Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 527
  • Acerbi, A., Van Leeuwen, E. J. C., Haun, D. B. M., & Tennie, C. (2018). Reply to 'Sigmoidal acquisition curves are good indicators of conformist transmission'. Scientific Reports, 8(1): 14016. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-30382-0.

    Abstract

    In the Smaldino et al. study ‘Sigmoidal Acquisition Curves are Good Indicators of Conformist Transmission’, our original findings regarding the conditional validity of using population-level sigmoidal acquisition curves as means to evidence individual-level conformity are contested. We acknowledge the identification of useful nuances, yet conclude that our original findings remain relevant for the study of conformist learning mechanisms. Replying to: Smaldino, P. E., Aplin, L. M. & Farine, D. R. Sigmoidal Acquisition Curves Are Good Indicators of Conformist Transmission. Sci. Rep. 8, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-30248-5 (2018).
  • 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.
  • Alhama, R. G., & Zuidema, W. (2018). Pre-Wiring and Pre-Training: What Does a Neural Network Need to Learn Truly General Identity Rules? Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 61, 927-946. doi:10.1613/jair.1.11197.

    Abstract

    In an influential paper (“Rule Learning by Seven-Month-Old Infants”), Marcus, Vijayan, Rao and Vishton claimed that connectionist models cannot account for human success at learning tasks that involved generalization of abstract knowledge such as grammatical rules. This claim triggered a heated debate, centered mostly around variants of the Simple Recurrent Network model. In our work, we revisit this unresolved debate and analyze the underlying issues from a different perspective. We argue that, in order to simulate human-like learning of grammatical rules, a neural network model should not be used as a tabula rasa, but rather, the initial wiring of the neural connections and the experience acquired prior to the actual task should be incorporated into the model. We present two methods that aim to provide such initial state: a manipulation of the initial connections of the network in a cognitively plausible manner (concretely, by implementing a “delay-line” memory), and a pre-training algorithm that incrementally challenges the network with novel stimuli. We implement such techniques in an Echo State Network (ESN), and we show that only when combining both techniques the ESN is able to learn truly general identity rules. Finally, we discuss the relation between these cognitively motivated techniques and recent advances in Deep Learning.
  • 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., 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.
  • Arshamian, A., Iravani, B., Majid, A., & Lundström, J. N. (2018). Respiration modulates olfactory memory consolidation in humans. The Journal of Neuroscience, 38(48), 10286-10294. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3360-17.2018.

    Abstract

    In mammals, respiratory-locked hippocampal rhythms are implicated in the scaffolding and transfer of information between sensory and memory networks. These oscillations are entrained by nasal respiration and driven by the olfactory bulb. They then travel to the piriform cortex where they propagate further downstream to the hippocampus and modulate neural processes critical for memory formation. In humans, bypassing nasal airflow through mouth-breathing abolishes these rhythms and impacts encoding as well as recognition processes thereby reducing memory performance. It has been hypothesized that similar behavior should be observed for the consolidation process, the stage between encoding and recognition, were memory is reactivated and strengthened. However, direct evidence for such an effect is lacking in human and non-human animals. Here we tested this hypothesis by examining the effect of respiration on consolidation of episodic odor memory. In two separate sessions, female and male participants encoded odors followed by a one hour awake resting consolidation phase where they either breathed solely through their nose or mouth. Immediately after the consolidation phase, memory for odors was tested. Recognition memory significantly increased during nasal respiration compared to mouth respiration during consolidation. These results provide the first evidence that respiration directly impacts consolidation of episodic events, and lends further support to the notion that core cognitive functions are modulated by the respiratory cycle.
  • 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-Marshall, I., Takashima, A., Schoffelen, J.-M., Van Hell, J. G., Janzen, G., & McQueen, J. M. (2018). Theta-band Oscillations in the Middle Temporal Gyrus Reflect Novel Word Consolidation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 30(5), 621-633. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_01240.

    Abstract

    Like many other types of memory formation, novel word learning benefits from an offline consolidation period after the initial encoding phase. A previous EEG study has shown that retrieval of novel words elicited more word-like-induced electrophysiological brain activity in the theta band after consolidation [Bakker, I., Takashima, A., van Hell, J. G., Janzen, G., & McQueen, J. M. Changes in theta and beta oscillations as signatures of novel word consolidation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27, 1286–1297, 2015]. This suggests that theta-band oscillations play a role in lexicalization, but it has not been demonstrated that this effect is directly caused by the formation of lexical representations. This study used magnetoencephalography to localize the theta consolidation effect to the left posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG), a region known to be involved in lexical storage. Both untrained novel words and words learned immediately before test elicited lower theta power during retrieval than existing words in this region. After a 24-hr consolidation period, the difference between novel and existing words decreased significantly, most strongly in the left pMTG. The magnitude of the decrease after consolidation correlated with an increase in behavioral competition effects between novel words and existing words with similar spelling, reflecting functional integration into the mental lexicon. These results thus provide new evidence that consolidation aids the development of lexical representations mediated by the left pMTG. Theta synchronization may enable lexical access by facilitating the simultaneous activation of distributed semantic, phonological, and orthographic representations that are bound together in the pMTG.
  • 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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  • 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.
  • Bauer, B. L. M., & Mota, M. (2018). On language, cognition, and the brain: An interview with Peter Hagoort. Sobre linguagem, cognição e cérebro: Uma entrevista com Peter Hagoort. Revista da Anpoll, (45), 291-296. doi:10.18309/anp.v1i45.1179.

    Abstract

    Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, founding Director of the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (DCCN, 1999), and professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Radboud University, all located in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, PETER HAGOORT examines how the brain controls language production and comprehension. He was one of the first to integrate psychological theory and models from neuroscience in an attempt to understand how the human language faculty is instantiated in the brain.
  • 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.
  • Becker, M., Devanna, P., Fisher, S. E., & Vernes, S. C. (2018). Mapping of Human FOXP2 Enhancers Reveals Complex Regulation. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 11: 47. doi:10.3389/fnmol.2018.00047.

    Abstract

    Mutations of the FOXP2 gene cause a severe speech and language disorder, providing a molecular window into the neurobiology of language. Individuals with FOXP2 mutations have structural and functional alterations affecting brain circuits that overlap with sites of FOXP2 expression, including regions of the cortex, striatum, and cerebellum. FOXP2 displays complex patterns of expression in the brain, as well as in non-neuronal tissues, suggesting that sophisticated regulatory mechanisms control its spatio-temporal expression. However, to date, little is known about the regulation of FOXP2 or the genomic elements that control its expression. Using chromatin conformation capture (3C), we mapped the human FOXP2 locus to identify putative enhancer regions that engage in long-range interactions with the promoter of this gene. We demonstrate the ability of the identified enhancer regions to drive gene expression. We also show regulation of the FOXP2 promoter and enhancer regions by candidate regulators – FOXP family and TBR1 transcription factors. These data point to regulatory elements that may contribute to the temporal- or tissue-specific expression patterns of human FOXP2. Understanding the upstream regulatory pathways controlling FOXP2 expression will bring new insight into the molecular networks contributing to human language and related disorders.
  • Beckmann, N. S., Indefrey, P., & Petersen, W. (2018). Words count, but thoughts shift: A frame-based account to conceptual shifts in noun countability. Voprosy Kognitivnoy Lingvistiki (Issues of Cognitive Linguistics ), 2, 79-89. doi:10.20916/1812-3228-2018-2-79-89.

    Abstract

    The current paper proposes a frame-based account to conceptual shifts in the countability do-main. We interpret shifts in noun countability as syntactically driven metonymy. Inserting a noun in an incongruent noun phrase, that is combining it with a determiner of the other countability class, gives rise to a re-interpretation of the noun referent. We assume lexical entries to be three-fold frame com-plexes connecting conceptual knowledge representations with language-specific form representations via a lemma level. Empirical data from a lexical decision experiment are presented, that support the as-sumption of such a lemma level connecting perceptual input of linguistic signs to conceptual knowledge.
  • Belpaeme, T., Vogt, P., Van den Berghe, R., Bergmann, K., Göksun, T., De Haas, M., Kanero, J., Kennedy, J., Küntay, A. C., Oudgenoeg-Paz, O., Papadopoulos, F., Schodde, T., Verhagen, J., Wallbridge, C. D., Willemsen, B., De Wit, J., Geçkin, V., Hoffmann, L., Kopp, S., Krahmer, E. and 4 moreBelpaeme, T., Vogt, P., Van den Berghe, R., Bergmann, K., Göksun, T., De Haas, M., Kanero, J., Kennedy, J., Küntay, A. C., Oudgenoeg-Paz, O., Papadopoulos, F., Schodde, T., Verhagen, J., Wallbridge, C. D., Willemsen, B., De Wit, J., Geçkin, V., Hoffmann, L., Kopp, S., Krahmer, E., Mamus, E., Montanier, J.-M., Oranç, C., & Pandey, A. K. (2018). Guidelines for designing social robots as second language tutors. International Journal of Social Robotics, 10(3), 325-341. doi:10.1007/s12369-018-0467-6.

    Abstract

    In recent years, it has been suggested that social robots have potential as tutors and educators for both children and adults. While robots have been shown to be effective in teaching knowledge and skill-based topics, we wish to explore how social robots can be used to tutor a second language to young children. As language learning relies on situated, grounded and social learning, in which interaction and repeated practice are central, social robots hold promise as educational tools for supporting second language learning. This paper surveys the developmental psychology of second language learning and suggests an agenda to study how core concepts of second language learning can be taught by a social robot. It suggests guidelines for designing robot tutors based on observations of second language learning in human–human scenarios, various technical aspects and early studies regarding the effectiveness of social robots as second language tutors.
  • Benítez-Burraco, A., & Dediu, D. (2018). Ancient DNA and language evolution: A special section. Journal of Language Evolution, 3(1), 47-48. doi:10.1093/jole/lzx024.
  • Bentz, C., Dediu, D., Verkerk, A., & Jäger, G. (2018). The evolution of language families is shaped by the environment beyond neutral drift. Nature Human Behaviour, 2, 816-821. doi:10.1038/s41562-018-0457-6.

    Abstract

    There are more than 7,000 languages spoken in the world today1. It has been argued that the natural and social environment of languages drives this diversity. However, a fundamental question is how strong are environmental pressures, and does neutral drift suffice as a mechanism to explain diversification? We estimate the phylogenetic signals of geographic dimensions, distance to water, climate and population size on more than 6,000 phylogenetic trees of 46 language families. Phylogenetic signals of environmental factors are generally stronger than expected under the null hypothesis of no relationship with the shape of family trees. Importantly, they are also—in most cases—not compatible with neutral drift models of constant-rate change across the family tree branches. Our results suggest that language diversification is driven by further adaptive and non-adaptive pressures. Language diversity cannot be understood without modelling the pressures that physical, ecological and social factors exert on language users in different environments across the globe.
  • Bergmann, C., & Cristia, A. (2018). Environmental influences on infants’ native vowel discrimination: The case of talker number in daily life. Infancy, 23(4), 484-501. doi:10.1111/infa.12232.

    Abstract

    Both quality and quantity of speech from the primary caregiver have been found to impact language development. A third aspect of the input has been largely ignored: the number of talkers who provide input. Some infants spend most of their waking time with only one person; others hear many different talkers. Even if the very same words are spoken the same number of times, the pronunciations can be more variable when several talkers pronounce them. Is language acquisition affected by the number of people who provide input? To shed light on the possible link between how many people provide input in daily life and infants’ native vowel discrimination, three age groups were tested: 4-month-olds (before attunement to native vowels), 6-month-olds (at the cusp of native vowel attunement) and 12-month-olds (well attuned to the native vowel system). No relationship was found between talker number and native vowel discrimination skills in 4- and 6-month-olds, who are overall able to discriminate the vowel contrast. At 12 months, we observe a small positive relationship, but further analyses reveal that the data are also compatible with the null hypothesis of no relationship. Implications in the context of infant language acquisition and cognitive development are discussed.
  • Bergmann, C., Tsuji, S., Piccinini, P. E., Lewis, M. L., Braginsky, M. B., Frank, M. C., & Cristia, A. (2018). Promoting replicability in developmental research through meta-analyses: Insights from language acquisition research. Child Development, 89(6), 1996-2009. doi:10.1111/cdev.13079.

    Abstract

    Previous work suggests key factors for replicability, a necessary feature for theory building, include statistical power and appropriate research planning. These factors are examined by analyzing a collection of 12 standardized meta-analyses on language development between birth and 5 years. With a median effect size of Cohen's d= 0.45 and typical sample size of 18 participants, most research is underpowered (range: 6%-99%; median 44%); and calculating power based on seminal publications is not a suitable strategy. Method choice can be improved, as shown in analyses on exclusion rates and effect size as a function of method. The article ends with a discussion on how to increase replicability in both language acquisition studies specifically and developmental research more generally.
  • Berkers, R. M. W. J., Ekman, M., van Dongen, E. V., Takashima, A., Barth, M., Paller, K. A., & Fernández, G. (2018). Cued reactivation during slow-wave sleep induces brain connectivity changes related to memory stabilization. Scientific Reports, 8: 16958. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-35287-6.

    Abstract

    Memory reprocessing following acquisition enhances memory consolidation. Specifically, neural activity during encoding is thought to be ‘replayed’ during subsequent slow-wave sleep. Such memory replay is thought to contribute to the functional reorganization of neural memory traces. In particular, memory replay may facilitate the exchange of information across brain regions by inducing a reconfiguration of connectivity across the brain. Memory reactivation can be induced by external cues through a procedure known as “targeted memory reactivation”. Here, we analysed data from a published study with auditory cues used to reactivate visual object-location memories during slow-wave sleep. We characterized effects of memory reactivation on brain network connectivity using graph-theory. We found that cue presentation during slow-wave sleep increased global network integration of occipital cortex, a visual region that was also active during retrieval of object locations. Although cueing did not have an overall beneficial effect on the retention of cued versus uncued associations, individual differences in overnight memory stabilization were related to enhanced network integration of occipital cortex. Furthermore, occipital cortex displayed enhanced connectivity with mnemonic regions, namely the hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, thalamus and medial prefrontal cortex during cue sound presentation. Together, these results suggest a neural mechanism where cue-induced replay during sleep increases integration of task-relevant perceptual regions with mnemonic regions. This cross-regional integration may be instrumental for the consolidation and long-term storage of enduring memories.

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  • 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.
  • De Boer, B., & Thompson, B. (2018). Biology-culture co-evolution in finite populations. Scientific Reports, 8: 1209. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-18928-0.

    Abstract

    Language is the result of two concurrent evolutionary processes: Biological and cultural inheritance. An influential evolutionary hypothesis known as the moving target problem implies inherent limitations on the interactions between our two inheritance streams that result from a difference in pace: The speed of cultural evolution is thought to rule out cognitive adaptation to culturally evolving aspects of language. We examine this hypothesis formally by casting it as as a problem of adaptation in time-varying environments. We present a mathematical model of biology-culture co-evolution in finite populations: A generalisation of the Moran process, treating co-evolution as coupled non-independent Markov processes, providing a general formulation of the moving target hypothesis in precise probabilistic terms. Rapidly varying culture decreases the probability of biological adaptation. However, we show that this effect declines with population size and with stronger links between biology and culture: In realistically sized finite populations, stochastic effects can carry cognitive specialisations to fixation in the face of variable culture, especially if the effects of those specialisations are amplified through cultural evolution. These results support the view that language arises from interactions between our two major inheritance streams, rather than from one primary evolutionary process that dominates another. © 2018 The Author(s).

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  • 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., Casillas, M., & Levinson, S. C. (2018). Planning versus comprehension in turn-taking: Fast responders show reduced anticipatory processing of the question. Neuropsychologia, 109, 295-310. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.12.028.

    Abstract

    Rapid response latencies in conversation suggest that responders start planning before the ongoing turn is finished. Indeed, an earlier EEG study suggests that listeners start planning their responses to questions as soon as they can (Bögels, S., Magyari, L., & Levinson, S. C. (2015). Neural signatures of response planning occur midway through an incoming question in conversation. Scientific Reports, 5, 12881). The present study aimed to (1) replicate this early planning effect and (2) investigate whether such early response planning incurs a cost on participants’ concurrent comprehension of the ongoing turn. During the experiment participants answered questions from a confederate partner. To address aim (1), the questions were designed such that response planning could start either early or late in the turn. Our results largely replicate Bögels et al. (2015) showing a large positive ERP effect and an oscillatory alpha/beta reduction right after participants could have first started planning their verbal response, again suggesting an early start of response planning. To address aim (2), the confederate's questions also contained either an expected word or an unexpected one to elicit a differential N400 effect, either before or after the start of response planning. We hypothesized an attenuated N400 effect after response planning had started. In contrast, the N400 effects before and after planning did not differ. There was, however, a positive correlation between participants' response time and their N400 effect size after planning had started; quick responders showed a smaller N400 effect, suggesting reduced attention to comprehension and possibly reduced anticipatory processing. We conclude that early response planning can indeed impact comprehension processing.

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  • 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. 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.
  • Bosker, H. R., & Ghitza, O. (2018). Entrained theta oscillations guide perception of subsequent speech: Behavioral evidence from rate normalization. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33(8), 955-967. doi:10.1080/23273798.2018.1439179.

    Abstract

    This psychoacoustic study provides behavioral evidence that neural entrainment in the theta range (3-9 Hz) causally shapes speech perception. Adopting the ‘rate normalization’ paradigm (presenting compressed carrier sentences followed by uncompressed target words), we show that uniform compression of a speech carrier to syllable rates inside the theta range influences perception of subsequent uncompressed targets, but compression outside theta range does not. However, the influence of carriers – compressed outside theta range – on target perception is salvaged when carriers are ‘repackaged’ to have a packet rate inside theta. This suggests that the brain can only successfully entrain to syllable/packet rates within theta range, with a causal influence on the perception of subsequent speech, in line with recent neuroimaging data. Thus, this study points to a central role for sustained theta entrainment in rate normalization and contributes to our understanding of the functional role of brain oscillations in speech perception.
  • Bosker, H. R. (2018). Putting Laurel and Yanny in context. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 144(6), EL503-EL508. doi:10.1121/1.5070144.

    Abstract

    Recently, the world’s attention was caught by an audio clip that was perceived as “Laurel” or “Yanny”. Opinions were sharply split: many could not believe others heard something different from their perception. However, a crowd-source experiment with >500 participants shows that it is possible to make people hear Laurel, where they previously heard Yanny, by manipulating preceding acoustic context. This study is not only the first to reveal within-listener variation in Laurel/Yanny percepts, but also to demonstrate contrast effects for global spectral information in larger frequency regions. Thus, it highlights the intricacies of human perception underlying these social media phenomena.
  • Bosker, H. R., & Cooke, M. (2018). Talkers produce more pronounced amplitude modulations when speaking in noise. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 143(2), EL121-EL126. doi:10.1121/1.5024404.

    Abstract

    Speakers adjust their voice when talking in noise (known as Lombard speech), facilitating speech comprehension. Recent neurobiological models of speech perception emphasize the role of amplitude modulations in speech-in-noise comprehension, helping neural oscillators to ‘track’ the attended speech. This study tested whether talkers produce more pronounced amplitude modulations in noise. Across four different corpora, modulation spectra showed greater power in amplitude modulations below 4 Hz in Lombard speech compared to matching plain speech. This suggests that noise-induced speech contains more pronounced amplitude modulations, potentially helping the listening brain to entrain to the attended talker, aiding comprehension.
  • Bowerman, M. (1973). [Review of Lois Bloom, Language development: Form and function in emerging grammars (MIT Press 1970)]. American Scientist, 61(3), 369-370.
  • 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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  • Brand, S., & Ernestus, M. (2018). Listeners’ processing of a given reduced word pronunciation variant directly reflects their exposure to this variant: evidence from native listeners and learners of French. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71(5), 1240-1259. doi:10.1080/17470218.2017.1313282.

    Abstract

    n casual conversations, words often lack segments. This study investigates whether listeners rely on their experience with reduced word pronunciation variants during the processing of single segment reduction. We tested three groups of listeners in a lexical decision experiment with French words produced either with or without word-medial schwa (e.g., /ʀəvy/ and /ʀvy/ for revue). Participants also rated the relative frequencies of the two pronunciation variants of the words. If the recognition accuracy and reaction times for a given listener group correlate best with the frequencies of occurrence holding for that given listener group, recognition is influenced by listeners’ exposure to these variants. Native listeners' relative frequency ratings correlated well with their accuracy scores and RTs. Dutch advanced learners' accuracy scores and RTs were best predicted by their own ratings. In contrast, the accuracy and RTs from Dutch beginner learners of French could not be predicted by any relative frequency rating; the rating task was probably too difficult for them. The participant groups showed behaviour reflecting their difference in experience with the pronunciation variants. Our results strongly suggest that listeners store the frequencies of occurrence of pronunciation variants, and consequently the variants themselves
  • Brand, J., Monaghan, P., & Walker, P. (2018). The changing role of sound‐symbolism for small versus large vocabularies. Cognitive Science, 42(S2), 578-590. doi:10.1111/cogs.12565.

    Abstract

    Natural language contains many examples of sound‐symbolism, where the form of the word carries information about its meaning. Such systematicity is more prevalent in the words children acquire first, but arbitrariness dominates during later vocabulary development. Furthermore, systematicity appears to promote learning category distinctions, which may become more important as the vocabulary grows. In this study, we tested the relative costs and benefits of sound‐symbolism for word learning as vocabulary size varies. Participants learned form‐meaning mappings for words which were either congruent or incongruent with regard to sound‐symbolic relations. For the smaller vocabulary, sound‐symbolism facilitated learning individual words, whereas for larger vocabularies sound‐symbolism supported learning category distinctions. The changing properties of form‐meaning mappings according to vocabulary size may reflect the different ways in which language is learned at different stages of development.

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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., & 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Byun, K.-S., De Vos, C., Bradford, A., Zeshan, U., & Levinson, S. C. (2018). First encounters: Repair sequences in cross-signing. Topics in Cognitive Science, 10(2), 314-334. doi:10.1111/tops.12303.

    Abstract

    Most human communication is between people who speak or sign the same languages. Nevertheless, communication is to some extent possible where there is no language in common, as every tourist knows. How this works is of some theoretical interest (Levinson 2006). A nice arena to explore this capacity is when deaf signers of different languages meet for the first time, and are able to use the iconic affordances of sign to begin communication. Here we focus on Other-Initiated Repair (OIR), that is, where one signer makes clear he or she does not understand, thus initiating repair of the prior conversational turn. OIR sequences are typically of a three-turn structure (Schegloff 2007) including the problem source turn (T-1), the initiation of repair (T0), and the turn offering a problem solution (T+1). These sequences seem to have a universal structure (Dingemanse et al. 2013). We find that in most cases where such OIR occur, the signer of the troublesome turn (T-1) foresees potential difficulty, and marks the utterance with 'try markers' (Sacks & Schegloff 1979, Moerman 1988) which pause to invite recognition. The signers use repetition, gestural holds, prosodic lengthening and eyegaze at the addressee as such try-markers. Moreover, when T-1 is try-marked this allows for faster response times of T+1 with respect to T0. This finding suggests that signers in these 'first encounter' situations actively anticipate potential trouble and, through try-marking, mobilize and facilitate OIRs. The suggestion is that heightened meta-linguistic awareness can be utilized to deal with these problems at the limits of our communicational ability.
  • Carter, D. M., Broersma, M., Donnelly, K., & Konopka, A. E. (2018). Presenting the Bangor autoglosser and the Bangor automated clause-splitter. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 33(1), 21-28. doi:10.1093/llc/fqw065.

    Abstract

    Until recently, corpus studies of natural bilingual speech and, more specifically, codeswitching in bilingual speech have used a manual method of glossing, partof- speech tagging, and clause-splitting to prepare the data for analysis. In our article, we present innovative tools developed for the first large-scale corpus study of codeswitching triggered by cognates. A study of this size was only possible due to the automation of several steps, such as morpheme-by-morpheme glossing, splitting complex clauses into simple clauses, and the analysis of internal and external codeswitching through the use of database tables, algorithms, and a scripting language.
  • 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.
  • Chan, A., Yang, W., Chang, F., & Kidd, E. (2018). Four-year-old Cantonese-speaking children's online processing of relative clauses: A permutation analysis. Journal of Child Language, 45(1), 174-203. doi:10.1017/s0305000917000198.

    Abstract

    We report on an eye-tracking study that investigated four-year-old Cantonese-speaking children's online processing of subject and object relative clauses (RCs). Children's eye-movements were recorded as they listened to RC structures identifying a unique referent (e.g. “Can you pick up the horse that pushed the pig?”). Two RC types, classifier (CL) and ge3 RCs, were tested in a between-participants design. The two RC types differ in their syntactic analyses and frequency of occurrence, providing an important point of comparison for theories of RC acquisition and processing. A permutation analysis showed that the two structures were processed differently: CL RCs showed a significant object-over-subject advantage, whereas ge3 RCs showed the opposite effect. This study shows that children can have different preferences even for two very similar RC structures within the same language, suggesting that syntactic processing preferences are shaped by the unique features of particular constructions both within and across different linguistic typologies.
  • 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.
  • Choi, J., Broersma, M., & Cutler, A. (2018). Phonetic learning is not enhanced by sequential exposure to more than one language. Linguistic Research, 35(3), 567-581. doi:10.17250/khisli.35.3.201812.006.

    Abstract

    Several studies have documented that international adoptees, who in early years have experienced a change from a language used in their birth country to a new language in an adoptive country, benefit from the limited early exposure to the birth language when relearning that language’s sounds later in life. The adoptees’ relearning advantages have been argued to be conferred by lasting birth-language knowledge obtained from the early exposure. However, it is also plausible to assume that the advantages may arise from adoptees’ superior ability to learn language sounds in general, as a result of their unusual linguistic experience, i.e., exposure to multiple languages in sequence early in life. If this is the case, then the adoptees’ relearning benefits should generalize to previously unheard language sounds, rather than be limited to their birth-language sounds. In the present study, adult Korean adoptees in the Netherlands and matched Dutch-native controls were trained on identifying a Japanese length distinction to which they had never been exposed before. The adoptees and Dutch controls did not differ on any test carried out before, during, or after the training, indicating that observed adoptee advantages for birth-language relearning do not generalize to novel, previously unheard language sounds. The finding thus fails to support the suggestion that birth-language relearning advantages may arise from enhanced ability to learn language sounds in general conferred by early experience in multiple languages. Rather, our finding supports the original contention that such advantages involve memory traces obtained before adoption
  • 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., & 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.
  • Corcoran, A. W., Alday, P. M., Schlesewsky, M., & Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I. (2018). Toward a reliable, automated method of individual alpha frequency (IAF) quantification. Psychophysiology, 55(7): e13064. doi:10.1111/psyp.13064.

    Abstract

    Individual alpha frequency (IAF) is a promising electrophysiological marker of interindividual differences in cognitive function. IAF has been linked with trait-like differences in information processing and general intelligence, and provides an empirical basis for the definition of individualized frequency bands. Despite its widespread application, however, there is little consensus on the optimal method for estimating IAF, and many common approaches are prone to bias and inconsistency. Here, we describe an automated strategy for deriving two of the most prevalent IAF estimators in the literature: peak alpha frequency (PAF) and center of gravity (CoG). These indices are calculated from resting-state power spectra that have been smoothed using a Savitzky-Golay filter (SGF). We evaluate the performance characteristics of this analysis procedure in both empirical and simulated EEG data sets. Applying the SGF technique to resting-state data from n = 63 healthy adults furnished 61 PAF and 62 CoG estimates. The statistical properties of these estimates were consistent with previous reports. Simulation analyses revealed that the SGF routine was able to reliably extract target alpha components, even under relatively noisy spectral conditions. The routine consistently outperformed a simpler method of automated peak detection that did not involve spectral smoothing. The SGF technique is fast, open source, and available in two popular programming languages (MATLAB, Python), and thus can easily be integrated within the most popular M/EEG toolsets (EEGLAB, FieldTrip, MNE-Python). As such, it affords a convenient tool for improving the reliability and replicability of future IAF-related research.

    Additional information

    psyp13064-sup-0001-s01.docx
  • Corps, R. E., Gambi, C., & Pickering, M. J. (2018). Coordinating utterances during turn-taking: The role of prediction, response preparation, and articulation. Discourse processes, 55(2, SI), 230-240. doi:10.1080/0163853X.2017.1330031.

    Abstract

    During conversation, interlocutors rapidly switch between speaker and listener roles and take turns at talk. How do they achieve such fine coordination? Most research has concentrated on the role of prediction, but listeners must also prepare a response in advance (assuming they wish to respond) and articulate this response at the appropriate moment. Such mechanisms may overlap with the processes of comprehending the speaker’s incoming turn and predicting its end. However, little is known about the stages of response preparation and production. We discuss three questions pertaining to such stages: (1) Do listeners prepare their own response in advance?, (2) Can listeners buffer their prepared response?, and (3) Does buffering lead to interference with concurrent comprehension? We argue that fine coordination requires more than just an accurate prediction of the interlocutor’s incoming turn: Listeners must also simultaneously prepare their own response.
  • Corps, R. E., Crossley, A., Gambi, C., & Pickering, M. J. (2018). Early preparation during turn-taking: Listeners use content predictions to determine what to say but not when to say it. Cognition, 175, 77-95. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2018.01.015.

    Abstract

    During conversation, there is often little gap between interlocutors’ utterances. In two pairs of experiments, we manipulated the content predictability of yes/no questions to investigate whether listeners achieve such coordination by (i) preparing a response as early as possible or (ii) predicting the end of the speaker’s turn. To assess these two mechanisms, we varied the participants’ task: They either pressed a button when they thought the question was about to end (Experiments 1a and 2a), or verbally answered the questions with either yes or no (Experiments 1b and 2b). Predictability effects were present when participants had to prepare a verbal response, but not when they had to predict the turn-end. These findings suggest content prediction facilitates turn-taking because it allows listeners to prepare their own response early, rather than because it helps them predict when the speaker will reach the end of their turn.

    Additional information

    Supplementary material
  • 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.
  • Creemers, A., Don, J., & Fenger, P. (2018). Some affixes are roots, others are heads. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, 36(1), 45-84. doi:10.1007/s11049-017-9372-1.

    Abstract

    A recent debate in the morphological literature concerns the status of derivational affixes. While some linguists (Marantz 1997, 2001; