Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 557
  • Acheson, D. J., Hamidi, M., Binder, J. R., & Postle, B. R. (2011). A common neural substrate for language production and verbal working memory. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23(6), 1358-1367. doi:10.1162/jocn.2010.21519.

    Abstract

    Verbal working memory (VWM), the ability to maintain and manipulate representations of speech sounds over short periods, is held by some influential models to be independent from the systems responsible for language production and comprehension [e.g., Baddeley, A. D. Working memory, thought, and action. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2007]. We explore the alternative hypothesis that maintenance in VWM is subserved by temporary activation of the language production system [Acheson, D. J., & MacDonald, M. C. Verbal working memory and language production: Common approaches to the serial ordering of verbal information. Psychological Bulletin, 135, 50–68, 2009b]. Specifically, we hypothesized that for stimuli lacking a semantic representation (e.g., nonwords such as mun), maintenance in VWM can be achieved by cycling information back and forth between the stages of phonological encoding and articulatory planning. First, fMRI was used to identify regions associated with two different stages of language production planning: the posterior superior temporal gyrus (pSTG) for phonological encoding (critical for VWM of nonwords) and the middle temporal gyrus (MTG) for lexical–semantic retrieval (not critical for VWM of nonwords). Next, in the same subjects, these regions were targeted with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) during language production and VWM task performance. Results showed that rTMS to the pSTG, but not the MTG, increased error rates on paced reading (a language production task) and on delayed serial recall of nonwords (a test of VWM). Performance on a lexical–semantic retrieval task (picture naming), in contrast, was significantly sensitive to rTMS of the MTG. Because rTMS was guided by language production-related activity, these results provide the first causal evidence that maintenance in VWM directly depends on the long-term representations and processes used in speech production.
  • Acheson, D. J., Postle, B. R., & MacDonald, M. C. (2011). The effect of concurrent semantic categorization on delayed serial recall. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 37, 44-59. doi:10.1037/a0021205.

    Abstract

    The influence of semantic processing on the serial ordering of items in short-term memory was explored using a novel dual-task paradigm. Participants engaged in 2 picture-judgment tasks while simultaneously performing delayed serial recall. List material varied in the presence of phonological overlap (Experiments 1 and 2) and in semantic content (concrete words in Experiment 1 and 3; nonwords in Experiments 2 and 3). Picture judgments varied in the extent to which they required accessing visual semantic information (i.e., semantic categorization and line orientation judgments). Results showed that, relative to line-orientation judgments, engaging in semantic categorization judgments increased the proportion of item-ordering errors for concrete lists but did not affect error proportions for nonword lists. Furthermore, although more ordering errors were observed for phonologically similar relative to dissimilar lists, no interactions were observed between the phonological overlap and picture-judgment task manipulations. These results demonstrate that lexical-semantic representations can affect the serial ordering of items in short-term memory. Furthermore, the dual-task paradigm provides a new method for examining when and how semantic representations affect memory performance.
  • Acheson, D. J., & MacDonald, M. C. (2011). The rhymes that the reader perused confused the meaning: Phonological effects during on-line sentence comprehension. Journal of Memory and Language, 65, 193-207. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2011.04.006.

    Abstract

    Research on written language comprehension has generally assumed that the phonological properties of a word have little effect on sentence comprehension beyond the processes of word recognition. Two experiments investigated this assumption. Participants silently read relative clauses in which two pairs of words either did or did not have a high degree of phonological overlap. Participants were slower reading and less accurate comprehending the overlap sentences compared to the non-overlapping controls, even though sentences were matched for plausibility and differed by only two words across overlap conditions. A comparison across experiments showed that the overlap effects were larger in the more difficult object relative than in subject relative sentences. The reading patterns showed that phonological representations affect not only memory for recently encountered sentences but also the developing sentence interpretation during on-line processing. Implications for theories of sentence processing and memory are discussed. Highlights The work investigates the role of phonological information in sentence comprehension, which is poorly understood. ► Subjects read object and subject relative clauses +/- phonological overlap in two pairs of words. ► Unique features of the study were online reading measures and pinpointed overlap locations. ► Phonological overlap slowed reading speed and impaired sentence comprehension, especially for object relatives. ► The results show a key role for phonological information during online comprehension, not just later sentence memory.
  • Acheson, D. J., & Hagoort, P. (2014). Twisting tongues to test for conflict monitoring in speech production. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8: 206. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00206.

    Abstract

    A number of recent studies have hypothesized that monitoring in speech production may occur via domain-general mechanisms responsible for the detection of response conflict. Outside of language, two ERP components have consistently been elicited in conflict-inducing tasks (e.g., the flanker task): the stimulus-locked N2 on correct trials, and the response-locked error-related negativity (ERN). The present investigation used these electrophysiological markers to test whether a common response conflict monitor is responsible for monitoring in speech and non-speech tasks. Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded while participants performed a tongue twister (TT) task and a manual version of the flanker task. In the TT task, people rapidly read sequences of four nonwords arranged in TT and non-TT patterns three times. In the flanker task, people responded with a left/right button press to a center-facing arrow, and conflict was manipulated by the congruency of the flanking arrows. Behavioral results showed typical effects of both tasks, with increased error rates and slower speech onset times for TT relative to non-TT trials and for incongruent relative to congruent flanker trials. In the flanker task, stimulus-locked EEG analyses replicated previous results, with a larger N2 for incongruent relative to congruent trials, and a response-locked ERN. In the TT task, stimulus-locked analyses revealed broad, frontally-distributed differences beginning around 50 ms and lasting until just before speech initiation, with TT trials more negative than non-TT trials; response-locked analyses revealed an ERN. Correlation across these measures showed some correlations within a task, but little evidence of systematic cross-task correlation. Although the present results do not speak against conflict signals from the production system serving as cues to self-monitoring, they are not consistent with signatures of response conflict being mediated by a single, domain-general conflict monitor
  • Agus, T., Carrion Castillo, A., Pressnitzer, D., & Ramus, F. (2014). Perceptual learning of acoustic noise by individuals with dyslexia. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research., 57, 1069-1077. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/13-0020).

    Abstract

    Purpose: A phonological deficit is thought to affect most individuals with developmental dyslexia. The present study addresses whether the phonological deficit is caused by difficulties with perceptual learning of fine acoustic details. Method: A demanding test of nonverbal auditory memory, “noise learning,” was administered to both adults with dyslexia and control adult participants. On each trial, listeners had to decide whether a stimulus was a 1-s noise token or 2 abutting presentations of the same 0.5-s noise token (repeated noise). Without the listener’s knowledge, the exact same noise tokens were presented over many trials. An improved ability to perform the task for such “reference” noises reflects learning of their acoustic details. Results: Listeners with dyslexia did not differ from controls in any aspect of the task, qualitatively or quantitatively. They required the same amount of training to achieve discrimination of repeated from nonrepeated noises, and they learned the reference noises as often and as rapidly as the control group. However, they did show all the hallmarks of dyslexia, including a well-characterized phonological deficit. Conclusion: The data did not support the hypothesis that deficits in basic auditory processing or nonverbal learning and memory are the cause of the phonological deficit in dyslexia
  • Alday, P. M., Schlesewsky, M., & Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I. (2014). Towards a Computational Model of Actor-Based Language Comprehension. Neuroinformatics, 12(1), 143-179. doi:10.1007/s12021-013-9198-x.

    Abstract

    Neurophysiological data from a range of typologically diverse languages provide evidence for a cross-linguistically valid, actor-based strategy of understanding sentence-level meaning. This strategy seeks to identify the participant primarily responsible for the state of affairs (the actor) as quickly and unambiguously as possible, thus resulting in competition for the actor role when there are multiple candidates. Due to its applicability across languages with vastly different characteristics, we have proposed that the actor strategy may derive from more basic cognitive or neurobiological organizational principles, though it is also shaped by distributional properties of the linguistic input (e.g. the morphosyntactic coding strategies for actors in a given language). Here, we describe an initial computational model of the actor strategy and how it interacts with language-specific properties. Specifically, we contrast two distance metrics derived from the output of the computational model (one weighted and one unweighted) as potential measures of the degree of competition for actorhood by testing how well they predict modulations of electrophysiological activity engendered by language processing. To this end, we present an EEG study on word order processing in German and use linear mixed-effects models to assess the effect of the various distance metrics. Our results show that a weighted metric, which takes into account the weighting of an actor-identifying feature in the language under consideration outperforms an unweighted distance measure. We conclude that actor competition effects cannot be reduced to feature overlap between multiple sentence participants and thereby to the notion of similarity-based interference, which is prominent in current memory-based models of language processing. Finally, we argue that, in addition to illuminating the underlying neurocognitive mechanisms of actor competition, the present model can form the basis for a more comprehensive, neurobiologically plausible computational model of constructing sentence-level meaning.
  • Alferink, I., & Gullberg, M. (2014). French-Dutch bilinguals do not maintain obligatory semantic distinctions: Evidence from placement verbs. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 17, 22-37. doi:10.1017/S136672891300028X.

    Abstract

    It is often said that bilinguals are not the sum of two monolinguals but that bilingual systems represent a third pattern. This study explores the exact nature of this pattern. We ask whether there is evidence of a merged system when one language makes an obligatory distinction that the other one does not, namely in the case of placement verbs in French and Dutch, and whether such a merged system is realised as a more general or a more specific system. The results show that in elicited descriptions Belgian French-Dutch bilinguals drop one of the categories in one of the languages, resulting in a more general semantic system in comparison with the non-contact variety. They do not uphold the obligatory distinction in the verb nor elsewhere despite its communicative relevance. This raises important questions regarding how widespread these differences are and what drives these patterns
  • Ambridge, B., Pine, J. M., Rowland, C. F., Freudenthal, D., & Chang, F. (2014). Avoiding dative overgeneralisation errors: semantics, statistics or both? Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 29(2), 218-243. doi:10.1080/01690965.2012.738300.

    Abstract

    How do children eventually come to avoid the production of overgeneralisation errors, in particular, those involving the dative (e.g., *I said her “no”)? The present study addressed this question by obtaining from adults and children (5–6, 9–10 years) judgements of well-formed and over-general datives with 301 different verbs (44 for children). A significant effect of pre-emption—whereby the use of a verb in the prepositional-object (PO)-dative construction constitutes evidence that double-object (DO)-dative uses are not permitted—was observed for every age group. A significant effect of entrenchment—whereby the use of a verb in any construction constitutes evidence that unattested dative uses are not permitted—was also observed for every age group, with both predictors also accounting for developmental change between ages 5–6 and 9–10 years. Adults demonstrated knowledge of a morphophonological constraint that prohibits Latinate verbs from appearing in the DO-dative construction (e.g., *I suggested her the trip). Verbs’ semantic properties (supplied by independent adult raters) explained additional variance for all groups and developmentally, with the relative influence of narrow- vs broad-range semantic properties increasing with age. We conclude by outlining an account of the formation and restriction of argument-structure generalisations designed to accommodate these findings.
  • Ambridge, B., Pine, J. M., & Rowland, C. F. (2011). Children use verb semantics to retreat from overgeneralization errors: A novel verb grammaticality judgment study. Cognitive Linguistics, 22(2), 303-323. doi:10.1515/cogl.2011.012.

    Abstract

    Whilst certain verbs may appear in both the intransitive inchoative and the transitive causative constructions (The ball rolled/The man rolled the ball), others may appear in only the former (The man laughed/*The joke laughed the man). Some accounts argue that children acquire these restrictions using only (or mainly) statistical learning mechanisms such as entrenchment and pre-emption. Others have argued that verb semantics are also important. To test these competing accounts, adults (Experiment 1) and children aged 5–6 and 9–10 (Experiment 2) were taught novel verbs designed to be construed — on the basis of their semantics — as either intransitive-only or alternating. In support of the latter claim, participants' grammaticality judgments revealed that even the youngest group respected these semantic constraints. Frequency (entrenchment) effects were observed for familiar, but not novel, verbs (Experiment 1). We interpret these findings in the light of a new theoretical account designed to yield effects of both verb semantics and entrenchment/pre-emption.
  • Araújo, S., Inácio, F., Francisco, A., Faísca, L., Petersson, K. M., & Reis, A. (2011). Component processes subserving rapid automatized naming in dyslexic and non-dyslexic readers. Dyslexia, 17, 242-255. doi:10.1002/dys.433.

    Abstract

    The current study investigated which time components of rapid automatized naming (RAN) predict group differences between dyslexic and non-dyslexic readers (matched for age and reading level), and how these components relate to different reading measures. Subjects performed two RAN tasks (letters and objects), and data were analyzed through a response time analysis. Our results demonstrated that impaired RAN performance in dyslexic readers mainly stem from enhanced inter-item pause times and not from difficulties at the level of post-access motor production (expressed as articulation rates). Moreover, inter-item pause times account for a significant proportion of variance in reading ability in addition to the effect of phonological awareness in the dyslexic group. This suggests that non-phonological factors may lie at the root of the association between RAN inter-item pauses and reading ability. In normal readers, RAN performance was associated with reading ability only at early ages (i.e. in the reading-matched controls), and again it was the RAN inter-item pause times that explain the association.
  • Araújo, S., Faísca, L., Bramão, I., Petersson, K. M., & Reis, A. (2014). Lexical and phonological processes in dyslexic readers: Evidences from a visual lexical decision task. Dyslexia, 20, 38-53. doi:10.1002/dys.1461.

    Abstract

    The aim of the present study was to investigate whether reading failure in the context of an orthography of intermediate consistency is linked to inefficient use of the lexical orthographic reading procedure. The performance of typically developing and dyslexic Portuguese-speaking children was examined in a lexical decision task, where the stimulus lexicality, word frequency and length were manipulated. Both lexicality and length effects were larger in the dyslexic group than in controls, although the interaction between group and frequency disappeared when the data were transformed to control for general performance factors. Children with dyslexia were influenced in lexical decision making by the stimulus length of words and pseudowords, whereas age-matched controls were influenced by the length of pseudowords only. These findings suggest that non-impaired readers rely mainly on lexical orthographic information, but children with dyslexia preferentially use the phonological decoding procedure—albeit poorly—most likely because they struggle to process orthographic inputs as a whole such as controls do. Accordingly, dyslexic children showed significantly poorer performance than controls for all types of stimuli, including words that could be considered over-learned, such as high-frequency words. This suggests that their orthographic lexical entries are less established in the orthographic lexicon
  • Araújo, S., Faísca, L., Bramão, I., Inácio, F., Petersson, K. M., & Reis, A. (2011). Object naming in dyslexic children: More than a phonological deficit. The Journal of General Psychology, 138, 215-228. doi:10.1080/00221309.2011.582525.

    Abstract

    In the present study, the authors investigate how some visual factors related to early stages of visual-object naming modulate naming performance in dyslexia. The performance of dyslexic children was compared with 2 control groups—normal readers matched for age and normal readers matched for reading level—while performing a discrete naming task in which color and dimensionality of the visually presented objects were manipulated. The results showed that 2-dimensional naming performance improved for color representations in control readers but not in dyslexics. In contrast to control readers, dyslexics were also insensitive to the stimulus's dimensionality. These findings are unlikely to be explained by a phonological processing problem related to phonological access or retrieval but suggest that dyslexics have a lower capacity for coding and decoding visual surface features of 2-dimensional representations or problems with the integration of visual information stored in long-term memory.
  • Araújo, S., Faísca, L., Petersson, K. M., & Reis, A. (2011). What does rapid naming tell us about dyslexia? Avances en Psicología Latinoamericana, 29, 199-213.

    Abstract

    This article summarizes some of the important findings from research evaluating the relationship between poor rapid naming and impaired reading performance. Substantial evidence shows that dyslexic readers have problems with rapid naming of visual items. Early research assumed that this was a consequence of phonological processing deficits, but recent findings suggest that non-phonological processes may lie at the root of the association between slow naming speed and poor reading. The hypothesis that rapid naming reflects an independent core deficit in dyslexia is supported by the main findings: (1) some dyslexics are characterized by rapid naming difficulties but intact phonological skills; (2) evidence for an independent association between rapid naming and reading competence in the dyslexic readers, when the effect of phonological skills was controlled; (3) rapid naming and phonological processing measures are not reliably correlated. Recent research also reveals greater predictive power of rapid naming, in particular the inter-item pause time, for high-frequency word reading compared to pseudoword reading in developmental dyslexia. Altogether, the results are more consistent with the view that a phonological component alone cannot account for the rapid naming performance in dyslexia. Rather, rapid naming problems may emerge from the inefficiencies in visual-orthographic processing as well as in phonological processing.
  • Artigas, M. S., Loth, D. W., Wain, L. V., Gharib, S. A., Obeidat, M., Tang, W., Zhai, G., Zhao, J. H., Smith, A. V., Huffman, J. E., Albrecht, E., Jackson, C. M., Evans, D. M., Cadby, G., Fornage, M., Manichaikul, A., Lopez, L. M., Johnson, T., Aldrich, M. C., Aspelund, T. and 149 moreArtigas, M. S., Loth, D. W., Wain, L. V., Gharib, S. A., Obeidat, M., Tang, W., Zhai, G., Zhao, J. H., Smith, A. V., Huffman, J. E., Albrecht, E., Jackson, C. M., Evans, D. M., Cadby, G., Fornage, M., Manichaikul, A., Lopez, L. M., Johnson, T., Aldrich, M. C., Aspelund, T., Barroso, I., Campbell, H., Cassano, P. A., Couper, D. J., Eiriksdottir, G., Franceschini, N., Garcia, M., Gieger, C., Gislason, G. K., Grkovic, I., Hammond, C. J., Hancock, D. B., Harris, T. B., Ramasamy, A., Heckbert, S. R., Heliövaara, M., Homuth, G., Hysi, P. G., James, A. L., Jankovic, S., Joubert, B. R., Karrasch, S., Klopp, N., Koch, B., Kritchevsky, S. B., Launer, L. J., Liu, Y., Loehr, L. R., Lohman, K., Loos, R. J., Lumley, T., Al Balushi, K. A., Ang, W. Q., Barr, R. G., Beilby, J., Blakey, J. D., Boban, M., Boraska, V., Brisman, J., Britton, J. R., Brusselle, G., Cooper, C., Curjuric, I., Dahgam, S., Deary, I. J., Ebrahim, S., Eijgelsheim, M., Francks, C., Gaysina, D., Granell, R., Gu, X., Hankinson, J. L., Hardy, R., Harris, S. E., Henderson, J., Henry, A., Hingorani, A. D., Hofman, A., Holt, P. G., Hui, J., Hunter, M. L., Imboden, M., Jameson, K. A., Kerr, S. M., Kolcic, I., Kronenberg, F., Liu, J. Z., Marchini, J., McKeever, T., Morris, A. D., Olin, A. C., Porteous, D. J., Postma, D. S., Rich, S. S., Ring, S. M., Rivadeneira, F., Rochat, T., Sayer, A. A., Sayers, I., Sly, P. D., Smith, G. D., Sood, A., Starr, J. M., Uitterlinden, A. G., Vonk, J. M., Wannamethee, S. G., Whincup, P. H., Wijmenga, C., Williams, O. D., Wong, A., Mangino, M., Marciante, K. D., McArdle, W. L., Meibohm, B., Morrison, A. C., North, K. E., Omenaas, E., Palmer, L. J., Pietiläinen, K. H., Pin, I., Pola Sbreve Ek, O., Pouta, A., Psaty, B. M., Hartikainen, A. L., Rantanen, T., Ripatti, S., Rotter, J. I., Rudan, I., Rudnicka, A. R., Schulz, H., Shin, S. Y., Spector, T. D., Surakka, I., Vitart, V., Völzke, H., Wareham, N. J., Warrington, N. M., Wichmann, H. E., Wild, S. H., Wilk, J. B., Wjst, M., Wright, A. F., Zgaga, L., Zemunik, T., Pennell, C. E., Nyberg, F., Kuh, D., Holloway, J. W., Boezen, H. M., Lawlor, D. A., Morris, R. W., Probst-Hensch, N., The International Lung Cancer Consortium, Giant consortium, Kaprio, J., Wilson, J. F., Hayward, C., Kähönen, M., Heinrich, J., Musk, A. W., Jarvis, D. L., Gläser, S., Järvelin, M. R., Ch Stricker, B. H., Elliott, P., O'Connor, G. T., Strachan, D. P., London, S. J., Hall, I. P., Gudnason, V., & Tobin, M. D. (2011). Genome-wide association and large-scale follow up identifies 16 new loci influencing lung function. Nature Genetics, 43, 1082-1090. doi:10.1038/ng.941.

    Abstract

    Pulmonary function measures reflect respiratory health and are used in the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We tested genome-wide association with forced expiratory volume in 1 second and the ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 second to forced vital capacity in 48,201 individuals of European ancestry with follow up of the top associations in up to an additional 46,411 individuals. We identified new regions showing association (combined P < 5 × 10(-8)) with pulmonary function in or near MFAP2, TGFB2, HDAC4, RARB, MECOM (also known as EVI1), SPATA9, ARMC2, NCR3, ZKSCAN3, CDC123, C10orf11, LRP1, CCDC38, MMP15, CFDP1 and KCNE2. Identification of these 16 new loci may provide insight into the molecular mechanisms regulating pulmonary function and into molecular targets for future therapy to alleviate reduced lung function.
  • Avitabile, D., Crespi, A., Brioschi, C., Parente, V., Toietta, G., Devanna, P., Baruscotti, M., Truffa, S., Scavone, A., Rusconi, F., Biondi, A., D'Alessandra, Y., Vigna, E., DiFrancesco, D., Pesce, M., Capogrossi, M. C., & Barbuti, A. (2011). Human cord blood CD34+ progenitor cells acquire functional cardiac properties through a cell fusion process. American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 300(5), H1875-H1884. doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.111.226969.

    Abstract

    The efficacy of cardiac repair by stem cell administration relies on a successful functional integration of injected cells into the host myocardium. Safety concerns have been raised about the possibility that stem cells may induce foci of arrhythmia in the ischemic myocardium. In a previous work (36), we showed that human cord blood CD34+ cells, when cocultured on neonatal mouse cardiomyocytes, exhibit excitation-contraction coupling features similar to those of cardiomyocytes, even though no human genes were upregulated. The aims of the present work are to investigate whether human CD34+ cells, isolated after 1 wk of coculture with neonatal ventricular myocytes, possess molecular and functional properties of cardiomyocytes and to discriminate, using a reporter gene system, whether cardiac differentiation derives from a (trans)differentiation or a cell fusion process. Umbilical cord blood CD34+ cells were isolated by a magnetic cell sorting method, transduced with a lentiviral vector carrying the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) gene, and seeded onto primary cultures of spontaneously beating rat neonatal cardiomyocytes. Cocultured EGFP+/CD34+-derived cells were analyzed for their electrophysiological features at different time points. After 1 wk in coculture, EGFP+ cells, in contact with cardiomyocytes, were spontaneously contracting and had a maximum diastolic potential (MDP) of −53.1 mV, while those that remained isolated from the surrounding myocytes did not contract and had a depolarized resting potential of −11.4 mV. Cells were then resuspended and cultured at low density to identify EGFP+ progenitor cell derivatives. Under these conditions, we observed single EGFP+ beating cells that had acquired an hyperpolarization-activated current typical of neonatal cardiomyocytes (EGFP+ cells, −2.24 ± 0.89 pA/pF; myocytes, −1.99 ± 0.63 pA/pF, at −125 mV). To discriminate between cell autonomous differentiation and fusion, EGFP+/CD34+ cells were cocultured with cardiac myocytes infected with a red fluorescence protein-lentiviral vector; under these conditions we found that 100% of EGFP+ cells were also red fluorescent protein positive, suggesting cell fusion as the mechanism by which cardiac functional features are acquired.
  • Baggio, G., & Hagoort, P. (2011). The balance between memory and unification in semantics: A dynamic account of the N400. Language and Cognitive Processes, 26, 1338-1367. doi:10.1080/01690965.2010.542671.

    Abstract

    At least three cognitive brain components are necessary in order for us to be able to produce and comprehend language: a Memory repository for the lexicon, a Unification buffer where lexical information is combined into novel structures, and a Control apparatus presiding over executive function in language. Here we describe the brain networks that support Memory and Unification in semantics. A dynamic account of their interactions is presented, in which a balance between the two components is sought at each word-processing step. We use the theory to provide an explanation of the N400 effect.
  • Bakker, I., Takashima, A., van Hell, J. G., Janzen, G., & McQueen, J. M. (2014). Competition from unseen or unheard novel words: Lexical consolidation across modalities. Journal of Memory and Language, 73, 116-139. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2014.03.002.

    Abstract

    In four experiments we investigated the formation of novel word memories across modalities, using competition between novel words and their existing phonological/orthographic neighbours as a test of lexical integration. Auditorily acquired novel words entered into competition both in the spoken modality (Experiment 1) and in the written modality (Experiment 4) after a consolidation period of 24 h. Words acquired from print, on the other hand, showed competition effects after 24 h in a visual word recognition task (Experiment 3) but required additional training and a consolidation period of a week before entering into spoken-word competition (Experiment 2). These cross-modal effects support the hypothesis that lexicalised rather than episodic representations underlie post-consolidation competition effects. We suggest that sublexical phoneme–grapheme conversion during novel word encoding and/or offline consolidation enables the formation of modality-specific lexemes in the untrained modality, which subsequently undergo the same cortical integration process as explicitly perceived word forms in the trained modality. Although conversion takes place in both directions, speech input showed an advantage over print both in terms of lexicalisation and explicit memory performance. In conclusion, the brain is able to integrate and consolidate internally generated lexical information as well as external perceptual input.
  • Bank, R., Crasborn, O., & Van Hout, R. (2011). Variation in mouth actions with manual signs in Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT). Sign Language & Linguistics, 14(2), 248-270. doi:10.1075/sll.14.2.02ban.

    Abstract

    Mouthings and mouth gestures are omnipresent in Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT). Mouthings in NGT commonly have their origin in spoken Dutch. We conducted a corpus study to explore how frequent mouthings in fact are in NGT, whether there is variation within and between signs in mouthings, and how frequent temporal reduction occurs in mouthings. Answers to these questions can help us classify mouthings as being specified in the sign lexicon or as being instances of code-blending. We investigated a sample of 20 frequently occurring signs. We found that each sign in the sample co-occurs frequently with a mouthing, usually that of a specific Dutch lexical item. On the other hand, signs show variation in the way they co-occur with mouthings and mouth gestures. By using a relatively large amount of natural data, we succeeded in gaining more insight into the way mouth actions are utilized in sign languages.

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  • Barendse, M. T., Albers, C. J., Oort, F. J., & Timmerman, M. E. (2014). Measurement bias detection through Bayesian factor analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 1087. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01087.

    Abstract

    Measurement bias has been defined as a violation of measurement invariance. Potential violators—variables that possibly violate measurement invariance—can be investigated through restricted factor analysis (RFA). The purpose of the present paper is to investigate a Bayesian approach to estimate RFA models with interaction effects, in order to detect uniform and nonuniform measurement bias. Because modeling nonuniform bias requires an interaction term, it is more complicated than modeling uniform bias. The Bayesian approach seems especially suited for such complex models. In a simulation study we vary the type of bias (uniform, nonuniform), the type of violator (observed continuous, observed dichotomous, latent continuous), and the correlation between the trait and the violator (0.0, 0.5). For each condition, 100 sets of data are generated and analyzed. We examine the accuracy of the parameter estimates and the performance of two bias detection procedures, based on the DIC fit statistic, in Bayesian RFA. Results show that the accuracy of the estimated parameters is satisfactory. Bias detection rates are high in all conditions with an observed violator, and still satisfactory in all other conditions.
  • Baron-Cohen, S., Murphy, L., Chakrabarti, B., Craig, I., Mallya, U., Lakatosova, S., Rehnstrom, K., Peltonen, L., Wheelwright, S., Allison, C., Fisher, S. E., & Warrier, V. (2014). A genome wide association study of mathematical ability reveals an association at chromosome 3q29, a locus associated with autism and learning difficulties: A preliminary study. PLoS One, 9(5): e96374. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096374.

    Abstract

    Mathematical ability is heritable, but few studies have directly investigated its molecular genetic basis. Here we aimed to identify specific genetic contributions to variation in mathematical ability. We carried out a genome wide association scan using pooled DNA in two groups of U.K. samples, based on end of secondary/high school national academic exam achievement: high (n = 419) versus low (n = 183) mathematical ability while controlling for their verbal ability. Significant differences in allele frequencies between these groups were searched for in 906,600 SNPs using the Affymetrix GeneChip Human Mapping version 6.0 array. After meeting a threshold of p<1.5×10−5, 12 SNPs from the pooled association analysis were individually genotyped in 542 of the participants and analyzed to validate the initial associations (lowest p-value 1.14 ×10−6). In this analysis, one of the SNPs (rs789859) showed significant association after Bonferroni correction, and four (rs10873824, rs4144887, rs12130910 rs2809115) were nominally significant (lowest p-value 3.278 × 10−4). Three of the SNPs of interest are located within, or near to, known genes (FAM43A, SFT2D1, C14orf64). The SNP that showed the strongest association, rs789859, is located in a region on chromosome 3q29 that has been previously linked to learning difficulties and autism. rs789859 lies 1.3 kbp downstream of LSG1, and 700 bp upstream of FAM43A, mapping within the potential promoter/regulatory region of the latter. To our knowledge, this is only the second study to investigate the association of genetic variants with mathematical ability, and it highlights a number of interesting markers for future study.
  • Basnakova, J., Weber, K., Petersson, K. M., Van Berkum, J. J. A., & Hagoort, P. (2014). Beyond the language given: The neural correlates of inferring speaker meaning. Cerebral Cortex, 24(10), 2572-2578. doi:10.1093/cercor/bht112.

    Abstract

    Even though language allows us to say exactly what we mean, we often use language to say things indirectly, in a way that depends on the specific communicative context. For example, we can use an apparently straightforward sentence like "It is hard to give a good presentation" to convey deeper meanings, like "Your talk was a mess!" One of the big puzzles in language science is how listeners work out what speakers really mean, which is a skill absolutely central to communication. However, most neuroimaging studies of language comprehension have focused on the arguably much simpler, context-independent process of understanding direct utterances. To examine the neural systems involved in getting at contextually constrained indirect meaning, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging as people listened to indirect replies in spoken dialog. Relative to direct control utterances, indirect replies engaged dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, right temporo-parietal junction and insula, as well as bilateral inferior frontal gyrus and right medial temporal gyrus. This suggests that listeners take the speaker's perspective on both cognitive (theory of mind) and affective (empathy-like) levels. In line with classic pragmatic theories, our results also indicate that currently popular "simulationist" accounts of language comprehension fail to explain how listeners understand the speaker's intended message.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2011). [Review of the book Het einde van de standaardtaal. Een wisseling van Europese cultuur. The end of standard language. A change in European language culture by Joop van der Horst]. Folia Linguistica Historica, 32(1), 253-260. doi:10.1515/flih.2011.009.
  • Bavin, E. L., Kidd, E., Prendergast, L., Baker, E., Dissanayake, C., & Prior, M. (2014). Severity of autism is related to children's language processing. Autism Research, 7(6), 687-694. doi:10.1002/aur.1410.

    Abstract

    Problems in language processing have been associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with some research attributing the problems to overall language skills rather than a diagnosis of ASD. Lexical access was assessed in a looking-while-listening task in three groups of 5- to 7-year-old children; two had high-functioning ASD (HFA), an ASD severe (ASD-S) group (n = 16) and an ASD moderate (ASD-M) group (n = 21). The third group were typically developing (TD) (n = 48). Participants heard sentences of the form “Where's the x?” and their eye movements to targets (e.g., train), phonological competitors (e.g., tree), and distractors were recorded. Proportions of looking time at target were analyzed within 200 ms intervals. Significant group differences were found between the ASD-S and TD groups only, at time intervals 1000–1200 and 1200–1400 ms postonset. The TD group was more likely to be fixated on target. These differences were maintained after adjusting for language, verbal and nonverbal IQ, and attention scores. An analysis using parent report of autistic-like behaviors showed higher scores to be associated with lower proportions of looking time at target, regardless of group. Further analysis showed fixation for the TD group to be significantly faster than for the ASD-S. In addition, incremental processing was found for all groups. The study findings suggest that severity of autistic behaviors will impact significantly on children's language processing in real life situations when exposed to syntactically complex material. They also show the value of using online methods for understanding how young children with ASD process language. Autism Res 2014, 7: 687–694.
  • Bayram, A., Bayraktaroglu, Z., Karahan, E., Erdogan, B., Bilgic, B., Ozker, M., Kasikci, I., Duru, A., Ademoglu, A., Öztürk, C., Arikan, K., Tarhan, N., & Demiralp, T. (2011). Simultaneous EEG/fMRI analysis of the resonance phenomena in steady-state visual evoked responses. Clinical EEG and Neuroscience, 42(2), 98-106. doi:10.1177/155005941104200210.
  • Benyamin, B., St Pourcain, B., Davis, O. S., Davies, G., Hansell, N. K., Brion, M.-J., Kirkpatrick, R. M., Cents, R. A. M., Franić, S., Miller, M. B., Haworth, C. M. A., Meaburn, E., Price, T. S., Evans, D. M., Timpson, N., Kemp, J., Ring, S., McArdle, W., Medland, S. E., Yang, J. and 23 moreBenyamin, B., St Pourcain, B., Davis, O. S., Davies, G., Hansell, N. K., Brion, M.-J., Kirkpatrick, R. M., Cents, R. A. M., Franić, S., Miller, M. B., Haworth, C. M. A., Meaburn, E., Price, T. S., Evans, D. M., Timpson, N., Kemp, J., Ring, S., McArdle, W., Medland, S. E., Yang, J., Harris, S. E., Liewald, D. C., Scheet, P., Xiao, X., Hudziak, J. J., de Geus, E. J. C., Jaddoe, V. W. V., Starr, J. M., Verhulst, F. C., Pennell, C., Tiemeier, H., Iacono, W. G., Palmer, L. J., Montgomery, G. W., Martin, N. G., Boomsma, D. I., Posthuma, D., McGue, M., Wright, M. J., Davey Smith, G., Deary, I. J., Plomin, R., & Visscher, P. M. (2014). Childhood intelligence is heritable, highly polygenic and associated with FNBP1L. Molecular Psychiatry, 19(2), 253-258. doi:10.1038/mp.2012.184.

    Abstract

    Intelligence in childhood, as measured by psychometric cognitive tests, is a strong predictor of many important life outcomes, including educational attainment, income, health and lifespan. Results from twin, family and adoption studies are consistent with general intelligence being highly heritable and genetically stable throughout the life course. No robustly associated genetic loci or variants for childhood intelligence have been reported. Here, we report the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) on childhood intelligence (age range 6–18 years) from 17 989 individuals in six discovery and three replication samples. Although no individual single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were detected with genome-wide significance, we show that the aggregate effects of common SNPs explain 22–46% of phenotypic variation in childhood intelligence in the three largest cohorts (P=3.9 × 10−15, 0.014 and 0.028). FNBP1L, previously reported to be the most significantly associated gene for adult intelligence, was also significantly associated with childhood intelligence (P=0.003). Polygenic prediction analyses resulted in a significant correlation between predictor and outcome in all replication cohorts. The proportion of childhood intelligence explained by the predictor reached 1.2% (P=6 × 10−5), 3.5% (P=10−3) and 0.5% (P=6 × 10−5) in three independent validation cohorts. Given the sample sizes, these genetic prediction results are consistent with expectations if the genetic architecture of childhood intelligence is like that of body mass index or height. Our study provides molecular support for the heritability and polygenic nature of childhood intelligence. Larger sample sizes will be required to detect individual variants with genome-wide significance.
  • Bidgood, A., Ambridge, B., Pine, J. M., & Rowland, C. F. (2014). The retreat from locative overgeneralisation errors: A novel verb grammaticality judgment study. PLoS One, 9(5): e97634. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097634.

    Abstract

    Whilst some locative verbs alternate between the ground- and figure-locative constructions (e.g. Lisa sprayed the flowers with water/Lisa sprayed water onto the flowers), others are restricted to one construction or the other (e.g. *Lisa filled water into the cup/*Lisa poured the cup with water). The present study investigated two proposals for how learners (aged 5–6, 9–10 and adults) acquire this restriction, using a novel-verb-learning grammaticality-judgment paradigm. In support of the semantic verb class hypothesis, participants in all age groups used the semantic properties of novel verbs to determine the locative constructions (ground/figure/both) in which they could and could not appear. In support of the frequency hypothesis, participants' tolerance of overgeneralisation errors decreased with each increasing level of verb frequency (novel/low/high). These results underline the need to develop an integrated account of the roles of semantics and frequency in the retreat from argument structure overgeneralisation.
  • Bien, H., Baayen, H. R., & Levelt, W. J. M. (2011). Frequency effects in the production of Dutch deverbal adjectives and inflected verbs. Language and Cognitive Processes, 26, 683-715. doi:10.1080/01690965.2010.511475.

    Abstract

    In two experiments, we studied the role of frequency information in the production of deverbal adjectives and inflected verbs in Dutch. Naming latencies were triggered in a position-response association task and analysed using stepwise mixed-effects modelling, with subject and word as crossed random effects. The production latency of deverbal adjectives was affected by the cumulative frequencies of their verbal stems, arguing for decomposition and against full listing. However, for the inflected verbs, there was an inhibitory effect of Inflectional Entropy, and a nonlinear effect of Lemma Frequency. Additional effects of Position-specific Neighbourhood Density and Cohort Entropy in both types of words underline the importance of paradigmatic relations in the mental lexicon. Taken together, the data suggest that the word-form level does neither contain full forms nor strictly separated morphemes, but rather morphemes with links to phonologically andin case of inflected verbsmorphologically related word forms.
  • Blasi, A., Mercure, E., Lloyd-Fox, S., Thomson, A., Brammer, M., Sauter, D., Deeley, Q., Barker, G. J., Renvall, V., Deoni, S., Gasston, D., Williams, S. C., Johnson, M. H., Simmons, A., & Murphy, D. G. (2011). Early specialization for voice and emotion processing in the infant brain. Current Biology, 21, 1220-1224. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2011.06.009.

    Abstract

    Human voices play a fundamental role in social communication, and areas of the adult ‘social brain’ show specialization for processing voices and its emotional content (superior temporal sulcus - STS, inferior prefrontal cortex, premotor cortical regions, amygdala and insula [1-8]. However, it is unclear when this specialization develops. Functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) studies suggest the infant temporal cortex does not differentiate speech from music or backward speech [10, 11], but a prior study with functional near infrared spectroscopy revealed preferential activation for human voices in 7-month-olds, in a more posterior location of the temporal cortex than in adults [12]. Yet, the brain networks involved in processing non-speech human vocalizations in early development are still unknown. For this purpose, in the present fMRI study, 3 to 7 month olds were presented with adult non-speech vocalizations (emotionally neutral, emotionally positive and emotionally negative), and non-vocal environmental sounds. Infants displayed significant activation in the anterior portion of the temporal cortex, similarly to adults [1]. Moreover, sad vocalizations modulated the activity of brain regions known to be involved in processing affective stimuli such as the orbitofrontal cortex [13] and insula [7, 8]. These results suggest remarkably early functional specialization for processing human voice and negative emotions.
  • Böckler, A., Hömke, P., & Sebanz, N. (2014). Invisible Man: Exclusion from shared attention affects gaze behavior and self-reports. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5(2), 140-148. doi:10.1177/1948550613488951.

    Abstract

    Social exclusion results in lowered satisfaction of basic needs and shapes behavior in subsequent social situations. We investigated participants’ immediate behavioral response during exclusion from an interaction that consisted of establishing eye contact. A newly developed eye-tracker-based ‘‘looking game’’ was employed; participants exchanged looks with two virtual partners in an exchange where the player who had just been looked at chose whom to look at next. While some participants received as many looks as the virtual players (included), others were ignored after two initial looks (excluded). Excluded participants reported lower basic need satisfaction, lower evaluation of the interaction, and devaluated their interaction partners more than included participants, demonstrating that people are sensitive to epistemic ostracism. In line with William’s need-threat model, eye-tracking results revealed that excluded participants did not withdraw from the unfavorable interaction, but increased the number of looks to the player who could potentially reintegrate them.
  • De Boer, B., & Perlman, M. (2014). Physical mechanisms may be as important as brain mechanisms in evolution of speech [Commentary on Ackerman, Hage, & Ziegler. Brain Mechanisms of acoustic communication in humans and nonhuman primates: an evolutionary perspective]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37(6), 552-553. doi:10.1017/S0140525X13004007.

    Abstract

    We present two arguments why physical adaptations for vocalization may be as important as neural adaptations. First, fine control over vocalization is not easy for physical reasons, and modern humans may be exceptional. Second, we present an example of a gorilla that shows rudimentary voluntary control over vocalization, indicating that some neural control is already shared with great apes.
  • Bögels, S., Schriefers, H. J., Vonk, W., & Chwilla, D. (2011). Prosodic breaks in sentence processing investigated by event-related potentials. Language and Linguistics Compass, 5, 424-440. doi:10.1111/j.1749-818X.2011.00291.x.

    Abstract

    Prosodic breaks (PBs) can indicate a sentence’s syntactic structure. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) are an excellent way to study auditory sentence processing, since they provide an on-line measure across a complete sentence, in contrast to other on- and off-line methods. ERPs for the first time allowed investigating the processing of a PB itself. PBs reliably elicit a closure positive shift (CPS). We first review several studies on the CPS, leading to the conclusion that it is elicited by abstract structuring or phrasing of the input. Then we review ERP findings concerning the role of PBs in sentence processing as indicated by ERP components like the N400, P600 and LAN. We focus on whether and how PBs can (help to) disambiguate locally ambiguous sentences. Differences in results between different studies can be related to differences in items, initial parsing preferences and tasks. Finally, directions for future research are discussed.
  • Bögels, S., Schriefers, H., Vonk, W., & Chwilla, D. (2011). Pitch accents in context: How listeners process accentuation in referential communication. Neuropsychologia, 49, 2022-2036. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.03.032.

    Abstract

    We investigated whether listeners are sensitive to (mis)matching accentuation patterns with respect to contrasts in the linguistic and visual context, using Event-Related Potentials. We presented participants with displays of two pictures followed by a spoken reference to one of these pictures (e.g., “the red ball”). The referent was contrastive with respect to the linguistic context (utterance in the previous trial: e.g., “the blue ball”) or with respect to the visual context (other picture in the display; e.g., a display with a red ball and a blue ball). The spoken reference carried a pitch accent on the noun (“the red BALL”) or on the adjective (“the RED ball”), or an intermediate (‘neutral’) accentuation. For the linguistic context, we found evidence for the Missing Accent Hypothesis: Listeners showed processing difficulties, in the form of increased negativities in the ERPs, for missing accents, but not for superfluous accents. ‘Neutral’ or intermediate accents were interpreted as ‘missing’ accents when they occurred late in the referential utterance, but not when they occurred early. For the visual context, we found evidence for the Missing Accent Hypothesis for a missing accent on the adjective (an increase in negativity in the ERPs) and a superfluous accent on the noun (no effect). However, a redundant color adjective (e.g., in the case of a display with a red ball and a red hat) led to less processing problems when the adjective carried a pitch accent.

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  • Bögels, S., Schriefers, H., Vonk, W., & Chwilla, D. J. (2011). The role of prosodic breaks and pitch accents in grouping words during on-line sentence processing. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 2447-2467. doi:10.1162/jocn.2010.21587.

    Abstract

    The present study addresses the question whether accentuation and prosodic phrasing can have a similar function, namely, to group words in a sentence together. Participants listened to locally ambiguous sentences containing object- and subject-control verbs while ERPs were measured. In Experiment 1, these sentences contained a prosodic break, which can create a certain syntactic grouping of words, or no prosodic break. At the disambiguation, an N400 effect occurred when the disambiguation was in conflict with the syntactic grouping created by the break. We found a similar N400 effect without the break, indicating that the break did not strengthen an already existing preference. This pattern held for both object- and subject-control items. In Experiment 2, the same sentences contained a break and a pitch accent on the noun following the break. We argue that the pitch accent indicates a broad focus covering two words [see Gussenhoven, C. On the limits of focus projection in English. In P. Bosch & R. van der Sandt (Eds.), Focus: Linguistic, cognitive, and computational perspectives. Cambridge: University Press, 1999], thus grouping these words together. For object-control items, this was semantically possible, which led to a “good-enough” interpretation of the sentence. Therefore, both sentences were interpreted equally well and the N400 effect found in Experiment 1 was absent. In contrast, for subject-control items, a corresponding grouping of the words was impossible, both semantically and syntactically, leading to processing difficulty in the form of an N400 effect and a late positivity. In conclusion, accentuation can group words together on the level of information structure, leading to either a semantically “good-enough” interpretation or a processing problem when such a semantic interpretation is not possible.
  • Bolton, J. L., Hayward, C., Direk, N., Lewis, J. G., Hammond, G. L., Hill, L. A., Anderson, A., Huffman, J., Wilson, J. F., Campbell, H., Rudan, I., Wright, A., Hastie, N., Wild, S. H., Velders, F. P., Hofman, A., Uitterlinden, A. G., Lahti, J., Räikkönen, K., Kajantie, E. and 37 moreBolton, J. L., Hayward, C., Direk, N., Lewis, J. G., Hammond, G. L., Hill, L. A., Anderson, A., Huffman, J., Wilson, J. F., Campbell, H., Rudan, I., Wright, A., Hastie, N., Wild, S. H., Velders, F. P., Hofman, A., Uitterlinden, A. G., Lahti, J., Räikkönen, K., Kajantie, E., Widen, E., Palotie, A., Eriksson, J. G., Kaakinen, M., Järvelin, M.-R., Timpson, N. J., Davey Smith, G., Ring, S. M., Evans, D. M., St Pourcain, B., Tanaka, T., Milaneschi, Y., Bandinelli, S., Ferrucci, L., van der Harst, P., Rosmalen, J. G. M., Bakker, S. J. L., Verweij, N., Dullaart, R. P. F., Mahajan, A., Lindgren, C. M., Morris, A., Lind, L., Ingelsson, E., Anderson, L. N., Pennell, C. E., Lye, S. J., Matthews, S. G., Eriksson, J., Mellstrom, D., Ohlsson, C., Price, J. F., Strachan, M. W. J., Reynolds, R. M., Tiemeier, H., Walker, B. R., & CORtisol NETwork (CORNET) Consortium (2014). Genome Wide Association Identifies Common Variants at the SERPINA6/SERPINA1 Locus Influencing Plasma Cortisol and Corticosteroid Binding Globulin. PLoS Genetics, 10(7): e1004474. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004474.

    Abstract

    Variation in plasma levels of cortisol, an essential hormone in the stress response, is associated in population-based studies with cardio-metabolic, inflammatory and neuro-cognitive traits and diseases. Heritability of plasma cortisol is estimated at 30-60% but no common genetic contribution has been identified. The CORtisol NETwork (CORNET) consortium undertook genome wide association meta-analysis for plasma cortisol in 12,597 Caucasian participants, replicated in 2,795 participants. The results indicate that <1% of variance in plasma cortisol is accounted for by genetic variation in a single region of chromosome 14. This locus spans SERPINA6, encoding corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG, the major cortisol-binding protein in plasma), and SERPINA1, encoding α1-antitrypsin (which inhibits cleavage of the reactive centre loop that releases cortisol from CBG). Three partially independent signals were identified within the region, represented by common SNPs; detailed biochemical investigation in a nested sub-cohort showed all these SNPs were associated with variation in total cortisol binding activity in plasma, but some variants influenced total CBG concentrations while the top hit (rs12589136) influenced the immunoreactivity of the reactive centre loop of CBG. Exome chip and 1000 Genomes imputation analysis of this locus in the CROATIA-Korcula cohort identified missense mutations in SERPINA6 and SERPINA1 that did not account for the effects of common variants. These findings reveal a novel common genetic source of variation in binding of cortisol by CBG, and reinforce the key role of CBG in determining plasma cortisol levels. In turn this genetic variation may contribute to cortisol-associated degenerative diseases.
  • Bosker, H. R., Quené, H., Sanders, T. J. M., & de Jong, N. H. (2014). Native 'um's elicit prediction of low-frequency referents, but non-native 'um's do not. Journal of Memory and Language, 75, 104-116. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2014.05.004.

    Abstract

    Speech comprehension involves extensive use of prediction. Linguistic prediction may be guided by the semantics or syntax, but also by the performance characteristics of the speech signal, such as disfluency. Previous studies have shown that listeners, when presented with the filler uh, exhibit a disfluency bias for discourse-new or unknown referents, drawing inferences about the source of the disfluency. The goal of the present study is to study the contrast between native and non-native disfluencies in speech comprehension. Experiment 1 presented listeners with pictures of high-frequency (e.g., a hand) and low-frequency objects (e.g., a sewing machine) and with fluent and disfluent instructions. Listeners were found to anticipate reference to low-frequency objects when encountering disfluency, thus attributing disfluency to speaker trouble in lexical retrieval. Experiment 2 showed that, when participants listened to disfluent non-native speech, no anticipation of low-frequency referents was observed. We conclude that listeners can adapt their predictive strategies to the (non-native) speaker at hand, extending our understanding of the role of speaker identity in speech comprehension.
  • Bosker, H. R., Quené, H., Sanders, T. J. M., & de Jong, N. H. (2014). The perception of fluency in native and non-native speech. Language Learning, 64, 579-614. doi:10.1111/lang.12067.

    Abstract

    Where native speakers supposedly are fluent by default, non-native speakers often have to strive hard to achieve a native-like fluency level. However, disfluencies (such as pauses, fillers, repairs, etc.) occur in both native and non-native speech and it is as yet unclear ow luency raters weigh the fluency characteristics of native and non-native speech. Two rating experiments compared the way raters assess the luency of native and non-native speech. The fluency characteristics of native and non- native speech were controlled by using phonetic anipulations in pause (Experiment 1) and speed characteristics (Experiment 2). The results show that the ratings on manipulated native and on-native speech were affected in a similar fashion. This suggests that there is no difference in the way listeners weigh the fluency haracteristics of native and non-native speakers.
  • Bowerman, M. (1973). [Review of Lois Bloom, Language development: Form and function in emerging grammars (MIT Press 1970)]. American Scientist, 61(3), 369-370.
  • Bowerman, M. (1983). How do children avoid constructing an overly general grammar in the absence of feedback about what is not a sentence? Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, 22, 23-35.

    Abstract

    The theory that language acquisition is guided and constrained by inborn linguistic knowledge is assessed. Specifically, the "no negative evidence" view, the belief that linguistic theory should be restricted in such a way that the grammars it allows can be learned by children on the basis of positive evidence only, is explored. Child language data are cited in order to investigate influential innatist approaches to language acquisition. Baker's view that children are innately constrained in significant ways with respect to language acquisition is evaluated. Evidence indicates that children persistently make overgeneralizations of the sort that violate the constrained view of language acquisition. Since children eventually do develop correct adult grammar, they must have other mechanisms for cutting back on these overgeneralizations. Thus, any hypothesized constraints cannot be justified on grounds that without them the child would end up with overly general grammar. It is necessary to explicate the mechanisms by which children eliminate their tendency toward overgeneralization.
  • Bramão, I., Inácio, F., Faísca, L., Reis, A., & Petersson, K. M. (2011). The influence of color information on the recognition of color diagnostic and noncolor diagnostic objects. The Journal of General Psychology, 138(1), 49-65. doi:10.1080/00221309.2010.533718.

    Abstract

    In the present study, the authors explore in detail the level of visual object recognition at which perceptual color information improves the recognition of color diagnostic and noncolor diagnostic objects. To address this issue, 3 object recognition tasks, with different cognitive demands, were designed: (a) an object verification task; (b) a category verification task; and (c) a name verification task. They found that perceptual color information improved color diagnostic object recognition mainly in tasks for which access to the semantic knowledge about the object was necessary to perform the task; that is, in category and name verification. In contrast, the authors found that perceptual color information facilitates noncolor diagnostic object recognition when access to the object’s structural description from long-term memory was necessary—that is, object verification. In summary, the present study shows that the role of perceptual color information in object recognition is dependent on color diagnosticity
  • Bramão, B., Reis, A., Petersson, K. M., & Faísca, L. (2011). The role of color in object recognition: A review and meta-analysis. Acta Psychologica, 138, 244-253. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2011.06.010.

    Abstract

    In this study, we systematically review the scientific literature on the effect of color on object recognition. Thirty-five independent experiments, comprising 1535 participants, were included in a meta-analysis. We found a moderate effect of color on object recognition (d = 0.28). Specific effects of moderator variables were analyzed and we found that color diagnosticity is the factor with the greatest moderator effect on the influence of color in object recognition; studies using color diagnostic objects showed a significant color effect (d = 0.43), whereas a marginal color effect was found in studies that used non-color diagnostic objects (d = 0.18). The present study did not permit the drawing of specific conclusions about the moderator effect of the object recognition task; while the meta-analytic review showed that color information improves object recognition mainly in studies using naming tasks (d = 0.36), the literature review revealed a large body of evidence showing positive effects of color information on object recognition in studies using a large variety of visual recognition tasks. We also found that color is important for the ability to recognize artifacts and natural objects, to recognize objects presented as types (line-drawings) or as tokens (photographs), and to recognize objects that are presented without surface details, such as texture or shadow. Taken together, the results of the meta-analysis strongly support the contention that color plays a role in object recognition. This suggests that the role of color should be taken into account in models of visual object recognition.

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  • Brandmeyer, A., Sadakata, M., Timmers, R., & Desain, P. (2011). Learning expressive percussion performance under different visual feedback conditions. Psychological Research, 75, 107-121. doi:10.1007/s00426-010-0291-6.

    Abstract

    A study was conducted to test the effect of two different forms of real-time visual feedback on expressive percussion performance. Conservatory percussion students performed imitations of recorded teacher performances while receiving either high-level feedback on the expressive style of their performances, low-level feedback on the timing and dynamics of the performed notes, or no feedback. The high-level feedback was based on a Bayesian analysis of the performances, while the low-level feedback was based on the raw participant timing and dynamics data. Results indicated that neither form of feedback led to significantly smaller timing and dynamics errors. However, high-level feedback did lead to a higher proficiency in imitating the expressive style of the target performances, as indicated by a probabilistic measure of expressive style. We conclude that, while potentially disruptive to timing processes involved in music performance due to extraneous cognitive load, high-level visual feedback can improve participant imitations of expressive performance features.
  • Braun, B., Dainora, A., & Ernestus, M. (2011). An unfamiliar intonation contour slows down online speech comprehension. Language and Cognitive Processes, 26(3), 350 -375. doi:10.1080/01690965.2010.492641.

    Abstract

    This study investigates whether listeners' familiarity with an intonation contour affects speech processing. In three experiments, Dutch participants heard Dutch sentences with normal intonation contours and with unfamiliar ones and performed word-monitoring, lexical decision, or semantic categorisation tasks (the latter two with cross-modal identity priming). The unfamiliar intonation contour slowed down participants on all tasks, which demonstrates that an unfamiliar intonation contour has a robust detrimental effect on speech processing. Since cross-modal identity priming with a lexical decision task taps into lexical access, this effect obtained in this task suggests that an unfamiliar intonation contour hinders lexical access. Furthermore, results from the semantic categorisation task show that the effect of an uncommon intonation contour is long-lasting and hinders subsequent processing. Hence, intonation not only contributes to utterance meaning (emotion, sentence type, and focus), but also affects crucial aspects of the speech comprehension process and is more important than previously thought.
  • Braun, B., Lemhofer, K., & Mani, N. (2011). Perceiving unstressed vowels in foreign-accented English. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 129, 376-387. doi:10.1121/1.3500688.

    Abstract

    This paper investigated how foreign-accented stress cues affect on-line speech comprehension in British speakers of English. While unstressed English vowels are usually reduced to /@/, Dutch speakers of English only slightly centralize them. Speakers of both languages differentiate stress by suprasegmentals (duration and intensity). In a cross-modal priming experiment, English listeners heard sentences ending in monosyllabic prime fragments—produced by either an English or a Dutch speaker of English—and performed lexical decisions on visual targets. Primes were either stress-matching (“ab” excised from absurd), stress-mismatching (“ab” from absence), or unrelated (“pro” from profound) with respect to the target (e.g., ABSURD). Results showed a priming effect for stress-matching primes only when produced by the English speaker, suggesting that vowel quality is a more important cue to word stress than suprasegmental information. Furthermore, for visual targets with word-initial secondary stress that do not require vowel reduction (e.g., CAMPAIGN), resembling the Dutch way of realizing stress, there was a priming effect for both speakers. Hence, our data suggest that Dutch-accented English is not harder to understand in general, but it is in instances where the language-specific implementation of lexical stress differs across languages.
  • Braun, B., & Tagliapietra, L. (2011). On-line interpretation of intonational meaning in L2. Language and Cognitive Processes, 26(2), 224 -235. doi:10.1080/01690965.2010.486209.

    Abstract

    Despite their relatedness, Dutch and German differ in the interpretation of a particular intonation contour, the hat pattern. In the literature, this contour has been described as neutral for Dutch, and as contrastive for German. A recent study supports the idea that Dutch listeners interpret this contour neutrally, compared to the contrastive interpretation of a lexically identical utterance realised with a double peak pattern. In particular, this study showed shorter lexical decision latencies to visual targets (e.g., PELIKAAN, “pelican”) following a contrastively related prime (e.g., flamingo, “flamingo”) only when the primes were embedded in sentences with a contrastive double peak contour, not in sentences with a neutral hat pattern. The present study replicates Experiment 1a of Braun and Tagliapietra (2009) with German learners of Dutch. Highly proficient learners of Dutch differed from Dutch natives in that they showed reliable priming effects for both intonation contours. Thus, the interpretation of intonational meaning in L2 appears to be fast, automatic, and driven by the associations learned in the native language.
  • Broeder, D., Schonefeld, O., Trippel, T., Van Uytvanck, D., & Witt, A. (2011). A pragmatic approach to XML interoperability — the Component Metadata Infrastructure (CMDI). Proceedings of Balisage: The Markup Conference 2011. Balisage Series on Markup Technologies, 7. doi:10.4242/BalisageVol7.Broeder01.
  • Broeder, D., & Lannom, L. (2014). Data Type Registries: A Research Data Alliance Working Group. D-Lib Magazine, 20, 1. doi:10.1045/january2014-broeder.

    Abstract

    Automated processing of large amounts of scientific data, especially across domains, requires that the data can be selected and parsed without human intervention. Precise characterization of that data, as in typing, is needed once the processing goes beyond the realm of domain specific or local research group assumptions. The Research Data Alliance (RDA) Data Type Registries Working Group (DTR-WG) was assembled to address this issue through the creation of a Data Type Registry methodology, data model, and prototype. The WG was approved by the RDA Council during March of 2013 and will complete its work in mid-2014, in between the third and fourth RDA Plenaries.
  • Broersma, M., & Cutler, A. (2011). Competition dynamics of second-language listening. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64, 74-95. doi:10.1080/17470218.2010.499174.

    Abstract

    Spoken-word recognition in a nonnative language is particularly difficult where it depends on discrimination between confusable phonemes. Four experiments here examine whether this difficulty is in part due to phantom competition from “near-words” in speech. Dutch listeners confuse English /aelig/ and /ε/, which could lead to the sequence daf being interpreted as deaf, or lemp being interpreted as lamp. In auditory lexical decision, Dutch listeners indeed accepted such near-words as real English words more often than English listeners did. In cross-modal priming, near-words extracted from word or phrase contexts (daf from DAFfodil, lemp from eviL EMPire) induced activation of corresponding real words (deaf; lamp) for Dutch, but again not for English, listeners. Finally, by the end of untruncated carrier words containing embedded words or near-words (definite; daffodil) no activation of the real embedded forms (deaf in definite) remained for English or Dutch listeners, but activation of embedded near-words (deaf in daffodil) did still remain, for Dutch listeners only. Misinterpretation of the initial vowel here favoured the phantom competitor and disfavoured the carrier (lexically represented as containing a different vowel). Thus, near-words compete for recognition and continue competing for longer than actually embedded words; nonnative listening indeed involves phantom competition.
  • Brouwer, S., & Bradlow, A. R. (2014). Contextual variability during speech-in-speech recognition. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 136(1), EL26-EL32. doi:10.1121/1.4881322.

    Abstract

    This study examined the influence of background language variation on speech recognition. English listeners performed an English sentence recognition task in either “pure” background conditions in which all trials had either English or Dutch background babble or in mixed background conditions in which the background language varied across trials (i.e., a mix of English and Dutch or one of these background languages mixed with quiet trials). This design allowed the authors to compare performance on identical trials across pure and mixed conditions. The data reveal that speech-in-speech recognition is sensitive to contextual variation in terms of the target-background language (mis)match depending on the relative ease/difficulty of the test trials in relation to the surrounding trials.
  • Brown, P. (1983). [Review of the book Conversational routine: Explorations in standardized communication situations and prepatterned speech ed. by Florian Coulmas]. Language, 59, 215-219.
  • Brown, P. (1983). [Review of the books Mayan Texts I, II, and III ed. by Louanna Furbee-Losee]. International Journal of American Linguistics, 49, 337-341.
  • Brown, A., & Gullberg, M. (2011). Bidirectional cross-linguistic influence in event conceptualization? Expressions of Path among Japanese learners of English. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 14, 79 -94. doi:10.1017/S1366728910000064.

    Abstract

    Typological differences in expressions of motion are argued to have consequences for event conceptualization. In SLA, studies generally find transfer of L1 expressions and accompanying event construals, suggesting resistance to the restructuring of event conceptualization. The current study tackles such restructuring in SLA within the context of bidirectional cross-linguistic influence, focusing on expressions of Path in English and Japanese. We probe the effects of lexicalization patterns on event construal by focusing on different Path components: Source, Via and Goal. Crucially, we compare the same speakers performing both in the L1 and L2 to ascertain whether the languages influence each other. We argue for the potential for restructuring, even at modest levels of L2 proficiency, by showing that not only do L1 patterns shape construal in the L2, but that L2 patterns may subtly and simultaneously broaden construal in the L1 within an individual learner.
  • Brown, P. (2011). Color me bitter: Crossmodal compounding in Tzeltal perception words. The Senses & Society, 6(1), 106-116. doi:10.2752/174589311X12893982233957.

    Abstract

    Within a given language and culture, distinct sensory modalities are often given differential linguistic treatment in ways reflecting cultural ideas about, and uses for, the senses. This article reports on sensory expressions in the Mayan language Tzeltal, spoken in southeastern Mexico. Drawing both on data derived from Tzeltal consultants’ responses to standardized sensory elicitation stimuli and on sensory descriptions produced in more natural contexts, I examine words characterizing sensations in the domains of color and taste. In just these two domains, a limited set of basic terms along with productive word-formation processes of compounding and reduplication are used in analogous ways to produce words that distinguish particular complex sensations or gestalts: e.g. in the color domain, yax-boj-boj (yax ‘grue’ + boj ‘cut’), of mouth stained green from eating green vegetables, or, in the taste domain, chi’-pik-pik (chi’ ‘sweet/salty’ + pik ‘touch’) of a slightly prickly salty taste. I relate the semantics of crossmodal compounds to material technologies involving color and taste (weaving, food production), and to ideas about “hot”/“cold” categories, which provide a cultural rationale for eating practices and medical interventions. I argue that language plays a role in promoting crossmodal associations, resulting in a (partially) culture-specific construction of sensory experience.
  • Brown-Schmidt, S., & Konopka, A. E. (2011). Experimental approaches to referential domains and the on-line processing of referring expressions in unscripted conversation. Information, 2, 302-326. doi:10.3390/info2020302.

    Abstract

    This article describes research investigating the on-line processing of language in unscripted conversational settings. In particular, we focus on the process of formulating and interpreting definite referring expressions. Within this domain we present results of two eye-tracking experiments addressing the problem of how speakers interrogate the referential domain in preparation to speak, how they select an appropriate expression for a given referent, and how addressees interpret these expressions. We aim to demonstrate that it is possible, and indeed fruitful, to examine unscripted, conversational language using modified experimental designs and standard hypothesis testing procedures.
  • Brucato, N., DeLisi, L. E., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2014). Hypomethylation of the paternally inherited LRRTM1 promoter linked to schizophrenia. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 165(7), 555-563. doi:10.1002/ajmg.b.32258.

    Abstract

    Epigenetic effects on psychiatric traits remain relatively under-studied, and it remains unclear what the sizes of individual epigenetic effects may be, or how they vary between different clinical populations. The gene LRRTM1 (chromosome 2p12) has previously been linked and associated with schizophrenia in a parent-of-origin manner in a set of affected siblings (LOD = 4.72), indirectly suggesting a disruption of paternal imprinting at this locus in these families. From the same set of siblings that originally showed strong linkage at this locus, we analyzed 99 individuals using 454-bisulfite sequencing, from whole blood DNA, to measure the level of DNA methylation in the promoter region of LRRTM1. We also assessed seven additional loci that would be informative to compare. Paternal identity-by-descent sharing at LRRTM1, within sibling pairs, was linked to their similarity of methylation at the gene's promoter. Reduced methylation at the promoter showed a significant association with schizophrenia. Sibling pairs concordant for schizophrenia showed more similar methylation levels at the LRRTM1 promoter than diagnostically discordant pairs. The alleles of common SNPs spanning the locus did not explain this epigenetic linkage, which can therefore be considered as largely independent of DNA sequence variation and would not be detected in standard genetic association analysis. Our data suggest that hypomethylation at the LRRTM1 promoter, particularly of the paternally inherited allele, was a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia in this set of siblings affected with familial schizophrenia, and that had previously showed linkage at this locus in an affected-sib-pair context.
  • De Bruin, A., De Groot, A., De Heer, L., Bok, J., Wielinga, P., Hamans, M., van Rotterdam, B., & Janse, I. (2011). Detection of Coxiella burnetii in complex matrices by using multiplex quantitative PCR during a major Q fever outbreak in the Netherlands. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 77, 6516-6523. doi:10.1128/AEM.05097-11.

    Abstract

    Q fever, caused by Coxiella burnetii, is a zoonosis with a worldwide distribution. A large rural area in the southeast of the Netherlands was heavily affected by Q fever between 2007 and 2009. This initiated the development of a robust and internally controlled multiplex quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay for the detection of C. burnetii DNA in veterinary and environmental matrices on suspected Q fever-affected farms. The qPCR detects three C. burnetii targets (icd, com1, and IS1111) and one Bacillus thuringiensis internal control target (cry1b). Bacillus thuringiensis spores were added to samples to control both DNA extraction and PCR amplification. The performance of the qPCR assay was investigated and showed a high efficiency; a limit of detection of 13.0, 10.6, and 10.4 copies per reaction for the targets icd, com1, and IS1111, respectively; and no crossreactivity with the nontarget organisms tested. Screening for C. burnetii DNA on 29 suspected Q fever-affected farms during the Q fever epidemic in 2008 showed that swabs from dust-accumulating surfaces contained higher levels of C. burnetii DNA than vaginal swabs from goats or sheep. PCR inhibition by coextracted substances was observed in some environmental samples, and 10- or 100-fold dilutions of samples were sufficient to obtain interpretable signals for both the C. burnetii targets and the internal control. The inclusion of an internal control target and three C. burnetii targets in one multiplex qPCR assay showed that complex veterinary and environmental matrices can be screened reliably for the presence of C. burnetii DNA during an outbreak. © 2011, American Society for Microbiology.
  • Burba, I., Colombo, G. I., Staszewsky, L. I., De Simone, M., Devanna, P., Nanni, S., Avitabile, D., Molla, F., Cosentino, S., Russo, I., De Angelis, N., Soldo, A., Biondi, A., Gambini, E., Gaetano, C., Farsetti, A., Pompilio, G., Latini, R., Capogrossi, M. C., & Pesce, M. (2011). Histone Deacetylase Inhibition Enhances Self Renewal and Cardioprotection by Human Cord Blood-Derived CD34+ Cells. PLoS One, 6(7): e22158. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022158.

    Abstract

    Use of peripheral blood- or bone marrow-derived progenitors for ischemic heart repair is a feasible option to induce neo-vascularization in ischemic tissues. These cells, named Endothelial Progenitors Cells (EPCs), have been extensively characterized phenotypically and functionally. The clinical efficacy of cardiac repair by EPCs cells remains, however, limited, due to cell autonomous defects as a consequence of risk factors. The devise of “enhancement” strategies has been therefore sought to improve repair ability of these cells and increase the clinical benefit
  • Burenhult, N. (2011). [Review of the book New approaches to Slavic verbs of motion ed. by Victoria Hasko and Renee Perelmutter]. Linguistics, 49, 645-648.
  • Burenhult, N., & Majid, A. (2011). Olfaction in Aslian ideology and language. The Senses & Society, 6(1), 19-29. doi:10.2752/174589311X12893982233597.

    Abstract

    The cognitive- and neurosciences have supposed that the perceptual world of the individual is dominated by vision, followed closely by audition, but that olfaction is merely vestigial. Aslian-speaking communities (Austroasiatic, Malay Peninsula) challenge this view. For the Jahai - a small group of rainforest foragers - odor plays a central role in both culture and language. Jahai ideology revolves around a complex set of beliefs that structures the human relationship with the supernatural. Central to this relationship are hearing, vision, and olfaction. In Jahai language, olfaction also receives special attention. There are at least a dozen or so abstract descriptive odor categories that are basic, everyday terms. This lexical elaboration of odor is not unique to the Jahai but can be seen across many contemporary Austroasiatic languages and transcends major cultural and environmental boundaries. These terms appear to be inherited from ancestral language states, suggesting a longstanding preoccupation with odor in this part of the world. Contrary to the prevailing assumption in the cognitive sciences, these languages and cultures demonstrate that odor is far from vestigial in humans.
  • Bürki, A., Ernestus, M., Gendrot, C., Fougeron, C., & Frauenfelder, U. H. (2011). What affects the presence versus absence of schwa and its duration: A corpus analysis of French connected speech. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 130, 3980-3991. doi:10.1121/1.3658386.

    Abstract

    This study presents an analysis of over 4000 tokens of words produced as variants with and without schwa in a French corpus of radio-broadcasted speech. In order to determine which of the many variables mentioned in the literature influence variant choice, 17 predictors were tested in the same analysis. Only five of these variables appeared to condition variant choice. The question of the processing stage, or locus, of this alternation process is also addressed in a comparison of the variables that predict variant choice with the variables that predict the acoustic duration of schwa in variants with schwa. Only two variables predicting variant choice also predict schwa duration. The limited overlap between the predictors for variant choice and for schwa duration, combined with the nature of these variables, suggest that the variants without schwa do not result from a phonetic process of reduction; that is, they are not the endpoint of gradient schwa shortening. Rather, these variants are generated early in the production process, either during phonological encoding or word-form retrieval. These results, based on naturally produced speech, provide a useful complement to on-line production experiments using artificial speech tasks.
  • Cai, D., Fonteijn, H. M., Guadalupe, T., Zwiers, M., Wittfeld, K., Teumer, A., Hoogman, M., Arias Vásquez, A., Yang, Y., Buitelaar, J., Fernández, G., Brunner, H. G., Van Bokhoven, H., Franke, B., Hegenscheid, K., Homuth, G., Fisher, S. E., Grabe, H. J., Francks, C., & Hagoort, P. (2014). A genome wide search for quantitative trait loci affecting the cortical surface area and thickness of Heschl's gyrus. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 13, 675-685. doi:10.1111/gbb.12157.

    Abstract

    Heschl's gyrus (HG) is a core region of the auditory cortex whose morphology is highly variable across individuals. This variability has been linked to sound perception ability in both speech and music domains. Previous studies show that variations in morphological features of HG, such as cortical surface area and thickness, are heritable. To identify genetic variants that affect HG morphology, we conducted a genome-wide association scan (GWAS) meta-analysis in 3054 healthy individuals using HG surface area and thickness as quantitative traits. None of the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) showed association P values that would survive correction for multiple testing over the genome. The most significant association was found between right HG area and SNP rs72932726 close to gene DCBLD2 (3q12.1; P=2.77x10(-7)). This SNP was also associated with other regions involved in speech processing. The SNP rs333332 within gene KALRN (3q21.2; P=2.27x10(-6)) and rs143000161 near gene COBLL1 (2q24.3; P=2.40x10(-6)) were associated with the area and thickness of left HG, respectively. Both genes are involved in the development of the nervous system. The SNP rs7062395 close to the X-linked deafness gene POU3F4 was associated with right HG thickness (Xq21.1; P=2.38x10(-6)). This is the first molecular genetic analysis of variability in HG morphology
  • Capilla, A., Schoffelen, J.-M., Paterson, G., Thut, G., & Gross, J. (2014). Dissociated α-band modulations in the dorsal and ventral visual pathways in visuospatial attention and perception. Cerebral Cortex., 24(2), 550-561. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhs343.

    Abstract

    Modulations of occipito-parietal α-band (8–14 Hz) power that are opposite in direction (α-enhancement vs. α-suppression) and origin of generation (ipsilateral vs. contralateral to the locus of attention) are a robust correlate of anticipatory visuospatial attention. Yet, the neural generators of these α-band modulations, their interdependence across homotopic areas, and their respective contribution to subsequent perception remain unclear. To shed light on these questions, we employed magnetoencephalography, while human volunteers performed a spatially cued detection task. Replicating previous findings, we found α-power enhancement ipsilateral to the attended hemifield and contralateral α-suppression over occipitoparietal sensors. Source localization (beamforming) analysis showed that α-enhancement and suppression were generated in 2 distinct brain regions, located in the dorsal and ventral visual streams, respectively. Moreover, α-enhancement and suppression showed different dynamics and contribution to perception. In contrast to the initial and transient dorsal α-enhancement, α-suppression in ventro-lateral occipital cortex was sustained and influenced subsequent target detection. This anticipatory biasing of ventrolateral extrastriate α-activity probably reflects increased receptivity in the brain region specialized in processing upcoming target features. Our results add to current models on the role of α-oscillations in attention orienting by showing that α-enhancement and suppression can be dissociated in time, space, and perceptual relevance.

    Additional information

    Capilla_Suppl_Data.pdf
  • Casasanto, D. (2011). Different bodies, different minds: The body-specificity of language and thought. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20, 378-383. doi:10.1177/0963721411422058.

    Abstract

    Do people with different kinds of bodies think differently? According to the bodyspecificity hypothesis (Casasanto 2009), they should. In this article, I review evidence that right- and left-handers, who perform actions in systematically different ways, use correspondingly different areas of the brain for imagining actions and representing the meanings of action verbs. Beyond concrete actions, the way people use their hands also influences the way they represent abstract ideas with positive and negative emotional valence like “goodness,” “honesty,” and “intelligence,” and how they communicate about them in spontaneous speech and gesture. Changing how people use their right and left hands can cause them to think differently, suggesting that motoric differences between right- and left-handers are not merely correlated with cognitive differences. Body-specific patterns of motor experience shape the way we think, communicate, and make decisions
  • Casasanto, D., & Chrysikou, E. G. (2011). When left is "Right": Motor fluency shapes abstract concepts. Psychological Science, 22, 419-422. doi:10.1177/0956797611401755.

    Abstract

    Right- and left-handers implicitly associate positive ideas like "goodness"and "honesty"more strongly with their dominant side of space, the side on which they can act more fluently, and negative ideas more strongly with their nondominant side. Here we show that right-handers’ tendency to associate "good" with "right" and "bad" with "left" can be reversed as a result of both long- and short-term changes in motor fluency. Among patients who were right-handed prior to unilateral stroke, those with disabled left hands associated "good" with "right," but those with disabled right hands associated "good" with "left,"as natural left-handers do. A similar pattern was found in healthy right-handers whose right or left hand was temporarily handicapped in the laboratory. Even a few minutes of acting more fluently with the left hand can change right-handers’ implicit associations between space and emotional valence, causing a reversal of their usual judgments. Motor experience plays a causal role in shaping abstract thought.
  • Ceroni, F., Simpson, N. H., Francks, C., Baird, G., Conti-Ramsden, G., Clark, A., Bolton, P. F., Hennessy, E. R., Donnelly, P., Bentley, D. R., Martin, H., IMGSAC, SLI Consortium, WGS500 Consortium, Parr, J., Pagnamenta, A. T., Maestrini, E., Bacchelli, E., Fisher, S. E., & Newbury, D. F. (2014). Homozygous microdeletion of exon 5 in ZNF277 in a girl with specific language impairment. European Journal of Human Genetics, 22, 1165-1171. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.4.

    Abstract

    Specific language impairment (SLI), an unexpected failure to develop appropriate language skills despite adequate non-verbal intelligence, is a heterogeneous multifactorial disorder with a complex genetic basis. We identified a homozygous microdeletion of 21,379 bp in the ZNF277 gene (NM_021994.2), encompassing exon 5, in an individual with severe receptive and expressive language impairment. The microdeletion was not found in the proband’s affected sister or her brother who had mild language impairment. However, it was inherited from both parents, each of whom carries a heterozygous microdeletion and has a history of language problems. The microdeletion falls within the AUTS1 locus, a region linked to autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs). Moreover, ZNF277 is adjacent to the DOCK4 and IMMP2L genes, which have been implicated in ASD. We screened for the presence of ZNF277 microdeletions in cohorts of children with SLI or ASD and panels of control subjects. ZNF277 microdeletions were at an increased allelic frequency in SLI probands (1.1%) compared with both ASD family members (0.3%) and independent controls (0.4%). We performed quantitative RT-PCR analyses of the expression of IMMP2L, DOCK4 and ZNF277 in individuals carrying either an IMMP2L_DOCK4 microdeletion or a ZNF277 microdeletion. Although ZNF277 microdeletions reduce the expression of ZNF277, they do not alter the levels of DOCK4 or IMMP2L transcripts. Conversely, IMMP2L_DOCK4 microdeletions do not affect the expression levels of ZNF277. We postulate that ZNF277 microdeletions may contribute to the risk of language impairments in a manner that is independent of the autism risk loci previously described in this region.
  • Chen, X. S., Penny, D., & Collins, L. J. (2011). Characterization of RNase MRP RNA and novel snoRNAs from Giardia intestinalis and Trichomonas vaginalis. BMC Genomics, 12, 550. doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-550.

    Abstract

    Background: Eukaryotic cells possess a complex network of RNA machineries which function in RNA-processing and cellular regulation which includes transcription, translation, silencing, editing and epigenetic control. Studies of model organisms have shown that many ncRNAs of the RNA-infrastructure are highly conserved, but little is known from non-model protists. In this study we have conducted a genome-scale survey of medium-length ncRNAs from the protozoan parasites Giardia intestinalis and Trichomonas vaginalis. Results: We have identified the previously ‘missing’ Giardia RNase MRP RNA, which is a key ribozyme involved in pre-rRNA processing. We have also uncovered 18 new H/ACA box snoRNAs, expanding our knowledge of the H/ ACA family of snoRNAs. Conclusions: Results indicate that Giardia intestinalis and Trichomonas vaginalis, like their distant multicellular relatives, contain a rich infrastructure of RNA-based processing. From here we can investigate the evolution of RNA processing networks in eukaryotes.
  • Chen, A. (2011). Tuning information packaging: Intonational realization of topic and focus in child Dutch. Journal of Child Language, 38, 1055-1083. doi:10.1017/S0305000910000541.

    Abstract

    This study examined how four- to five-year-olds and seven- to eight-year-olds used intonation (accent placement and accent type) to encode topic and focus in Dutch. Naturally spoken declarative sentences with either sentence-initial topic and sentence-final focus or sentence-initial focus and sentence-final topic were elicited via a picture-matching game. Results showed that the four- to five-year-olds were adult-like in topic-marking, but were not yet fully adult-like in focus-marking, in particular, in the use of accent type in sentence-final focus (i.e. showing no preference for H*L). Between age five and seven, the use of accent type was further developed. In contrast to the four- to five-year-olds, the seven- to eight-year-olds showed a preference for H*L in sentence-final focus. Furthermore, they used accent type to distinguish sentence-initial focus from sentence-initial topic in addition to phonetic cues.
  • Cho, T., & McQueen, J. M. (2011). Perceptual recovery from consonant-cluster simplification using language-specific phonological knowledge. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 40, 253-274. doi:10.1007/s10936-011-9168-0.

    Abstract

    Two experiments examined whether perceptual recovery from Korean consonant-cluster simplification is based on language-specific phonological knowledge. In tri-consonantal C1C2C3 sequences such as /lkt/ and /lpt/ in Seoul Korean, either C1 or C2 can be completely deleted. Seoul Koreans monitored for C2 targets (/p/ or / k/, deleted or preserved) in the second word of a two-word phrase with an underlying /l/-C2-/t/ sequence. In Experiment 1 the target-bearing words had contextual lexical-semantic support. Listeners recovered deleted targets as fast and as accurately as preserved targets with both Word and Intonational Phrase (IP) boundaries between the two words. In Experiment 2, contexts were low-pass filtered. Listeners were still able to recover deleted targets as well as preserved targets in IP-boundary contexts, but better with physically-present targets than with deleted targets in Word-boundary contexts. This suggests that the benefit of having target acoustic-phonetic information emerges only when higher-order (contextual and phrase-boundary) information is not available. The strikingly efficient recovery of deleted phonemes with neither acoustic-phonetic cues nor contextual support demonstrates that language-specific phonological knowledge, rather than language-universal perceptual processes which rely on fine-grained phonetic details, is employed when the listener perceives the results of a continuous-speech process in which reduction is phonetically complete.
  • Cholin, J., Dell, G. S., & Levelt, W. J. M. (2011). Planning and articulation in incremental word production: Syllable-frequency effects in English. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 37, 109-122. doi:10.1037/a0021322.

    Abstract

    We investigated the role of syllables during speech planning in English by measuring syllable-frequency effects. So far, syllable-frequency effects in English have not been reported. English has poorly defined syllable boundaries, and thus the syllable might not function as a prominent unit in English speech production. Speakers produced either monosyllabic (Experiment 1) or disyllabic (Experiment 2–4) pseudowords as quickly as possible in response to symbolic cues. Monosyllabic targets consisted of either high- or low-frequency syllables, whereas disyllabic items contained either a 1st or 2nd syllable that was frequency-manipulated. Significant syllable-frequency effects were found in all experiments. Whereas previous findings for disyllables in Dutch and Spanish—languages with relatively clear syllable boundaries—showed effects of a frequency manipulation on 1st but not 2nd syllables, in our study English speakers were sensitive to the frequency of both syllables. We interpret this sensitivity as an indication that the production of English has more extensive planning scopes at the interface of phonetic encoding and articulation.
  • Chu, M., Meyer, A. S., Foulkes, L., & Kita, S. (2014). Individual differences in frequency and saliency of speech-accompanying gestures: The role of cognitive abilities and empathy. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143, 694-709. doi:10.1037/a0033861.

    Abstract

    The present study concerns individual differences in gesture production. We used correlational and multiple regression analyses to examine the relationship between individuals’ cognitive abilities and empathy levels and their gesture frequency and saliency. We chose predictor variables according to experimental evidence of the functions of gesture in speech production and communication. We examined 3 types of gestures: representational gestures, conduit gestures, and palm-revealing gestures. Higher frequency of representational gestures was related to poorer visual and spatial working memory, spatial transformation ability, and conceptualization ability; higher frequency of conduit gestures was related to poorer visual working memory, conceptualization ability, and higher levels of empathy; and higher frequency of palm-revealing gestures was related to higher levels of empathy. The saliency of all gestures was positively related to level of empathy. These results demonstrate that cognitive abilities and empathy levels are related to individual differences in gesture frequency and saliency
  • Chu, M., & Hagoort, P. (2014). Synchronization of speech and gesture: Evidence for interaction in action. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143(4), 1726-1741. doi:10.1037/a0036281.

    Abstract

    Language and action systems are highly interlinked. A critical piece of evidence is that speech and its accompanying gestures are tightly synchronized. Five experiments were conducted to test 2 hypotheses about the synchronization of speech and gesture. According to the interactive view, there is continuous information exchange between the gesture and speech systems, during both their planning and execution phases. According to the ballistic view, information exchange occurs only during the planning phases of gesture and speech, but the 2 systems become independent once their execution has been initiated. In all experiments, participants were required to point to and/or name a light that had just lit up. Virtual reality and motion tracking technologies were used to disrupt their gesture or speech execution. Participants delayed their speech onset when their gesture was disrupted. They did so even when their gesture was disrupted at its late phase and even when they received only the kinesthetic feedback of their gesture. Also, participants prolonged their gestures when their speech was disrupted. These findings support the interactive view and add new constraints on models of speech and gesture production
  • Chu, M., & Kita, S. (2011). The nature of gestures’ beneficial role in spatial problem solving. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 140, 102-116. doi:10.1037/a0021790.

    Abstract

    Co-thought gestures are hand movements produced in silent, noncommunicative, problem-solving situations. In the study, we investigated whether and how such gestures enhance performance in spatial visualization tasks such as a mental rotation task and a paper folding task. We found that participants gestured more often when they had difficulties solving mental rotation problems Experiment 1). The gesture-encouraged group solved more mental rotation problems correctly than did the gesture-allowed and gesture-prohibited groups (Experiment 2). Gestures produced by the gesture-encouraged group enhanced performance in the very trials in which they were produced Experiments 2 & 3). Furthermore, gesture frequency decreased as the participants in the gesture-encouraged group solved more problems (Experiments 2 & 3). In addition, the advantage of the gesture-encouraged group persisted into subsequent spatial visualization problems in which gesturing was prohibited: another mental rotation block (Experiment 2) and a newly introduced paper folding task (Experiment 3). The results indicate that when people have difficulty in solving spatial visualization problems, they spontaneously produce gestures to help them, and gestures can indeed improve performance. As they solve more problems, the spatial computation supported by gestures becomes internalized, and the gesture frequency decreases. The benefit of gestures persists even in subsequent spatial visualization problems in which gesture is prohibited. Moreover, the beneficial effect of gesturing can be generalized to a different spatial visualization task when two tasks require similar spatial transformation processes. We conclude that gestures enhance performance on spatial visualization tasks by improving the internal computation of spatial transformations.
  • Cleary, R. A., Poliakoff, E., Galpin, A., Dick, J. P., & Holler, J. (2011). An investigation of co-speech gesture production during action description in Parkinson’s disease. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 17, 753-756. doi:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2011.08.001.

    Abstract

    Methods The present study provides a systematic analysis of co-speech gestures which spontaneously accompany the description of actions in a group of PD patients (N = 23, Hoehn and Yahr Stage III or less) and age-matched healthy controls (N = 22). The analysis considers different co-speech gesture types, using established classification schemes from the field of gesture research. The analysis focuses on the rate of these gestures as well as on their qualitative nature. In doing so, the analysis attempts to overcome several methodological shortcomings of research in this area. Results Contrary to expectation, gesture rate was not significantly affected in our patient group, with relatively mild PD. This indicates that co-speech gestures could compensate for speech problems. However, while gesture rate seems unaffected, the qualitative precision of gestures representing actions was significantly reduced. Conclusions This study demonstrates the feasibility of carrying out fine-grained, detailed analyses of gestures in PD and offers insights into an as yet neglected facet of communication in patients with PD. Based on the present findings, an important next step is the closer investigation of the qualitative changes in gesture (including different communicative situations) and an analysis of the heterogeneity in co-speech gesture production in PD.
  • Cohen, E. (2011). Broadening the critical perspective on supernatural punishment theories. Religion, Brain & Behavior, 1(1), 70-72. doi:10.1080/2153599X.2011.558709.
  • Cohen, E., Burdett, E., Knight, N., & Barrett, J. (2011). Cross-cultural similarities and differences in person-body reasoning: Experimental evidence from the United Kingdom and Brazilian Amazon. Cognitive Science, 35, 1282-1304. doi:10.1111/j.1551-6709.2011.01172.x.

    Abstract

    We report the results of a cross-cultural investigation of person-body reasoning in the United Kingdom and northern Brazilian Amazon (Marajo´ Island). The study provides evidence that directly bears upon divergent theoretical claims in cognitive psychology and anthropology, respectively, on the cognitive origins and cross-cultural incidence of mind-body dualism. In a novel reasoning task, we found that participants across the two sample populations parsed a wide range of capacities similarly in terms of the capacities’ perceived anchoring to bodily function. Patterns of reasoning concerning the respective roles of physical and biological properties in sustaining various capacities did vary between sample populations, however. Further, the data challenge prior ad-hoc categorizations in the empirical literature on the developmental origins of and cognitive constraints on psycho-physical reasoning (e.g., in afterlife concepts). We suggest cross-culturally validated categories of ‘‘Body Dependent’’ and ‘‘Body Independent’’ items for future developmental and cross-cultural research in this emerging area.
  • Cooper, R. P., & Guest, O. (2014). Implementations are not specifications: Specification, replication and experimentation in computational cognitive modeling. Cognitive Systems Research, 27, 42-49. doi:10.1016/j.cogsys.2013.05.001.

    Abstract

    Contemporary methods of computational cognitive modeling have recently been criticized by Addyman and French (2012) on the grounds that they have not kept up with developments in computer technology and human–computer interaction. They present a manifesto for change according to which, it is argued, modelers should devote more effort to making their models accessible, both to non-modelers (with an appropriate easy-to-use user interface) and modelers alike. We agree that models, like data, should be freely available according to the normal standards of science, but caution against confusing implementations with specifications. Models may embody theories, but they generally also include implementation assumptions. Cognitive modeling methodology needs to be sensitive to this. We argue that specification, replication and experimentation are methodological approaches that can address this issue.
  • Cousijn, H., Eissing, M., Fernández, G., Fisher, S. E., Franke, B., Zwers, M., Harrison, P. J., & Arias-Vasquez, A. (2014). No effect of schizophrenia risk genes MIR137, TCF4, and ZNF804A on macroscopic brain structure. Schizophrenia Research, 159, 329-332. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2014.08.007.

    Abstract

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the MIR137, TCF4, and ZNF804A genes show genome-wide association to schizophrenia. However, the biological basis for the associations is unknown. Here, we tested the effects of these genes on brain structure in 1300 healthy adults. Using volumetry and voxel-based morphometry, neither gene-wide effects—including the combined effect of the genes—nor single SNP effects—including specific psychosis risk SNPs—were found on total brain volume, grey matter, white matter, or hippocampal volume. These results suggest that the associations between these risk genes and schizophrenia are unlikely to be mediated via effects on macroscopic brain structure.
  • Cozijn, R., Noordman, L. G., & Vonk, W. (2011). Propositional integration and world-knowledge inference: Processes in understanding because sentences. Discourse Processes, 48, 475-500. doi:10.1080/0163853X.2011.594421.

    Abstract

    The issue addressed in this study is whether propositional integration and world-knowledge inference can be distinguished as separate processes during the comprehension of Dutch omdat (because) sentences. “Propositional integration” refers to the process by which the reader establishes the type of relation between two clauses or sentences. “World-knowledge inference” refers to the process of deriving the general causal relation and checking it against the reader's world knowledge. An eye-tracking experiment showed that the presence of the conjunction speeds up the processing of the words immediately following the conjunction, and slows down the processing of the sentence final words in comparison to the absence of the conjunction. A second, subject-paced reading experiment replicated the reading time findings, and the results of a verification task confirmed that the effect at the end of the sentence was due to inferential processing. The findings evidence integrative processing and inferential processing, respectively.
  • Cozijn, R., Commandeur, E., Vonk, W., & Noordman, L. G. (2011). The time course of the use of implicit causality information in the processing of pronouns: A visual world paradigm study. Journal of Memory and Language, 64, 381-403. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2011.01.001.

    Abstract

    Several theoretical accounts have been proposed with respect to the issue how quickly the implicit causality verb bias affects the understanding of sentences such as “John beat Pete at the tennis match, because he had played very well”. They can be considered as instances of two viewpoints: the focusing and the integration account. The focusing account claims that the bias should be manifest soon after the verb has been processed, whereas the integration account claims that the interpretation is deferred until disambiguating information is encountered. Up to now, this issue has remained unresolved because materials or methods have failed to address it conclusively. We conducted two experiments that exploited the visual world paradigm and ambiguous pronouns in subordinate because clauses. The first experiment presented implicit causality sentences with the task to resolve the ambiguous pronoun. To exclude strategic processing, in the second experiment, the task was to answer simple comprehension questions and only a minority of the sentences contained implicit causality verbs. In both experiments, the implicit causality of the verb had an effect before the disambiguating information was available. This result supported the focusing account.
  • Cristia, A., McGuire, G. L., Seidl, A., & Francis, A. L. (2011). Effects of the distribution of acoustic cues on infants' perception of sibilants. Journal of Phonetics, 39, 388-402. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2011.02.004.

    Abstract

    A current theoretical view proposes that infants converge on the speech categories of their native language by attending to frequency distributions that occur in the acoustic input. To date, the only empirical support for this statistical learning hypothesis comes from studies where a single, salient dimension was manipulated. Additional evidence is sought here, by introducing a less salient pair of categories supported by multiple cues. We exposed English-learning infants to a multi-cue bidimensional grid ranging between retroflex and alveolopalatal sibilants in prevocalic position. This contrast is substantially more difficult according to previous cross-linguistic and perceptual research, and its perception is driven by cues in both the consonantal and the following vowel portions. Infants heard one of two distributions (flat, or with two peaks), and were tested with sounds varying along only one dimension. Infants' responses differed depending on the familiarization distribution, and their performance was equally good for the vocalic and the frication dimension, lending some support to the statistical hypothesis even in this harder learning situation. However, learning was restricted to the retroflex category, and a control experiment showed that lack of learning for the alveolopalatal category was not due to the presence of a competing category. Thus, these results contribute fundamental evidence on the extent and limitations of the statistical hypothesis as an explanation for infants' perceptual tuning.
  • Cristia, A. (2011). Fine-grained variation in caregivers' speech predicts their infants' discrimination. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 129, 3271-3280. doi:10.1121/1.3562562.

    Abstract

    Within the debate on the mechanisms underlying infants’ perceptual acquisition, one hypothesis proposes that infants’ perception is directly affected by the acoustic implementation of sound categories in the speech they hear. In consonance with this view, the present study shows that individual variation in fine-grained, subphonemic aspects of the acoustic realization of /s/ in caregivers’ speech predicts infants’ discrimination of this sound from the highly similar /∫/, suggesting that learning based on acoustic cue distributions may indeed drive natural phonological acquisition.
  • Cristia, A., Seidl, A., Junge, C., Soderstrom, M., & Hagoort, P. (2014). Predicting individual variation in language from infant speech perception measures. Child development, 85(4), 1330-1345. doi:10.1111/cdev.12193.

    Abstract

    There are increasing reports that individual variation in behavioral and neurophysiological measures of infant speech processing predicts later language outcomes, and specifically concurrent or subsequent vocabulary size. If such findings are held up under scrutiny, they could both illuminate theoretical models of language development and contribute to the prediction of communicative disorders. A qualitative, systematic review of this emergent literature illustrated the variety of approaches that have been used and highlighted some conceptual problems regarding the measurements. A quantitative analysis of the same data established that the bivariate relation was significant, with correlations of similar strength to those found for well-established nonlinguistic predictors of language. Further exploration of infant speech perception predictors, particularly from a methodological perspective, is recommended.
  • Cristia, A., Minagawa-Kawai, Y., Egorova, N., Gervain, J., Filippin, L., Cabrol, D., & Dupoux, E. (2014). Neural correlates of infant accent discrimination: An fNIRS study. Developmental Science, 17(4), 628-635. doi:10.1111/desc.12160.

    Abstract

    The present study investigated the neural correlates of infant discrimination of very similar linguistic varieties (Quebecois and Parisian French) using functional Near InfraRed Spectroscopy. In line with previous behavioral and electrophysiological data, there was no evidence that 3-month-olds discriminated the two regional accents, whereas 5-month-olds did, with the locus of discrimination in left anterior perisylvian regions. These neuroimaging results suggest that a developing language network relying crucially on left perisylvian cortices sustains infants' discrimination of similar linguistic varieties within this early period of infancy.

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  • Cristia, A., Seidl, A., & Gerken, L. (2011). Learning classes of sounds in infancy. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics, 17, 9.

    Abstract

    Adults' phonotactic learning is affected by perceptual biases. One such bias concerns learning of constraints affecting groups of sounds: all else being equal, learning constraints affecting a natural class (a set of sounds sharing some phonetic characteristic) is easier than learning a constraint affecting an arbitrary set of sounds. This perceptual bias could be a given, for example, the result of innately guided learning; alternatively, it could be due to human learners’ experience with sounds. Using artificial grammars, we investigated whether such a bias arises in development, or whether it is present as soon as infants can learn phonotactics. Seven-month-old English-learning infants fail to generalize a phonotactic pattern involving fricatives and nasals, which does not form a coherent phonetic group, but succeed with the natural class of oral and nasal stops. In this paper, we report an experiment that explored whether those results also follow in a cohort of 4-month-olds. Unlike the older infants, 4-month-olds were able to generalize both groups, suggesting that the perceptual bias that makes phonotactic constraints on natural classes easier to learn is likely the effect of experience.
  • Cristia, A., & Seidl, A. (2014). The hyperarticulation hypothesis of infant-directed speech. Journal of Child Language, 41(4), 913-934. doi:10.1017/S0305000912000669.

    Abstract

    Typically, the point vowels [i,ɑ,u] are acoustically more peripheral in infant-directed speech (IDS) compared to adult-directed speech (ADS). If caregivers seek to highlight lexically relevant contrasts in IDS, then two sounds that are contrastive should become more distinct, whereas two sounds that are surface realizations of the same underlying sound category should not. To test this prediction, vowels that are phonemically contrastive ([i-ɪ] and [eɪ-ε]), vowels that map onto the same underlying category ([æ- ] and [ε- ]), and the point vowels [i,ɑ,u] were elicited in IDS and ADS by American English mothers of two age groups of infants (four- and eleven-month-olds). As in other work, point vowels were produced in more peripheral positions in IDS compared to ADS. However, there was little evidence of hyperarticulation per se (e.g. [i-ɪ] was hypoarticulated). We suggest that across-the-board lexically based hyperarticulation is not a necessary feature of IDS.

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  • Cronin, K. A., Van Leeuwen, E. J. C., Mulenga, I. C., & Bodamer, M. D. (2011). Behavioral response of a chimpanzee mother toward her dead infant. American Journal of Primatology, 73(5), 415-421. doi:10.1002/ajp.20927.

    Abstract

    The mother-offspring bond is one of the strongest and most essential social bonds. Following is a detailed behavioral report of a female chimpanzee two days after her 16-month-old infant died, on the first day that the mother is observed to create distance between her and the corpse. A series of repeated approaches and retreats to and from the body are documented, along with detailed accounts of behaviors directed toward the dead infant by the mother and other group members. The behavior of the mother toward her dead infant not only highlights the maternal contribution to the mother-infant relationship but also elucidates the opportunities chimpanzees have to learn about the sensory cues associated with death, and the implications of death for the social environment.
  • Cronin, K. A., Pieper, B., Van Leeuwen, E. J. C., Mundry, R., & Haun, D. B. M. (2014). Problem solving in the presence of others: How rank and relationship quality impact resource acquisition in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). PLoS One, 9(4): e93204. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093204.

    Abstract

    In the wild, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) are often faced with clumped food resources that they may know how to access but abstain from doing so due to social pressures. To better understand how social settings influence resource acquisition, we tested fifteen semi-wild chimpanzees from two social groups alone and in the presence of others. We investigated how resource acquisition was affected by relative social dominance, whether collaborative problem solving or (active or passive) sharing occurred amongst any of the dyads, and whether these outcomes were related to relationship quality as determined from six months of observational data. Results indicated that chimpanzees, regardless of rank, obtained fewer rewards when tested in the presence of others compared to when they were tested alone. Chimpanzees demonstrated behavioral inhibition; chimpanzees who showed proficient skill when alone often abstained from solving the task when in the presence of others. Finally, individuals with close social relationships spent more time together in the problem solving space, but collaboration and sharing were infrequent and sessions in which collaboration or sharing did occur contained more instances of aggression. Group living provides benefits and imposes costs, and these findings highlight that one cost of group living may be diminishing productive individual behaviors.
  • Cronin, K. A., Van Leeuwen, E. J. C., Vreeman, V., & Haun, D. B. M. (2014). Population-level variability in the social climates of four chimpanzee societies. Evolution and Human Behavior, 35(5), 389-396. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.05.004.

    Abstract

    Recent debates have questioned the extent to which culturally-transmitted norms drive behavioral variation in resource sharing across human populations. We shed new light on this discussion by examining the group-level variation in the social dynamics and resource sharing of chimpanzees, a species that is highly social and forms long-term community associations but differs from humans in the extent to which cultural norms are adopted and enforced. We rely on theory developed in primate socioecology to guide our investigation in four neighboring chimpanzee groups at a sanctuary in Zambia. We used a combination of experimental and observational approaches to assess the distribution of resource holding potential in each group. In the first assessment, we measured the proportion of the population that gathered in a resource-rich zone, in the second we assessed naturally occurring social spacing via social network analysis, and in the third we assessed the degree to which benefits were equally distributed within the group. We report significant, stable group-level variation across these multiple measures, indicating that group-level variation in resource sharing and social tolerance is not necessarily reliant upon human-like cultural norms.
  • Cutler, A., Mehler, J., Norris, D., & Segui, J. (1983). A language-specific comprehension strategy [Letters to Nature]. Nature, 304, 159-160. doi:10.1038/304159a0.

    Abstract

    Infants acquire whatever language is spoken in the environment into which they are born. The mental capability of the newborn child is not biased in any way towards the acquisition of one human language rather than another. Because psychologists who attempt to model the process of language comprehension are interested in the structure of the human mind, rather than in the properties of individual languages, strategies which they incorporate in their models are presumed to be universal, not language-specific. In other words, strategies of comprehension are presumed to be characteristic of the human language processing system, rather than, say, the French, English, or Igbo language processing systems. We report here, however, on a comprehension strategy which appears to be used by native speakers of French but not by native speakers of English.
  • Cutler, A. (1979). Contemporary reaction to Rudolf Meringer’s speech error research. Historiograpia Linguistica, 6, 57-76.
  • Cutler, A. (2014). In thrall to the vocabulary. Acoustics Australia, 42, 84-89.

    Abstract

    Vocabularies contain hundreds of thousands of words built from only a handful of phonemes; longer words inevitably tend to contain shorter ones. Recognising speech thus requires distinguishing intended words from accidentally present ones. Acoustic information in speech is used wherever it contributes significantly to this process; but as this review shows, its contribution differs across languages, with the consequences of this including: identical and equivalently present information distinguishing the same phonemes being used in Polish but not in German, or in English but not in Italian; identical stress cues being used in Dutch but not in English; expectations about likely embedding patterns differing across English, French, Japanese.
  • Cutler, A. (2011). Listening to REAL second language. AATSEEL Newsletter, 54(3), 14.
  • Daller, M. H., Treffers-Daller, J., & Furman, R. (2011). Transfer of conceptualization patterns in bilinguals: The construal of motion events in Turkish and German. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 14(1), 95-119. doi:10.1017/S1366728910000106.

    Abstract

    In the present article we provide evidence for the occurrence of transfer of conceptualization patterns in narratives of two German-Turkish bilingual groups. All bilingual participants grew up in Germany, but only one group is still resident in Germany (n = 49). The other, the returnees, moved back to Turkey after having lived in Germany for thirteen years (n = 35). The study is based on the theoretical framework for conceptual transfer outlined in Jarvis and Pavlenko (2008) and on the typology of satellite-framed and verb-framed languages developed by Talmy (1985, 1991, 2000a, b) and Slobin (1987, 1996, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006). In the present study we provide evidence for the hypothesis that language structure affects the organization of information structure at the level of the Conceptualizer, and show that bilingual speakers’ conceptualization of motion events is influenced by the dominant linguistic environment in both languages (German for the group in Germany and Turkish for the returnees). The returnees follow the Turkish blueprints for the conceptualization of motion, in both Turkish and German event construals, whereas the German-resident bilinguals follow the German blueprints, when speaking German as well as Turkish. We argue that most of the patterns found are the result of transfer of conceptualization patterns from the dominant language of the environment.
  • Dautriche, I., Cristia, A., Brusini, P., Yuan, S., Fisher, C., & Christophe, A. (2014). Toddlers default to canonical surface-to-meaning mapping when learning verbs. Child Development, 85(3), 1168-1180. doi:10.1111/cdev.12183.

    Abstract

    This work was supported by grants from the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-2010-BLAN-1901) and from French Fondation de France to Anne Christophe, from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HD054448) to Cynthia Fisher, Fondation Fyssen and Ecole de Neurosciences de Paris to Alex Cristia, and a PhD fellowship from the Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA, France) supported by the PhD program FdV (Frontières du Vivant) to Isabelle Dautriche. We thank Isabelle Brunet for the recruitment, Michel Dutat for the technical support, and Hernan Anllo for his puppet mastery skill. We are grateful to the families that participated in this study. We also thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.
  • Davids, N., Segers, E., Van den Brink, D., Mitterer, H., van Balkom, H., Hagoort, P., & Verhoeven, L. (2011). The nature of auditory discrimination problems in children with specific language impairment: An MMN study. Neuropsychologia, 49, 19-28. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.11.001.

    Abstract

    Many children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) show impairments in discriminating auditorily presented stimuli. The present study investigates whether these discrimination problems are speech specific or of a general auditory nature. This was studied by using a linguistic and nonlinguistic contrast that were matched for acoustic complexity in an active behavioral task and a passive ERP paradigm, known to elicit the mismatch negativity (MMN). In addition, attention skills and a variety of language skills were measured. Participants were 25 five-year-old Dutch children with SLI having receptive as well as productive language problems and 25 control children with typical speechand language development. At the behavioral level, the SLI group was impaired in discriminating the linguistic contrast as compared to the control group, while both groups were unable to distinguish the non-linguistic contrast. Moreover, the SLI group tended to have impaired attention skills which correlated with performance on most of the language tests. At the neural level, the SLI group, in contrast to the control group, did not show an MMN in response to either the linguistic or nonlinguistic contrast. The MMN data are consistent with an account that relates the symptoms in children with SLI to non-speech processing difficulties.
  • Davidson, D., & Indefrey, P. (2011). Error-related activity and correlates of grammatical plasticity. Frontiers in Psychology, 2: 219. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00219.

    Abstract

    Cognitive control involves not only the ability to manage competing task demands, but also the ability to adapt task performance during learning. This study investigated how violation-, response-, and feedback-related electrophysiological (EEG) activity changes over time during language learning. Twenty-two Dutch learners of German classified short prepositional phrases presented serially as text. The phrases were initially presented without feedback during a pre-test phase, and then with feedback in a training phase on two separate days spaced 1 week apart. The stimuli included grammatically correct phrases, as well as grammatical violations of gender and declension. Without feedback, participants' classification was near chance and did not improve over trials. During training with feedback, behavioral classification improved and violation responses appeared to both types of violation in the form of a P600. Feedback-related negative and positive components were also present from the first day of training. The results show changes in the electrophysiological responses in concert with improving behavioral discrimination, suggesting that the activity is related to grammar learning.
  • Dediu, D. (2011). Are languages really independent from genes? If not, what would a genetic bias affecting language diversity look like? Human Biology, 83, 279-296. doi:10.3378/027.083.0208.

    Abstract

    It is generally accepted that the relationship between human genes and language is very complex and multifaceted. This has its roots in the “regular” complexity governing the interplay among genes and between genes and environment for most phenotypes, but with the added layer of supraontogenetic and supra-individual processes defining culture. At the coarsest level, focusing on the species, it is clear that human-specific—but not necessarily faculty-specific—genetic factors subtend our capacity for language and a currently very productive research program is aiming at uncovering them. At the other end of the spectrum, it is uncontroversial that individual-level variations in different aspects related to speech and language have an important genetic component and their discovery and detailed characterization have already started to revolutionize the way we think about human nature. However, at the intermediate, glossogenetic/population level, the relationship becomes controversial, partly due to deeply ingrained beliefs about language acquisition and universality and partly because of confusions with a different type of genelanguages correlation due to shared history. Nevertheless, conceptual, mathematical and computational models—and, recently, experimental evidence from artificial languages and songbirds—have repeatedly shown that genetic biases affecting the acquisition or processing of aspects of language and speech can be amplified by population-level intergenerational cultural processes and made manifest either as fixed “universal” properties of language or as structured linguistic diversity. Here, I review several such models as well as the recently proposed case of a causal relationship between the distribution of tone languages and two genes related to brain growth and development, ASPM and Microcephalin, and I discuss the relevance of such genetic biasing for language evolution, change, and diversity.
  • Dediu, D. (2011). A Bayesian phylogenetic approach to estimating the stability of linguistic features and the genetic biasing of tone. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London/B, 278(1704), 474-479. doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.1595.

    Abstract

    Language is a hallmark of our species and understanding linguistic diversity is an area of major interest. Genetic factors influencing the cultural transmission of language provide a powerful and elegant explanation for aspects of the present day linguistic diversity and a window into the emergence and evolution of language. In particular, it has recently been proposed that linguistic tone—the usage of voice pitch to convey lexical and grammatical meaning—is biased by two genes involved in brain growth and development, ASPM and Microcephalin. This hypothesis predicts that tone is a stable characteristic of language because of its ‘genetic anchoring’. The present paper tests this prediction using a Bayesian phylogenetic framework applied to a large set of linguistic features and language families, using multiple software implementations, data codings, stability estimations, linguistic classifications and outgroup choices. The results of these different methods and datasets show a large agreement, suggesting that this approach produces reliable estimates of the stability of linguistic data. Moreover, linguistic tone is found to be stable across methods and datasets, providing suggestive support for the hypothesis of genetic influences on its distribution.
  • Defina, R. (2014). Arbil: Free tool for creating, editing and searching metadata. Language Documentation and Conservation, 8, 307-314.
  • Deriziotis, P., O'Roak, B. J., Graham, S. A., Estruch, S. B., Dimitropoulou, D., Bernier, R. A., Gerdts, J., Shendure, J., Eichler, E. E., & Fisher, S. E. (2014). De novo TBR1 mutations in sporadic autism disrupt protein functions. Nature Communications, 5: 4954. doi:10.1038/ncomms5954.

    Abstract

    Next-generation sequencing recently revealed that recurrent disruptive mutations in a few genes may account for 1% of sporadic autism cases. Coupling these novel genetic data to empirical assays of protein function can illuminate crucial molecular networks. Here we demonstrate the power of the approach, performing the first functional analyses of TBR1 variants identified in sporadic autism. De novo truncating and missense mutations disrupt multiple aspects of TBR1 function, including subcellular localization, interactions with co-regulators and transcriptional repression. Missense mutations inherited from unaffected parents did not disturb function in our assays. We show that TBR1 homodimerizes, that it interacts with FOXP2, a transcription factor implicated in speech/language disorders, and that this interaction is disrupted by pathogenic mutations affecting either protein. These findings support the hypothesis that de novo mutations in sporadic autism have severe functional consequences. Moreover, they uncover neurogenetic mechanisms that bridge different neurodevelopmental disorders involving language deficits.
  • Deriziotis, P., Graham, S. A., Estruch, S. B., & Fisher, S. E. (2014). Investigating protein-protein interactions in live cells using Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer. Journal of visualized experiments, 87: e51438. doi:10.3791/51438.

    Abstract

    Assays based on Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET) provide a sensitive and reliable means to monitor protein-protein interactions in live cells. BRET is the non-radiative transfer of energy from a ‘donor’ luciferase enzyme to an ‘acceptor’ fluorescent protein. In the most common configuration of this assay, the donor is Renilla reniformis luciferase and the acceptor is Yellow Fluorescent Protein (YFP). Because the efficiency of energy transfer is strongly distance-dependent, observation of the BRET phenomenon requires that the donor and acceptor be in close proximity. To test for an interaction between two proteins of interest in cultured mammalian cells, one protein is expressed as a fusion with luciferase and the second as a fusion with YFP. An interaction between the two proteins of interest may bring the donor and acceptor sufficiently close for energy transfer to occur. Compared to other techniques for investigating protein-protein interactions, the BRET assay is sensitive, requires little hands-on time and few reagents, and is able to detect interactions which are weak, transient, or dependent on the biochemical environment found within a live cell. It is therefore an ideal approach for confirming putative interactions suggested by yeast two-hybrid or mass spectrometry proteomics studies, and in addition it is well-suited for mapping interacting regions, assessing the effect of post-translational modifications on protein-protein interactions, and evaluating the impact of mutations identified in patient DNA.

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