Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 338
  • Acerbi, A., Van Leeuwen, E. J. C., Haun, D. B. M., & Tennie, C. (2016). Conformity cannot be identified based on population-level signatures. Scientific Reports, 6: 36068. doi:10.1038/srep36068.

    Abstract

    Conformist transmission, defined as a disproportionate likelihood to copy the majority, is considered a potent mechanism underlying the emergence and stabilization of cultural diversity. However, ambiguity within and across disciplines remains as to how to identify conformist transmission empirically. In most studies, a population level outcome has been taken as the benchmark to evidence conformist transmission: a sigmoidal relation between individuals’ probability to copy the majority and the proportional majority size. Using an individual-based model, we show that, under ecologically plausible conditions, this sigmoidal relation can also be detected without equipping individuals with a conformist bias. Situations in which individuals copy randomly from a fixed subset of demonstrators in the population, or in which they have a preference for one of the possible variants, yield similar sigmoidal patterns as a conformist bias would. Our findings warrant a revisiting of studies that base their conformist transmission conclusions solely on the sigmoidal curve. More generally, our results indicate that population level outcomes interpreted as conformist transmission could potentially be explained by other individual-level strategies, and that more empirical support is needed to prove the existence of an individual-level conformist bias in human and other animals.
  • Adams, H. H. H., Hibar, D. P., Chouraki, V., Stein, J. L., Nyquist, P., Renteria, M. E., Trompet, S., Arias-Vasquez, A., Seshadri, S., Desrivières, S., Beecham, A. H., Jahanshad, N., Wittfeld, K., Van der Lee, S. J., Abramovic, L., Alhusaini, S., Amin, N., Andersson, M., Arfanakis, K. A., Aribisala, B. S., Armstrong, N. J., Athanasiu, L., Axelsson, T., Beiser, A., Bernard, M., Bis, J. C., Blanken, L. M. E., Blanton, S. H., Bohlken, M. M., Boks, M. P., Bralten, J., Brickman, A. M., Carmichael, O., Chakravarty, M. M., Chauhan, G., Chen, Q., Ching, C. R. K., Cuellar-Partida, G., Den Braber, A., Doan, N. T., Ehrlich, S., Filippi, I., Ge, T., Giddaluru, S., Goldman, A. L., Gottesman, R. F., Greven, C. U., Grimm, O., Griswold, M. E., Guadalupe, T., Hass, J., Haukvik, U. K., Hilal, S., Hofer, E., Höhn, D., Holmes, A. J., Hoogman, M., Janowitz, D., Jia, T., Karbalai, N., Kasperaviciute, D., Kim, S., Klein, M., Krämer, B., Lee–, P. H., Liao, J., Liewald, D. C. M., Lopez, L. M., Luciano, M., Macare, C., Marquand, A., Matarin, M., Mather, K. A., Mattheisen, M., Mazoyer, B., McKay, D. R., McWhirter, R., Milaneschi, Y., Muetzel, R. L., Muñoz Maniega, S., Nho, K., Nugent, A. C., Olde Loohuis, L. M., Oosterlaan, J., Papmeyer, M., Pappa, I., Pirpamer, L., Pudas, S., Pütz, B., Rajan, K. B., Ramasamy, A., Richards, J. S., Risacher, S. L., Roiz-Santiañez, R., Rommelse, N., Rose, E. J., Royle, N. A., Rundek, T., Sämann, P. G., Satizabal, C. L., Schmaal, L., Schork, A. J., Shen, L., Shin, J., Shumskaya, E., Smith, A. V., Sprooten, E., Strike, L. T., Teumer, A., Thomson, R., Tordesillas-Gutierrez, D., Toro, R., Trabzuni, D., Vaidya, D., Van der Grond, J., Van der Meer, D., Van Donkelaar, M. M. J., Van Eijk, K. R., VanErp, T. G. M., Van Rooij, D., Walton, E., Westlye, L. T., Whelan, C. D., Windham, B. G., Winkler, A. M., Woldehawariat, G., Wolf, C., Wolfers, T., Xu, B., Yanek, L. R., Yang, J., Zijdenbos, A., Zwiers, M. P., Agartz, I., Aggarwal, N. T., Almasy, L., Ames, D., Amouyel, P., Andreassen, O. A., Arepalli, S., Assareh, A. A., Barral, S., Bastin, M. E., Becker, J. T., Becker, D. M., Bennett, D. A., Blangero, J., Van Bokhoven, H., Boomsma, D. I., Brodaty, H., Brouwer, R. M., Brunner, H. G., Buckner, R. L., Buitelaar, J. K., Bulayeva, K. B., Cahn, W., Calhoun, V. D., Cannon, D. M., Cavalleri, G. L., Chen, C., Cheng, C.-Y., Cichon, S., Cookson, M. R., Corvin, A., Crespo-Facorro, B., Curran, J. E., Czisch, M., Dale, A. M., Davies, G. E., De Geus, E. J. C., De Jager, P. L., De Zubicaray, G. I., Delanty, N., Depondt, C., DeStefano, A., Dillman, A., Djurovic, S., Donohoe, G., Drevets, W. C., Duggirala, R., Dyer, T. D., Erk, S., Espeseth, T., Evans, D. A., Fedko, I. O., Fernández, G., Ferrucci, L., Fisher, S. E., Fleischman, D. A., Ford, I., Foroud, T. M., Fox, P. T., Francks, C., Fukunaga, M., Gibbs, J. R., Glahn, D. C., Gollub, R. L., Göring, H. H. H., Grabe, H. J., Green, R. C., Gruber, O., Guelfi, S., Hansell, N. K., Hardy, J., Hartman, C. A., Hashimoto, R., Hegenscheid, K., Heinz, A., Le Hellard, S., Hernandez, D. G., Heslenfeld, D. J., Ho, B.-C., Hoekstra, P. J., Hoffmann, W., Hofman, A., Holsboer, F., Homuth, G., Hosten, N., Hottenga, J.-J., Hulshoff Pol, H. E., Ikeda, M., Ikram, M. K., Jack Jr, C. R., Jenkinson, M., Johnson, R., Jönsson, E. G., Jukema, J. W., Kahn, R. S., Kanai, R., Kloszewska, I., Knopman, D. S., Kochunov, P., Kwok, J. B., Launer, L. J., Lawrie, S. M., Lemaître, H., Liu, X., Longo, D. L., Longstreth Jr, W. T., Lopez, O. L., Lovestone, S., Martinez, O., Martinot, J.-L., Mattay, V. S., McDonald, C., McIntosh, A. M., McMahon, F. J., McMahon, K. L., Mecocci, P., Melle, I., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., Mohnke, S., Montgomery, G. W., Morris, D. W., Mosley, T. H., Mühleisen, T. W., Müller-Myhsok, B., Nalls, M. A., Nauck, M., Nichols, T. E., Niessen, W. J., Nöthen, M. M., Nyberg, L., Ohi, K., Olvera, R. L., Ophoff, R. A., Pandolfo, M., Paus, T., Pausova, Z., Penninx, B. W. J. H., Pike, G. B., Potkin, S. G., Psaty, B. M., Reppermund, S., Rietschel, M., Roffman, J. L., Romanczuk-Seiferth, N., Rotter, J. I., Ryten, M., Sacco, R. L., Sachdev, P. S., Saykin, A. J., Schmidt, R., Schofield, P. R., Sigursson, S., Simmons, A., Singleton, A., Sisodiya, S. M., Smith, C., Smoller, J. W., Soininen, H., Srikanth, V., Steen, V. M., Stott, D. J., Sussmann, J. E., Thalamuthu, A., Tiemeier, H., Toga, A. W., Traynor, B., Troncoso, J., Turner, J. A., Tzourio, C., Uitterlinden, A. G., Valdés Hernández, M. C., Van der Brug, M., Van der Lugt, A., Van der Wee, N. J. A., Van Duijn, C. M., Van Haren, N. E. M., Van 't Ent, D., Van Tol, M.-J., Vardarajan, B. N., Veltman, D. J., Vernooij, M. W., Völzke, H., Walter, H., Wardlaw, J. M., Wassink, T. H., Weale, M. E., Weinberger, D. R., Weiner, M. W., Wen, W., Westman, E., White, T., Wong, T. Y., Wright, C. B., Zielke, R. H., Zonderman, A. B., the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, EPIGEN, IMAGEN, SYS, Deary, I. J., DeCarli, C., Schmidt, H., Martin, N. G., De Craen, A. J. M., Wright, M. J., Gudnason, V., Schumann, G., Fornage, M., Franke, B., Debette, S., Medland, S. E., Ikram, M. A., & Thompson, P. M. (2016). Novel genetic loci underlying human intracranial volume identified through genome-wide association. Nature Neuroscience, 19, 1569-1582. doi:10.1038/nn.4398.

    Abstract

    Intracranial volume reflects the maximally attained brain size during development, and remains stable with loss of tissue in late life. It is highly heritable, but the underlying genes remain largely undetermined. In a genome-wide association study of 32,438 adults, we discovered five previously unknown loci for intracranial volume and confirmed two known signals. Four of the loci were also associated with adult human stature, but these remained associated with intracranial volume after adjusting for height. We found a high genetic correlation with child head circumference (genetic = 0.748), which indicates a similar genetic background and allowed us to identify four additional loci through meta-analysis (Ncombined = 37,345). Variants for intracranial volume were also related to childhood and adult cognitive function, and Parkinson’s disease, and were enriched near genes involved in growth pathways, including PI3K-AKT signaling. These findings identify the biological underpinnings of intracranial volume and provide genetic support for theories on brain reserve and brain overgrowth.
  • Aebi, M., Van Donkelaar, M. M. J., Poelmans, G., Buitelaar, J. K., Sonuga-Barke, E. J., Stringaris, A., Consortium, I., Faraone, S. V., Franke, B., Steinhausen, H. C., & van Hulzen, K. J. (2016). Gene-set and multivariate genome-wide association analysis of oppositional defiant behavior subtypes in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 171(5), 573-88. doi:10.1002/ajmg.b.32346.

    Abstract

    Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a frequent psychiatric disorder seen in children and adolescents with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ODD is also a common antecedent to both affective disorders and aggressive behaviors. Although the heritability of ODD has been estimated to be around 0.60, there has been little research into the molecular genetics of ODD. The present study examined the association of irritable and defiant/vindictive dimensions and categorical subtypes of ODD (based on latent class analyses) with previously described specific polymorphisms (DRD4 exon3 VNTR, 5-HTTLPR, and seven OXTR SNPs) as well as with dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin genes and pathways in a clinical sample of children and adolescents with ADHD. In addition, we performed a multivariate genome-wide association study (GWAS) of the aforementioned ODD dimensions and subtypes. Apart from adjusting the analyses for age and sex, we controlled for "parental ability to cope with disruptive behavior." None of the hypothesis-driven analyses revealed a significant association with ODD dimensions and subtypes. Inadequate parenting behavior was significantly associated with all ODD dimensions and subtypes, most strongly with defiant/vindictive behaviors. In addition, the GWAS did not result in genome-wide significant findings but bioinformatics and literature analyses revealed that the proteins encoded by 28 of the 53 top-ranked genes functionally interact in a molecular landscape centered around Beta-catenin signaling and involved in the regulation of neurite outgrowth. Our findings provide new insights into the molecular basis of ODD and inform future genetic studies of oppositional behavior. (c) 2015 The Authors. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Alday, P. M. (2016). Towards a rigorous motivation for Ziph's law. In S. G. Roberts, C. Cuskley, L. McCrohon, L. Barceló-Coblijn, O. Feher, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). Retrieved from http://evolang.org/neworleans/papers/178.html.

    Abstract

    Language evolution can be viewed from two viewpoints: the development of a communicative system and the biological adaptations necessary for producing and perceiving said system. The communicative-system vantage point has enjoyed a wealth of mathematical models based on simple distributional properties of language, often formulated as empirical laws. However, be- yond vague psychological notions of “least effort”, no principled explanation has been proposed for the existence and success of such laws. Meanwhile, psychological and neurobiological mod- els have focused largely on the computational constraints presented by incremental, real-time processing. In the following, we show that information-theoretic entropy underpins successful models of both types and provides a more principled motivation for Zipf’s Law
  • Alhama, R. G., & Zuidema, W. (2016). Generalization in Artificial Language Learning: Modelling the Propensity to Generalize. In Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on Cognitive Aspects of Computational Language Learning (pp. 64-72). Association for Computational Linguistics. doi:10.18653/v1/W16-1909.

    Abstract

    Experiments in Artificial Language Learn- ing have revealed much about the cogni- tive mechanisms underlying sequence and language learning in human adults, in in- fants and in non-human animals. This pa- per focuses on their ability to generalize to novel grammatical instances (i.e., in- stances consistent with a familiarization pattern). Notably, the propensity to gen- eralize appears to be negatively correlated with the amount of exposure to the artifi- cial language, a fact that has been claimed to be contrary to the predictions of statis- tical models (Pe ̃ na et al. (2002); Endress and Bonatti (2007)). In this paper, we pro- pose to model generalization as a three- step process, and we demonstrate that the use of statistical models for the first two steps, contrary to widespread intuitions in the ALL-field, can explain the observed decrease of the propensity to generalize with exposure time.
  • Alhama, R. G., & Zuidema, W. (2016). Pre-Wiring and Pre-Training: What does a neural network need to learn truly general identity rules? In T. R. Besold, A. Bordes, & A. D'Avila Garcez (Eds.), CoCo 2016 Cognitive Computation: Proceedings of the Workshop on Cognitive Computation: Integrating neural and symbolic approaches 2016. CEUR Workshop Proceedings.

    Abstract

    In an influential paper, Marcus et al. [1999] claimed that connectionist models cannot account for human success at learning tasks that involved generalization of abstract knowledge such as grammatical rules. This claim triggered a heated debate, centered mostly around variants of the Simple Recurrent Network model [Elman, 1990]. In our work, we revisit this unresolved debate and analyze the underlying issues from a different perspective. We argue that, in order to simulate human-like learning of grammatical rules, a neural network model should not be used as a tabula rasa , but rather, the initial wiring of the neural connections and the experience acquired prior to the actual task should be incorporated into the model. We present two methods that aim to provide such initial state: a manipu- lation of the initial connections of the network in a cognitively plausible manner (concretely, by implementing a “delay-line” memory), and a pre-training algorithm that incrementally challenges the network with novel stimuli. We implement such techniques in an Echo State Network [Jaeger, 2001], and we show that only when combining both techniques the ESN is able to learn truly general identity rules.
  • Ambridge, B., Bidgood, A., Pine, J. M., & Rowland, C. F. (2016). Is Passive Syntax Semantically Constrained? Evidence From Adult Grammaticality Judgment and Comprehension Studies. Cognitive Science, 40, 1435-1459. doi:10.1111/cogs.12277.

    Abstract

    To explain the phenomenon that certain English verbs resist passivization (e.g., *£5 was cost by the book), Pinker (1989) proposed a semantic constraint on the passive in the adult grammar: The greater the extent to which a verb denotes an action where a patient is affected or acted upon, the greater the extent to which it is compatible with the passive. However, a number of comprehension and production priming studies have cast doubt upon this claim, finding no difference between highly affecting agent-patient/theme-experiencer passives (e.g., Wendy was kicked/frightened by Bob) and non-actional experiencer theme passives (e.g., Wendy was heard by Bob). The present study provides evidence that a semantic constraint is psychologically real, and is readily observed when more fine-grained independent and dependent measures are used (i.e., participant ratings of verb semantics, graded grammaticality judgments, and reaction time in a forced-choice picture-matching comprehension task). We conclude that a semantic constraint on the passive must be incorporated into accounts of the adult grammar.

    Supplementary material

    cogs12277-sup-0001-DataS1-S2.docx
  • Araújo, S., Faísca, L., Reis, A., Marques, J. F., & Petersson, K. M. (2016). Visual naming deficits in dyslexia: An ERP investigation of different processing domains. Neuropsychologia, 91, 61-76. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.07.007.

    Abstract

    Naming speed deficits are well documented in developmental dyslexia, expressed by slower naming times and more errors in response to familiar items. Here we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to examine at what processing level the deficits in dyslexia emerge during a discrete-naming task. Dyslexic and skilled adult control readers performed a primed object-naming task, in which the relationship between the prime and the target was manipulated along perceptual, semantic and phonological dimensions. A 3×2 design that crossed Relationship Type (Visual, Phonemic Onset, and Semantic) with Relatedness (Related and Unrelated) was used. An attenuated N/P190 – indexing early visual processing – and N300 – which index late visual processing – was observed to pictures preceded by perceptually related (vs. unrelated) primes in the control but not in the dyslexic group. These findings suggest suboptimal processing in early stages of object processing in dyslexia, when integration and mapping of perceptual information to a more form-specific percept in memory take place. On the other hand, both groups showed an N400 effect associated with semantically related pictures (vs. unrelated), taken to reflect intact integration of semantic similarities in both dyslexic and control readers. We also found an electrophysiological effect of phonological priming in the N400 range – that is, an attenuated N400 to objects preceded by phonemic related primes vs. unrelated – while it showed a more widespread distributed and more pronounced over the right hemisphere in the dyslexics. Topographic differences between groups might have originated from a word form encoding process with different characteristics in dyslexics compared to control readers.
  • Asaridou, S. S., Takashima, A., Dediu, D., Hagoort, P., & McQueen, J. M. (2016). Repetition suppression in the left inferior frontal gyrus predicts tone learning performance. Cerebral Cortex, 26(6), 2728-2742. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhv126.

    Abstract

    Do individuals differ in how efficiently they process non-native sounds? To what extent do these differences relate to individual variability in sound-learning aptitude? We addressed these questions by assessing the sound-learning abilities of Dutch native speakers as they were trained on non-native tone contrasts. We used fMRI repetition suppression to the non-native tones to measure participants' neuronal processing efficiency before and after training. Although all participants improved in tone identification with training, there was large individual variability in learning performance. A repetition suppression effect to tone was found in the bilateral inferior frontal gyri (IFGs) before training. No whole-brain effect was found after training; a region-of-interest analysis, however, showed that, after training, repetition suppression to tone in the left IFG correlated positively with learning. That is, individuals who were better in learning the non-native tones showed larger repetition suppression in this area. Crucially, this was true even before training. These findings add to existing evidence that the left IFG plays an important role in sound learning and indicate that individual differences in learning aptitude stem from differences in the neuronal efficiency with which non-native sounds are processed.
  • Azar, Z., Backus, A., & Ozyurek, A. (2016). Pragmatic relativity: Gender and context affect the use of personal pronouns in discourse differentially across languages. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016) (pp. 1295-1300). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Speakers use differential referring expressions in pragmatically appropriate ways to produce coherent narratives. Languages, however, differ in a) whether REs as arguments can be dropped and b) whether personal pronouns encode gender. We examine two languages that differ from each other in these two aspects and ask whether the co-reference context and the gender encoding options affect the use of REs differentially. We elicited narratives from Dutch and Turkish speakers about two types of three-person events, one including people of the same and the other of mixed-gender. Speakers re-introduced referents into the discourse with fuller forms (NPs) and maintained them with reduced forms (overt or null pronoun). Turkish speakers used pronouns mainly to mark emphasis and only Dutch speakers used pronouns differentially across the two types of videos. We argue that linguistic possibilities available in languages tune speakers into taking different principles into account to produce pragmatically coherent narratives
  • Backus, A., Schoffelen, J.-M., Szebényi, S., Hanslmayr, S., & Doeller, C. (2016). Hippocampal-prefrontal theta oscillations support memory integration. Current Biology, 26, 450-457. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.12.048.

    Abstract

    Integration of separate memories forms the basis of inferential reasoning - an essential cognitive process that enables complex behavior. Considerable evidence suggests that both hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) play a crucial role in memory integration. Although previous studies indicate that theta oscillations facilitate memory processes, the electrophysiological mechanisms underlying memory integration remain elusive. To bridge this gap, we recorded magnetoencephalography data while participants performed an inference task and employed novel source reconstruction techniques to estimate oscillatory signals from the hippocampus. We found that hippocampal theta power during encoding predicts subsequent memory integration. Moreover, we observed increased theta coherence between hippocampus and mPFC. Our results suggest that integrated memory representations arise through hippocampal theta oscillations, possibly reflecting dynamic switching between encoding and retrieval states, and facilitating communication with mPFC. These findings have important implications for our understanding of memory-based decision making and knowledge acquisition
  • Baranova, J., & Dingemanse, M. (2016). Reasons for requests. Discourse Studies, 18(6), 641-675. doi:10.1177/1461445616667154.

    Abstract

    Reasons play an important role in social interaction. We study reasons-giving in the context of request sequences in Russian. By contrasting request sequences with and without reasons, we are able to shed light on the interactional work people do when they provide reasons or ask for them. In a systematic collection of request sequences in everyday conversation (N = 158), we find reasons in a variety of sequential positions, showing the various points at which participants may orient to the need for a reason. Reasons may be left implicit (as in many minimal requests that are readily complied with), or they can be made explicit. Participants may make reasons explicit either as part of the initial formulation of a request or in an interactionally contingent way. Across sequential positions, we show that reasons for requests recurrently deal with three possible issues: (1) providing information when a request is underspecified, (2) managing relationships between the requester and requestee and (3) explicating ancillary actions implemented by a request. By spelling out information normally left to presuppositions and implicatures, reasons make requests more understandable and help participants to navigate the social landscape of asking assistance from others.
  • Barış Demiral, Ş., Gambi, C., Nieuwland, M. S., & Pickering, M. J. (2016). Neural correlates of verbal joint action: ERPs reveal common perception and action systems in a shared-Stroop task. Brain Research, 1649, 79-89. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2016.08.025.

    Abstract

    Recent social-cognitive research suggests that the anticipation of co-actors' actions influences people's mental representations. However, the precise nature of such representations is still unclear. In this study we investigated verbal joint representations in a delayed Stroop paradigm, where each participant responded to one color after a short delay. Participants either performed the task as a single actor (single-action, Experiment 1), or they performed it together (joint-action, Experiment 2). We investigated effects of co-actors' actions on the ERP components associated with perceptual conflict (Go N2) and response selection (P3b). Compared to single-action, joint-action reduced the N2 amplitude congruency effect when participants had to respond (Go trials), indicating that representing a co-actor's utterance helped to dissociate action codes and attenuated perceptual conflict for the responding participant. Yet, on NoGo trials the centro-parietal P3 (P3b) component amplitude increased for joint-action, suggesting that participants mapped the stimuli onto the co-actor's upcoming response as if it were their own response. We conclude that people represent others' utterances similarly to the way they represent their own utterances, and that shared perception-action codes for self and others can sometimes reduce, rather than enhance, perceptual conflict.
  • Barthel, M., Sauppe, S., Levinson, S. C., & Meyer, A. S. (2016). The timing of utterance planning in task-oriented dialogue: Evidence from a novel list-completion paradigm. Frontiers in Psychology, 7: 1858. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01858.

    Abstract

    In conversation, interlocutors rarely leave long gaps between turns, suggesting that next speak- ers begin to plan their turns while listening to the previous speaker. The present experiment used analyses of speech onset latencies and eye-movements in a task-oriented dialogue paradigm to investigate when speakers start planning their response. Adult German participants heard a confederate describe sets of objects in utterances that either ended in a noun (e.g. Ich habe eine Tür und ein Fahrrad (‘I have a door and a bicycle’)) or a verb form (Ich habe eine Tür und ein Fahrrad besorgt (‘I have gotten a door and a bicycle’)), while the presence or absence of the final verb either was or was not predictable from the preceding sentence structure. In response, participants had to name any unnamed objects they could see in their own display in utterances such as Ich habe ein Ei (‘I have an egg’). The main question was when participants started to plan their response. The results are consistent with the view that speakers begin to plan their turn as soon as sufficient information is available to do so, irrespective of further incoming words.
  • Bastos, A. M., & Schoffelen, J.-M. (2016). A tutorial review of functional connectivity analysis methods and their interpretational pitfalls. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 9: 175. doi:10.3389/fnsys.2015.00175.

    Abstract

    Oscillatory neuronal activity may provide a mechanism for dynamic network coordination. Rhythmic neuronal interactions can be quantified using multiple metrics, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. This tutorial will review and summarize current analysis methods used in the field of invasive and non-invasive electrophysiology to study the dynamic connections between neuronal populations. First, we review metrics for functional connectivity, including coherence, phase synchronization, phase-slope index, and Granger causality, with the specific aim to provide an intuition for how these metrics work, as well as their quantitative definition. Next, we highlight a number of interpretational caveats and common pitfalls that can arise when performing functional connectivity analysis, including the common reference problem, the signal to noise ratio problem, the volume conduction problem, the common input problem, and the sample size bias problem. These pitfalls will be illustrated by presenting a set of MATLAB-scripts, which can be executed by the reader to simulate each of these potential problems. We discuss how these issues can be addressed using current methods.
  • Bauer, B. (2016). [Review of the book Social variation and the Latin language by James N. Adams]. Folia Linguistica Historica, 37, 315-326. doi:10.1515/flih-2016-0010.

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  • Bauer, B. (2016). The development of comparatives in Latin texts. In J. N. Adams, & N. Vincent (Eds.), Early and late Latin. Continuity or change? (pp. 313-339). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bavin, E. L., Prendergast, L. A., Kidd, E., Baker, E., & Dissanayake, C. (2016). Online processing of sentences containing noun modification in young children with high-functioning autism. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 51(2), 137-147. doi:10.1111/1460-6984.12191.

    Abstract

    Background: There is variability in the language of children with autism, even those who are high functioning. However, little is known about how they process language structures in real time, including how they handle potential ambiguity, and whether they follow referential constraints. Previous research with older autism spectrum disorder (ASD) participants has shown that these individuals can use context to access rapidly the meaning of ambiguous words. The severity of autism has also been shown to influence the speed in which children with ASD access lexical information. Aims: To understand more about how children with ASD process language in real time (i.e., as it unfolds). The focus was the integration of information and use of referential constraints to identify a referent named in a sentence. Methods & Procedures: We used an eye-tracking task to compare performance between young, high-functioning children with autism (HFA) and children with typical development (TD). A large sample of 5–9-year-old children (mean age = 6;8 years), 48 with HFA and 56 with TD participated; all were attending mainstream schools. For each item participants were shown a display of four images that differed in two dimensions. Each sentence contained an adjective and noun that restricted the choice from four to two (the target and competitor), followed by a prepositional phrase (e.g., the blue square with dots); this added modifying information to provide a unique description of the target. We calculated looking time at the target, the competitor and the two distractors for each 200 ms time interval as children processed the sentence and looked at the display. Generalized estimating equations were used to carry out repeated-measures analyses on the proportion of looking time to target and competitor and time to fixate to target. Outcomes & Results: Children in both groups (HFA and TD) looked at the target and competitor more than at the distractors following the adjective and noun and following the modifying information in the prepositional phrase more at the target. However, the HFA group was significantly slower in both phases and looked proportionally less at the target. Across the sample, IQ and language did not affect the results; however, age and attention had an impact. The older children showed an advantage in processing the information as did the children with higher attention scores. Conclusions & Implications: The HFA group took longer than the TD group to integrate the disambiguating information provided in the course of processing a sentence and integrate it with the visual information, indicating that for the ASD group incremental processing was not as advanced as for children with ASD, and they were less sensitive to referential conventions. Training for young children with ASD on the use of referential conventions and available contextual clues may be of benefit to them in understanding the language they hear.
  • Bavin, E. L., Kidd, E., Prendergast, L. A., & Baker, E. K. (2016). Young Children with ASD Use Lexical and Referential Information During On-line Sentence Processing. Frontiers in Psychology, 7: 171. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00171.

    Abstract

    Research with adults and older children indicates that verb biases are strong influences on listeners’ interpretations when processing sentences, but they can be overruled. In this paper, we ask two questions: (i) are children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are high functioning sensitive to verb biases like their same age typically developing peers?, and (ii) do young children with ASD and young children with typical development (TD) override strong verb biases to consider alternative interpretations of ambiguous sentences? Participants were aged 5–9 years (mean age 6.65 years): children with ASD who were high functioning and children with TD. In task 1, biasing and neutral verbs were included (e.g., eat cake versus move cake). In task 2, the focus was on whether the prepositional phrase occurring with an instrument biasing verb (e.g., ‘Chop the tree with the axe’) was interpreted as an instrument even if the named item was an implausible instrument (e.g., candle in ‘Cut the cake with the candle’). Overall, the results showed similarities between groups but the ASD group was generally slower. In task 1, both groups looked at the named object faster in the biasing than the non-biasing condition, and in the biasing condition the ASD group looked away from the target more quickly than the TD group. In task 2, both groups identified the target in the prepositional phrase. They were more likely to override the verb instrument bias and consider the alternative (modification) interpretation in the implausible condition (e.g., looking at the picture of a cake with a candle on it’). Our findings indicate that children of age 5 years and above can use context to override verb biases. Additionally, an important component of the sentence processing mechanism is largely intact for young children with ASD who are high functioning. Like children with TD, they draw on verb semantics and plausibility in integrating information. However, they are likely to be slower in processing the language they hear. Based on previous findings of associations between processing speed and cognitive functioning, the implication is that their understanding will be negatively affected, as will their academic outcomes.
  • Becker, M., Guadalupe, T., Franke, B., Hibar, D. P., Renteria, M. E., Stein, J. L., Thompson, P. M., Francks, C., Vernes, S. C., & Fisher, S. E. (2016). Early developmental gene enhancers affect subcortical volumes in the adult human brain. Human Brain Mapping, 37(5), 1788-1800. doi:10.1002/hbm.23136.

    Abstract

    Genome-wide association screens aim to identify common genetic variants contributing to the phenotypic variability of complex traits, such as human height or brain morphology. The identified genetic variants are mostly within noncoding genomic regions and the biology of the genotype–phenotype association typically remains unclear. In this article, we propose a complementary targeted strategy to reveal the genetic underpinnings of variability in subcortical brain volumes, by specifically selecting genomic loci that are experimentally validated forebrain enhancers, active in early embryonic development. We hypothesized that genetic variation within these enhancers may affect the development and ultimately the structure of subcortical brain regions in adults. We tested whether variants in forebrain enhancer regions showed an overall enrichment of association with volumetric variation in subcortical structures of >13,000 healthy adults. We observed significant enrichment of genomic loci that affect the volume of the hippocampus within forebrain enhancers (empirical P = 0.0015), a finding which robustly passed the adjusted threshold for testing of multiple brain phenotypes (cutoff of P < 0.0083 at an alpha of 0.05). In analyses of individual single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we identified an association upstream of the ID2 gene with rs7588305 and variation in hippocampal volume. This SNP-based association survived multiple-testing correction for the number of SNPs analyzed but not for the number of subcortical structures. Targeting known regulatory regions offers a way to understand the underlying biology that connects genotypes to phenotypes, particularly in the context of neuroimaging genetics. This biology-driven approach generates testable hypotheses regarding the functional biology of identified associations.
  • Becker, M. (2016). On the identification of FOXP2 gene enhancers and their role in brain development. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Bergmann, C., Cristia, A., & Dupoux, E. (2016). Discriminability of sound contrasts in the face of speaker variation quantified. In Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. (pp. 1331-1336). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    How does a naive language learner deal with speaker variation irrelevant to distinguishing word meanings? Experimental data is contradictory, and incompatible models have been proposed. Here, we examine basic assumptions regarding the acoustic signal the learner deals with: Is speaker variability a hurdle in discriminating sounds or can it easily be ignored? To this end, we summarize existing infant data. We then present machine-based discriminability scores of sound pairs obtained without any language knowledge. Our results show that speaker variability decreases sound contrast discriminability, and that some contrasts are affected more than others. However, chance performance is rare; most contrasts remain discriminable in the face of speaker variation. We take our results to mean that speaker variation is not a uniform hurdle to discriminating sound contrasts, and careful examination is necessary when planning and interpreting studies testing whether and to what extent infants (and adults) are sensitive to speaker differences.

    Supplementary material

    Scripts and data
  • Bergmann, C., & Cristia, A. (2016). Development of infants' segmentation of words from native speech: a meta-analytic approach. Developmental Science, 19(6), 901-917. doi:10.1111/desc.12341.

    Abstract

    nfants start learning words, the building blocks of language, at least by 6 months. To do so, they must be able to extract the phonological form of words from running speech. A rich literature has investigated this process, termed word segmentation. We addressed the fundamental question of how infants of different ages segment words from their native language using a meta-analytic approach. Based on previous popular theoretical and experimental work, we expected infants to display familiarity preferences early on, with a switch to novelty preferences as infants become more proficient at processing and segmenting native speech. We also considered the possibility that this switch may occur at different points in time as a function of infants' native language and took into account the impact of various task- and stimulus-related factors that might affect difficulty. The combined results from 168 experiments reporting on data gathered from 3774 infants revealed a persistent familiarity preference across all ages. There was no significant effect of additional factors, including native language and experiment design. Further analyses revealed no sign of selective data collection or reporting. We conclude that models of infant information processing that are frequently cited in this domain may not, in fact, apply in the case of segmenting words from native speech.

    Supplementary material

    desc12341-sup-0001-sup_material.doc
  • Birchall, J., Dunn, M., & Greenhill, S. J. (2016). A combined comparative and phylogenetic analysis of the Chapacuran language family. International Journal of American Linguistics, 82(3), 255-284. doi:10.1086/687383.

    Abstract

    The Chapacuran language family, with three extant members and nine historically attested lects, has yet to be classified following modern standards in historical linguistics. This paper presents an internal classification of these languages by combining both the traditional comparative method (CM) and Bayesian phylogenetic inference (BPI). We identify multiple systematic sound correspondences and 285 cognate sets of basic vocabulary using the available documentation. These allow us to reconstruct a large portion of the Proto-Chapacuran phonemic inventory and identify tentative major subgroupings. The cognate sets form the input for the BPI analysis, which uses a stochastic Continuous-Time Markov Chain to model the change of these cognate sets over time. We test various models of lexical substitution and evolutionary clocks, and use ethnohistorical information and data collection dates to calibrate the resulting trees. The CM and BPI analyses produce largely congruent results, suggesting a division of the family into three different clades.

    Supplementary material

    Appendix
  • Bobb, S., Huettig, F., & Mani, N. (2016). Predicting visual information during sentence processing: Toddlers activate an object's shape before it is mentioned. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 151, 51-64. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2015.11.002.

    Abstract

    We examined the contents of language-mediated prediction in toddlers by investigating the extent to which toddlers are sensitive to visual-shape representations of upcoming words. Previous studies with adults suggest limits to the degree to which information about the visual form of a referent is predicted during language comprehension in low constraint sentences. 30-month-old toddlers heard either contextually constraining sentences or contextually neutral sentences as they viewed images that were either identical or shape related to the heard target label. We observed that toddlers activate shape information of upcoming linguistic input in contextually constraining semantic contexts: Hearing a sentence context that was predictive of the target word activated perceptual information that subsequently influenced visual attention toward shape-related targets. Our findings suggest that visual shape is central to predictive language processing in toddlers.
  • Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I., Alday, P. M., & Schlesewsky, M. (2016). A modality-independent, neurobiological grounding for the combinatory capacity of the language-ready brain: Comment on “Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain” by Michael A. Arbib. Physics of Life Reviews, 16, 55-57. doi:10.1016/j.plrev.2016.01.003.
  • Bosker, H. R. (2016). Our own speech rate influences speech perception. In J. Barnes, A. Brugos, S. Stattuck-Hufnagel, & N. Veilleux (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2016 (pp. 227-231).

    Abstract

    During conversation, spoken utterances occur in rich acoustic contexts, including speech produced by our interlocutor(s) and speech we produced ourselves. Prosodic characteristics of the acoustic context have been known to influence speech perception in a contrastive fashion: for instance, a vowel presented in a fast context is perceived to have a longer duration than the same vowel in a slow context. Given the ubiquity of the sound of our own voice, it may be that our own speech rate - a common source of acoustic context - also influences our perception of the speech of others. Two experiments were designed to test this hypothesis. Experiment 1 replicated earlier contextual rate effects by showing that hearing pre-recorded fast or slow context sentences alters the perception of ambiguous Dutch target words. Experiment 2 then extended this finding by showing that talking at a fast or slow rate prior to the presentation of the target words also altered the perception of those words. These results suggest that between-talker variation in speech rate production may induce between-talker variation in speech perception, thus potentially explaining why interlocutors tend to converge on speech rate in dialogue settings.

    Supplementary material

    pdf via conference website227
  • Bosker, H. R., Reinisch, E., & Sjerps, M. J. (2016). Listening under cognitive load makes speech sound fast. In H. van den Heuvel, B. Cranen, & S. Mattys (Eds.), Proceedings of the Speech Processing in Realistic Environments [SPIRE] Workshop (pp. 23-24). Groningen.
  • Bramão, I., Reis, A., Petersson, K. M., & Faísca, L. (2016). Knowing that strawberries are red and seeing red strawberries: The interaction between surface colour and colour knowledge information. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 28(6), 641-657. doi:10.1080/20445911.2016.1182171.

    Abstract

    his study investigates the interaction between surface and colour knowledge information during object recognition. In two different experiments, participants were instructed to decide whether two presented stimuli belonged to the same object identity. On the non-matching trials, we manipulated the shape and colour knowledge information activated by the two stimuli by creating four different stimulus pairs: (1) similar in shape and colour (e.g. TOMATO–APPLE); (2) similar in shape and dissimilar in colour (e.g. TOMATO–COCONUT); (3) dissimilar in shape and similar in colour (e.g. TOMATO–CHILI PEPPER) and (4) dissimilar in both shape and colour (e.g. TOMATO–PEANUT). The object pictures were presented in typical and atypical colours and also in black-and-white. The interaction between surface and colour knowledge showed to be contingent upon shape information: while colour knowledge is more important for recognising structurally similar shaped objects, surface colour is more prominent for recognising structurally dissimilar shaped objects.
  • Brehm, L., & Goldrick, M. (2016). Empirical and conceptual challenges for neurocognitive theories of language production. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 31(4), 504-507. doi:10.1080/23273798.2015.1110604.
  • Broersma, M., Carter, D., & Acheson, D. J. (2016). Cognate costs in bilingual speech production: Evidence from language switching. Frontiers in Psychology, 7: 1461. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01461.

    Abstract

    This study investigates cross-language lexical competition in the bilingual mental lexicon. It provides evidence for the occurrence of inhibition as well as the commonly reported facilitation during the production of cognates (words with similar phonological form and meaning in two languages) in a mixed picture naming task by highly proficient Welsh-English bilinguals. Previous studies have typically found cognate facilitation. It has previously been proposed (with respect to non-cognates) that cross-language inhibition is limited to low-proficient bilinguals; therefore, we tested highly proficient, early bilinguals. In a mixed naming experiment (i.e., picture naming with language switching), 48 highly proficient, early Welsh-English bilinguals named pictures in Welsh and English, including cognate and non-cognate targets. Participants were English-dominant, Welsh-dominant, or had equal language dominance. The results showed evidence for cognate inhibition in two ways. First, both facilitation and inhibition were found on the cognate trials themselves, compared to non-cognate controls, modulated by the participants' language dominance. The English-dominant group showed cognate inhibition when naming in Welsh (and no difference between cognates and controls when naming in English), and the Welsh-dominant and equal dominance groups generally showed cognate facilitation. Second, cognate inhibition was found as a behavioral adaptation effect, with slower naming for non-cognate filler words in trials after cognates than after non-cognate controls. This effect was consistent across all language dominance groups and both target languages, suggesting that cognate production involved cognitive control even if this was not measurable in the cognate trials themselves. Finally, the results replicated patterns of symmetrical switch costs, as commonly reported for balanced bilinguals. We propose that cognate processing might be affected by two different processes, namely competition at the lexical-semantic level and facilitation at the word form level, and that facilitation at the word form level might (sometimes) outweigh any effects of inhibition at the lemma level. In sum, this study provides evidence that cognate naming can cause costs in addition to benefits. The finding of cognate inhibition, particularly for the highly proficient bilinguals tested, provides strong evidence for the occurrence of lexical competition across languages in the bilingual mental lexicon.
  • Bruggeman, L., & Cutler, A. (2016). Lexical manipulation as a discovery tool for psycholinguistic research. In C. Carignan, & M. D. Tyler (Eds.), Proceedings of the 16th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology (SST2016) (pp. 313-316).
  • Bruggeman, L. (2016). Nativeness, dominance, and the flexibility of listening to spoken language. PhD Thesis, Western Sydney University, Sydney.
  • Burenhult, N., & Kruspe, N. (2016). The language of eating and drinking: A window on Orang Asli meaning-making. In K. Endicott (Ed.), Malaysia’s original people: Past, present and future of the Orang Asli (pp. 175-199). Singapore: National University of Singapore Press.
  • Carota, F., Bozic, M., & Marslen-Wilson, W. (2016). Decompositional Representation of Morphological Complexity: Multivariate fMRI Evidence from Italian. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 28(12), 1878-1896. doi:10.1162/jocn\_a\_01009.

    Abstract

    Derivational morphology is a cross-linguistically dominant mechanism for word formation, combining existing words with derivational affixes to create new word forms. However, the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying the representation and processing of such forms remain unclear. Recent cross-linguistic neuroimaging research suggests that derived words are stored and accessed as whole forms, without engaging the left-hemisphere perisylvian network associated with combinatorial processing of syntactically and inflectionally complex forms. Using fMRI with a “simple listening” no-task procedure, we reexamine these suggestions in the context of the root-based combinatorially rich Italian lexicon to clarify the role of semantic transparency (between the derived form and its stem) and affix productivity in determining whether derived forms are decompositionally represented and which neural systems are involved. Combined univariate and multivariate analyses reveal a key role for semantic transparency, modulated by affix productivity. Opaque forms show strong cohort competition effects, especially for words with nonproductive suffixes (ventura, “destiny”). The bilateral frontotemporal activity associated with these effects indicates that opaque derived words are processed as whole forms in the bihemispheric language system. Semantically transparent words with productive affixes (libreria, “bookshop”) showed no effects of lexical competition, suggesting morphologically structured co-representation of these derived forms and their stems, whereas transparent forms with nonproductive affixes (pineta, pine forest) show intermediate effects. Further multivariate analyses of the transparent derived forms revealed affix productivity effects selectively involving left inferior frontal regions, suggesting that the combinatorial and decompositional processes triggered by such forms can vary significantly across languages.
  • Carrion Castillo, A., van Bergen, E., Vino, A., van Zuijen, T., de Jong, P. F., Francks, C., & Fisher, S. E. (2016). Evaluation of results from genome-wide studies of language and reading in a novel independent dataset. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 15(6), 531-541. doi:10.1111/gbb.12299.

    Abstract

    Recent genome wide association scans (GWAS) for reading and language abilities have pin-pointed promising new candidate loci. However, the potential contributions of these loci remain to be validated. In the present study, we tested 17 of the most significantly associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from these GWAS studies (p < 10−6 in the original studies) in a new independent population dataset from the Netherlands: known as FIOLA (Familial Influences On Literacy Abilities). This dataset comprised 483 children from 307 nuclear families, plus 505 adults (including parents of participating children), and provided adequate statistical power to detect the effects that were previously reported. The following measures of reading and language performance were collected: word reading fluency, nonword reading fluency, phonological awareness, and rapid automatized naming. Two SNPs (rs12636438, rs7187223) were associated with performance in multivariate and univariate testing, but these did not remain significant after correction for multiple testing. Another SNP (rs482700) was only nominally associated in the multivariate test. For the rest of the SNPs we did not find supportive evidence of association. The findings may reflect differences between our study and the previous investigations in respects such as the language of testing, the exact tests used, and the recruitment criteria. Alternatively, most of the prior reported associations may have been false positives. A larger scale GWAS meta-analysis than those previously performed will likely be required to obtain robust insights into the genomic architecture underlying reading and language.
  • Carrion Castillo, A. (2016). Deciphering common and rare genetic effects on reading ability. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Casillas, M., Bobb, S. C., & Clark, E. V. (2016). Turn taking, timing, and planning in early language acquisition. Journal of Child Language, 43, 1310-1337. doi:10.1017/S0305000915000689.

    Abstract

    Young children answer questions with longer delays than adults do, and they don't reach typical adult response times until several years later. We hypothesized that this prolonged pattern of delay in children's timing results from competing demands: to give an answer, children must understand a question while simultaneously planning and initiating their response. Even as children get older and more efficient in this process, the demands on them increase because their verbal responses become more complex. We analyzed conversational question-answer sequences between caregivers and their children from ages 1;8 to 3;5, finding that children (1) initiate simple answers more quickly than complex ones, (2) initiate simple answers quickly from an early age, and (3) initiate complex answers more quickly as they grow older. Our results suggest that children aim to respond quickly from the start, improving on earlier-acquired answer types while they begin to practice later-acquired, slower ones.

    Supplementary material

    S0305000915000689sup001.docx
  • Chabout, J., Sarkar, A., Patel, S., Radden, T., Dunson, D., Fisher, S. E., & Jarvis, E. (2016). A Foxp2 mutation implicated in human speech deficits alters sequencing of ultrasonic vocalizations in adult male mice. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 10: 197. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00197.

    Abstract

    Development of proficient spoken language skills is disrupted by mutations of the FOXP2 transcription factor. A heterozygous missense mutation in the KE family causes speech apraxia, involving difficulty producing words with complex learned sequences of syllables. Manipulations in songbirds have helped to elucidate the role of this gene in vocal learning, but findings in non-human mammals have been limited or inconclusive. Here we performed a systematic study of ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) of adult male mice carrying the KE family mutation. Using novel statistical tools, we found that Foxp2 heterozygous mice did not have detectable changes in USV syllable acoustic structure, but produced shorter sequences and did not shift to more complex syntax in social contexts where wildtype animals did. Heterozygous mice also displayed a shift in the position of their rudimentary laryngeal motor cortex layer-5 neurons. Our findings indicate that although mouse USVs are mostly innate, the underlying contributions of FoxP2 to sequencing of vocalizations are conserved with humans.
  • Chu, M., & Kita, S. (2016). Co-thought and Co-speech Gestures Are Generated by the Same Action Generation Process. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 42(2), 257-270. doi:10.1037/xlm0000168.

    Abstract

    People spontaneously gesture when they speak (co-speech gestures) and when they solve problems silently (co-thought gestures). In this study, we first explored the relationship between these 2 types of gestures and found that individuals who produced co-thought gestures more frequently also produced co-speech gestures more frequently (Experiments 1 and 2). This suggests that the 2 types of gestures are generated from the same process. We then investigated whether both types of gestures can be generated from the representational use of the action generation process that also generates purposeful actions that have a direct physical impact on the world, such as manipulating an object or locomotion (the action generation hypothesis). To this end, we examined the effect of object affordances on the production of both types of gestures (Experiments 3 and 4). We found that individuals produced co-thought and co-speech gestures more often when the stimulus objects afforded action (objects with a smooth surface) than when they did not (objects with a spiky surface). These results support the action generation hypothesis for representational gestures. However, our findings are incompatible with the hypothesis that co-speech representational gestures are solely generated from the speech production process (the speech production hypothesis).
  • Clark, E. V., & Casillas, M. (2016). First language acquisition. In K. Allen (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Linguistics (pp. 311-328). New York: Routledge.
  • Collins, J. (2016). The role of language contact in creating correlations between humidity and tone. Journal of Language Evolution, 46-52. doi:10.1093/jole/lzv012.
  • Coulson, S., & Lai, V. T. (Eds.). (2016). The metaphorical brain [Research topic]. Lausanne: Frontiers Media. doi:10.3389/978-2-88919-772-9.

    Abstract

    This Frontiers Special Issue will synthesize current findings on the cognitive neuroscience of metaphor, provide a forum for voicing novel perspectives, and promote new insights into the metaphorical brain.
  • Croijmans, I., & Majid, A. (2016). Language does not explain the wine-specific memory advantage of wine experts. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016) (pp. 141-146). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Although people are poor at naming odors, naming a smell helps to remember that odor. Previous studies show wine experts have better memory for smells, and they also name smells differently than novices. Is wine experts’ odor memory is verbally mediated? And is the odor memory advantage that experts have over novices restricted to odors in their domain of expertise, or does it generalize? Twenty-four wine experts and 24 novices smelled wines, wine-related odors and common odors, and remembered these. Half the participants also named the smells. Wine experts had better memory for wines, but not for the other odors, indicating their memory advantage is restricted to wine. Wine experts named odors better than novices, but there was no relationship between experts’ ability to name odors and their memory for odors. This suggests experts’ odor memory advantage is not linguistically mediated, but may be the result of differential perceptual learning
  • Croijmans, I., & Majid, A. (2016). Not all flavor expertise is equal: The language of wine and coffee experts. PLoS One, 11(6): e0155845. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155845.

    Abstract

    People in Western cultures are poor at naming smells and flavors. However, for wine and coffee experts, describing smells and flavors is part of their daily routine. So are experts bet- ter than lay people at conveying smells and flavors in language? If smells and flavors are more easily linguistically expressed by experts, or more “ codable ” , then experts should be better than novices at describing smells and flavors. If experts are indeed better, we can also ask how general this advantage is: do experts show higher codability only for smells and flavors they are expert in (i.e., wine experts for wine and coffee experts for coffee) or is their linguistic dexterity more general? To address these questions, wine experts, coffee experts, and novices were asked to describe the smell and flavor of wines, coffees, every- day odors, and basic tastes. The resulting descriptions were compared on a number of measures. We found expertise endows a modest advantage in smell and flavor naming. Wine experts showed more consistency in how they described wine smells and flavors than coffee experts, and novices; but coffee experts were not more consistent for coffee descriptions. Neither expert group was any more accurate at identifying everyday smells or tastes. Interestingly, both wine and coffee experts tended to use more source-based terms (e.g., vanilla) in descriptions of their own area of expertise whereas novices tended to use more evaluative terms (e.g.,nice). However, the overall linguistic strategies for both groups were en par. To conclude, experts only have a limited, domain-specific advantage when communicating about smells and flavors. The ability to communicate about smells and flavors is a matter not only of perceptual training, but specific linguistic training too

    Supplementary material

    Data availability
  • Croijmans, I. (2016). Gelukkig kunnen we erover praten: Over de kunst om geuren en smaken in woorden te omschrijven. koffieTcacao, 17, 80-81.
  • Cronin, K. A., West, V., & Ross, S. R. (2016). Investigating the Relationship between Welfare and Rearing Young in Captive Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 181, 166-172. doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2016.05.014.

    Abstract

    Whether the opportunity to breed and rear young improves the welfare of captive animals is currently debated. However, there is very little empirical data available to evaluate this relationship and this study is a first attempt to contribute objective data to this debate. We utilized the existing variation in the reproductive experiences of sanctuary chimpanzees at Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage Trust in Zambia to investigate whether breeding and rearing young was associated with improved welfare for adult females (N = 43). We considered several behavioural welfare indicators, including rates of luxury behaviours and abnormal or stress-related behaviours under normal conditions and conditions inducing social stress. Furthermore, we investigated whether spending time with young was associated with good or poor welfare for adult females, regardless of their kin relationship. We used generalized linear mixed models and found no difference between adult females with and without dependent young on any welfare indices, nor did we find that time spent in proximity to unrelated young predicted welfare (all full-null model comparisons likelihood ratio tests P > 0.05). However, we did find that coprophagy was more prevalent among mother-reared than non-mother-reared individuals, in line with recent work suggesting this behaviour may have a different etiology than other behaviours often considered to be abnormal. In sum, the findings from this initial study lend support to the hypothesis that the opportunity to breed and rear young does not provide a welfare benefit for chimpanzees in captivity. We hope this investigation provides a valuable starting point for empirical study into the welfare implications of managed breeding.

    Supplementary material

    mmc1.pdf
  • Cutler, A., & Norris, D. (2016). Bottoms up! How top-down pitfalls ensnare speech perception researchers too. Commentary on C. Firestone & B. Scholl: Cognition does not affect perception: Evaluating the evidence for 'top-down' effects. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, e236. doi:10.1017/S0140525X15002745.

    Abstract

    Not only can the pitfalls that Firestone & Scholl (F&S) identify be generalised across multiple studies within the field of visual perception, but also they have general application outside the field wherever perceptual and cognitive processing are compared. We call attention to the widespread susceptibility of research on the perception of speech to versions of the same pitfalls.
  • Ip, M., & Cutler, A. (2016). Cross-language data on five types of prosodic focus. In J. Barnes, A. Brugos, S. Shattuck-Hufnagel, & N. Veilleux (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2016 (pp. 330-334).

    Abstract

    To examine the relative roles of language-specific and language-universal mechanisms in the production of prosodic focus, we compared production of five different types of focus by native speakers of English and Mandarin. Two comparable dialogues were constructed for each language, with the same words appearing in focused and unfocused position; 24 speakers recorded each dialogue in each language. Duration, F0 (mean, maximum, range), and rms-intensity (mean, maximum) of all critical word tokens were measured. Across the different types of focus, cross-language differences were observed in the degree to which English versus Mandarin speakers use the different prosodic parameters to mark focus, suggesting that while prosody may be universally available for expressing focus, the means of its employment may be considerably language-specific
  • Dediu, D. (2016). A multi-layered problem. IEEE CDS Newsletter, 13, 14-15.

