over the experimental conditions to rule out low-level differences that can affect detectability regardless of the prime words. Our results showed facilitated detection for congruent vs. incongruent pictures in terms of hit rates (z=-2.33, p=0.02) and d'-scores (t=3.01, p<0.01). A second experiment (N=33) 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 around word offset. 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 (a signature of episodic memory) but also for generalizing to novel exemplars one has never seen before.
  • Ostarek, M., & Huettig, F. (2016). Spoken words can make the invisible visible: Testing the involvement of low-level visual representations in spoken word processing. Poster presented at Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP 2016), Bilbao, Spain.

    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. Although some neuroimaging evidence is consistent with such a prediction (Desai et al., 2009; Hwang et al., 2009; Lewis & Poeppel, 2014), these findings do not tell us much about the nature of the representations that were accessed. In the present study, we directly tested whether low-level visual cortex is involved in spoken word processing. Using continuous flash suppression we show that spoken words activate behaviorally relevant low-level visual representations and pin down the time-course of this effect to the first hundreds of milliseconds after word onset. We investigated whether participants (N=24) can detect otherwise invisible objects (presented for 400ms) when they are presented with the corresponding spoken word 200ms before the picture appears. We implemented a design in which all cue words appeared equally often in picture-present (50%) and picture-absent trials (50%). In half of the picture-present trials, the spoken word was congruent with the target picture ("bottle" -> picture of a bottle), while on the other half it was incongruent ("bottle" -> picture of a banana). All picture stimuli were evenly distributed over the experimental conditions to rule out low-level differences that can affect detectability regardless of the prime words. Our results showed facilitated detection for congruent vs. incongruent pictures in terms of hit rates (z=-2.33, p=0.02) and d'-scores (t=3.01, p<0.01). A second experiment (N=33) 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 around word offset. 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 (a signature of episodic memory) but also for generalizing to novel exemplars one has never seen before.
  • Ostarek, M., & Huettig, F. (2015). Grounding language in the visual system: Visual noise interferes more with concrete than abstract word processing. Poster presented at the 19th Meeting of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCoP 2015), Paphos, Cyprus.

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