Publications

Displaying 1 - 20 of 407
  • Acheson, D. J., Postle, B. R., & MacDonald, M. C. (2010). The interaction of concreteness and phonological similarity in verbal working memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 36(1), 17-36. doi:10.1037/a0017679.

    Abstract

    Although phonological representations have been a primary focus of verbal working memory research, lexical-semantic manipulations also influence performance. In the present study, the authors investigated whether a classic phenomenon in verbal working memory, the phonological similarity effect (PSE), is modulated by a lexical-semantic variable, word concreteness. Phonological overlap and concreteness were factorially manipulated in each of four experiments across which presentation modality (Experiments 1 and 2: visual presentation; Experiments 3 and 4: auditory presentation) and concurrent articulation (present in Experiments 2 and 4) were manipulated. In addition to main effects of each variable, results show a Phonological Overlap x Concreteness interaction whereby the magnitude of the PSE is greater for concrete word lists relative to abstract word lists. This effect is driven by superior item memory for nonoverlapping, concrete lists and is robust to the modality of presentation and concurrent articulation. These results demonstrate that in verbal working memory tasks, there are multiple routes to the phonological form of a word and that maintenance and retrieval occur over more than just a phonological level.
  • Adank, P., & Janse, E. (2010). Comprehension of a novel accent by young and older listeners. Psychology and Aging, 25(3), 736-740. doi:10.1037/a0020054.

    Abstract

    The authors investigated perceptual learning of a novel accent in young and older listeners through measuring speech reception thresholds (SRTs) using speech materials spoken in a novel—unfamiliar— accent. Younger and older listeners adapted to this accent, but older listeners showed poorer comprehension of the accent. Furthermore, perceptual learning differed across groups: The older listeners stopped learning after the first block, whereas younger listeners showed further improvement with longer exposure. Among the older participants, hearing acuity predicted the SRT as well as the effect of the novel accent on SRT. Finally, a measure of executive function predicted the impact of accent on SRT.
  • Adank, P., Hagoort, P., & Bekkering, H. (2010). Imitation improves language comprehension. Psychological Science, 21, 1903-1909. doi:10.1177/0956797610389192.

    Abstract

    Humans imitate each other during social interaction. This imitative behavior streamlines social interaction and aids in learning to replicate actions. However, the effect of imitation on action comprehension is unclear. This study investigated whether vocal imitation of an unfamiliar accent improved spoken-language comprehension. Following a pretraining accent comprehension test, participants were assigned to one of six groups. The baseline group received no training, but participants in the other five groups listened to accented sentences, listened to and repeated accented sentences in their own accent, listened to and transcribed accented sentences, listened to and imitated accented sentences, or listened to and imitated accented sentences without being able to hear their own vocalizations. Posttraining measures showed that accent comprehension was most improved for participants who imitated the speaker’s accent. These results show that imitation may aid in streamlining interaction by improving spoken-language comprehension under adverse listening conditions.
  • Altvater-Mackensen, N. (2010). Do manners matter? Asymmetries in the acquisition of manner of articulation features. PhD Thesis, Radboud University of Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2010). Information packaging constructions in Kwa: Micro-variation and typology. In E. O. Aboh, & J. Essegbey (Eds.), Topics in Kwa syntax (pp. 141-176). Dordrecht: Springer.

    Abstract

    Kwa languages such as Akye, Akan, Ewe, Ga, Likpe, Yoruba etc. are not prototypically “topic-prominent” like Chinese nor “focus-prominent” like Somali, yet they have dedicated structural positions in the clause, as well as morphological markers for signalling the information status of the component parts of information units. They could thus be seen as “discourse configurational languages” (Kiss 1995). In this chapter, I first argue for distinct positions in the left periphery of the clause in these languages for scene-setting topics, contrastive topics and focus. I then describe the morpho-syntactic properties of various information packaging constructions and the variations that we find across the languages in this domain.
  • Andics, A., McQueen, J. M., Petersson, K. M., Gál, V., Rudas, G., & Vidnyánszky, Z. (2010). Neural mechanisms for voice recognition. NeuroImage, 52, 1528-1540. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.05.048.

    Abstract

    We investigated neural mechanisms that support voice recognition in a training paradigm with fMRI. The same listeners were trained on different weeks to categorize the mid-regions of voice-morph continua as an individual's voice. Stimuli implicitly defined a voice-acoustics space, and training explicitly defined a voice-identity space. The predefined centre of the voice category was shifted from the acoustic centre each week in opposite directions, so the same stimuli had different training histories on different tests. Cortical sensitivity to voice similarity appeared over different time-scales and at different representational stages. First, there were short-term adaptation effects: Increasing acoustic similarity to the directly preceding stimulus led to haemodynamic response reduction in the middle/posterior STS and in right ventrolateral prefrontal regions. Second, there were longer-term effects: Response reduction was found in the orbital/insular cortex for stimuli that were most versus least similar to the acoustic mean of all preceding stimuli, and, in the anterior temporal pole, the deep posterior STS and the amygdala, for stimuli that were most versus least similar to the trained voice-identity category mean. These findings are interpreted as effects of neural sharpening of long-term stored typical acoustic and category-internal values. The analyses also reveal anatomically separable voice representations: one in a voice-acoustics space and one in a voice-identity space. Voice-identity representations flexibly followed the trained identity shift, and listeners with a greater identity effect were more accurate at recognizing familiar voices. Voice recognition is thus supported by neural voice spaces that are organized around flexible ‘mean voice’ representations.
  • Araújo, S., Pacheco, A., Faísca, L., Petersson, K. M., & Reis, A. (2010). Visual rapid naming and phonological abilities: Different subtypes in dyslexic children. International Journal of Psychology, 45, 443-452. doi:10.1080/00207594.2010.499949.

    Abstract

    One implication of the double-deficit hypothesis for dyslexia is that there should be subtypes of dyslexic readers that exhibit rapid naming deficits with or without concomitant phonological processing problems. In the current study, we investigated the validity of this hypothesis for Portuguese orthography, which is more consistent than English orthography, by exploring different cognitive profiles in a sample of dyslexic children. In particular, we were interested in identifying readers characterized by a pure rapid automatized naming deficit. We also examined whether rapid naming and phonological awareness independently account for individual differences in reading performance. We characterized the performance of dyslexic readers and a control group of normal readers matched for age on reading, visual rapid naming and phonological processing tasks. Our results suggest that there is a subgroup of dyslexic readers with intact phonological processing capacity (in terms of both accuracy and speed measures) but poor rapid naming skills. We also provide evidence for an independent association between rapid naming and reading competence in the dyslexic sample, when the effect of phonological skills was controlled. Altogether, the results are more consistent with the view that rapid naming problems in dyslexia represent a second core deficit rather than an exclusive phonological explanation for the rapid naming deficits. Furthermore, additional non-phonological processes, which subserve rapid naming performance, contribute independently to reading development.
  • Arnhold, A., Vainio, M., Suni, A., & Järvikivi, J. (2010). Intonation of Finnish verbs. Speech Prosody 2010, 100054, 1-4. Retrieved from http://speechprosody2010.illinois.edu/papers/100054.pdf.

    Abstract

    A production experiment investigated the tonal shape of Finnish finite verbs in transitive sentences without narrow focus. Traditional descriptions of Finnish stating that non-focused finite verbs do not receive accents were only partly supported. Verbs were found to have a consistently smaller pitch range than words in other word classes, but their pitch contours were neither flat nor explainable by pure interpolation.
  • Auer, E., Wittenburg, P., Sloetjes, H., Schreer, O., Masneri, S., Schneider, D., & Tschöpel, S. (2010). Automatic annotation of media field recordings. In C. Sporleder, & K. Zervanou (Eds.), Proceedings of the ECAI 2010 Workshop on Language Technology for Cultural Heritage, Social Sciences, and Humanities (LaTeCH 2010) (pp. 31-34). Lisbon: University de Lisbon. Retrieved from http://ilk.uvt.nl/LaTeCH2010/.