    Abstract

    A response to Moving Beyond Nature-Nurture: a Problem of Science or Communication? by John Spencer, Mark Blumberg and David Shenk
  • Dediu, D., & Moisik, S. R. (2016). Anatomical biasing of click learning and production: An MRI and 3d palate imaging study. In S. G. Roberts, C. Cuskley, L. McCrohon, L. Barceló-Coblijn, O. Feher, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). Retrieved from http://evolang.org/neworleans/papers/57.html.

    Abstract

    The current paper presents results for data on click learning obtained from a larger imaging study (using MRI and 3D intraoral scanning) designed to quantify and characterize intra- and inter-population variation of vocal tract structures and the relation of this to speech production. The aim of the click study was to ascertain whether and to what extent vocal tract morphology influences (1) the ability to learn to produce clicks and (2) the productions of those that successfully learn to produce these sounds. The results indicate that the presence of an alveolar ridge certainly does not prevent an individual from learning to produce click sounds (1). However, the subtle details of how clicks are produced may indeed be driven by palate shape (2).
  • Dediu, D., & de Boer, B. (2016). Language evolution needs its own journal. Journal of Language Evolution, 1, 1-6. doi:10.1093/jole/lzv001.

    Abstract

    Interest in the origins and evolution of language has been around for as long as language has been around. However, only recently has the empirical study of language come of age. We argue that the field has sufficiently advanced that it now needs its own journal—the Journal of Language Evolution.
  • Dediu, D., & Christiansen, M. H. (2016). Language evolution: Constraints and opportunities from modern genetics. Topics in Cognitive Science, 8, 361-370. doi:10.1111/tops.12195.

    Abstract

    Our understanding of language, its origins and subsequent evolution (including language change) is shaped not only by data and theories from the language sciences, but also fundamentally by the biological sciences. Recent developments in genetics and evolutionary theory offer both very strong constraints on what scenarios of language evolution are possible and probable but also offer exciting opportunities for understanding otherwise puzzling phenomena. Due to the intrinsic breathtaking rate of advancement in these fields, the complexity, subtlety and sometimes apparent non-intuitiveness of the phenomena discovered, some of these recent developments have either being completely missed by language scientists, or misperceived and misrepresented. In this short paper, we offer an update on some of these findings and theoretical developments through a selection of illustrative examples and discussions that cast new light on current debates in the language sciences. The main message of our paper is that life is much more complex and nuanced than anybody could have predicted even a few decades ago, and that we need to be flexible in our theorizing instead of embracing a priori dogmas and trying to patch paradigms that are no longer satisfactory.
  • Dediu, D., & Moisik, S. (2016). Defining and counting phonological classes in cross-linguistic segment databases. In N. Calzolari, K. Choukri, T. Declerck, S. Goggi, M. Grobelnik, B. Maegaard, J. Mariani, H. Mazo, A. Moreno, J. Odijk, & S. Piperidis (Eds.), Proceedings of LREC 2016: 10th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (pp. 1955-1962). Paris: European Language Resources Association (ELRA).

    Abstract

    Recently, there has been an explosion in the availability of large, good-quality cross-linguistic databases such as WALS (Dryer & Haspelmath, 2013), Glottolog (Hammarstrom et al., 2015) and Phoible (Moran & McCloy, 2014). Databases such as Phoible contain the actual segments used by various languages as they are given in the primary language descriptions. However, this segment-level representation cannot be used directly for analyses that require generalizations over classes of segments that share theoretically interesting features. Here we present a method and the associated R (R Core Team, 2014) code that allows the exible denition of such meaningful classes and that can identify the sets of segments falling into such a class for any language inventory. The method and its results are important for those interested in exploring cross-linguistic patterns of phonetic and phonological diversity and their relationship to extra-linguistic factors and processes such as climate, economics, history or human genetics.
  • Dediu, D. (2016). Typology for the masses. Linguistic typology, 20(3), 579-581. doi:10.1515/lingty-2016-0029.
  • Defina, R. (2016). Do serial verb constructions describe single events? A study of co-speech gestures in Avatime. Language, 92(4), 890-910. doi:10.1353/lan.2016.0076.

    Abstract

    Serial verb constructions have often been said to refer to single conceptual events. However, evidence to support this claim has been elusive. This article introduces co-speech gestures as a new way of investigating the relationship. The alignment patterns of gestures with serial verb constructions and other complex clauses were compared in Avatime (Ka-Togo, Kwa, Niger-Congo). Serial verb constructions tended to occur with single gestures overlapping the entire construction. In contrast, other complex clauses were more likely to be accompanied by distinct gestures overlapping individual verbs. This pattern of alignment suggests that serial verb constructions are in fact used to describe single events.

    Supplementary material

    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.2016.0069
  • Defina, R. (2016). Serial verb constructions and their subtypes in Avatime. Studies in Language, 40(3), 648-680. doi:10.1075/sl.40.3.07def.
  • Defina, R. (2016). Events in language and thought: The case of serial verb constructions in Avatime. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Supplementary material

    full text via Radboud Repository
  • Dias, C., Estruch, S. B., Graham, S. A., McRae, J., Sawiak, S. J., Hurst, J. A., Joss, S. K., Holder, S. E., Morton, J. E., Turner, C., Thevenon, J., Mellul, K., Sánchez-Andrade, G., Ibarra-Soria, X., Derizioti, P., Santos, R. F., Lee, S.-C., Faivre, L., Kleefstra, T., Liu, P., Hurles, M. E., DDD Study, Fisher, S. E., & Logan, D. W. (2016). BCL11A haploinsufficiency causes an intellectual disability syndrome and dysregulates transcription. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 99(2), 253-274. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2016.05.030.

    Abstract

    Intellectual disability (ID) is a common condition with considerable genetic heterogeneity. Next-generation sequencing of large cohorts has identified an increasing number of genes implicated in ID, but their roles in neurodevelopment remain largely unexplored. Here we report an ID syndrome caused by de novo heterozygous missense, nonsense, and frameshift mutations in BCL11A, encoding a transcription factor that is a putative member of the BAF swi/snf chromatin-remodeling complex. Using a comprehensive integrated approach to ID disease modeling, involving human cellular analyses coupled to mouse behavioral, neuroanatomical, and molecular phenotyping, we provide multiple lines of functional evidence for phenotypic effects. The etiological missense variants cluster in the amino-terminal region of human BCL11A, and we demonstrate that they all disrupt its localization, dimerization, and transcriptional regulatory activity, consistent with a loss of function. We show that Bcl11a haploinsufficiency in mice causes impaired cognition, abnormal social behavior, and microcephaly in accordance with the human phenotype. Furthermore, we identify shared aberrant transcriptional profiles in the cortex and hippocampus of these mouse models. Thus, our work implicates BCL11A haploinsufficiency in neurodevelopmental disorders and defines additional targets regulated by this gene, with broad relevance for our understanding of ID and related syndromes
  • Diaz, B., Mitterer, H., Broersma, M., Escara, C., & Sebastián-Gallés, N. (2016). Variability in L2 phonemic learning originates from speech-specific capabilities: An MMN study on late bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 19(5), 955-970. doi:10.1017/S1366728915000450.

    Abstract

    People differ in their ability to perceive second language (L2) sounds. In early bilinguals the variability in learning L2 phonemes stems from speech-specific capabilities (Díaz, Baus, Escera, Costa & Sebastián-Gallés, 2008). The present study addresses whether speech-specific capabilities similarly explain variability in late bilinguals. Event-related potentials were recorded (using a design similar to Díaz et al., 2008) in two groups of late Dutch–English bilinguals who were good or poor in overtly discriminating the L2 English vowels /ε-æ/. The mismatch negativity, an index of discrimination sensitivity, was similar between the groups in conditions involving pure tones (of different length, frequency, and presentation order) but was attenuated in poor L2 perceivers for native, unknown, and L2 phonemes. These results suggest that variability in L2 phonemic learning originates from speech-specific capabilities and imply a continuity of L2 phonemic learning mechanisms throughout the lifespan
  • Dima, A. L., & Dediu, D. (2016). Computation of Adherence to Medications and Visualization of Medication Histories in R with AdhereR: Towards Transparent and Reproducible Use of Electronic Healthcare Data. PLoS One, 12(4): e0174426. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0174426.

    Abstract

    Adherence to medications is an important indicator of the quality of medication management and impacts on health outcomes and cost-effectiveness of healthcare delivery. Electronic healthcare data (EHD) are increasingly used to estimate adherence in research and clinical practice, yet standardization and transparency of data processing are still a concern. Comprehensive and flexible open-source algorithms can facilitate the development of high-quality, consistent, and reproducible evidence in this field. Some EHD-based clinical decision support systems (CDSS) include visualization of medication histories, but this is rarely integrated in adherence analyses and not easily accessible for data exploration or implementation in new clinical settings. We introduce AdhereR, a package for the widely used open-source statistical environment R, designed to support researchers in computing EHD-based adherence estimates and in visualizing individual medication histories and adherence patterns. AdhereR implements a set of functions that are consistent with current adherence guidelines, definitions and operationalizations. We illustrate the use of AdhereR with an example dataset of 2-year records of 100 patients and describe the various analysis choices possible and how they can be adapted to different health conditions and types of medications. The package is freely available for use and its implementation facilitates the integration of medication history visualizations in open-source CDSS platforms.
  • Dimitrova, D. V., Chu, M., Wang, L., Ozyurek, A., & Hagoort, P. (2016). Beat that word: How listeners integrate beat gesture and focus in multimodal speech discourse. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 28(9), 1255-1269. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00963.

    Abstract

    Communication is facilitated when listeners allocate their attention to important information (focus) in the message, a process called "information structure." Linguistic cues like the preceding context and pitch accent help listeners to identify focused information. In multimodal communication, relevant information can be emphasized by nonverbal cues like beat gestures, which represent rhythmic nonmeaningful hand movements. Recent studies have found that linguistic and nonverbal attention cues are integrated independently in single sentences. However, it is possible that these two cues interact when information is embedded in context, because context allows listeners to predict what information is important. In an ERP study, we tested this hypothesis and asked listeners to view videos capturing a dialogue. In the critical sentence, focused and nonfocused words were accompanied by beat gestures, grooming hand movements, or no gestures. ERP results showed that focused words are processed more attentively than nonfocused words as reflected in an N1 and P300 component. Hand movements also captured attention and elicited a P300 component. Importantly, beat gesture and focus interacted in a late time window of 600-900 msec relative to target word onset, giving rise to a late positivity when nonfocused words were accompanied by beat gestures. Our results show that listeners integrate beat gesture with the focus of the message and that integration costs arise when beat gesture falls on nonfocused information. This suggests that beat gestures fulfill a unique focusing function in multimodal discourse processing and that they have to be integrated with the information structure of the message.
  • Dingemanse, M., Kendrick, K. H., & Enfield, N. J. (2016). A Coding Scheme for Other-Initiated Repair across Languages. Open Linguistics, 2, 35-46. doi:10.1515/opli-2016-0002.

    Abstract

    We provide an annotated coding scheme for other-initiated repair, along with guidelines for building collections and aggregating cases based on interactionally relevant similarities and differences. The questions and categories of the scheme are grounded in inductive observations of conversational data and connected to a rich body of work on other-initiated repair in conversation analysis. The scheme is developed and tested in a 12-language comparative project and can serve as a stepping stone for future work on other-initiated repair and the systematic comparative study of conversational structures.
  • Dingemanse, M., Schuerman, W. L., Reinisch, E., Tufvesson, S., & Mitterer, H. (2016). What sound symbolism can and cannot do: Testing the iconicity of ideophones from five languages. Language, 92(2), e117-e133. doi:10.1353/lan.2016.0034.

    Abstract

    Sound symbolism is a phenomenon with broad relevance to the study of language and mind, but there has been a disconnect between its investigations in linguistics and psychology. This study tests the sound-symbolic potential of ideophones—words described as iconic—in an experimental task that improves over prior work in terms of ecological validity and experimental control. We presented 203 ideophones from five languages to eighty-two Dutch listeners in a binary-choice task, in four versions: original recording, full diphone resynthesis, segments-only resynthesis, and prosody-only resynthesis. Listeners guessed the meaning of all four versions above chance, confirming the iconicity of ideophones and showing the viability of speech synthesis as a way of controlling for segmental and suprasegmental properties in experimental studies of sound symbolism. The success rate was more modest than prior studies using pseudowords like bouba/kiki, implying that assumptions based on such words cannot simply be transferred to natural languages. Prosody and segments together drive the effect: neither alone is sufficient, showing that segments and prosody work together as cues supporting iconic interpretations. The findings cast doubt on attempts to ascribe iconic meanings to segments alone and support a view of ideophones as words that combine arbitrariness and iconicity.We discuss the implications for theory and methods in the empirical study of sound symbolism and iconicity.

    Supplementary material

    https://muse.jhu.edu/article/619540
  • Djemie, T., Weckhuysen, S., von Spiczak, S., Carvill, G. L., Jaehn, J., Anttonen, A. K., Brilstra, E., Caglayan, H. S., De Kovel, C. G. F., Depienne, C., Gaily, E., Gennaro, E., Giraldez, B. G., Gormley, P., Guerrero-Lopez, R., Guerrini, R., Hamalainen, E., Hartmann, `., Hernandez-Hernandez, L., Hjalgrim, H., Koeleman, B. P., Leguern, E., Lehesjoki, A. E., Lemke, J. R., Leu, C., Marini, C., McMahon, J. M., Mei, D., Moller, R. S., Muhle, H., Myers, C. T., Nava, C., Serratosa, J. M., Sisodiya, S. M., Stephani, U., Striano, P., van Kempen, M. J., Verbeek, N. E., Usluer, S., Zara, F., Palotie, A., Mefford, H. C., Scheffer, I. E., De Jonghe, P., Helbig, I., & Suls, A. (2016). Pitfalls in genetic testing: the story of missed SCN1A mutations. Molecular Genetics & Genomic Medicine, 4(4), 457-64. doi:10.1002/mgg3.217.

    Abstract

    Background Sanger sequencing, still the standard technique for genetic testing in most diagnostic laboratories and until recently widely used in research, is gradually being complemented by next-generation sequencing (NGS). No single mutation detection technique is however perfect in identifying all mutations. Therefore, we wondered to what extent inconsistencies between Sanger sequencing and NGS affect the molecular diagnosis of patients. Since mutations in SCN1A, the major gene implicated in epilepsy, are found in the majority of Dravet syndrome (DS) patients, we focused on missed SCN1A mutations. Methods We sent out a survey to 16 genetic centers performing SCN1A testing. Results We collected data on 28 mutations initially missed using Sanger sequencing. All patients were falsely reported as SCN1A mutation-negative, both due to technical limitations and human errors. Conclusion We illustrate the pitfalls of Sanger sequencing and most importantly provide evidence that SCN1A mutations are an even more frequent cause of DS than already anticipated.
  • Doumas, L. A., & Martin, A. E. (2016). Abstraction in time: Finding hierarchical linguistic structure in a model of relational processing. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016) (pp. 2279-2284). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Abstract mental representation is fundamental for human cognition. Forming such representations in time, especially from dynamic and noisy perceptual input, is a challenge for any processing modality, but perhaps none so acutely as for language processing. We show that LISA (Hummel & Holyaok, 1997) and DORA (Doumas, Hummel, & Sandhofer, 2008), models built to process and to learn structured (i.e., symbolic) rep resentations of conceptual properties and relations from unstructured inputs, show oscillatory activation during processing that is highly similar to the cortical activity elicited by the linguistic stimuli from Ding et al.(2016). We argue, as Ding et al.(2016), that this activation reflects formation of hierarchical linguistic representation, and furthermore, that the kind of computational mechanisms in LISA/DORA (e.g., temporal binding by systematic asynchrony of firing) may underlie formation of abstract linguistic representations in the human brain. It may be this repurposing that allowed for the generation or mergence of hierarchical linguistic structure, and therefore, human language, from extant cognitive and neural systems. We conclude that models of thinking and reasoning and models of language processing must be integrated —not only for increased plausiblity, but in order to advance both fields towards a larger integrative model of human cognition
  • Drijvers, L., Mulder, K., & Ernestus, M. (2016). Alpha and gamma band oscillations index differential processing of acoustically reduced and full forms. Brain and Language, 153-154, 27-37. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2016.01.003.

    Abstract

    Reduced forms like yeshay for yesterday often occur in conversations. Previous behavioral research reported a processing advantage for full over reduced forms. The present study investigated whether this processing advantage is reflected in a modulation of alpha (8–12 Hz) and gamma (30+ Hz) band activity. In three electrophysiological experiments, participants listened to full and reduced forms in isolation (Experiment 1), sentence-final position (Experiment 2), or mid-sentence position (Experiment 3). Alpha power was larger in response to reduced forms than to full forms, but only in Experiments 1 and 2. We interpret these increases in alpha power as reflections of higher auditory cognitive load. In all experiments, gamma power only increased in response to full forms, which we interpret as showing that lexical activation spreads more quickly through the semantic network for full than for reduced forms. These results confirm a processing advantage for full forms, especially in non-medial sentence position.
  • Drozdova, P., Van Hout, R., & Scharenborg, O. (2016). Lexically-guided perceptual learning in non-native listening. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 19(5), 914-920. doi:10.1017/S136672891600002X.

    Abstract

    There is ample evidence that native and non-native listeners use lexical knowledge to retune their native phonetic categories following ambiguous pronunciations. The present study investigates whether a non-native ambiguous sound can retune non-native phonetic categories. After a brief exposure to an ambiguous British English [l/ɹ] sound, Dutch listeners demonstrated retuning. This retuning was, however, asymmetrical: the non-native listeners seemed to show (more) retuning of the /ɹ/ category than of the /l/ category, suggesting that non-native listeners can retune non-native phonetic categories. This asymmetry is argued to be related to the large phonetic variability of /r/ in both Dutch and English.
  • Drozdova, P., Van Hout, R., & Scharenborg, O. (2016). Processing and adaptation to ambiguous sounds during the course of perceptual learning. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2016: The 17th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (pp. 2811-2815). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2016-814.

    Abstract

    Listeners use their lexical knowledge to interpret ambiguous sounds, and retune their phonetic categories to include this ambiguous sound. Although there is ample evidence for lexically-guided retuning, the adaptation process is not fully understood. Using a lexical decision task with an embedded auditory semantic priming task, the present study investigates whether words containing an ambiguous sound are processed in the same way as “natural” words and whether adaptation to the ambiguous sound tends to equalize the processing of “ambiguous” and natural words. Analyses of the yes/no responses and reaction times to natural and “ambiguous” words showed that words containing an ambiguous sound were accepted as words less often and were processed slower than the same words without ambiguity. The difference in acceptance disappeared after exposure to approximately 15 ambiguous items. Interestingly, lower acceptance rates and slower processing did not have an effect on the processing of semantic information of the following word. However, lower acceptance rates of ambiguous primes predict slower reaction times of these primes, suggesting an important role of stimulus-specific characteristics in triggering lexically-guided perceptual learning.
  • Eising, E., De Leeuw, C., Min, J. L., Anttila, V., Verheijen, M. H. G., Terwindt, G. M., Dichgans, M., Freilinger, T., Kubisch, C., Ferrari, M. D., Smit, A. B., De Vries, B., Palotie, A., Van Den Maagdenberg, A. M. J. M., & Posthuma, D. (2016). Involvement of astrocyte and oligodendrocyte gene sets in migraine. Cephalalgia, 36(7), 640-647. doi:10.1177/0333102415618614.

    Abstract

    Migraine is a common episodic brain disorder characterized by recurrent attacks of severe unilateral headache and additional neurological symptoms. Two main migraine types can be distinguished based on the presence of aura symptoms that can accompany the headache: migraine with aura and migraine without aura. Multiple genetic and environmental factors confer disease susceptibility. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) indicate that migraine susceptibility genes are involved in various pathways, including neurotransmission, which have already been implicated in genetic studies of monogenic familial hemiplegic migraine, a subtype of migraine with aura. Methods To further explore the genetic background of migraine, we performed a gene set analysis of migraine GWAS data of 4954 clinic-based patients with migraine, as well as 13,390 controls. Curated sets of synaptic genes and sets of genes predominantly expressed in three glial cell types (astrocytes, microglia and oligodendrocytes) were investigated. Discussion Our results show that gene sets containing astrocyte- and oligodendrocyte-related genes are associated with migraine, which is especially true for gene sets involved in protein modification and signal transduction. Observed differences between migraine with aura and migraine without aura indicate that both migraine types, at least in part, seem to have a different genetic background.
  • Eising, E., Huisman, S. M., Mahfouz, A., Vijfhuizen, L. S., Anttila, V., Winsvold, B. S., Kurth, T., Ikram, M. A., Freilinger, T., Kaprio, J., Boomsma, D. I., van Duijn, C. M., Järvelin, M.-R.-R., Zwart, J.-A., Quaye, L., Strachan, D. P., Kubisch, C., Dichgans, M., Davey Smith, G., Stefansson, K., Palotie, A., Chasman, D. I., Ferrari, M. D., Terwindt, G. M., de Vries, B., Nyholt, D. R., Lelieveldt, B. P., van den Maagdenberg, A. M., & Reinders, M. J. (2016). Gene co‑expression analysis identifies brain regions and cell types involved in migraine pathophysiology: a GWAS‑based study using the Allen Human Brain Atlas. Human Genetics, 135(4), 425-439. doi:10.1007/s00439-016-1638-x.

    Abstract

    Migraine is a common disabling neurovascular brain disorder typically characterised by attacks of severe headache and associated with autonomic and neurological symptoms. Migraine is caused by an interplay of genetic and environmental factors. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified over a dozen genetic loci associated with migraine. Here, we integrated migraine GWAS data with high-resolution spatial gene expression data of normal adult brains from the Allen Human Brain Atlas to identify specific brain regions and molecular pathways that are possibly involved in migraine pathophysiology. To this end, we used two complementary methods. In GWAS data from 23,285 migraine cases and 95,425 controls, we first studied modules of co-expressed genes that were calculated based on human brain expression data for enrichment of genes that showed association with migraine. Enrichment of a migraine GWAS signal was found for five modules that suggest involvement in migraine pathophysiology of: (i) neurotransmission, protein catabolism and mitochondria in the cortex; (ii) transcription regulation in the cortex and cerebellum; and (iii) oligodendrocytes and mitochondria in subcortical areas. Second, we used the high-confidence genes from the migraine GWAS as a basis to construct local migraine-related co-expression gene networks. Signatures of all brain regions and pathways that were prominent in the first method also surfaced in the second method, thus providing support that these brain regions and pathways are indeed involved in migraine pathophysiology.
  • Erard, M. (2016). Solving Australia's language puzzle. Science, 353(6306), 1357-1359. doi:10.1126/science.353.6306.1357.

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  • Ernestus, M. (2016). L'utilisation des corpus oraux pour la recherche en (psycho)linguistique. In M. Kilani-Schoch, C. Surcouf, & A. Xanthos (Eds.), Nouvelles technologies et standards méthodologiques en linguistique (pp. 65-93). Lausanne: Université de Lausanne.
  • Ernestus, M., Giezenaar, G., & Dikmans, M. (2016). Ikfstajezotuuknie: Half uitgesproken woorden in alledaagse gesprekken. Les, 199, 7-9.

    Abstract

    Amsterdam klinkt in informele gesprekken vaak als Amsdam en Rotterdam als Rodam, zonder dat de meeste moedertaalsprekers zich daar bewust van zijn. In alledaagse situaties valt een aanzienlijk deel van de klanken weg. Daarnaast worden veel klanken zwakker gearticuleerd (bijvoorbeeld een d als een j, als de mond niet helemaal afgesloten wordt). Het lijkt waarschijnlijk dat deze half uitgesproken woorden een probleem vormen voor tweedetaalleerders. Gereduceerde vormen kunnen immers sterk afwijken van de vormen die deze leerders geleerd hebben. Of dit werkelijk zo is, hebben de auteurs onderzocht in twee studies. Voordat ze deze twee studies bespreken, vertellen ze eerst kort iets over de verschillende typen reducties die voorkomen.
  • Eryilmaz, K., Little, H., & De Boer, B. (2016). Using HMMs To Attribute Structure To Artificial Languages. In S. G. Roberts, C. Cuskley, L. McCrohon, L. Barceló-Coblijn, O. Feher, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). Retrieved from http://evolang.org/neworleans/papers/125.html.

    Abstract

    We investigated the use of Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) as a way of representing repertoires of continuous signals in order to infer their building blocks. We tested the idea on a dataset from an artificial language experiment. The study demonstrates using HMMs for this purpose is viable, but also that there is a lot of room for refinement such as explicit duration modeling, incorporation of autoregressive elements and relaxing the Markovian assumption, in order to accommodate specific details.
  • Estruch, S. B., Graham, S. A., Chinnappa, S. M., Deriziotis, P., & Fisher, S. E. (2016). Functional characterization of rare FOXP2 variants in neurodevelopmental disorder. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 8: 44. doi:10.1186/s11689-016-9177-2.
  • Estruch, S. B., Graham, S. A., Deriziotis, P., & Fisher, S. E. (2016). The language-related transcription factor FOXP2 is post-translationally modified with small ubiquitin-like modifiers. Scientific Reports, 6: 20911. doi:10.1038/srep20911.

    Abstract

    Mutations affecting the transcription factor FOXP2 cause a rare form of severe speech and language disorder. Although it is clear that sufficient FOXP2 expression is crucial for normal brain development, little is known about how this transcription factor is regulated. To investigate post-translational mechanisms for FOXP2 regulation, we searched for protein interaction partners of FOXP2, and identified members of the PIAS family as novel FOXP2 interactors. PIAS proteins mediate post-translational modification of a range of target proteins with small ubiquitin-like modifiers (SUMOs). We found that FOXP2 can be modified with all three human SUMO proteins and that PIAS1 promotes this process. An aetiological FOXP2 mutation found in a family with speech and language disorder markedly reduced FOXP2 SUMOylation. We demonstrate that FOXP2 is SUMOylated at a single major site, which is conserved in all FOXP2 vertebrate orthologues and in the paralogues FOXP1 and FOXP4. Abolishing this site did not lead to detectable changes in FOXP2 subcellular localization, stability, dimerization or transcriptional repression in cellular assays, but the conservation of this site suggests a potential role for SUMOylation in regulating FOXP2 activity in vivo.

    Supplementary material

    srep20911-s1.pdf
  • Ho, Y. Y. W., Evans, D. M., Montgomery, G. W., Henders, A. K., Kemp, J. P., Timpson, N. J., St Pourcain, B., Heath, A. C., Madden, P. A. F., Loesch, D. Z., McNevin, D., Daniel, R., Davey-Smith, G., Martin, N. G., & Medland, S. E. (2016). Common genetic variants influence whorls in fingerprint patterns. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 136(4), 859-862. doi:10.1016/j.jid.2015.10.062.
  • Everaerd, D., Klumpers, F., Zwiers, M., Guadalupe, T., Franke, B., Van Oostrum, I., Schene, A., Fernandez, G., & Tendolkar, I. (2016). Childhood abuse and deprivation are associated with distinct sex-dependent differences in brain morphology. Neuropsychopharmacology, 41, 1716-1723. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.344.

    Abstract

    Childhood adversity (CA) has been associated with long-term structural brain alterations and an increased risk for psychiatric disorders. Evidence is emerging that subtypes of CA, varying in the dimensions of threat and deprivation, lead to distinct neural and behavioral outcomes. However, these specific associations have yet to be established without potential confounders such as psychopathology. Moreover, differences in neural development and psychopathology necessitate the exploration of sexual dimorphism. Young healthy adult subjects were selected based on history of CA from a large database to assess gray matter (GM) differences associated with specific subtypes of adversity. We compared voxel-based morphometry data of subjects reporting specific childhood exposure to abuse (n = 127) or deprivation (n = 126) and a similar sized group of controls (n = 129) without reported CA. Subjects were matched on age, gender, and educational level. Differences between CA subtypes were found in the fusiform gyrus and middle occipital gyms, where subjects with a history of deprivation showed reduced GM compared with subjects with a history of abuse. An interaction between sex and CA subtype was found. Women showed less GM in the visual posterior precuneal region after both subtypes of CA than controls. Men had less GM in the postcentral gyms after childhood deprivation compared with abuse. Our results suggest that even in a healthy population, CA subtypes are related to specific alterations in brain structure, which are modulated by sex. These findings may help understand neurodevelopmental consequences related to CA
  • Everett, C., Blasi, D. E., & Roberts, S. G. (2016). Language evolution and climate: The case of desiccation and tone. Journal of Language Evolution, 1, 33-46. doi:10.1093/jole/lzv004.

    Abstract

    We make the case that, contra standard assumption in linguistic theory, the sound systems of human languages are adapted to their environment. While not conclusive, this plausible case rests on several points discussed in this work: First, human behavior is generally adaptive and the assumption that this characteristic does not extend to linguistic structure is empirically unsubstantiated. Second, animal communication systems are well known to be adaptive within species across a variety of phyla and taxa. Third, research in laryngology demonstrates clearly that ambient desiccation impacts the performance of the human vocal cords. The latter point motivates a clear, testable hypothesis with respect to the synchronic global distribution of language types. Fourth, this hypothesis is supported in our own previous work, and here we discuss new approaches being developed to further explore the hypothesis. We conclude by suggesting that the time has come to more substantively examine the possibility that linguistic sound systems are adapted to their physical ecology
  • Everett, C., Blasi, D., & Roberts, S. G. (2016). Response: Climate and language: has the discourse shifted? Journal of Language Evolution, 1(1), 83-87. doi:10.1093/jole/lzv013.

    Abstract

    We begin by thanking the respondents for their thoughtful comments and insightful leads. The overall impression we are left with by this exchange is one of progress, even if no consensus remains about the particular hypothesis we raise. To date, there has been a failure to seriously engage with the possibility that humans might adapt their communication to ecological factors. In these exchanges, we see signs of serious engagement with that possibility. Most respondents expressed agreement with the notion that our central premise—that language is ecologically adaptive—requires further exploration and may in fact be operative. We are pleased to see this shift in discourse, and to witness a heightening appreciation of possible ecological constraints on language evolution. It is that shift in discourse that represents progress in our view. Our hope is that future work will continue to explore these issues, paying careful attention to the fact that the human larynx is clearly sensitive to characteristics of ambient air. More generally, we think this exchange is indicative of the growing realization that inquiries into language development must consider potential external factors (see Dediu 2015)...

    Supplementary material

    AppendixResponseToHammarstrom.pdf
  • Fan, Q., Guo, X., Tideman, J. W. L., Williams, K. M., Yazar, S., Hosseini, S. M., Howe, L. D., St Pourcain, B., Evans, D. M., Timpson, N. J., McMahon, G., Hysi, P. G., Krapohl, E., Wang, Y. X., Jonas, J. B., Baird, P. N., Wang, J. J., Cheng, C. Y., Teo, Y. Y., Wong, T. Y., Ding, X., Wojciechowski, R., Young, T. L., Parssinen, O., Oexle, K., Pfeiffer, N., Bailey-Wilson, J. E., Paterson, A. D., Klaver, C. C. W., Plomin, R., Hammond, C. J., Mackey, D. A., He, M. G., Saw, S. M., Williams, C., Guggenheim, J. A., & Cream, C. (2016). Childhood gene-environment interactions and age-dependent effects of genetic variants associated with refractive error and myopia: The CREAM Consortium. Scientific Reports, 6: 25853. doi:10.1038/srep25853.

    Abstract

    Myopia, currently at epidemic levels in East Asia, is a leading cause of untreatable visual impairment. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in adults have identified 39 loci associated with refractive error and myopia. Here, the age-of-onset of association between genetic variants at these 39 loci and refractive error was investigated in 5200 children assessed longitudinally across ages 7-15 years, along with gene-environment interactions involving the major environmental risk-factors, nearwork and time outdoors. Specific variants could be categorized as showing evidence of: (a) early-onset effects remaining stable through childhood, (b) early-onset effects that progressed further with increasing age, or (c) onset later in childhood (N = 10, 5 and 11 variants, respectively). A genetic risk score (GRS) for all 39 variants explained 0.6% (P = 6.6E-08) and 2.3% (P = 6.9E-21) of the variance in refractive error at ages 7 and 15, respectively, supporting increased effects from these genetic variants at older ages. Replication in multi-ancestry samples (combined N = 5599) yielded evidence of childhood onset for 6 of 12 variants present in both Asians and Europeans. There was no indication that variant or GRS effects altered depending on time outdoors, however 5 variants showed nominal evidence of interactions with nearwork (top variant, rs7829127 in ZMAT4; P = 6.3E-04).

    Supplementary material

    srep25853-s1.pdf
  • Fan, Q., Verhoeven, V. J., Wojciechowski, R., Barathi, V. A., Hysi, P. G., Guggenheim, J. A., Höhn, R., Vitart, V., Khawaja, A. P., Yamashiro, K., Hosseini, S. M., Lehtimäki, T., Lu, Y., Haller, T., Xie, J., Delcourt, C., Pirastu, M., Wedenoja, J., Gharahkhani, P., Venturini, C., Miyake, M., Hewitt, A. W., Guo, X., Mazur, J., Huffman, J. E., Williams, K. M., Polasek, O., Campbell, H., Rudan, I., Vatavuk, Z., Wilson, J. F., Joshi, P. K., McMahon, G., St Pourcain, B., Evans, D. M., Simpson, C. L., Schwantes-An, T.-H., Igo, R. P., Mirshahi, A., Cougnard-Gregoire, A., Bellenguez, C., Blettner, M., Raitakari, O., Kähönen, M., Seppälä, I., Zeller, T., Meitinger, T., Ried, J. S., Gieger, C., Portas, L., Van Leeuwen, E. M., Amin, N., Uitterlinden, A. G., Rivadeneira, F., Hofman, A., Vingerling, J. R., Wang, Y. X., Wang, X., Boh, E.-T.-H., Ikram, M. K., Sabanayagam, C., Gupta, P., Tan, V., Zhou, L., Ho, C. E., Lim, W., Beuerman, R. W., Siantar, R., Tai, E.-S., Vithana, E., Mihailov, E., Khor, C.-C., Hayward, C., Luben, R. N., Foster, P. J., Klein, B. E., Klein, R., Wong, H.-S., Mitchell, P., Metspalu, A., Aung, T., Young, T. L., He, M., Pärssinen, O., Van Duijn, C. M., Wang, J. J., Williams, C., Jonas, J. B., Teo, Y.-Y., Mackey, D. A., Oexle, K., Yoshimura, N., Paterson, A. D., Pfeiffer, N., Wong, T.-Y., Baird, P. N., Stambolian, D., Bailey-Wilson, J. E., Cheng, C.-Y., Hammond, C. J., Klaver, C. C., Saw, S.-M., & Consortium for Refractive Error and Myopia (CREAM) (2016). Meta-analysis of gene–environment-wide association scans accounting for education level identifies additional loci for refractive error. Nature Communications, 7: 11008. doi:10.1038/ncomms11008.

    Abstract

    Myopia is the most common human eye disorder and it results from complex genetic and environmental causes. The rapidly increasing prevalence of myopia poses a major public health challenge. Here, the CREAM consortium performs a joint meta-analysis to test single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) main effects and SNP × education interaction effects on refractive error in 40,036 adults from 25 studies of European ancestry and 10,315 adults from 9 studies of Asian ancestry. In European ancestry individuals, we identify six novel loci (FAM150B-ACP1, LINC00340, FBN1, DIS3L-MAP2K1, ARID2-SNAT1 and SLC14A2) associated with refractive error. In Asian populations, three genome-wide significant loci AREG, GABRR1 and PDE10A also exhibit strong interactions with education (P<8.5 × 10−5), whereas the interactions are less evident in Europeans. The discovery of these loci represents an important advance in understanding how gene and environment interactions contribute to the heterogeneity of myopia

    Supplementary material

    Fan_etal_2016sup.pdf
  • Fedorenko, E., Morgan, A., Murray, E., Cardinaux, A., Mei, C., Tager-Flusberg, H., Fisher, S. E., & Kanwisher, N. (2016). A highly penetrant form of childhood apraxia of speech due to deletion of 16p11.2. European Journal of Human Genetics, 24(2), 302-306. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2015.149.

    Abstract

    Individuals with heterozygous 16p11.2 deletions reportedly suffer from a variety of difficulties with speech and language. Indeed, recent copy-number variant screens of children with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), a specific and rare motor speech disorder, have identified three unrelated individuals with 16p11.2 deletions. However, the nature and prevalence of speech and language disorders in general, and CAS in particular, is unknown for individuals with 16p11.2 deletions. Here we took a genotype-first approach, conducting detailed and systematic characterization of speech abilities in a group of 11 unrelated children ascertained on the basis of 16p11.2 deletions. To obtain the most precise and replicable phenotyping, we included tasks that are highly diagnostic for CAS, and we tested children under the age of 18 years, an age group where CAS has been best characterized. Two individuals were largely nonverbal, preventing detailed speech analysis, whereas the remaining nine met the standard accepted diagnostic criteria for CAS. These results link 16p11.2 deletions to a highly penetrant form of CAS. Our findings underline the need for further precise characterization of speech and language profiles in larger groups of affected individuals, which will also enhance our understanding of how genetic pathways contribute to human communication disorders.
  • Fernandez-Vest, M. M. J., & Van Valin Jr., R. D. (Eds.). (2016). Information structure and spoken language in a cross-linguistics perspective. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Filippi, P. (2016). Emotional and Interactional Prosody across Animal Communication Systems: A Comparative Approach to the Emergence of Language. Frontiers in Psychology, 7: 1393. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01393.

    Abstract

    Across a wide range of animal taxa, prosodic modulation of the voice can express emotional information and is used to coordinate vocal interactions between multiple individuals. Within a comparative approach to animal communication systems, I hypothesize that the ability for emotional and interactional prosody (EIP) paved the way for the evolution of linguistic prosody – and perhaps also of music, continuing to play a vital role in the acquisition of language. In support of this hypothesis, I review three research fields: (i) empirical studies on the adaptive value of EIP in non-human primates, mammals, songbirds, anurans, and insects; (ii) the beneficial effects of EIP in scaffolding language learning and social development in human infants; (iii) the cognitive relationship between linguistic prosody and the ability for music, which has often been identified as the evolutionary precursor of language.
  • Filippi, P., Congdon, J. V., Hoang, J., Bowling, D. L., Reber, S., Pašukonis, A., Hoeschele, M., Ocklenburg, S., de Boer, B., Sturdy, C. B., Newen, A., & Güntürkün, O. (2016). Humans Recognize Vocal Expressions Of Emotional States Universally Across Species. In The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). Retrieved from http://evolang.org/neworleans/papers/91.html.

    Abstract

    The perception of danger in the environment can induce physiological responses (such as a heightened state of arousal) in animals, which may cause measurable changes in the prosodic modulation of the voice (Briefer, 2012). The ability to interpret the prosodic features of animal calls as an indicator of emotional arousal may have provided the first hominins with an adaptive advantage, enabling, for instance, the recognition of a threat in the surroundings. This ability might have paved the ability to process meaningful prosodic modulations in the emerging linguistic utterances.
  • Filippi, P., Jadoul, Y., Ravignani, A., Thompson, B., & de Boer, B. (2016). Seeking Temporal Predictability in Speech: Comparing Statistical Approaches on 18 World Languages. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10: 586. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2016.00586.

    Abstract

    Temporal regularities in speech, such as interdependencies in the timing of speech events, are thought to scaffold early acquisition of the building blocks in speech. By providing on-line clues to the location and duration of upcoming syllables, temporal structure may aid segmentation and clustering of continuous speech into separable units. This hypothesis tacitly assumes that learners exploit predictability in the temporal structure of speech. Existing measures of speech timing tend to focus on first-order regularities among adjacent units, and are overly sensitive to idiosyncrasies in the data they describe. Here, we compare several statistical methods on a sample of 18 languages, testing whether syllable occurrence is predictable over time. Rather than looking for differences between languages, we aim to find across languages (using clearly defined acoustic, rather than orthographic, measures), temporal predictability in the speech signal which could be exploited by a language learner. First, we analyse distributional regularities using two novel techniques: a Bayesian ideal learner analysis, and a simple distributional measure. Second, we model higher-order temporal structure—regularities arising in an ordered series of syllable timings—testing the hypothesis that non-adjacent temporal structures may explain the gap between subjectively-perceived temporal regularities, and the absence of universally-accepted lower-order objective measures. Together, our analyses provide limited evidence for predictability at different time scales, though higher-order predictability is difficult to reliably infer. We conclude that temporal predictability in speech may well arise from a combination of individually weak perceptual cues at multiple structural levels, but is challenging to pinpoint.
  • Filippi, P., Ocklenburg, S., Bowling, D. L., Heege, L., Newen, A., Güntürkün, O., & de Boer, B. (2016). Multimodal Processing Of Emotional Meanings: A Hypothesis On The Adaptive Value Of Prosody. In The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). Retrieved from http://evolang.org/neworleans/papers/90.html.

    Abstract

    Humans combine multiple sources of information to comprehend meanings. These sources can be characterized as linguistic (i.e., lexical units and/or sentences) or paralinguistic (e.g. body posture, facial expression, voice intonation, pragmatic context). Emotion communication is a special case in which linguistic and paralinguistic dimensions can simultaneously denote the same, or multiple incongruous referential meanings. Think, for instance, about when someone says “I’m sad!”, but does so with happy intonation and a happy facial expression. Here, the communicative channels express very specific (although conflicting) emotional states as denotations. In such cases of intermodal incongruence, are we involuntarily biased to respond to information in one channel over the other? We hypothesize that humans are involuntary biased to respond to prosody over verbal content and facial expression, since the ability to communicate socially relevant information such as basic emotional states through prosodic modulation of the voice might have provided early hominins with an adaptive advantage that preceded the emergence of segmental speech (Darwin 1871; Mithen, 2005). To address this hypothesis, we examined the interaction between multiple communicative channels in recruiting attentional resources, within a Stroop interference task (i.e. a task in which different channels give conflicting information; Stroop, 1935). In experiment 1, we used synonyms of “happy” and “sad” spoken with happy and sad prosody. Participants were asked to identify the emotion expressed by the verbal content while ignoring prosody (Word task) or vice versa (Prosody task). Participants responded faster and more accurately in the Prosody task. Within the Word task, incongruent stimuli were responded to more slowly and less accurately than congruent stimuli. In experiment 2, we adopted synonyms of “happy” and “sad” spoken in happy and sad prosody, while a happy or sad face was displayed. Participants were asked to identify the emotion expressed by the verbal content while ignoring prosody and face (Word task), to identify the emotion expressed by prosody while ignoring verbal content and face (Prosody task), or to identify the emotion expressed by the face while ignoring prosody and verbal content (Face task). Participants responded faster in the Face task and less accurately when the two non-focused channels were expressing an emotion that was incongruent with the focused one, as compared with the condition where all the channels were congruent. In addition, in the Word task, accuracy was lower when prosody was incongruent to verbal content and face, as compared with the condition where all the channels were congruent. Our data suggest that prosody interferes with emotion word processing, eliciting automatic responses even when conflicting with both verbal content and facial expressions at the same time. In contrast, although processed significantly faster than prosody and verbal content, faces alone are not sufficient to interfere in emotion processing within a three-dimensional Stroop task. Our findings align with the hypothesis that the ability to communicate emotions through prosodic modulation of the voice – which seems to be dominant over verbal content - is evolutionary older than the emergence of segmental articulation (Mithen, 2005; Fitch, 2010). This hypothesis fits with quantitative data suggesting that prosody has a vital role in the perception of well-formed words (Johnson & Jusczyk, 2001), in the ability to map sounds to referential meanings (Filippi et al., 2014), and in syntactic disambiguation (Soderstrom et al., 2003). This research could complement studies on iconic communication within visual and auditory domains, providing new insights for models of language evolution. Further work aimed at how emotional cues from different modalities are simultaneously integrated will improve our understanding of how humans interpret multimodal emotional meanings in real life interactions.
  • Fisher, S. E. (2016). A molecular genetic perspective on speech and language. In G. Hickok, & S. Small (Eds.), Neurobiology of Language (pp. 13-24). Amsterdam: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-407794-2.00002-X.

    Abstract

    The rise of genomic technologies has yielded exciting new routes for studying the biological foundations of language. Researchers have begun to identify genes implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders that disrupt speech and language skills. This chapter illustrates how such work can provide powerful entry points into the critical neural pathways using FOXP2 as an example. Rare mutations of this gene cause problems with learning to sequence mouth movements during speech, accompanied by wide-ranging impairments in language production and comprehension. FOXP2 encodes a regulatory protein, a hub in a network of other genes, several of which have also been associated with language-related impairments. Versions of FOXP2 are found in similar form in many vertebrate species; indeed, studies of animals and birds suggest conserved roles in the development and plasticity of certain sets of neural circuits. Thus, the contributions of this gene to human speech and language involve modifications of evolutionarily ancient functions.
  • FitzPatrick, I., & Indefrey, P. (2016). Accessing Conceptual Representations for Speaking [Editorial]. Frontiers in Psychology, 7: 1216. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01216.

    Abstract

    Systematic investigations into the role of semantics in the speech production process have remained elusive. This special issue aims at moving forward toward a more detailed account of how precisely conceptual information is used to access the lexicon in speaking and what corresponding format of conceptual representations needs to be assumed. The studies presented in this volume investigated effects of conceptual processing on different processing stages of language production, including sentence formulation, lemma selection, and word form access.
  • Floyd, S. (2016). [Review of the book Fluent Selves: Autobiography, Person, and History in Lowland South America ed. by Suzanne Oakdale and Magnus Course]. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 26(1), 110-111. doi:10.1111/jola.12112.
  • Floyd, S. (2016). Insubordination in Interaction: The Cha’palaa counter-assertive. In N. Evans, & H. Wananabe (Eds.), Dynamics of Insubordination (pp. 341-366). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

    Abstract

    In the Cha’palaa language of Ecuador the main-clause use of the otherwise non-finite morpheme -ba can be accounted for by a specific interactive practice: the ‘counter-assertion’ of statement or implicature of a previous conversational turn. Attention to the ways in which different constructions are deployed in such recurrent conversational contexts reveals a plausible account for how this type of dependent clause has come to be one of the options for finite clauses. After giving some background on Cha’palaa and placing ba clauses within a larger ecology of insubordination constructions in the language, this chapter uses examples from a video corpus of informal conversation to illustrate how interactive data provides answers that may otherwise be elusive for understanding how the different grammatical options for Cha’palaa finite verb constructions have been structured by insubordination
  • Floyd, S. (2016). Modally hybrid grammar? Celestial pointing for time-of-day reference in Nheengatú. Language, 92(1), 31-64. doi:10.1353/lan.2016.0013.

    Abstract

    From the study of sign languages we know that the visual modality robustly supports the encoding of conventionalized linguistic elements, yet while the same possibility exists for the visual bodily behavior of speakers of spoken languages, such practices are often referred to as ‘gestural’ and are not usually described in linguistic terms. This article describes a practice of speakers of the Brazilian indigenous language Nheengatú of pointing to positions along the east-west axis of the sun’s arc for time-of-day reference, and illustrates how it satisfies any of the common criteria for linguistic elements, as a system of standardized and productive form-meaning pairings whose contributions to propositional meaning remain stable across contexts. First, examples from a video corpus of natural speech demonstrate these conventionalized properties of Nheengatú time reference across multiple speakers. Second, a series of video-based elicitation stimuli test several dimensions of its conventionalization for nine participants. The results illustrate why modality is not an a priori reason that linguistic properties cannot develop in the visual practices that accompany spoken language. The conclusion discusses different possible morphosyntactic and pragmatic analyses for such conventionalized visual elements and asks whether they might be more crosslinguistically common than we presently know.
  • Floyd, S., & Norcliffe, E. (2016). Switch reference systems in the Barbacoan languages and their neighbors. In R. Van Gijn, & J. Hammond (Eds.), Switch Reference 2.0 (pp. 207-230). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    This chapter surveys the available data on Barbacoan languages and their neighbors to explore a case study of switch reference within a single language family and in a situation of areal contact. To the extent possible given the available data, we weigh accounts appealing to common inheritance and areal convergence to ask what combination of factors led to the current state of these languages. We discuss the areal distribution of switch reference systems in the northwest Andean region, the different types of systems and degrees of complexity observed, and scenarios of contact and convergence, particularly in the case of Barbacoan and Ecuadorian Quechua. We then covers each of the Barbacoan languages’ systems (with the exception of Totoró, represented by its close relative Guambiano), identifying limited formal cognates, primarily between closely-related Tsafiki and Cha’palaa, as well as broader functional similarities, particularly in terms of interactions with topic/focus markers. n accounts for the current state of affairs with a complex scenario of areal prevalence of switch reference combined with deep structural family inheritance and formal re-structuring of the systems over time
  • Floyd, S., Manrique, E., Rossi, G., & Torreira, F. (2016). Timing of visual bodily behavior in repair sequences: Evidence from three languages. Discourse Processes, 53(3), 175-204. doi:10.1080/0163853X.2014.992680.

    Abstract

    This article expands the study of other-initiated repair in conversation—when one party signals a problemwith producing or perceiving another’s turn at talk—into the domain of visual bodily behavior. It presents one primary cross-linguistic finding about the timing of visual bodily behavior in repair sequences: if the party who initiates repair accompanies their turn with a “hold”—when relatively dynamic movements are temporarily andmeaningfully held static—this positionwill not be disengaged until the problem is resolved and the sequence closed. We base this finding on qualitative and quantitative analysis of corpora of conversational interaction from three unrelated languages representing two different modalities: Northern Italian, the Cha’palaa language of Ecuador, and Argentine Sign Language. The cross-linguistic similarities uncovered by this comparison suggest that visual bodily practices have been semiotized for similar interactive functions across different languages and modalities due to common pressures in face-to-face interaction.
  • Francken, J. C. (2016). Viewing the world through language-tinted glasses: Elucidating the neural mechanisms of language-perception interactions. PhD Thesis, Radboud University, Nijmegen.
  • Frank, S. L., & Fitz, H. (2016). Reservoir computing and the Sooner-is-Better bottleneck [Commentary on Christiansen & Slater]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 39: e73. doi:10.1017/S0140525X15000783.

    Abstract

    Prior language input is not lost but integrated with the current input. This principle is demonstrated by “reservoir computing”: Untrained recurrent neural networks project input sequences onto a random point in high-dimensional state space. Earlier inputs can be retrieved from this projection, albeit less reliably so as more input is received. The bottleneck is therefore not “Now-or-Never” but “Sooner-is-Better.
  • Franke, B., Stein, J. L., Ripke, S., Anttila, V., Hibar, D. P., Van Hulzen, K. J. E., Arias-Vasquez, A., Smoller, J. W., Nichols, T. E., Neale, M. C., McIntosh, A. M., Lee, P., McMahon, F. J., Meyer-Lindenberg, A., Mattheisen, M., Andreassen, O. A., Gruber, O., Sachdev, P. S., Roiz-Santiañez, R., Saykin, A. J., Ehrlich, S., Mather, K. A., Turner, J. A., Schwarz, E., Thalamuthu, A., Yao, Y., Ho, Y. Y. W., Martin, N. G., Wright, M. J., Guadalupe, T., Fisher, S. E., Francks, C., Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, ENIGMA Consortium, O’Donovan, M. C., Thompson, P. M., Neale, B. M., Medland, S. E., & Sullivan, P. F. (2016). Genetic influences on schizophrenia and subcortical brain volumes: large-scale proof of concept. Nature Neuroscience, 19, 420-431. doi:10.1038/nn.4228.

    Abstract

    Schizophrenia is a devastating psychiatric illness with high heritability. Brain structure and function differ, on average, between people with schizophrenia and healthy individuals. As common genetic associations are emerging for both schizophrenia and brain imaging phenotypes, we can now use genome-wide data to investigate genetic overlap. Here we integrated results from common variant studies of schizophrenia (33,636 cases, 43,008 controls) and volumes of several (mainly subcortical) brain structures (11,840 subjects). We did not find evidence of genetic overlap between schizophrenia risk and subcortical volume measures either at the level of common variant genetic architecture or for single genetic markers. These results provide a proof of concept (albeit based on a limited set of structural brain measures) and define a roadmap for future studies investigating the genetic covariance between structural or functional brain phenotypes and risk for psychiatric disorders

    Supplementary material

    Franke_etal_2016_supp1.pdf
  • Freunberger, D., & Nieuwland, M. S. (2016). Incremental comprehension of spoken quantifier sentences: Evidence from brain potentials. Brain Research, 1646, 475-481. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2016.06.035.

    Abstract

    Do people incrementally incorporate the meaning of quantifier expressions to understand an unfolding sentence? Most previous studies concluded that quantifiers do not immediately influence how a sentence is understood based on the observation that online N400-effects differed from offline plausibility judgments. Those studies, however, used serial visual presentation (SVP), which involves unnatural reading. In the current ERP-experiment, we presented spoken positive and negative quantifier sentences (“Practically all/practically no postmen prefer delivering mail, when the weather is good/bad during the day”). Different from results obtained in a previously reported SVP-study (Nieuwland, 2016) sentence truth-value N400 effects occurred in positive and negative quantifier sentences alike, reflecting fully incremental quantifier comprehension. This suggests that the prosodic information available during spoken language comprehension supports the generation of online predictions for upcoming words and that, at least for quantifier sentences, comprehension of spoken language may proceed more incrementally than comprehension during SVP reading.

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