Publications

Displaying 301 - 400 of 7403
  • Grey, S., Schubel, L. C., McQueen, J. M., & Van Hell, J. G. (2018). Processing foreign-accented speech in a second language: Evidence from ERPs during sentence comprehension in bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. Advance online publication. doi:10.1017/S1366728918000937.

    Abstract

    This study examined electrophysiological correlates of sentence comprehension of native-accented and foreign-accented speech in a second language (L2), for sentences produced in a foreign accent different from that associated with the listeners’ L1. Bilingual speaker-listeners process different accents in their L2 conversations, but the effects on real-time L2 sentence comprehension are unknown. Dutch–English bilinguals listened to native American-English accented sentences and foreign (and for them unfamiliarly-accented) Chinese-English accented sentences while EEG was recorded. Behavioral sentence comprehension was highly accurate for both native-accented and foreign-accented sentences. ERPs showed different patterns for L2 grammar and semantic processing of native- and foreign-accented speech. For grammar, only native-accented speech elicited an Nref. For semantics, both native- and foreign-accented speech elicited an N400 effect, but with a delayed onset across both accent conditions. These findings suggest that the way listeners comprehend native- and foreign-accented sentences in their L2 depends on their familiarity with the accent.
  • De Groot, A. M. B., & Hagoort, P. (Eds.). (2018). Research methods in psycholinguistics and the neurobiology of language: A practical guide. Oxford: Wiley.
  • Hagoort, P. (2018). Prerequisites for an evolutionary stance on the neurobiology of language. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 21, 191-194. doi:10.1016/j.cobeha.2018.05.012.
  • Hahn, L., Benders, T., Snijders, T. M., & Fikkert, P. (2018). Infants' sensitivity to rhyme in songs. Infant Behavior and Development, 52, 130-139. doi:10.1016/j.infbeh.2018.07.002.

    Abstract

    Children’s songs often contain rhyming words at phrase endings. In this study, we investigated whether infants can already recognize this phonological pattern in songs. Earlier studies using lists of spoken words were equivocal on infants’ spontaneous processing of rhymes (Hayes, Slater, & Brown, 2000; Jusczyk, Goodman, & Baumann, 1999). Songs, however, constitute an ecologically valid rhyming stimulus, which could allow for spontaneous processing of this phonological pattern in infants. Novel children’s songs with rhyming and non-rhyming lyrics using pseudo-words were presented to 35 9-month-old Dutch infants using the Headturn Preference Procedure. Infants on average listened longer to the non-rhyming songs, with around half of the infants however exhibiting a preference for the rhyming songs. These results highlight that infants have the processing abilities to benefit from their natural rhyming input for the development of their phonological abilities.
  • Hammarström, H. (2018). Language isolates in the New Guinea region. In L. Campbell (Ed.), Language Isolates (pp. 287-322). London: Routledge.
  • Hasson, U., Egidi, G., Marelli, M., & Willems, R. M. (2018). Grounding the neurobiology of language in first principles: The necessity of non-language-centric explanations for language comprehension. Cognition, 180(1), 135-157. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2018.06.018.

    Abstract

    Recent decades have ushered in tremendous progress in understanding the neural basis of language. Most of our current knowledge on language and the brain, however, is derived from lab-based experiments that are far removed from everyday language use, and that are inspired by questions originating in linguistic and psycholinguistic contexts. In this paper we argue that in order to make progress, the field needs to shift its focus to understanding the neurobiology of naturalistic language comprehension. We present here a new conceptual framework for understanding the neurobiological organization of language comprehension. This framework is non-language-centered in the computational/neurobiological constructs it identifies, and focuses strongly on context. Our core arguments address three general issues: (i) the difficulty in extending language-centric explanations to discourse; (ii) the necessity of taking context as a serious topic of study, modeling it formally and acknowledging the limitations on external validity when studying language comprehension outside context; and (iii) the tenuous status of the language network as an explanatory construct. We argue that adopting this framework means that neurobiological studies of language will be less focused on identifying correlations between brain activity patterns and mechanisms postulated by psycholinguistic theories. Instead, they will be less self-referential and increasingly more inclined towards integration of language with other cognitive systems, ultimately doing more justice to the neurobiological organization of language and how it supports language as it is used in everyday life.
  • Havron, N., Raviv, L., & Arnon, I. (2018). Literate and preliterate children show different learning patterns in an artificial language learning task. Journal of Cultural Cognitive Science, 2, 21-33. doi:10.1007/s41809-018-0015-9.

    Abstract

    Literacy affects many aspects of cognitive and linguistic processing. Among them, it increases the salience of words as units of linguistic processing. Here, we explored the impact of literacy acquisition on children’s learning of an artifical language. Recent accounts of L1–L2 differences relate adults’ greater difficulty with language learning to their smaller reliance on multiword units. In particular, multiword units are claimed to be beneficial for learning opaque grammatical relations like grammatical gender. Since literacy impacts the reliance on words as units of processing, we ask if and how acquiring literacy may change children’s language-learning results. We looked at children’s success in learning novel noun labels relative to their success in learning article-noun gender agreement, before and after learning to read. We found that preliterate first graders were better at learning agreement (larger units) than at learning nouns (smaller units), and that the difference between the two trial types significantly decreased after these children acquired literacy. In contrast, literate third graders were as good in both trial types. These findings suggest that literacy affects not only language processing, but also leads to important differences in language learning. They support the idea that some of children’s advantage in language learning comes from their previous knowledge and experience with language—and specifically, their lack of experience with written texts.
  • Hebebrand, J., Peters, T., Schijven, D., Hebebrand, M., Grasemann, C., Winkler, T. W., Heid, I. M., Antel, J., Föcker, M., Tegeler, L., Brauner, L., Adan, R. A., Luykx, J. J., Correll, C. U., König, I. R., Hinney, A., & Libuda, L. (2018). The role of genetic variation of human metabolism for BMI, mental traits and mental disorders. Molecular Metabolism, 12, 1-11. doi:10.1016/j.molmet.2018.03.015.

    Abstract

    Objective The aim was to assess whether loci associated with metabolic traits also have a significant role in BMI and mental traits/disorders Methods We first assessed the number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with genome-wide significance for human metabolism (NHGRI-EBI Catalog). These 516 SNPs (216 independent loci) were looked-up in genome-wide association studies for association with body mass index (BMI) and the mental traits/disorders educational attainment, neuroticism, schizophrenia, well-being, anxiety, depressive symptoms, major depressive disorder, autism-spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Alzheimer's disease, bipolar disorder, aggressive behavior, and internalizing problems. A strict significance threshold of p < 6.92 × 10−6 was based on the correction for 516 SNPs and all 14 phenotypes, a second less conservative threshold (p < 9.69 × 10−5) on the correction for the 516 SNPs only. Results 19 SNPs located in nine independent loci revealed p-values < 6.92 × 10−6; the less strict criterion was met by 41 SNPs in 24 independent loci. BMI and schizophrenia showed the most pronounced genetic overlap with human metabolism with three loci each meeting the strict significance threshold. Overall, genetic variation associated with estimated glomerular filtration rate showed up frequently; single metabolite SNPs were associated with more than one phenotype. Replications in independent samples were obtained for BMI and educational attainment. Conclusions Approximately 5–10% of the regions involved in the regulation of blood/urine metabolite levels seem to also play a role in BMI and mental traits/disorders and related phenotypes. If validated in metabolomic studies of the respective phenotypes, the associated blood/urine metabolites may enable novel preventive and therapeutic strategies.
  • Hervais-Adelman, A., Moser-Mercer, B., & Golestani, N. (2018). Commentary: Broca pars triangularis constitutes a “hub” of the language-control network during simultaneous language translation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12: 22. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2018.00022.

    Abstract

    A commentary on Broca Pars Triangularis Constitutes a “Hub” of the Language-Control Network during Simultaneous Language Translation by Elmer, S. (2016). Front. Hum. Neurosci. 10:491. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00491 Elmer (2016) conducted an fMRI investigation of “simultaneous language translation” in five participants. The article presents group and individual analyses of German-to-Italian and Italian-to-German translation, confined to a small set of anatomical regions previously reported to be involved in multilingual control. Here we take the opportunity to discuss concerns regarding certain aspects of the study.
  • Hervais-Adelman, A., Egorova, N., & Golestani, N. (2018). Beyond bilingualism: Multilingual experience correlates with caudate volume. Brain Structure and Function, 223(7), 3495-3502. doi:10.1007/s00429-018-1695-0.

    Abstract

    The multilingual brain implements mechanisms that serve to select the appropriate language as a function of the communicative environment. Engaging these mechanisms on a regular basis appears to have consequences for brain structure and function. Studies have implicated the caudate nuclei as important nodes in polyglot language control processes, and have also shown structural differences in the caudate nuclei in bilingual compared to monolingual populations. However, the majority of published work has focused on the categorical differences between monolingual and bilingual individuals, and little is known about whether these findings extend to multilingual individuals, who have even greater language control demands. In the present paper, we present an analysis of the volume and morphology of the caudate nuclei, putamen, pallidum and thalami in 75 multilingual individuals who speak three or more languages. Volumetric analyses revealed a significant relationship between multilingual experience and right caudate volume, as well as a marginally significant relationship with left caudate volume. Vertex-wise analyses revealed a significant enlargement of dorsal and anterior portions of the left caudate nucleus, known to have connectivity with executive brain regions, as a function of multilingual expertise. These results suggest that multilingual expertise might exercise a continuous impact on brain structure, and that as additional languages beyond a second are acquired, the additional demands for linguistic and cognitive control result in modifications to brain structures associated with language management processes.
  • Heyne, H. O., Singh, T., Stamberger, H., Jamra, R. A., Caglayan, H., Craiu, D., Guerrini, R., Helbig, K. L., Koeleman, B. P. C., Kosmicki, J. A., Linnankivi, T., May, P., Muhle, H., Møller, R. S., Neubauer, B. A., Palotie, A., Pendziwiat, M., Striano, P., Tang, S., Wu, S., EuroEPINOMICS RES Consortium, De Kovel, C. G. F., Poduri, A., Weber, Y. G., Weckhuysen, S., Sisodiya, S. M., Daly, M. J., Helbig, I., Lal, D., & Lemke, J. R. (2018). De novo variants in neurodevelopmental disorders with epilepsy. Nature Genetics, 50, 1048-1053. doi:10.1038/s41588-018-0143-7.

    Abstract

    Epilepsy is a frequent feature of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), but little is known about genetic differences between NDDs with and without epilepsy. We analyzed de novo variants (DNVs) in 6,753 parent–offspring trios ascertained to have different NDDs. In the subset of 1,942 individuals with NDDs with epilepsy, we identified 33 genes with a significant excess of DNVs, of which SNAP25 and GABRB2 had previously only limited evidence of disease association. Joint analysis of all individuals with NDDs also implicated CACNA1E as a novel disease-associated gene. Comparing NDDs with and without epilepsy, we found missense DNVs, DNVs in specific genes, age of recruitment, and severity of intellectual disability to be associated with epilepsy. We further demonstrate the extent to which our results affect current genetic testing as well as treatment, emphasizing the benefit of accurate genetic diagnosis in NDDs with epilepsy.
  • Heyselaar, E., Mazaheri, A., Hagoort, P., & Segaert, K. (2018). Changes in alpha activity reveal that social opinion modulates attention allocation during face processing. NeuroImage, 174, 432-440. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.03.034.

    Abstract

    Participants’ performance differs when conducting a task in the presence of a secondary individual, moreover the opinion the participant has of this individual also plays a role. Using EEG, we investigated how previous interactions with, and evaluations of, an avatar in virtual reality subsequently influenced attentional allocation to the face of that avatar. We focused on changes in the alpha activity as an index of attentional allocation. We found that the onset of an avatar’s face whom the participant had developed a rapport with induced greater alpha suppression. This suggests greater attentional resources are allocated to the interacted-with avatars. The evaluative ratings of the avatar induced a U-shaped change in alpha suppression, such that participants paid most attention when the avatar was rated as average. These results suggest that attentional allocation is an important element of how behaviour is altered in the presence of a secondary individual and is modulated by our opinion of that individual.

    Supplementary material

    mmc1.docx
  • Hill, C. (2018). Person reference and interaction in Umpila/Kuuku Ya'u narrative. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Supplementary material

    link to Radboud Repository
  • Hoey, E., & Kendrick, K. H. (2018). Conversation analysis. In A. M. B. De Groot, & P. Hagoort (Eds.), Research methods in psycholinguistics and the neurobiology of language: A practical guide (pp. 151-173). Hoboken: Wiley.

    Abstract

    Conversation Analysis (CA) is an inductive, micro-analytic, and predominantly qualitative method for studying human social interactions. This chapter describes and illustrates the basic methods of CA. We first situate the method by describing its sociological foundations, key areas of analysis, and particular approach in using naturally occurring data. The bulk of the chapter is devoted to practical explanations of the typical conversation analytic process for collecting data and producing an analysis. We analyze a candidate interactional practice – the assessmentimplicative interrogative – using real data extracts as a demonstration of the method, explicitly laying out the relevant questions and considerations for every stage of an analysis. The chapter concludes with some discussion of quantitative approaches to conversational interaction, and links between CA and psycholinguistic concerns
  • Hoey, E. (2018). How speakers continue with talk after a lapse in conversation. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 51(3), 329-346. doi:10.1080/08351813.2018.1485234.

    Abstract

    How do conversational participants continue with turn-by-turn talk after a momentary lapse? If all participants forgo the option to speak at possible sequence completion, an extended silence may emerge that can indicate a lack of anything to talk about next. For the interaction to proceed recognizably as a conversation, the postlapse turn needs to implicate more talk. Using conversation analysis, I examine three practical alternatives regarding sequentially implicative postlapse turns: Participants may move to end the interaction, continue with some prior matter, or start something new. Participants are shown using resources grounded in the interaction’s overall structural organization, the materials from the interaction-so-far, the mentionables they bring to interaction, and the situated environment itself. Comparing these alternatives, there’s suggestive quantitative evidence for a preference for continuation. The analysis of lapse resolution shows lapses as places for the management of multiple possible courses of action. Data are in U.S. and UK English.
  • Holler, J., Kendrick, K. H., & Levinson, S. C. (2018). Processing language in face-to-face conversation: Questions with gestures get faster responses. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 25(5), 1900-1908. doi:10.3758/s13423-017-1363-z.

    Abstract

    The home of human language use is face-to-face interaction, a context in which communicative exchanges are characterised not only by bodily signals accompanying what is being said but also by a pattern of alternating turns at talk. This transition between turns is astonishingly fast—typically a mere 200-ms elapse between a current and a next speaker’s contribution—meaning that comprehending, producing, and coordinating conversational contributions in time is a significant challenge. This begs the question of whether the additional information carried by bodily signals facilitates or hinders language processing in this time-pressured environment. We present analyses of multimodal conversations revealing that bodily signals appear to profoundly influence language processing in interaction: Questions accompanied by gestures lead to shorter turn transition times—that is, to faster responses—than questions without gestures, and responses come earlier when gestures end before compared to after the question turn has ended. These findings hold even after taking into account prosodic patterns and other visual signals, such as gaze. The empirical findings presented here provide a first glimpse of the role of the body in the psycholinguistic processes underpinning human communication
  • Hömke, P., Holler, J., & Levinson, S. C. (2018). Eye blinks are perceived as communicative signals in human face-to-face interaction. PLoS One, 13(12): e0208030. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0208030.

    Abstract

    In face-to-face communication, recurring intervals of mutual gaze allow listeners to provide speakers with visual feedback (e.g. nodding). Here, we investigate the potential feedback function of one of the subtlest of human movements—eye blinking. While blinking tends to be subliminal, the significance of mutual gaze in human interaction raises the question whether the interruption of mutual gaze through blinking may also be communicative. To answer this question, we developed a novel, virtual reality-based experimental paradigm, which enabled us to selectively manipulate blinking in a virtual listener, creating small differences in blink duration resulting in ‘short’ (208 ms) and ‘long’ (607 ms) blinks. We found that speakers unconsciously took into account the subtle differences in listeners’ blink duration, producing substantially shorter answers in response to long listener blinks. Our findings suggest that, in addition to physiological, perceptual and cognitive functions, listener blinks are also perceived as communicative signals, directly influencing speakers’ communicative behavior in face-to-face communication. More generally, these findings may be interpreted as shedding new light on the evolutionary origins of mental-state signaling, which is a crucial ingredient for achieving mutual understanding in everyday social interaction.

    Supplementary material

    Supporting information
  • Hopman, E., Thompson, B., Austerweil, J., & Lupyan, G. (2018). Predictors of L2 word learning accuracy: A big data investigation. In C. Kalish, M. Rau, J. Zhu, & T. T. Rogers (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2018) (pp. 513-518). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    What makes some words harder to learn than others in a second language? Although some robust factors have been identified based on small scale experimental studies, many relevant factors are difficult to study in such experiments due to the amount of data necessary to test them. Here, we investigate what factors affect the ease of learning of a word in a second language using a large data set of users learning English as a second language through the Duolingo mobile app. In a regression analysis, we test and confirm the well-studied effect of cognate status on word learning accuracy. Furthermore, we find significant effects for both cross-linguistic semantic alignment and English semantic density, two novel predictors derived from large scale distributional models of lexical semantics. Finally, we provide data on several other psycholinguistically plausible word level predictors. We conclude with a discussion of the limits, benefits and future research potential of using big data for investigating second language learning.
  • Howe, L. J., Lee, M. K., Sharp, G. C., Smith, G. D. W., St Pourcain, B., Shaffer, J. R., Ludwig, K. U., Mangold, E., Marazita, M. L., Feingold, E., Zhurov, A., Stergiakouli, E., Sandy, J., Richmond, S., Weinberg, S. M., Hemani, G., & Lewis, S. J. (2018). Investigating the shared genetics of non-syndromic cleft lip/palate and facial morphology. PLoS Genetics, 14(8): e1007501. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1007501.

    Abstract

    There is increasing evidence that genetic risk variants for non-syndromic cleft lip/palate (nsCL/P) are also associated with normal-range variation in facial morphology. However, previous analyses are mostly limited to candidate SNPs and findings have not been consistently replicated. Here, we used polygenic risk scores (PRS) to test for genetic overlap between nsCL/P and seven biologically relevant facial phenotypes. Where evidence was found of genetic overlap, we used bidirectional Mendelian randomization (MR) to test the hypothesis that genetic liability to nsCL/P is causally related to implicated facial phenotypes. Across 5,804 individuals of European ancestry from two studies, we found strong evidence, using PRS, of genetic overlap between nsCL/P and philtrum width; a 1 S.D. increase in nsCL/P PRS was associated with a 0.10 mm decrease in philtrum width (95% C.I. 0.054, 0.146; P = 2x10-5). Follow-up MR analyses supported a causal relationship; genetic variants for nsCL/P homogeneously cause decreased philtrum width. In addition to the primary analysis, we also identified two novel risk loci for philtrum width at 5q22.2 and 7p15.2 in our Genome-wide Association Study (GWAS) of 6,136 individuals. Our results support a liability threshold model of inheritance for nsCL/P, related to abnormalities in development of the philtrum.
  • Huettig, F., Lachmann, T., Reis, A., & Petersson, K. M. (2018). Distinguishing cause from effect - Many deficits associated with developmental dyslexia may be a consequence of reduced and suboptimal reading experience. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33(3), 333-350. doi:10.1080/23273798.2017.1348528.

    Abstract

    The cause of developmental dyslexia is still unknown despite decades of intense research. Many causal explanations have been proposed, based on the range of impairments displayed by affected individuals. Here we draw attention to the fact that many of these impairments are also shown by illiterate individuals who have not received any or very little reading instruction. We suggest that this fact may not be coincidental and that the performance differences of both illiterates and individuals with dyslexia compared to literate controls are, to a substantial extent, secondary consequences of either reduced or suboptimal reading experience or a combination of both. The search for the primary causes of reading impairments will make progress if the consequences of quantitative and qualitative differences in reading experience are better taken into account and not mistaken for the causes of reading disorders. We close by providing four recommendations for future research.
  • Huettig, F., Kolinsky, R., & Lachmann, T. (2018). The culturally co-opted brain: How literacy affects the human mind. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33(3), 275-277. doi:10.1080/23273798.2018.1425803.

    Abstract

    Introduction to the special issue 'The Effects of Literacy on Cognition and Brain Functioning'
  • Huettig, F., Kolinsky, R., & Lachmann, T. (Eds.). (2018). The effects of literacy on cognition and brain functioning [Special Issue]. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33(3).
  • Huisman, J. L. A., & Majid, A. (2018). Psycholinguistic variables matter in odor naming. Memory & Cognition, 46, 577-588. doi:10.3758/s13421-017-0785-1.

    Abstract

    People from Western societies generally find it difficult to name odors. In trying to explain this, the olfactory literature has proposed several theories that focus heavily on properties of the odor itself but rarely discuss properties of the label used to describe it. However, recent studies show speakers of languages with dedicated smell lexicons can name odors with relative ease. Has the role of the lexicon been overlooked in the olfactory literature? Word production studies show properties of the label, such as word frequency and semantic context, influence naming; but this field of research focuses heavily on the visual domain. The current study combines methods from both fields to investigate word production for olfaction in two experiments. In the first experiment, participants named odors whose veridical labels were either high-frequency or low-frequency words in Dutch, and we found that odors with high-frequency labels were named correctly more often. In the second experiment, edibility was used for manipulating semantic context in search of a semantic interference effect, presenting the odors in blocks of edible and inedible odor source objects to half of the participants. While no evidence was found for a semantic interference effect, an effect of word frequency was again present. Our results demonstrate psycholinguistic variables—such as word frequency—are relevant for olfactory naming, and may, in part, explain why it is difficult to name odors in certain languages. Olfactory researchers cannot afford to ignore properties of an odor’s label.
  • Inacio, F., Faisca, L., Forkstam, C., Araujo, S., Bramao, I., Reis, A., & Petersson, K. M. (2018). Implicit sequence learning is preserved in dyslexic children. Annals of Dyslexia, 68(1), 1-14. doi:10.1007/s11881-018-0158-x.

    Abstract

    This study investigates the implicit sequence learning abilities of dyslexic children using an artificial grammar learning task with an extended exposure period. Twenty children with developmental dyslexia participated in the study and were matched with two control groups—one matched for age and other for reading skills. During 3 days, all participants performed an acquisition task, where they were exposed to colored geometrical forms sequences with an underlying grammatical structure. On the last day, after the acquisition task, participants were tested in a grammaticality classification task. Implicit sequence learning was present in dyslexic children, as well as in both control groups, and no differences between groups were observed. These results suggest that implicit learning deficits per se cannot explain the characteristic reading difficulties of the dyslexics.
  • Indefrey, P. (2018). The relationship between syntactic production and comprehension. In S.-A. Rueschemeyer, & M. G. Gaskell (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Psycholinguistics (2nd ed., pp. 486-505). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Abstract

    This chapter deals with the question of whether there is one syntactic system that is shared by language production and comprehension or whether there are two separate systems. It first discusses arguments in favor of one or the other option and then presents the current evidence on the brain structures involved in sentence processing. The results of meta-analyses of numerous neuroimaging studies suggest that there is one system consisting of functionally distinct cortical regions: the dorsal part of Broca’s area subserving compositional syntactic processing; the ventral part of Broca’s area subserving compositional semantic processing; and the left posterior temporal cortex (Wernicke’s area) subserving the retrieval of lexical syntactic and semantic information. Sentence production, the comprehension of simple and complex sentences, and the parsing of sentences containing grammatical violations differ with respect to the recruitment of these functional components.
  • Isbilen, E., Frost, R. L. A., Monaghan, P., & Christiansen, M. (2018). Bridging artificial and natural language learning: Comparing processing- and reflection-based measures of learning. In C. Kalish, M. Rau, J. Zhu, & T. T. Rogers (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2018) (pp. 1856-1861). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    A common assumption in the cognitive sciences is that artificial and natural language learning rely on shared mechanisms. However, attempts to bridge the two have yielded ambiguous results. We suggest that an empirical disconnect between the computations employed during learning and the methods employed at test may explain these mixed results. Further, we propose statistically-based chunking as a potential computational link between artificial and natural language learning. We compare the acquisition of non-adjacent dependencies to that of natural language structure using two types of tasks: reflection-based 2AFC measures, and processing-based recall measures, the latter being more computationally analogous to the processes used during language acquisition. Our results demonstrate that task-type significantly influences the correlations observed between artificial and natural language acquisition, with reflection-based and processing-based measures correlating within – but not across – task-type. These findings have fundamental implications for artificial-to-natural language comparisons, both methodologically and theoretically.
  • Jackson, C. N., Mormer, E., & Brehm, L. (2018). The production of subject-verb agreement among Swedish and Chinese second language speakers of English. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 40(4), 907-921. doi: 10.1017/S0272263118000025.

    Abstract

    This study uses a sentence completion task with Swedish and Chinese L2 English speakers to investigate how L1 morphosyntax and L2 proficiency influence L2 English subject-verb agreement production. Chinese has limited nominal and verbal number morphology, while Swedish has robust noun phrase (NP) morphology but does not number-mark verbs. Results showed that like L1 English speakers, both L2 groups used grammatical and conceptual number to produce subject-verb agreement. However, only L1 Chinese speakers—and less-proficient speakers in both L2 groups—were similarly influenced by grammatical and conceptual number when producing the subject NP. These findings demonstrate how L2 proficiency, perhaps combined with cross-linguistic differences, influence L2 production and underscore that encoding of noun and verb number are not independent.
  • Jacobs, A. M., & Willems, R. M. (2018). The fictive brain: Neurocognitive correlates of engagement in literature. Review of General Psychology, 22(2), 147-160. doi:10.1037/gpr0000106.

    Abstract

    Fiction is vital to our being. Many people enjoy engaging with fiction every day. Here we focus on literary reading as 1 instance of fiction consumption from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. The brain processes which play a role in the mental construction of fiction worlds and the related engagement with fictional characters, remain largely unknown. The authors discuss the neurocognitive poetics model (Jacobs, 2015a) of literary reading specifying the likely neuronal correlates of several key processes in literary reading, namely inference and situation model building, immersion, mental simulation and imagery, figurative language and style, and the issue of distinguishing fact from fiction. An overview of recent work on these key processes is followed by a discussion of methodological challenges in studying the brain bases of fiction processing
  • Jadoul, Y., Thompson, B., & De Boer, B. (2018). Introducing Parselmouth: A Python interface to Praat. Journal of Phonetics, 71, 1-15. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2018.07.001.

    Abstract

    This paper introduces Parselmouth, an open-source Python library that facilitates access to core functionality of Praat in Python, in an efficient and programmer-friendly way. We introduce and motivate the package, and present simple usage examples. Specifically, we focus on applications in data visualisation, file manipulation, audio manipulation, statistical analysis, and integration of Parselmouth into a Python-based experimental design for automated, in-the-loop manipulation of acoustic data. Parselmouth is available at https://github.com/YannickJadoul/Parselmouth.
  • Janssen, R., Moisik, S. R., & Dediu, D. (2018). Agent model reveals the influence of vocal tract anatomy on speech during ontogeny and glossogeny. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference (EVOLANGXII) (pp. 171-174). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.042.
  • Janssen, R. (2018). Let the agents do the talking: On the influence of vocal tract anatomy no speech during ontogeny. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Supplementary material

    full text via Radboud Repository
  • Janssen, R., & Dediu, D. (2018). Genetic biases affecting language: What do computer models and experimental approaches suggest? In T. Poibeau, & A. Villavicencio (Eds.), Language, Cognition and Computational Models (pp. 256-288). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    Computer models of cultural evolution have shown language properties emerging on interacting agents with a brain that lacks dedicated, nativist language modules. Notably, models using Bayesian agents provide a precise specification of (extra-)liguististic factors (e.g., genetic) that shape language through iterated learning (biases on language), and demonstrate that weak biases get expressed more strongly over time (bias amplification). Other models attempt to lessen assumption on agents’ innate predispositions even more, and emphasize self-organization within agents, highlighting glossogenesis (the development of language from a nonlinguistic state). Ultimately however, one also has to recognize that biology and culture are strongly interacting, forming a coevolving system. As such, computer models show that agents might (biologically) evolve to a state predisposed to language adaptability, where (culturally) stable language features might get assimilated into the genome via Baldwinian niche construction. In summary, while many questions about language evolution remain unanswered, it is clear that it is not to be completely understood from a purely biological, cognitivist perspective. Language should be regarded as (partially) emerging on the social interactions between large populations of speakers. In this context, agent models provide a sound approach to investigate the complex dynamics of genetic biasing on language and speech
  • Janssen, R., Moisik, S. R., & Dediu, D. (2018). Modelling human hard palate shape with Bézier curves. PLoS One, 13(2): e0191557. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0191557.

    Abstract

    People vary at most levels, from the molecular to the cognitive, and the shape of the hard palate (the bony roof of the mouth) is no exception. The patterns of variation in the hard palate are important for the forensic sciences and (palaeo)anthropology, and might also play a role in speech production, both in pathological cases and normal variation. Here we describe a method based on Bézier curves, whose main aim is to generate possible shapes of the hard palate in humans for use in computer simulations of speech production and language evolution. Moreover, our method can also capture existing patterns of variation using few and easy-to-interpret parameters, and fits actual data obtained from MRI traces very well with as little as two or three free parameters. When compared to the widely-used Principal Component Analysis (PCA), our method fits actual data slightly worse for the same number of degrees of freedom. However, it is much better at generating new shapes without requiring a calibration sample, its parameters have clearer interpretations, and their ranges are grounded in geometrical considerations. © 2018 Janssen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
  • Johnson, E. K., Bruggeman, L., & Cutler, A. (2018). Abstraction and the (misnamed) language familiarity effect. Cognitive Science, 42, 633-645. doi:10.1111/cogs.12520.

    Abstract

    Talkers are recognized more accurately if they are speaking the listeners’ native language rather than an unfamiliar language. This “language familiarity effect” has been shown not to depend upon comprehension and must instead involve language sound patterns. We further examine the level of sound-pattern processing involved, by comparing talker recognition in foreign languages versus two varieties of English, by (a) English speakers of one variety, (b) English speakers of the other variety, and (c) non-native listeners (more familiar with one of the varieties). All listener groups performed better with native than foreign speech, but no effect of language variety appeared: Native listeners discriminated talkers equally well in each, with the native variety never outdoing the other variety, and non-native listeners discriminated talkers equally poorly in each, irrespective of the variety's familiarity. The results suggest that this talker recognition effect rests not on simple familiarity, but on an abstract level of phonological processing
  • Kalashnikova, M., Escudero, P., & Kidd, E. (2018). The development of fast-mapping and novel word retention strategies in monolingual and bilingual infants. Developmental Science, 21(6): e12674. doi:10.1111/desc.12674.

    Abstract

    The mutual exclusivity (ME) assumption is proposed to facilitate early word learning by guiding infants to map novel words to novel referents. This study assessed the emergence and use of ME to both disambiguate and retain the meanings of novel words across development in 18‐month‐old monolingual and bilingual children (Experiment 1; N = 58), and in a sub‐group of these children again at 24 months of age (Experiment 2: N = 32). Both monolinguals and bilinguals employed ME to select the referent of a novel label to a similar extent at 18 and 24 months. At 18 months, there were also no differences in novel word retention between the two language‐background groups. However, at 24 months, only monolinguals showed the ability to retain these label–object mappings. These findings indicate that the development of the ME assumption as a reliable word‐learning strategy is shaped by children's individual language exposure and experience with language use.

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  • Kanero, J., Geçkin, V., Oranç, C., Mamus, E., Küntay, A. C., & Göksun, T. (2018). Social robots for early language learning: Current evidence and future directions. Child Development Perspectives, 12(3), 146-151. doi:10.1111/cdep.12277.

    Abstract

    In this article, we review research on child–robot interaction (CRI) to discuss how social robots can be used to scaffold language learning in young children. First we provide reasons why robots can be useful for teaching first and second languages to children. Then we review studies on CRI that used robots to help children learn vocabulary and produce language. The studies vary in first and second languages and demographics of the learners (typically developing children and children with hearing and communication impairments). We conclude that, although social robots are useful for teaching language to children, evidence suggests that robots are not as effective as human teachers. However, this conclusion is not definitive because robots that tutor students in language have not been evaluated rigorously and technology is advancing rapidly. We suggest that CRI offers an opportunity for research and list possible directions for that work.
  • Kempen, G., & Harbusch, K. (2018). A competitive mechanism selecting verb-second versus verb-final word order in causative and argumentative clauses of spoken Dutch: A corpus-linguistic study. Language Sciences, 69, 30-42. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2018.05.005.

    Abstract

    In Dutch and German, the canonical order of subject, object(s) and finite verb is ‘verb-second’ (V2) in main but ‘verb-final’ (VF) in subordinate clauses. This occasionally leads to the production of noncanonical word orders. Familiar examples are causative and argumentative clauses introduced by a subordinating conjunction (Du. omdat, Ger. weil ‘because’): the omdat/weil-V2 phenomenon. Such clauses may also be introduced by coordinating conjunctions (Du. want, Ger. denn), which license V2 exclusively. However, want/denn-VF structures are unknown. We present the results of a corpus study on the incidence of omdat-V2 in spoken Dutch, and compare them to published data on weil-V2 in spoken German. Basic findings: omdat-V2 is much less frequent than weil-V2 (ratio almost 1:8); and the frequency relations between coordinating and subordinating conjunctions are opposite (want >> omdat; denn << weil). We propose that conjunction selection and V2/VF selection proceed partly independently, and sometimes miscommunicate—e.g. yielding omdat/weil paired with V2. Want/denn-VF pairs do not occur because want/denn clauses are planned as autonomous sentences, which take V2 by default. We sketch a simple feedforward neural network with two layers of nodes (representing conjunctions and word orders, respectively) that can simulate the observed data pattern through inhibition-based competition of the alternative choices within the node layers.
  • Kidd, E., Junge, C., Spokes, T., Morrison, L., & Cutler, A. (2018). Individual differences in infant speech segmentation: Achieving the lexical shift. Infancy, 23(6), 770-794. doi:10.1111/infa.12256.

    Abstract

    We report a large‐scale electrophysiological study of infant speech segmentation, in which over 100 English‐acquiring 9‐month‐olds were exposed to unfamiliar bisyllabic words embedded in sentences (e.g., He saw a wild eagle up there), after which their brain responses to either the just‐familiarized word (eagle) or a control word (coral) were recorded. When initial exposure occurs in continuous speech, as here, past studies have reported that even somewhat older infants do not reliably recognize target words, but that successful segmentation varies across children. Here, we both confirm and further uncover the nature of this variation. The segmentation response systematically varied across individuals and was related to their vocabulary development. About one‐third of the group showed a left‐frontally located relative negativity in response to familiar versus control targets, which has previously been described as a mature response. Another third showed a similarly located positive‐going reaction (a previously described immature response), and the remaining third formed an intermediate grouping that was primarily characterized by an initial response delay. A fine‐grained group‐level analysis suggested that a developmental shift to a lexical mode of processing occurs toward the end of the first year, with variation across individual infants in the exact timing of this shift.

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  • Kidd, E., Donnelly, S., & Christiansen, M. H. (2018). Individual differences in language acquisition and processing. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 22(2), 154-169. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2017.11.006.

    Abstract

    Humans differ in innumerable ways, with considerable variation observable at every level of description, from the molecular to the social. Traditionally, linguistic and psycholinguistic theory has downplayed the possibility of meaningful differences in language across individuals. However, it is becoming increasingly evident that there is significant variation among speakers at any age as well as across the lifespan. In this paper, we review recent research in psycholinguistics, and argue that a focus on individual differences provides a crucial source of evidence that bears strongly upon core issues in theories of the acquisition and processing of language; specifically, the role of experience in language acquisition, processing, and attainment, and the architecture of the language faculty.
  • Kidd, L., & Rowland, C. F. (2018). The effect of language-focused professional development on the knowledge and behaviour of preschool practitioners. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/1468798418803664.

    Abstract

    The purpose of this project was to investigate the effectiveness of a language-focused professional development programme on the knowledge and behaviour of preschool practitioners (sometimes called early years practitioners) in the UK. In Study 1 we determined whether the training received by practitioners is effective in improving their knowledge of how to support children’s language and communicative development. In Study 2 we tested whether trained practitioners, and practitioners from centres with embedded Language Champions, were able to implement the techniques they had been taught. For this, we video-recorded practitioners interacting, one to one, with 2- and 3–4-year-old children in their centres. We conclude that (1) practitioners retain the knowledge they have been taught, both about how children learn and about how to promote this learning, and that (2), in some respects, this knowledge translates well into practice; practitioners in centres with embedded Language Champions and trained practitioners used language-enriching behaviours when interacting with children more often than did untrained practitioners. We discuss how the translation of some techniques into overt behaviour could be made more effective

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  • Kirsch, J. (2018). Listening for the WHAT and the HOW: Older adults' processing of semantic and affective information in speech. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

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  • Klein, W. (2018). Looking at language. Berlin: De Gruyter.

    Abstract

    The volume presents an essential selection collected from the essays of Wolfgang Klein. In addition to journal and book articles, many of them published by Mouton, this book features new and unpublished texts by the author. It focuses, among other topics, on information structure, the expression of grammatical categories and the structure of learner varieties.
  • Koch, X. (2018). Age and hearing loss effects on speech processing. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Kochari, A. R., & Ostarek, M. (2018). Introducing a replication-first rule for PhD projects (commmentary on Zwaan et al., ‘Making replication mainstream’). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 41: e138. doi:10.1017/S0140525X18000730.

    Abstract

    Zwaan et al. mention that young researchers should conduct replications as a small part of their portfolio. We extend this proposal and suggest that conducting and reporting replications should become an integral part of PhD projects and be taken into account in their assessment. We discuss how this would help not only scientific advancement, but also PhD candidates’ careers.
  • Kolipakam, V. (2018). A holistic approach to understanding pre-history. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

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  • Kolipakam, V., Jordan, F., Dunn, M., Greenhill, S. J., Bouckaert, R., Gray, R. D., & Verkerk, A. (2018). A Bayesian phylogenetic study of the Dravidian language family. Royal Society Open Science, 5: 171504. doi:10.1098/rsos.171504.

    Abstract

    The Dravidian language family consists of about 80 varieties (Hammarström H. 2016 Glottolog 2.7) spoken by 220 million people across southern and central India and surrounding countries (Steever SB. 1998 In The Dravidian languages (ed. SB Steever), pp. 1–39: 1). Neither the geographical origin of the Dravidian language homeland nor its exact dispersal through time are known. The history of these languages is crucial for understanding prehistory in Eurasia, because despite their current restricted range, these languages played a significant role in influencing other language groups including Indo-Aryan (Indo-European) and Munda (Austroasiatic) speakers. Here, we report the results of a Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of cognate-coded lexical data, elicited first hand from native speakers, to investigate the subgrouping of the Dravidian language family, and provide dates for the major points of diversification. Our results indicate that the Dravidian language family is approximately 4500 years old, a finding that corresponds well with earlier linguistic and archaeological studies. The main branches of the Dravidian language family (North, Central, South I, South II) are recovered, although the placement of languages within these main branches diverges from previous classifications. We find considerable uncertainty with regard to the relationships between the main branches.
  • Kong, X., Mathias, S. R., Guadalupe, T., ENIGMA Laterality Working Group, Glahn, D. C., Franke, B., Crivello, F., Tzourio-Mazoyer, N., Fisher, S. E., Thompson, P. M., & Francks, C. (2018). Mapping Cortical Brain Asymmetry in 17,141 Healthy Individuals Worldwide via the ENIGMA Consortium. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(22), E5154-E5163. doi:10.1073/pnas.1718418115.

    Abstract

    Hemispheric asymmetry is a cardinal feature of human brain organization. Altered brain asymmetry has also been linked to some cognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders. Here the ENIGMA consortium presents the largest ever analysis of cerebral cortical asymmetry and its variability across individuals. Cortical thickness and surface area were assessed in MRI scans of 17,141 healthy individuals from 99 datasets worldwide. Results revealed widespread asymmetries at both hemispheric and regional levels, with a generally thicker cortex but smaller surface area in the left hemisphere relative to the right. Regionally, asymmetries of cortical thickness and/or surface area were found in the inferior frontal gyrus, transverse temporal gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, and entorhinal cortex. These regions are involved in lateralized functions, including language and visuospatial processing. In addition to population-level asymmetries, variability in brain asymmetry was related to sex, age, and intracranial volume. Interestingly, we did not find significant associations between asymmetries and handedness. Finally, with two independent pedigree datasets (N = 1,443 and 1,113, respectively), we found several asymmetries showing significant, replicable heritability. The structural asymmetries identified, and their variabilities and heritability provide a reference resource for future studies on the genetic basis of brain asymmetry and altered laterality in cognitive, neurological, and psychiatric disorders.

    Supplementary material

    pnas.1718418115.sapp.pdf
  • Hu, C.-P., Kong, X., Wagenmakers, E.-J., Ly, A., & Peng, K. (2018). The Bayes factor and its implementation in JASP: A practical primer. Advances in Psychological Science, 26(6), 951-965. doi:10.3724/SP.J.1042.2018.00951.

    Abstract

    Statistical inference plays a critical role in modern scientific research, however, the dominant method for statistical inference in science, null hypothesis significance testing (NHST), is often misunderstood and misused, which leads to unreproducible findings. To address this issue, researchers propose to adopt the Bayes factor as an alternative to NHST. The Bayes factor is a principled Bayesian tool for model selection and hypothesis testing, and can be interpreted as the strength for both the null hypothesis H0 and the alternative hypothesis H1 based on the current data. Compared to NHST, the Bayes factor has the following advantages: it quantifies the evidence that the data provide for both the H0 and the H1, it is not “violently biased” against H0, it allows one to monitor the evidence as the data accumulate, and it does not depend on sampling plans. Importantly, the recently developed open software JASP makes the calculation of Bayes factor accessible for most researchers in psychology, as we demonstrated for the t-test. Given these advantages, adopting the Bayes factor will improve psychological researchers’ statistical inferences. Nevertheless, to make the analysis more reproducible, researchers should keep their data analysis transparent and open.
  • Konopka, A., Meyer, A. S., & Forest, T. A. (2018). Planning to speak in L1 and L2. Cognitive Psychology, 102, 72-104. doi:10.1016/j.cogpsych.2017.12.003.

    Abstract

    The leading theories of sentence planning – Hierarchical Incrementality and Linear Incrementality – differ in their assumptions about the coordination of processes that map preverbal information onto language. Previous studies showed that, in native (L1) speakers, this coordination can vary with the ease of executing the message-level and sentence-level processes necessary to plan and produce an utterance. We report the first series of experiments to systematically examine how linguistic experience influences sentence planning in native (L1) speakers (i.e., speakers with life-long experience using the target language) and non-native (L2) speakers (i.e., speakers with less experience using the target language). In all experiments, speakers spontaneously generated one-sentence descriptions of simple events in Dutch (L1) and English (L2). Analyses of eye-movements across early and late time windows (pre- and post-400 ms) compared the extent of early message-level encoding and the onset of linguistic encoding. In Experiment 1, speakers were more likely to engage in extensive message-level encoding and to delay sentence-level encoding when using their L2. Experiments 2–4 selectively facilitated encoding of the preverbal message, encoding of the agent character (i.e., the first content word in active sentences), and encoding of the sentence verb (i.e., the second content word in active sentences) respectively. Experiment 2 showed that there is no delay in the onset of L2 linguistic encoding when speakers are familiar with the events. Experiments 3 and 4 showed that the delay in the onset of L2 linguistic encoding is not due to speakers delaying encoding of the agent, but due to a preference to encode information needed to select a suitable verb early in the formulation process. Overall, speakers prefer to temporally separate message-level from sentence-level encoding and to prioritize encoding of relational information when planning L2 sentences, consistent with Hierarchical Incrementality
  • Kösem, A., Bosker, H. R., Takashima, A., Meyer, A. S., Jensen, O., & Hagoort, P. (2018). Neural entrainment determines the words we hear. Current Biology, 28, 2867-2875. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.07.023.

    Abstract

    Low-frequency neural entrainment to rhythmic input has been hypothesized as a canonical mechanism that shapes sensory perception in time. Neural entrainment is deemed particularly relevant for speech analysis, as it would contribute to the extraction of discrete linguistic elements from continuous acoustic signals. However, its causal influence in speech perception has been difficult to establish. Here, we provide evidence that oscillations build temporal predictions about the duration of speech tokens that affect perception. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), we studied neural dynamics during listening to sentences that changed in speech rate. Weobserved neural entrainment to preceding speech rhythms persisting for several cycles after the change in rate. The sustained entrainment was associated with changes in the perceived duration of the last word’s vowel, resulting in the perception of words with different meanings. These findings support oscillatory models of speech processing, suggesting that neural oscillations actively shape speech perception.
  • Kouwenhoven, H., Van Mulken, M., & Ernestus, M. (2018). Communication strategy use by Spanish speakers of English in formal and informal speech. International Journal of Bilingualism, 22(3), 285-305. doi:10.1177/1367006916672946.

    Abstract

    Research questions: Are emergent bilinguals sensitive to register variation in their use of communication strategies? What strategies do LX speakers, in casu Spanish speakers of English, use as a function of situational context? What role do individual differences play? Methodology: This within-speaker study compares Spanish second-language English speakers’ communication strategy use in an informal, peer-to-peer conversation and a formal interview. Data and analysis: The 15 hours of informal and 9.5 hours of formal speech from the Nijmegen Corpus of Spanish English were coded for 19 different communication strategies. Findings/conclusions: Overall, speakers prefer self-reliant strategies, which allow them to continue communication without their interlocutor’s help. Of the self-reliant strategies, least effort strategies such as code-switching are used more often in informal speech, whereas relatively more effortful strategies (e.g. reformulations) are used more in informal speech, when the need to be unambiguously understood is felt as more important. Individual differences played a role: some speakers were more affected by a change in formality than others. Originality: Sensitivity to register variation has not yet been studied within communicative strategy use. Implications: General principles of communication govern speakers’ strategy selection, notably the protection of positive face and the least effort and cooperative principles.

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  • Kouwenhoven, H., Ernestus, M., & Van Mulken, M. (2018). Register variation by Spanish users of English. The Nijmegen Corpus of Spanish English. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory, 14(1), 35-63. doi:10.1515/cllt-2013-0054.

    Abstract

    English serves as a lingua franca in situations with varying degrees of formality. How formality affects non-native speech has rarely been studied. We investigated register variation by Spanish users of English by comparing formal and informal speech from the Nijmegen Corpus of Spanish English that we created. This corpus comprises speech from thirty-four Spanish speakers of English in interaction with Dutch confederates in two speech situations. Formality affected the amount of laughter and overlapping speech and the number of Spanish words. Moreover, formal speech had a more informational character than informal speech. We discuss how our findings relate to register variation in Spanish

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  • De Kovel, C. G. F., & Fisher, S. E. (2018). Molecular genetic methods. In A. M. B. De Groot, & P. Hagoort (Eds.), Research methods in psycholinguistics and the neurobiology of language: A practical guide (pp. 330-353). Hoboken: Wiley.
  • De Kovel, C. G. F., Lisgo, S. N., & Francks, C. (2018). Transcriptomic analysis of left-right differences in human embryonic forebrain and midbrain. Scientific Data, 5: 180164. doi:10.1038/sdata.2018.164.

    Abstract

    Left-right asymmetry is subtle but pervasive in the human central nervous system. This asymmetry is initiated early during development, but its mechanisms are poorly known. Forebrains and midbrains were dissected from six human embryos at Carnegie stages 15 or 16, one of which was female. The structures were divided into left and right sides, and RNA was isolated. RNA was sequenced with 100 base-pair paired ends using Illumina Hiseq 4000. After quality control, five paired brain sides were available for midbrain and forebrain. A paired analysis between left- and right sides of a given brain structure across the embryos identified left-right differences. The dataset, consisting of Fastq files and a read count table, can be further used to study early development of the human brain
  • De Kovel, C. G. F., Lisgo, S. N., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2018). Subtle left-right asymmetry of gene expression profiles in embryonic and foetal human brains. Scientific Reports, 8: 12606. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-29496-2.

    Abstract

    Left-right laterality is an important aspect of human –and in fact all vertebrate– brain organization for which the genetic basis is poorly understood. Using RNA sequencing data we contrasted gene expression in left- and right-sided samples from several structures of the anterior central nervous systems of post mortem human embryos and foetuses. While few individual genes stood out as significantly lateralized, most structures showed evidence of laterality of their overall transcriptomic profiles. These left-right differences showed overlap with age-dependent changes in expression, indicating lateralized maturation rates, but not consistently in left-right orientation over all structures. Brain asymmetry may therefore originate in multiple locations, or if there is a single origin, it is earlier than 5 weeks post conception, with structure-specific lateralized processes already underway by this age. This pattern is broadly consistent with the weak correlations reported between various aspects of adult brain laterality, such as language dominance and handedness.
  • Krebs, J., Wilbur, R. B., Alday, P. M., & Roehm, D. (2018). The impact of transitional movements and non-manual markings on the disambiguation of locally ambiguous argument structures in Austrian Sign Language (ÖGS). Language and Speech. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/0023830918801399.

    Abstract

    Previous studies of Austrian Sign Language (ÖGS) word-order variations have demonstrated the human processing system’s tendency to interpret a sentence-initial (case-) ambiguous argument as the subject of the clause (“subject preference”). The electroencephalogram study motivating the current report revealed earlier reanalysis effects for object-subject compared to subject-object sentences, in particular, before the start of the movement of the agreement marking sign. The effects were bound to time points prior to when both arguments were referenced in space and/or the transitional hand movement prior to producing the disambiguating sign. Due to the temporal proximity of these time points, it was not clear which visual cues led to disambiguation; that is, whether non-manual markings (body/shoulder/head shift towards the subject position) or the transitional hand movement resolved ambiguity. The present gating study further supports that disambiguation in ÖGS is triggered by cues occurring before the movement of the disambiguating sign. Further, the present study also confirms the presence of the subject preference in ÖGS, showing again that signers and speakers draw on similar strategies during language processing independent of language modality. Although the ultimate role of the visual cues leading to disambiguation (i.e., non-manual markings and transitional movements) requires further investigation, the present study shows that they contribute crucial information about argument structure during online processing. This finding provides strong support for granting these cues some degree of linguistic status (at least in ÖGS).
  • Kuerbitz, J., Arnett, M., Ehrman, S., Williams, M. T., Voorhees, C. V., Fisher, S. E., Garratt, A. N., Muglia, L. J., Waclaw, R. R., & Campbell, K. (2018). Loss of intercalated cells (ITCs) in the mouse amygdala of Tshz1 mutants correlates with fear, depression and social interaction phenotypes. The Journal of Neuroscience, 38, 1160-1177. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1412-17.2017.

    Abstract

    The intercalated cells (ITCs) of the amygdala have been shown to be critical regulatory components of amygdalar circuits, which control appropriate fear responses. Despite this, the molecular processes guiding ITC development remain poorly understood. Here we establish the zinc finger transcription factor Tshz1 as a marker of ITCs during their migration from the dorsal lateral ganglionic eminence through maturity. Using germline and conditional knock-out (cKO) mouse models, we show that Tshz1 is required for the proper migration and differentiation of ITCs. In the absence of Tshz1, migrating ITC precursors fail to settle in their stereotypical locations encapsulating the lateral amygdala and BLA. Furthermore, they display reductions in the ITC marker Foxp2 and ectopic persistence of the dorsal lateral ganglionic eminence marker Sp8. Tshz1 mutant ITCs show increased cell death at postnatal time points, leading to a dramatic reduction by 3 weeks of age. In line with this, Foxp2-null mutants also show a loss of ITCs at postnatal time points, suggesting that Foxp2 may function downstream of Tshz1 in the maintenance of ITCs. Behavioral analysis of male Tshz1 cKOs revealed defects in fear extinction as well as an increase in floating during the forced swim test, indicative of a depression-like phenotype. Moreover, Tshz1 cKOs display significantly impaired social interaction (i.e., increased passivity) regardless of partner genetics. Together, these results suggest that Tshz1 plays a critical role in the development of ITCs and that fear, depression-like and social behavioral deficits arise in their absence. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We show here that the zinc finger transcription factor Tshz1 is expressed during development of the intercalated cells (ITCs) within the mouse amygdala. These neurons have previously been shown to play a crucial role in fear extinction. Tshz1 mouse mutants exhibit severely reduced numbers of ITCs as a result of abnormal migration, differentiation, and survival of these neurons. Furthermore, the loss of ITCs in mouse Tshz1 mutants correlates well with defects in fear extinction as well as the appearance of depression-like and abnormal social interaction behaviors reminiscent of depressive disorders observed in human patients with distal 18q deletions, including the Tshz1 locus.
  • Kung, C. (2018). Speech comprehension in a tone language: The role of lexical tone, context, and intonation in Cantonese-Chinese. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Lam, N. H. L., Hulten, A., Hagoort, P., & Schoffelen, J.-M. (2018). Robust neuronal oscillatory entrainment to speech displays individual variation in lateralisation. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33(8), 943-954. doi:10.1080/23273798.2018.1437456.

    Abstract

    Neural oscillations may be instrumental for the tracking and segmentation of continuous speech. Earlier work has suggested that delta, theta and gamma oscillations entrain to the speech rhythm. We used magnetoencephalography and a large sample of 102 participants to investigate oscillatory entrainment to speech, and observed robust entrainment of delta and theta activity, and weak group-level gamma entrainment. We show that the peak frequency and the hemispheric lateralisation of the entrainment are subject to considerable individual variability. The first finding may support the involvement of intrinsic oscillations in entrainment, and the second finding suggests that there is no systematic default right-hemispheric bias for processing acoustic signals on a slow time scale. Although low frequency entrainment to speech is a robust phenomenon, the characteristics of entrainment vary across individuals, and this variation is important for understanding the underlying neural mechanisms of entrainment, as well as its functional significance.
  • Lattenkamp, E. Z., Kaiser, S., Kaucic, R., Großmann, M., Koselj, K., & Goerlitz, H. R. (2018). Environmental acoustic cues guide the biosonar attention of a highly specialised echolocator. Journal of Experimental Biology, 221(8): jeb165696. doi:10.1242/jeb.165696.

    Abstract

    Sensory systems experience a trade-off between maximizing the detail and amount of sampled information. Thistrade-off is particularly pronounced in sensorysystemsthat are highlyspecialised fora single task and thus experience limitations in other tasks. We hypothesised that combining sensory input from multiple streams of information may resolve this trade-off and improve detection and sensing reliability. Specifically, we predicted that perceptive limitations experienced by animals reliant on specialised active echolocation can be compensated for by the phylogenetically older and less specialised process of passive hearing. We tested this hypothesis in greater horseshoe bats, which possess morphological and neural specialisations allowing them to identify fluttering prey in dense vegetation using echolocation only. At the same time, their echolocation system is both spatially and temporally severely limited. Here, we show that greater horseshoe bats employ passive hearing to initially detect and localise prey-generated and other environmental sounds, and then raise vocalisation level and concentrate the scanning movements of their sonar beam on the sound source for further investigation with echolocation. These specialised echolocators thus supplement echo-acoustic information with environmental acoustic cues, enlarging perceived space beyond their biosonar range. Contrary to our predictions, we did not find consistent preferences for prey-related acoustic stimuli, indicating the use of passive acoustic cues also for detection of non-prey objects. Our findings suggest that even specialised echolocators exploit a wide range of environmental information, and that phylogenetically older sensory systems can support the evolution of sensory specialisations by compensating for their limitations.
  • Lattenkamp, E. Z., Vernes, S. C., & Wiegrebe, L. (2018). Mammalian models for the study of vocal learning: A new paradigm in bats. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference (EVOLANGXII) (pp. 235-237). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.056.
  • Lattenkamp, E. Z., & Vernes, S. C. (2018). Vocal learning: A language-relevant trait in need of a broad cross-species approach. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 21, 209-215. doi:10.1016/j.cobeha.2018.04.007.

    Abstract

    Although humans are unmatched in their capacity to produce speech and learn language, comparative approaches in diverse animalmodelsareabletoshedlightonthebiologicalunderpinnings of language-relevant traits. In the study of vocal learning, a trait crucial for spoken language, passerine birds have been the dominant models, driving invaluable progress in understanding the neurobiology and genetics of vocal learning despite being only distantly related to humans. To date, there is sparse evidence that our closest relatives, nonhuman primates have the capability to learn new vocalisations. However, a number of other mammals have shown the capacity for vocal learning, such as some cetaceans, pinnipeds, elephants, and bats, and we anticipate that with further study more species will gain membership to this (currently) select club. A broad, cross-species comparison of vocal learning, coupled with careful consideration of the components underlying this trait, is crucial to determine how human speech and spoken language is biologically encoded and how it evolved. We emphasise the need to draw on the pool of promising species that havethusfarbeenunderstudiedorneglected.Thisisbynomeansa call for fewer studies in songbirds, or an unfocused treasure-hunt, but rather an appeal for structured comparisons across a range of species, considering phylogenetic relationships, ecological and morphological constrains, developmental and social factors, and neurogenetic underpinnings. Herein, we promote a comparative approachhighlightingtheimportanceofstudyingvocallearningina broad range of model species, and describe a common framework for targeted cross-taxon studies to shed light on the biology and evolution of vocal learning.
  • Lattenkamp, E. Z., Vernes, S. C., & Wiegrebe, L. (2018). Volitional control of social vocalisations and vocal usage learning in bats. Journal of Experimental Biology, 221(14): jeb.180729. doi:10.1242/jeb.180729.

    Abstract

    Bats are gregarious, highly vocal animals that possess a broad repertoire of social vocalisations. For in-depth studies of their vocal behaviours, including vocal flexibility and vocal learning, it is necessary to gather repeatable evidence from controlled laboratory experiments on isolated individuals. However, such studies are rare for one simple reason: eliciting social calls in isolation and under operant control is challenging and has rarely been achieved. To overcome this limitation, we designed an automated setup that allows conditioning of social vocalisations in a new context, and tracks spectro-temporal changes in the recorded calls over time. Using this setup, we were able to reliably evoke social calls from temporarily isolated lesser spear-nosed bats (Phyllostomus discolor). When we adjusted the call criteria that could result in food reward, bats responded by adjusting temporal and spectral call parameters. This was achieved without the help of an auditory template or social context to direct the bats. Our results demonstrate vocal flexibility and vocal usage learning in bats. Our setup provides a new paradigm that allows the controlled study of the production and learning of social vocalisations in isolated bats, overcoming limitations that have, until now, prevented in-depth studies of these behaviours.

    Supplementary material

    JEB180729supp.pdf
  • Lee, J. J., Wedow, R., Okbay, A., Kong, E., Maghzian, O., Zacher, M., Nguyen-Viet, T. A., Bowers, P., Sidorenko, J., Linnér, R. K., Fontana, M. A., Kundu, T., Lee, C., Li, H., Li, R., Royer, R., Timshel, P. N., Walters, R. K., Willoughby, E. A., Yengo, L., 23andMe Research Team, COGENT (Cognitive Genomics Consortium), Social Science Genetic Association Consortium, Alver, M., Bao, Y., Clark, D. W., Day, F. R., Furlotte, N. A., Joshi, P. K., Kemper, K. E., Kleinman, A., Langenberg, C., Mägi, R., Trampush, J. W., Verma, S. S., Wu, Y., Lam, M., Zhao, J. H., Zheng, Z., Boardman, J. D., Campbell, H., Freese, J., Harris, K. M., Hayward, C., Herd, P., Kumari, M., Lencz, T., Luan, J., Malhotra, A. K., Metspalu, A., Milani, L., Ong, K. K., Perry, J. R. B., Porteous, D. J., Ritchie, M. D., Smart, M. C., Smith, B. H., Tung, J. Y., Wareham, N. J., Wilson, J. F., Beauchamp, J. P., Conley, D. C., Esko, T., Lehrer, S. F., Magnusson, P. K. E., Oskarsson, S., Pers, T. H., Robinson, M. R., Thom, K., Watson, C., Chabris, C. F., Meyer, M. N., Laibson, D. I., Yang, J., Johannesson, M., Koellinger, P. D., Turley, P., Visscher, P. M., Benjamin, D. J., & Cesarini, D. (2018). Gene discovery and polygenic prediction from a genome-wide association study of educational attainment in 1.1 million individuals. Nature Genetics, 50(8), 1112-1121. doi:10.1038/s41588-018-0147-3.

    Abstract

    Here we conducted a large-scale genetic association analysis of educational attainment in a sample of approximately 1.1 million individuals and identify 1,271 independent genome-wide-significant SNPs. For the SNPs taken together, we found evidence of heterogeneous effects across environments. The SNPs implicate genes involved in brain-development processes and neuron-to-neuron communication. In a separate analysis of the X chromosome, we identify 10 independent genome-wide-significant SNPs and estimate a SNP heritability of around 0.3% in both men and women, consistent with partial dosage compensation. A joint (multi-phenotype) analysis of educational attainment and three related cognitive phenotypes generates polygenic scores that explain 11–13% of the variance in educational attainment and 7–10% of the variance in cognitive performance. This prediction accuracy substantially increases the utility of polygenic scores as tools in research.
  • Lefever, E., Hendrickx, I., Croijmans, I., Van den Bosch, A., & Majid, A. (2018). Discovering the language of wine reviews: A text mining account. In N. Calzolari, K. Choukri, C. Cieri, T. Declerck, S. Goggi, K. Hasida, H. Isahara, B. Maegaard, J. Mariani, H. Mazo, A. Moreno, J. Odijk, S. Piperidis, & T. Tokunaga (Eds.), Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018) (pp. 3297-3302). Paris: LREC.

    Abstract

    It is widely held that smells and flavors are impossible to put into words. In this paper we test this claim by seeking predictive patterns in wine reviews, which ostensibly aim to provide guides to perceptual content. Wine reviews have previously been critiqued as random and meaningless. We collected an English corpus of wine reviews with their structured metadata, and applied machine learning techniques to automatically predict the wine's color, grape variety, and country of origin. To train the three supervised classifiers, three different information sources were incorporated: lexical bag-of-words features, domain-specific terminology features, and semantic word embedding features. In addition, using regression analysis we investigated basic review properties, i.e., review length, average word length, and their relationship to the scalar values of price and review score. Our results show that wine experts do share a common vocabulary to describe wines and they use this in a consistent way, which makes it possible to automatically predict wine characteristics based on the review text alone. This means that odors and flavors may be more expressible in language than typically acknowledged.
  • Lemhöfer, K., Huestegge, L., & Mulder, K. (2018). Another cup of TEE? The processing of second language near-cognates in first language reading. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/23273798.2018.1433863.

    Abstract

    A still unresolved issue is in how far native language (L1) processing in bilinguals is influenced by the second language (L2). We investigated this in two word recognition experiments in L1, using homophonic near-cognates that are spelled in L2. In a German lexical decision task (Experiment 1), German-Dutch bilinguals had more difficulties to reject these Dutch-spelled near-cognates than other misspellings, while this was not the case for non-Dutch speaking Germans. In Experiment 2, the same materials were embedded in German sentences. Analyses of eye movements during reading showed that only non-Dutch speaking Germans, but not Dutch-speaking participants were slowed down by the Dutch cognate misspellings. Additionally, in both experiments, bilinguals with larger vocabulary sizes in Dutch tended to show larger near-cognate effects. Thus, Dutch word knowledge influenced word recognition in L1 German in both task contexts, suggesting that L1 word recognition in bilinguals is non-selective with respect to L2.
  • Lev-Ari, S., Ho, E., & Keysar, B. (2018). The unforeseen consequences of interacting with non-native speakers. Topics in Cognitive Science, 10, 835-849. doi:10.1111/tops.12325.

    Abstract

    Sociolinguistic research shows that listeners' expectations of speakers influence their interpretation of the speech, yet this is often ignored in cognitive models of language comprehension. Here, we focus on the case of interactions between native and non-native speakers. Previous literature shows that listeners process the language of non-native speakers in less detail, because they expect them to have lower linguistic competence. We show that processing the language of non-native speakers increases lexical competition and access in general, not only of the non-native speaker's speech, and that this leads to poorer memory of one's own speech during the interaction. We further find that the degree to which people adjust their processing to non-native speakers is related to the degree to which they adjust their speech to them. We discuss implications for cognitive models of language processing and sociolinguistic research on attitudes.
  • Lev-Ari, S. (2018). The influence of social network size on speech perception. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71(10), 2249-2260. doi:10.1177/1747021817739865.

    Abstract

    Infants and adults learn new phonological varieties better when exposed to multiple rather than a single speaker. This article tests whether having a larger social network similarly facilitates phonological performance. Experiment 1 shows that people with larger social networks are better at vowel perception in noise, indicating that the benefit of laboratory exposure to multiple speakers extends to real life experience and to adults tested in their native language. Furthermore, the experiment shows that this association is not due to differences in amount of input or to cognitive differences between people with different social network sizes. Follow-up computational simulations reveal that the benefit of larger social networks is mostly due to increased input variability. Additionally, the simulations show that the boost that larger social networks provide is independent of the amount of input received but is larger if the population is more heterogeneous. Finally, a comparison of “adult” and “child” simulations reconciles previous conflicting findings by suggesting that input variability along the relevant dimension might be less useful at the earliest stages of learning. Together, this article shows when and how the size of our social network influences our speech perception. It thus shows how aspects of our lifestyle can influence our linguistic performance.

    Supplementary material

    QJE-STD_17-073.R4-Table_A1.docx
  • Lev-Ari, S. (2018). Social network size can influence linguistic malleability and the propagation of linguistic change. Cognition, 176, 31-39. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2018.03.003.

    Abstract

    We learn language from our social environment, but the more sources we have, the less informative each source is, and therefore, the less weight we ascribe its input. According to this principle, people with larger social networks should give less weight to new incoming information, and should therefore be less susceptible to the influence of new speakers. This paper tests this prediction, and shows that speakers with smaller social networks indeed have more malleable linguistic representations. In particular, they are more likely to adjust their lexical boundary following exposure to a new speaker. Experiment 2 uses computational simulations to test whether this greater malleability could lead people with smaller social networks to be important for the propagation of linguistic change despite the fact that they interact with fewer people. The results indicate that when innovators were connected with people with smaller rather than larger social networks, the population exhibited greater and faster diffusion. Together these experiments show that the properties of people’s social networks can influence individuals’ learning and use as well as linguistic phenomena at the community level.
  • Levelt, W. J. M. (2018). Is language natural to man? Some historical considerations. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 21, 127-131. doi:10.1016/j.cobeha.2018.04.003.

    Abstract

    Since the Enlightenment period, natural theories of speech and language evolution have florished in the language sciences. Four ever returning core issues are highlighted in this paper: Firstly, Is language natural to man or just an invention? Secondly, Is language a specific human ability (a ‘language instinct’) or does it arise from general cognitive capacities we share with other animals? Thirdly, Has the evolution of language been a gradual process or did it rather suddenly arise, due to some ‘evolutionary twist’? Lastly, Is the child's language acquisition an appropriate model for language evolution?
  • Levinson, S. C. (2018). Introduction: Demonstratives: Patterns in diversity. In S. C. Levinson, S. Cutfield, M. Dunn, N. J. Enfield, & S. Meira (Eds.), Demonstratives in cross-linguistic perspective (pp. 1-42). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2018). Spatial cognition, empathy and language evolution. Studies in Pragmatics, 20, 16-21.

    Abstract

    The evolution of language and spatial cognition may have been deeply interconnected. The argument goes as follows: 1. Human native spatial abilities are poor, but we make up for it with linguistic and cultural prostheses; 2. The explanation for the loss of native spatial abilities may be that language has cannibalized the hippocampus, the mammalian mental ‘GPS’; 3. Consequently, language may have borrowed conceptual primitives from spatial cognition (in line with ‘localism’), these being differentially combined in different languages; 4. The hippocampus may have been colonized because: (a) space was prime subject matter for communication, (b) gesture uses space to represent space, and was likely precursor to language. In order to explain why the other great apes haven’t gone in the same direction, we need to invoke other factors, notably the ‘interaction engine’, the ensemble of interactional abilities that make cooperative communication possible and provide the matrix for the evolution and learning of language.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2018). Yélî Dnye: Demonstratives in the language of Rossel Island, Papua New Guinea. In S. C. Levinson, S. Cutfield, M. Dunn, N. J. Enfield, & S. Meira (Eds.), Demonstratives in cross-linguistic perspective (pp. 318-342). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Levinson, S. C., Cutfield, S., Dunn, M., Enfield, N. J., & Meira, S. (Eds.). (2018). Demonstratives in cross-linguistic perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    Demonstratives play a crucial role in the acquisition and use of language. Bringing together a team of leading scholars this detailed study, a first of its kind, explores meaning and use across fifteen typologically and geographically unrelated languages to find out what cross-linguistic comparisons and generalizations can be made, and how this might challenge current theory in linguistics, psychology, anthropology and philosophy. Using a shared experimental task, rounded out with studies of natural language use, specialists in each of the languages undertook extensive fieldwork for this comparative study of semantics and usage. An introduction summarizes the shared patterns and divergences in meaning and use that emerge.
  • Lewis, A. G., Schriefers, H., Bastiaansen, M., & Schoffelen, J.-M. (2018). Assessing the utility of frequency tagging for tracking memory-based reactivation of word representations. Scientific Reports, 8: 7897. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-26091-3.

    Abstract

    Reinstatement of memory-related neural activity measured with high temporal precision potentially provides a useful index for real-time monitoring of the timing of activation of memory content during cognitive processing. The utility of such an index extends to any situation where one is interested in the (relative) timing of activation of different sources of information in memory, a paradigm case of which is tracking lexical activation during language processing. Essential for this approach is that memory reinstatement effects are robust, so that their absence (in the average) definitively indicates that no lexical activation is present. We used electroencephalography to test the robustness of a reported subsequent memory finding involving reinstatement of frequency-specific entrained oscillatory brain activity during subsequent recognition. Participants learned lists of words presented on a background flickering at either 6 or 15 Hz to entrain a steady-state brain response. Target words subsequently presented on a non-flickering background that were correctly identified as previously seen exhibited reinstatement effects at both entrainment frequencies. Reliability of these statistical inferences was however critically dependent on the approach used for multiple comparisons correction. We conclude that effects are not robust enough to be used as a reliable index of lexical activation during language processing.

    Supplementary material

    Lewis_etal_2018sup.docx
  • Liang, S., Vega, R., Kong, X., Deng, W., Wang, Q., Ma, X., Li, M., Hu, X., Greenshaw, A. J., Greiner, R., & Li, T. (2018). Neurocognitive Graphs of First-Episode Schizophrenia and Major Depression Based on Cognitive Features. Neuroscience Bulletin, 34(2), 312-320. doi:10.1007/s12264-017-0190-6.

    Abstract

    Neurocognitive deficits are frequently observed in patients with schizophrenia and major depressive disorder (MDD). The relations between cognitive features may be represented by neurocognitive graphs based on cognitive features, modeled as Gaussian Markov random fields. However, it is unclear whether it is possible to differentiate between phenotypic patterns associated with the differential diagnosis of schizophrenia and depression using this neurocognitive graph approach. In this study, we enrolled 215 first-episode patients with schizophrenia (FES), 125 with MDD, and 237 demographically-matched healthy controls (HCs). The cognitive performance of all participants was evaluated using a battery of neurocognitive tests. The graphical LASSO model was trained with a one-vs-one scenario to learn the conditional independent structure of neurocognitive features of each group. Participants in the holdout dataset were classified into different groups with the highest likelihood. A partial correlation matrix was transformed from the graphical model to further explore the neurocognitive graph for each group. The classification approach identified the diagnostic class for individuals with an average accuracy of 73.41% for FES vs HC, 67.07% for MDD vs HC, and 59.48% for FES vs MDD. Both of the neurocognitive graphs for FES and MDD had more connections and higher node centrality than those for HC. The neurocognitive graph for FES was less sparse and had more connections than that for MDD. Thus, neurocognitive graphs based on cognitive features are promising for describing endophenotypes that may discriminate schizophrenia from depression.

    Supplementary material

    Liang_etal_2017sup.pdf
  • Ligthart, S., Vaez, A., Võsa, U., Stathopoulou, M. G., De Vries, P. S., Prins, B. P., Van der Most, P. J., Tanaka, T., Naderi, E., Rose, L. M., Wu, Y., Karlsson, R., Barbalic, M., Lin, H., Pool, R., Zhu, G., Macé, A., Sidore, C., Trompet, S., Mangino, M., Sabater-Lleal, M., Kemp, J. P., Abbasi, A., Kacprowski, T., Verweij, N., Smith, A. V., Huang, T., Marzi, C., Feitosa, M. F., Lohman, K. K., Kleber, M. E., Milaneschi, Y., Mueller, C., Huq, M., Vlachopoulou, E., Lyytikäinen, L.-P., Oldmeadow, C., Deelen, J., Perola, M., Zhao, J. H., Feenstra, B., LifeLines Cohort Study, Amini, M., CHARGE Inflammation Working Group, Lahti, J., Schraut, K. E., Fornage, M., Suktitipat, B., Chen, W.-M., Li, X., Nutile, T., Malerba, G., Luan, J., Bak, T., Schork, N., Del Greco M., F., Thiering, E., Mahajan, A., Marioni, R. E., Mihailov, E., Eriksson, J., Ozel, A. B., Zhang, W., Nethander, M., Cheng, Y.-C., Aslibekyan, S., Ang, W., Gandin, I., Yengo, L., Portas, L., Kooperberg, C., Hofer, E., Rajan, K. B., Schurmann, C., Den Hollander, W., Ahluwalia, T. S., Zhao, J., Draisma, H. H. M., Ford, I., Timpson, N., Teumer, A., Huang, H., Wahl, S., Liu, Y., Huang, J., Uh, H.-W., Geller, F., Joshi, P. K., Yanek, L. R., Trabetti, E., Lehne, B., Vozzi, D., Verbanck, M., Biino, G., Saba, Y., Meulenbelt, I., O’Connell, J. R., Laakso, M., Giulianini, F., Magnusson, P. K. E., Ballantyne, C. M., Hottenga, J. J., Montgomery, G. W., Rivadineira, F., Rueedi, R., Steri, M., Herzig, K.-H., Stott, D. J., Menni, C., Franberg, M., St Pourcain, B., Felix, S. B., Pers, T. H., Bakker, S. J. L., Kraft, P., Peters, A., Vaidya, D., Delgado, G., Smit, J. H., Großmann, V., Sinisalo, J., Seppälä, I., Williams, S. R., Holliday, E. G., Moed, M., Langenberg, C., Räikkönen, K., Ding, J., Campbell, H., Sale, M. M., Chen, Y.-D.-I., James, A. L., Ruggiero, D., Soranzo, N., Hartman, C. A., Smith, E. N., Berenson, G. S., Fuchsberger, C., Hernandez, D., Tiesler, C. M. T., Giedraitis, V., Liewald, D., Fischer, K., Mellström, D., Larsson, A., Wang, Y., Scott, W. R., Lorentzon, M., Beilby, J., Ryan, K. A., Pennell, C. E., Vuckovic, D., Balkau, B., Concas, M. P., Schmidt, R., Mendes de Leon, C. F., Bottinger, E. P., Kloppenburg, M., Paternoster, L., Boehnke, M., Musk, A. W., Willemsen, G., Evans, D. M., Madden, P. A. F., Kähönen, M., Kutalik, Z., Zoledziewska, M., Karhunen, V., Kritchevsky, S. B., Sattar, N., Lachance, G., Clarke, R., Harris, T. B., Raitakari, O. T., Attia, J. R., Van Heemst, D., Kajantie, E., Sorice, R., Gambaro, G., Scott, R. A., Hicks, A. A., Ferrucci, L., Standl, M., Lindgren, C. M., Starr, J. M., Karlsson, M., Lind, L., Li, J. Z., Chambers, J. C., Mori, T. A., De Geus, E. J. C. N., Heath, A. C., Martin, N. G., Auvinen, J., Buckley, B. M., De Craen, A. J. M., Waldenberger, M., Strauch, K., Meitinger, T., Scott, R. J., McEvoy, M., Beekman, M., Bombieri, C., Ridker, P. M., Mohlke, K. L., Pedersen, N. L., Morrison, A. C., Boomsma, D. I., Whitfield, J. B., Strachan, D. P., Hofman, A., Vollenweider, P., Cucca, F., Jarvelin, M.-R., Jukema, J. W., Spector, T. D., Hamsten, A., Zeller, T., Uitterlinden, A. G., Nauck, M., Gudnason, V., Qi, L., Grallert, H., Borecki, I. B., Rotter, J. I., März, W., Wild, P. S., Lokki, M.-L., Boyle, M., Salomaa, V., Melbye, M., Eriksson, J. G., Wilson, J. F., Penninx, B. W. J. H., Becker, D. M., Worrall, B. B., Gibson, G., Krauss, R. M., Ciullo, M., Zaza, G., Wareham, N. J., Oldehinkel, A. J., Palmer, L. J., Murray, S. S., Pramstaller, P. P., Bandinelli, S., Heinrich, J., Ingelsson, E., Deary, I. J., Ma¨gi, R., Vandenput, L., Van der Harst, P., Desch, K. C., Kooner, J. S., Ohlsson, C., Hayward, C., Lehtima¨ki, T., Shuldiner, A. R., Arnett, D. K., Beilin, L. J., Robino, A., Froguel, P., Pirastu, M., Jess, T., Koenig, W., Loos, R. J. F., Evans, D. A., Schmidt, H., Smith, G. D., Slagboom, P. E., Eiriksdottir, G., Morris, A. P., Psaty, B. M., Tracy, R. P., Nolte, I. M., Boerwinkle, E., Visvikis-Siest, S., Reiner, A. P., Gross, M., Bis, J. C., Franke, L., Franco, O. H., Benjamin, E. J., Chasman, D. I., Dupuis, J., Snieder, H., Dehghan, A., & Alizadeh, B. Z. (2018). Genome Analyses of >200,000 Individuals Identify 58 Loci for Chronic Inflammation and Highlight Pathways that Link Inflammation and Complex Disorders. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 103(5), 691-706. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.09.009.

    Abstract

    C-reactive protein (CRP) is a sensitive biomarker of chronic low-grade inflammation and is associated with multiple complex diseases. The genetic determinants of chronic inflammation remain largely unknown, and the causal role of CRP in several clinical outcomes is debated. We performed two genome-wide association studies (GWASs), on HapMap and 1000 Genomes imputed data, of circulating amounts of CRP by using data from 88 studies comprising 204,402 European individuals. Additionally, we performed in silico functional analyses and Mendelian randomization analyses with several clinical outcomes. The GWAS meta-analyses of CRP revealed 58 distinct genetic loci (p < 5 × 10−8). After adjustment for body mass index in the regression analysis, the associations at all except three loci remained. The lead variants at the distinct loci explained up to 7.0% of the variance in circulating amounts of CRP. We identified 66 gene sets that were organized in two substantially correlated clusters, one mainly composed of immune pathways and the other characterized by metabolic pathways in the liver. Mendelian randomization analyses revealed a causal protective effect of CRP on schizophrenia and a risk-increasing effect on bipolar disorder. Our findings provide further insights into the biology of inflammation and could lead to interventions for treating inflammation and its clinical consequences.
  • Xu, S., Liu, P., Chen, Y., Chen, Y., Zhang, W., Zhao, H., Cao, Y., Wang, F., Jiang, N., Lin, S., Li, B., Zhang, Z., Wei, Z., Fan, Y., Jin, Y., He, L., Zhou, R., Dekker, J. D., Tucker, H. O., Fisher, S. E., Yao, Z., Liu, Q., Xia, X., & Guo, X. (2018). Foxp2 regulates anatomical features that may be relevant for vocal behaviors and bipedal locomotion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(35), 8799-8804. doi:10.1073/pnas.1721820115.

    Abstract

    Fundamental human traits, such as language and bipedalism, are associated with a range of anatomical adaptations in craniofacial shaping and skeletal remodeling. However, it is unclear how such morphological features arose during hominin evolution. FOXP2 is a brain-expressed transcription factor implicated in a rare disorder involving speech apraxia and language impairments. Analysis of its evolutionary history suggests that this gene may have contributed to the emergence of proficient spoken language. In the present study, through analyses of skeleton-specific knockout mice, we identified roles of Foxp2 in skull shaping and bone remodeling. Selective ablation of Foxp2 in cartilage disrupted pup vocalizations in a similar way to that of global Foxp2 mutants, which may be due to pleiotropic effects on craniofacial morphogenesis. Our findings also indicate that Foxp2 helps to regulate strength and length of hind limbs and maintenance of joint cartilage and intervertebral discs, which are all anatomical features that are susceptible to adaptations for bipedal locomotion. In light of the known roles of Foxp2 in brain circuits that are important for motor skills and spoken language, we suggest that this gene may have been well placed to contribute to coevolution of neural and anatomical adaptations related to speech and bipedal locomotion.

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  • Liu, X., Gao, Y., Di, Q., Hu, J., Lu, C., Nan, Y., Booth, J. R., & Liu, L. (2018). Differences between child and adult large-scale functional brain networks for reading tasks. Human Brain Mapping, 39(2), 662-679. doi:10.1002/hbm.23871.

    Abstract

    Reading is an important high‐level cognitive function of the human brain, requiring interaction among multiple brain regions. Revealing differences between children's large‐scale functional brain networks for reading tasks and those of adults helps us to understand how the functional network changes over reading development. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging data of 17 adults (19–28 years old) and 16 children (11–13 years old), and graph theoretical analyses to investigate age‐related changes in large‐scale functional networks during rhyming and meaning judgment tasks on pairs of visually presented Chinese characters. We found that: (1) adults had stronger inter‐regional connectivity and nodal degree in occipital regions, while children had stronger inter‐regional connectivity in temporal regions, suggesting that adults rely more on visual orthographic processing whereas children rely more on auditory phonological processing during reading. (2) Only adults showed between‐task differences in inter‐regional connectivity and nodal degree, whereas children showed no task differences, suggesting the topological organization of adults’ reading network is more specialized. (3) Children showed greater inter‐regional connectivity and nodal degree than adults in multiple subcortical regions; the hubs in children were more distributed in subcortical regions while the hubs in adults were more distributed in cortical regions. These findings suggest that reading development is manifested by a shift from reliance on subcortical to cortical regions. Taken together, our study suggests that Chinese reading development is supported by developmental changes in brain connectivity properties, and some of these changes may be domain‐general while others may be specific to the reading domain.
  • Lopopolo, A., Frank, S. L., Van den Bosch, A., Nijhof, A., & Willems, R. M. (2018). The Narrative Brain Dataset (NBD), an fMRI dataset for the study of natural language processing in the brain. In B. Devereux, E. Shutova, & C.-R. Huang (Eds.), Proceedings of LREC 2018 Workshop "Linguistic and Neuro-Cognitive Resources (LiNCR) (pp. 8-11). Paris: LREC.

    Abstract

    We present the Narrative Brain Dataset, an fMRI dataset that was collected during spoken presentation of short excerpts of three stories in Dutch. Together with the brain imaging data, the dataset contains the written versions of the stimulation texts. The texts are accompanied with stochastic (perplexity and entropy) and semantic computational linguistic measures. The richness and unconstrained nature of the data allows the study of language processing in the brain in a more naturalistic setting than is common for fMRI studies. We hope that by making NBD available we serve the double purpose of providing useful neural data to researchers interested in natural language processing in the brain and to further stimulate data sharing in the field of neuroscience of language.
  • Lumaca, M., Ravignani, A., & Baggio, G. (2018). Music evolution in the laboratory: Cultural transmission meets neurophysiology. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 12: 246. doi:10.3389%2Ffnins.2018.00246.

    Abstract

    In recent years, there has been renewed interest in the biological and cultural evolution of music, and specifically in the role played by perceptual and cognitive factors in shaping core features of musical systems, such as melody, harmony, and rhythm. One proposal originates in the language sciences. It holds that aspects of musical systems evolve by adapting gradually, in the course of successive generations, to the structural and functional characteristics of the sensory and memory systems of learners and “users” of music. This hypothesis has found initial support in laboratory experiments on music transmission. In this article, we first review some of the most important theoretical and empirical contributions to the field of music evolution. Next, we identify a major current limitation of these studies, i.e., the lack of direct neural support for the hypothesis of cognitive adaptation. Finally, we discuss a recent experiment in which this issue was addressed by using event-related potentials (ERPs). We suggest that the introduction of neurophysiology in cultural transmission research may provide novel insights on the micro-evolutionary origins of forms of variation observed in cultural systems.
  • Lupyan, G., Wendorf, A., Berscia, L. M., & Paul, J. (2018). Core knowledge or language-augmented cognition? The case of geometric reasoning. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference (EVOLANGXII) (pp. 252-254). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.062.
  • Mainz, N. (2018). Vocabulary knowledge and learning: Individual differences in adult native speakers. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Supplementary material

    full text via Radboud Repository
  • Majid, A., Roberts, S. G., Cilissen, L., Emmorey, K., Nicodemus, B., O'Grady, L., Woll, B., LeLan, B., De Sousa, H., Cansler, B. L., Shayan, S., De Vos, C., Senft, G., Enfield, N. J., Razak, R. A., Fedden, S., Tufvesson, S., Dingemanse, M., Ozturk, O., Brown, P., Hill, C., Le Guen, O., Hirtzel, V., Van Gijn, R., Sicoli, M. A., & Levinson, S. C. (2018). Differential coding of perception in the world’s languages. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(45), 11369-11376. doi:10.1073/pnas.1720419115.

    Abstract

    Is there a universal hierarchy of the senses, such that some senses (e.g., vision) are more accessible to consciousness and linguistic description than others (e.g., smell)? The long-standing presumption in Western thought has been that vision and audition are more objective than the other senses, serving as the basis of knowledge and understanding, whereas touch, taste, and smell are crude and of little value. This predicts that humans ought to be better at communicating about sight and hearing than the other senses, and decades of work based on English and related languages certainly suggests this is true. However, how well does this reflect the diversity of languages and communities worldwide? To test whether there is a universal hierarchy of the senses, stimuli from the five basic senses were used to elicit descriptions in 20 diverse languages, including 3 unrelated sign languages. We found that languages differ fundamentally in which sensory domains they linguistically code systematically, and how they do so. The tendency for better coding in some domains can be explained in part by cultural preoccupations. Although languages seem free to elaborate specific sensory domains, some general tendencies emerge: for example, with some exceptions, smell is poorly coded. The surprise is that, despite the gradual phylogenetic accumulation of the senses, and the imbalances in the neural tissue dedicated to them, no single hierarchy of the senses imposes itself upon language.
  • Majid, A. (2018). Language and cognition. In H. Callan (Ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

    Abstract

    What is the relationship between the language we speak and the way we think? Researchers working at the interface of language and cognition hope to understand the complex interplay between linguistic structures and the way the mind works. This is thorny territory in anthropology and its closely allied disciplines, such as linguistics and psychology.

    Supplementary material

    home page encyclopedia
  • Majid, A. (2018). Cultural factors shape olfactory language [Reprint]. In D. Howes (Ed.), Senses and Sensation: Critical and Primary Sources. Volume 3 (pp. 307-310). London: Bloomsbury Publishing.
  • Majid, A. (2018). Humans are neglecting our sense of smell. Here's what we could gain by fixing that. Time, March 7, 2018: 5130634.
  • Majid, A., & Kruspe, N. (2018). Hunter-gatherer olfaction is special. Current Biology, 28(3), 409-413. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2017.12.014.

    Abstract

    People struggle to name odors, but this limitation is not universal. Majid and Kruspe investigate whether superior olfactory performance is due to subsistence, ecology, or language family. By comparing closely related communities in the Malay Peninsula, they find that only hunter-gatherers are proficient odor namers, suggesting that subsistence is crucial.

    Supplementary material

    The data are archived at RWAAI
  • Majid, A., Burenhult, N., Stensmyr, M., De Valk, J., & Hansson, B. S. (2018). Olfactory language and abstraction across cultures. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 373: 20170139. doi:10.1098/rstb.2017.0139.

    Abstract

    Olfaction presents a particularly interesting arena to explore abstraction in language. Like other abstract domains, such as time, odours can be difficult to conceptualize. An odour cannot be seen or held, it can be difficult to locate in space, and for most people odours are difficult to verbalize. On the other hand, odours give rise to primary sensory experiences. Every time we inhale we are using olfaction to make sense of our environment. We present new experimental data from 30 Jahai hunter-gatherers from the Malay Peninsula and 30 matched Dutch participants from the Netherlands in an odour naming experiment. Participants smelled monomolecular odorants and named odours while reaction times, odour descriptors and facial expressions were measured. We show that while Dutch speakers relied on concrete descriptors, i.e. they referred to odour sources (e.g. smells like lemon), the Jahai used abstract vocabulary to name the same odours (e.g. musty). Despite this differential linguistic categorization, analysis of facial expressions showed that the two groups, nevertheless, had the same initial emotional reactions to odours. Critically, these cross-cultural data present a challenge for how to think about abstraction in language.
  • Mamus, E., & Karadöller, D. Z. (2018). Anıları Zihinde Canlandırma [Imagery in autobiographical memories]. In S. Gülgöz, B. Ece, & S. Öner (Eds.), Hayatı Hatırlamak: Otobiyografik Belleğe Bilimsel Yaklaşımlar [Remembering Life: Scientific Approaches to Autobiographical Memory] (pp. 185-200). Istanbul, Turkey: Koç University Press.
  • Mamus, E., & Boduroglu, A. (2018). The role of context on boundary extension. Visual Cognition, 26(2), 115-130. doi:10.1080/13506285.2017.1399947.

    Abstract

    Boundary extension (BE) is a memory error in which observers remember more of a scene than they actually viewed. This error reflects one’s prediction that a scene naturally continues and is driven by scene schema and contextual knowledge. In two separate experiments we investigated the necessity of context and scene schema in BE. In Experiment 1, observers viewed scenes that either contained semantically consistent or inconsistent objects as well as objects on white backgrounds. In both types of scenes and in the no-background condition there was a BE effect; critically, semantic inconsistency in scenes reduced the magnitude of BE. In Experiment 2 when we used abstract shapes instead of meaningful objects, there was no BE effect. We suggest that although scene schema is necessary to elicit BE, contextual consistency is not required.
  • Mandy, W., Pellicano, L., St Pourcain, B., Skuse, D., & Heron, J. (2018). The development of autistic social traits across childhood and adolescence in males and females. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 59(11), 1143-1151. doi:10.1111/jcpp.12913.

    Abstract

    Background Autism is a dimensional condition, representing the extreme end of a continuum of social competence that extends throughout the general population. Currently, little is known about how autistic social traits (ASTs), measured across the full spectrum of severity, develop during childhood and adolescence, including whether there are developmental differences between boys and girls. Therefore, we sought to chart the trajectories of ASTs in the general population across childhood and adolescence, with a focus on gender differences. Methods Participants were 9,744 males (n = 4,784) and females (n = 4,960) from ALSPAC, a UK birth cohort study. ASTs were assessed when participants were aged 7, 10, 13 and 16 years, using the parent‐report Social Communication Disorders Checklist. Data were modelled using latent growth curve analysis. Results Developmental trajectories of males and females were nonlinear, showing a decline from 7 to 10 years, followed by an increase between 10 and 16 years. At 7 years, males had higher levels of ASTs than females (mean raw score difference = 0.88, 95% CI [.72, 1.04]), and were more likely (odds ratio [OR] = 1.99; 95% CI, 1.82, 2.16) to score in the clinical range on the SCDC. By 16 years this gender difference had disappeared: males and females had, on average, similar levels of ASTs (mean difference = 0.00, 95% CI [−0.19, 0.19]) and were equally likely to score in the SCDC's clinical range (OR = 0.91, 95% CI, 0.73, 1.10). This was the result of an increase in females’ ASTs between 10 and 16 years. Conclusions There are gender‐specific trajectories of autistic social impairment, with females more likely than males to experience an escalation of ASTs during early‐ and midadolescence. It remains to be discovered whether the observed female adolescent increase in ASTs represents the genuine late onset of social difficulties or earlier, subtle, pre‐existing difficulties becoming more obvious.

    Supplementary material

    jcpp12913-sup-0001-supinfo.docx
  • Mani, N., Mishra, R. K., & Huettig, F. (2018). Introduction to 'The Interactive Mind: Language, Vision and Attention'. In N. Mani, R. K. Mishra, & F. Huettig (Eds.), The Interactive Mind: Language, Vision and Attention (pp. 1-2). Chennai: Macmillan Publishers India.
  • Mani, N., Mishra, R. K., & Huettig, F. (Eds.). (2018). The interactive mind: Language, vision and attention. Chennai: Macmillan Publishers India.
  • Martin, A. E. (2018). Cue integration during sentence comprehension: Electrophysiological evidence from ellipsis. PLoS One, 13(11): e0206616. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0206616.

    Abstract

    Language processing requires us to integrate incoming linguistic representations with representations of past input, often across intervening words and phrases. This computational situation has been argued to require retrieval of the appropriate representations from memory via a set of features or representations serving as retrieval cues. However, even within in a cue-based retrieval account of language comprehension, both the structure of retrieval cues and the particular computation that underlies direct-access retrieval are still underspecified. Evidence from two event-related brain potential (ERP) experiments that show cue-based interference from different types of linguistic representations during ellipsis comprehension are consistent with an architecture wherein different cue types are integrated, and where the interaction of cue with the recent contents of memory determines processing outcome, including expression of the interference effect in ERP componentry. I conclude that retrieval likely includes a computation where cues are integrated with the contents of memory via a linear weighting scheme, and I propose vector addition as a candidate formalization of this computation. I attempt to account for these effects and other related phenomena within a broader cue-based framework of language processing.
  • Martin, A. E., & McElree, B. (2018). Retrieval cues and syntactic ambiguity resolution: Speed-accuracy tradeoff evidence. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33(6), 769-783. doi:10.1080/23273798.2018.1427877.

    Abstract

    Language comprehension involves coping with ambiguity and recovering from misanalysis. Syntactic ambiguity resolution is associated with increased reading times, a classic finding that has shaped theories of sentence processing. However, reaction times conflate the time it takes a process to complete with the quality of the behavior-related information available to the system. We therefore used the speed-accuracy tradeoff procedure (SAT) to derive orthogonal estimates of processing time and interpretation accuracy, and tested whether stronger retrieval cues (via semantic relatedness: neighed->horse vs. fell->horse) aid interpretation during recovery. On average, ambiguous sentences took 250ms longer (SAT rate) to interpret than unambiguous controls, demonstrating veridical differences in processing time. Retrieval cues more strongly related to the true subject always increased accuracy, regardless of ambiguity. These findings are consistent with a language processing architecture where cue-driven operations give rise to interpretation, and wherein diagnostic cues aid retrieval, regardless of parsing difficulty or structural uncertainty.
  • Maslowski, M., Meyer, A. S., & Bosker, H. R. (2018). Listening to yourself is special: Evidence from global speech rate tracking. PLoS One, 13(9): e0203571. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0203571.

    Abstract

    Listeners are known to use adjacent contextual speech rate in processing temporally ambiguous speech sounds. For instance, an ambiguous vowel between short /A/ and long /a:/ in Dutch sounds relatively long (i.e., as /a:/) embedded in a fast precursor sentence, but short in a slow sentence. Besides the local speech rate, listeners also track talker-specific global speech rates. However, it is yet unclear whether other talkers' global rates are encoded with reference to a listener's self-produced rate. Three experiments addressed this question. In Experiment 1, one group of participants was instructed to speak fast, whereas another group had to speak slowly. The groups were compared on their perception of ambiguous /A/-/a:/ vowels embedded in neutral rate speech from another talker. In Experiment 2, the same participants listened to playback of their own speech and again evaluated target vowels in neutral rate speech. Neither of these experiments provided support for the involvement of self-produced speech in perception of another talker's speech rate. Experiment 3 repeated Experiment 2 but with a new participant sample that was unfamiliar with the participants from Experiment 2. This experiment revealed fewer /a:/ responses in neutral speech in the group also listening to a fast rate, suggesting that neutral speech sounds slow in the presence of a fast talker and vice versa. Taken together, the findings show that self-produced speech is processed differently from speech produced by others. They carry implications for our understanding of the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms involved in rate-dependent speech perception in dialogue settings.
  • Mei, C., Fedorenko, E., Amor, D. J., Boys, A., Hoeflin, C., Carew, P., Burgess, T., Fisher, S. E., & Morgan, A. T. (2018). Deep phenotyping of speech and language skills in individuals with 16p11.2 deletion. European journal of human genetics, 26(5), 676-686. doi:10.1038/s41431-018-0102-x.

    Abstract

    Recurrent deletions of a ~600-kb region of 16p11.2 have been associated with a highly penetrant form of childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). Yet prior findings have been based on a small, potentially biased sample using retrospectively collected data. We examine the prevalence of CAS in a larger cohort of individuals with 16p11.2 deletion using a prospectively designed assessment battery. The broader speech and language phenotype associated with carrying this deletion was also examined. 55 participants with 16p11.2 deletion (47 children, 8 adults) underwent deep phenotyping to test for the presence of CAS and other speech and language diagnoses. Standardized tests of oral motor functioning, speech production, language, and non-verbal IQ were conducted. The majority of children (77%) and half of adults (50%) met criteria for CAS. Other speech outcomes were observed including articulation or phonological errors (i.e., phonetic and cognitive-linguistic errors, respectively), dysarthria (i.e., neuromuscular speech disorder), minimal verbal output, and even typical speech in some. Receptive and expressive language impairment was present in 73% and 70% of children, respectively. Co-occurring neurodevelopmental conditions (e.g., autism) and non-verbal IQ did not correlate with the presence of CAS. Findings indicate that CAS is highly prevalent in children with 16p11.2 deletion with symptoms persisting into adulthood for many. Yet CAS occurs in the context of a broader speech and language profile and other neurobehavioral deficits. Further research will elucidate specific genetic and neural pathways leading to speech and language deficits in individuals with 16p11.2 deletions, resulting in more targeted speech therapies addressing etiological pathways.
  • Meyer, A. S., Alday, P. M., Decuyper, C., & Knudsen, B. (2018). Working together: Contributions of corpus analyses and experimental psycholinguistics to understanding conversation. Frontiers in Psychology, 9: 525. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00525.

    Abstract

    As conversation is the most important way of using language, linguists and psychologists should combine forces to investigate how interlocutors deal with the cognitive demands arising during conversation. Linguistic analyses of corpora of conversation are needed to understand the structure of conversations, and experimental work is indispensable for understanding the underlying cognitive processes. We argue that joint consideration of corpus and experimental data is most informative when the utterances elicited in a lab experiment match those extracted from a corpus in relevant ways. This requirement to compare like with like seems obvious but is not trivial to achieve. To illustrate this approach, we report two experiments where responses to polar (yes/no) questions were elicited in the lab and the response latencies were compared to gaps between polar questions and answers in a corpus of conversational speech. We found, as expected, that responses were given faster when they were easy to plan and planning could be initiated earlier than when they were harder to plan and planning was initiated later. Overall, in all but one condition, the latencies were longer than one would expect based on the analyses of corpus data. We discuss the implication of this partial match between the data sets and more generally how corpus and experimental data can best be combined in studies of conversation.

    Supplementary material

    Data_Sheet_1.pdf
  • Micklos, A., Macuch Silva, V., & Fay, N. (2018). The prevalence of repair in studies of language evolution. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference (EVOLANGXII) (pp. 316-318). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.075.

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