    Abstract

    In the paper we describe a new attempt to come to automatic detectors processing real scene audio-video streams that can be used by researchers world-wide to speed up their annotation and analysis work. Typically these recordings are taken in field and experimental situations mostly with bad quality and only little corpora preventing to use standard stochastic pattern recognition techniques. Audio/video processing components are taken out of the expert lab and are integrated in easy-to-use interactive frameworks so that the researcher can easily start them with modified parameters and can check the usefulness of the created annotations. Finally a variety of detectors may have been used yielding a lattice of annotations. A flexible search engine allows finding combinations of patterns opening completely new analysis and theorization possibilities for the researchers who until were required to do all annotations manually and who did not have any help in pre-segmenting lengthy media recordings.
  • Auer, E., Russel, A., Sloetjes, H., Wittenburg, P., Schreer, O., Masnieri, S., Schneider, D., & Tschöpel, S. (2010). ELAN as flexible annotation framework for sound and image processing detectors. In N. Calzolari, B. Maegaard, J. Mariani, J. Odjik, K. Choukri, S. Piperidis, M. Rosner, & D. Tapias (Eds.), Proceedings of the Seventh conference on International Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'10) (pp. 890-893). European Language Resources Association (ELRA).

    Abstract

    Annotation of digital recordings in humanities research still is, to a largeextend, a process that is performed manually. This paper describes the firstpattern recognition based software components developed in the AVATecH projectand their integration in the annotation tool ELAN. AVATecH (AdvancingVideo/Audio Technology in Humanities Research) is a project that involves twoMax Planck Institutes (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen,Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle) and two FraunhoferInstitutes (Fraunhofer-Institut für Intelligente Analyse- undInformationssysteme IAIS, Sankt Augustin, Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute,Berlin) and that aims to develop and implement audio and video technology forsemi-automatic annotation of heterogeneous media collections as they occur inmultimedia based research. The highly diverse nature of the digital recordingsstored in the archives of both Max Planck Institutes, poses a huge challenge tomost of the existing pattern recognition solutions and is a motivation to makesuch technology available to researchers in the humanities.
  • Baggio, G., Choma, T., Van Lambalgen, M., & Hagoort, P. (2010). Coercion and compositionality. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22, 2131-2140. doi:10.1162/jocn.2009.21303.

    Abstract

    Research in psycholinguistics and in the cognitive neuroscience of language has suggested that semantic and syntactic integration are associated with different neurophysiologic correlates, such as the N400 and the P600 in the ERPs. However, only a handful of studies have investigated the neural basis of the syntax–semantics interface, and even fewer experiments have dealt with the cases in which semantic composition can proceed independently of the syntax. Here we looked into one such case—complement coercion—using ERPs. We compared sentences such as, “The journalist wrote the article” with “The journalist began the article.” The second sentence seems to involve a silent semantic element, which is expressed in the first sentence by the head of the VP “wrote the article.” The second type of construction may therefore require the reader to infer or recover from memory a richer event sense of the VP “began the article,” such as began writing the article, and to integrate that into a semantic representation of the sentence. This operation is referred to as “complement coercion.” Consistently with earlier reading time, eye tracking, and MEG studies, we found traces of such additional computations in the ERPs: Coercion gives rise to a long-lasting negative shift, which differs at least in duration from a standard N400 effect. Issues regarding the nature of the computation involved are discussed in the light of a neurocognitive model of language processing and a formal semantic analysis of coercion.
  • Banissy, M., Sauter, D., Ward, J., Warren, J. E., Walsh, V., & Scott, S. K. (2010). Suppressing sensorimotor activity modulates the discrimination of auditory emotions but not speaker identity. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(41), 13552-13557. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0786-10.2010.

    Abstract

    Our ability to recognise the emotions of others is a crucial feature of human social cognition. Functional neuroimaging studies indicate that activity in sensorimotor cortices is evoked during the perception of emotion. In the visual domain, right somatosensory cortex activity has been shown to be critical for facial emotion recognition. However, the importance of sensorimotor representations in modalities outside of vision remains unknown. Here we use continuous theta-burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (cTBS) to investigate whether neural activity in the right postcentral gyrus (rPoG) and right lateral premotor cortex (rPM) is involved in non-verbal auditory emotion recognition. Three groups of participants completed same-different tasks on auditory stimuli, discriminating between either the emotion expressed or the speakers' identities, prior to and following cTBS targeted at rPoG, rPM or the vertex (control site). A task-selective deficit in auditory emotion discrimination was observed. Stimulation to rPoG and rPM resulted in a disruption of participants' abilities to discriminate emotion, but not identity, from vocal signals. These findings suggest that sensorimotor activity may be a modality independent mechanism which aids emotion discrimination.

    Supplementary material

    S1_Banissy.pdf
  • Bardhan, N. P., Aslin, R., & Tanenhaus, M. (2010). Adults' self-directed learning of an artificial lexicon: The dynamics of neighborhood reorganization. In S. Ohlsson, & R. Catrambone (Eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 364-368). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
  • Bardhan, N. P. (2010). Adults’ self-directed learning of an artificial lexicon: The dynamics of neighborhood reorganization. PhD Thesis, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York.

    Abstract

    Artificial lexicons have previously been used to examine the time course of the learning and recognition of spoken words, the role of segment type in word learning, and the integration of context during spoken word recognition. However, in all of these studies the experimenter determined the frequency and order of the words to be learned. In three experiments, we asked whether adult learners choose to listen to novel words in a particular order based on their acoustic similarity. We use a new paradigm for learning an artificial lexicon in which the learner, rather than the experimenter, determines the order and frequency of exposure to items. We analyze both the proportions of selections and the temporal clustering of subjects' sampling of lexical neighborhoods during training as well as their performance during repeated testing phases (accuracy and reaction time) to determine the time course of learning these neighborhoods. In the first experiment, subjects sampled the high and low density neighborhoods randomly in early learning, and then over-sampled the high density neighborhood until test performance on both neighborhoods reached asymptote. A second experiment involved items similar to the first, but also neighborhoods that are not fully revealed at the start of the experiment. Subjects adjusted their training patterns to focus their selections on neighborhoods of increasing density was revealed; evidence of learning in the test phase was slower to emerge than in the first experiment, impaired by the presence of additional sets of items of varying density. Crucially, in both the first and second experiments there was no effect of dense vs. sparse neighborhood in the accuracy results, which is accounted for by subjects’ over-sampling of items from the dense neighborhood. The third experiment was identical in design to the second except for a second day of further training and testing on the same items. Testing at the beginning of the second day showed impaired, not improved, accuracy, except for the consistently dense items. Further training, however, improved accuracy for some items to above Day 1 levels. Overall, these results provide a new window on the time-course of learning an artificial lexicon and the role that learners’ implicit preferences, stemming from their self-selected experience with the entire lexicon, play in learning highly confusable words.
  • Barr, D. J., & Seyfeddinipur, M. (2010). The role of fillers in listener attributions for speaker disfluency. Language and Cognitive Processes, 25, 441-455. doi:10.1080/01690960903047122.

    Abstract

    When listeners hear a speaker become disfluent, they expect the speaker to refer to something new. What is the mechanism underlying this expectation? In a mouse-tracking experiment, listeners sought to identify images that a speaker was describing. Listeners more strongly expected new referents when they heard a speaker say um than when they heard a matched utterance where the um was replaced by noise. This expectation was speaker-specific: it depended on what was new and old for the current speaker, not just on what was new or old for the listener. This finding suggests that listeners treat fillers as collateral signals.
  • Bastiaansen, M. C. M., Magyari, L., & Hagoort, P. (2010). Syntactic unification operations are reflected in oscillatory dynamics during on-line sentence comprehension. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22, 1333-1347. doi:10.1162/jocn.2009.21283.

    Abstract

    There is growing evidence suggesting that synchronization changes in the oscillatory neuronal dynamics in the EEG or MEG reflect the transient coupling and uncoupling of functional networks related to different aspects of language comprehension. In this work, we examine how sentence-level syntactic unification operations are reflected in the oscillatory dynamics of the MEG. Participants read sentences that were either correct, contained a word category violation, or were constituted of random word sequences devoid of syntactic structure. A time-frequency analysis of MEG power changes revealed three types of effects. The first type of effect was related to the detection of a (word category) violation in a syntactically structured sentence, and was found in the alpha and gamma frequency bands. A second type of effect was maximally sensitive to the syntactic manipulations: A linear increase in beta power across the sentence was present for correct sentences, was disrupted upon the occurrence of a word category violation, and was absent in syntactically unstructured random word sequences. We therefore relate this effect to syntactic unification operations. Thirdly, we observed a linear increase in theta power across the sentence for all syntactically structured sentences. The effects are tentatively related to the building of a working memory trace of the linguistic input. In conclusion, the data seem to suggest that syntactic unification is reflected by neuronal synchronization in the lower-beta frequency band.
  • Begeer, S., Malle, B. F., Nieuwland, M. S., & Keysar, B. (2010). Using theory of mind to represent and take part in social interactions: Comparing individuals with high-functioning autism and typically developing controls. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 7(1), 104-122. doi:10.1080/17405620903024263.

    Abstract

    The literature suggests that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are deficient in their Theory of Mind (ToM) abilities. They sometimes do not seem to appreciate that behaviour is motivated by underlying mental states. If this is true, then individuals with ASD should also be deficient when they use their ToM to represent and take part in dyadic interactions. In the current study we compared the performance of normally intelligent adolescents and adults with ASD to typically developing controls. In one task they heard a narrative about an interaction and then retold it. In a second task they played a communication game that required them to take into account another person's perspective. We found that when they described people's behaviour the ASD individuals used fewer mental terms in their story narration, suggesting a lower tendency to represent interactions in mentalistic terms. Surprisingly, ASD individuals and control participants showed the same level of performance in the communication game that required them to distinguish between their beliefs and the other's beliefs. Given that ASD individuals show no deficiency in using their ToM in real interaction, it is unlikely that they have a systematically deficient ToM.
  • Berends, S., Veenstra, A., & Van Hout, A. (2010). 'Nee, ze heeft er twee': Acquisition of the Dutch quantitative 'er'. Groninger Arbeiten zur Germanistischen Linguistik, 51, 1-7. Retrieved from http://irs.ub.rug.nl/dbi/4ef4a0b3eafcb.

    Abstract

    We present the first study on the acquisition of the Dutch quantitative pronoun er in sentences such as de vrouw draagt er drie ‘the woman is carrying three.’ There is a large literature on Dutch children’s interpretation of pronouns and a few recent production studies, all specifically looking at 3rd person singular pronouns and the so-called Delay of Principle B effect (Coopmans & Philip, 1996; Koster, 1993; Spenader, Smits and Hendriks, 2009). However, no one has studied children’s use of quantitative er. Dutch is the only Germanic language with such a pronoun.
  • Bergmann, C., Paulus, M., & Fikkert, J. (2010). A closer look at pronoun comprehension: Comparing different methods. In J. Costa, A. Castro, M. Lobo, & F. Pratas (Eds.), Language Acquisition and Development: Proceedings of GALA 2009 (pp. 53-61). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

    Abstract

    1. Introduction External input is necessary to acquire language. Consequently, the comprehension of various constituents of language, such as lexical items or syntactic and semantic structures should emerge at the same time as or even precede their production. However, in the case of pronouns this general assumption does not seem to hold. On the contrary, while children at the age of four use pronouns and reflexives appropriately during production (de Villiers, et al. 2006), a number of comprehension studies across different languages found chance performance in pronoun trials up to the age of seven, which co-occurs with a high level of accuracy in reflexive trials (for an overview see e.g. Conroy, et al. 2009; Elbourne 2005).
  • Bergmann, C., Gubian, M., & Boves, L. (2010). Modelling the effect of speaker familiarity and noise on infant word recognition. In Proceedings of the 11th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association [Interspeech 2010] (pp. 2910-2913). ISCA.

    Abstract

    In the present paper we show that a general-purpose word learning model can simulate several important findings from recent experiments in language acquisition. Both the addition of background noise and varying the speaker have been found to influence infants’ performance during word recognition experiments. We were able to replicate this behaviour in our artificial word learning agent. We use the results to discuss both advantages and limitations of computational models of language acquisition.

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