Synchronous, but not entrained: Exogenous and endogenous cortical rhythms of speech and language processing
Meyer, L., Sun, Y., & Martin, A. E.
Synchronous, but not entrained: Exogenous and endogenous cortical rhythms of speech and language processing. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 35
(9), 1089-1099. doi:10.1080/23273798.2019.1693050.
Research on speech processing is often focused on a phenomenon termed “entrainment”, whereby the cortex shadows rhythmic acoustic information with oscillatory activity. Entrainment has been observed to a range of rhythms present in speech; in addition, synchronicity with abstract information (e.g. syntactic structures) has been observed. Entrainment accounts face two challenges: First, speech is not exactly rhythmic; second, synchronicity with representations that lack a clear acoustic counterpart has been described. We propose that apparent entrainment does not always result from acoustic information. Rather, internal rhythms may have functionalities in the generation of abstract representations and predictions. While acoustics may often provide punctate opportunities for entrainment, internal rhythms may also live a life of their own to infer and predict information, leading to intrinsic synchronicity – not to be counted as entrainment. This possibility may open up new research avenues in the psycho– and neurolinguistic study of language processing and language development.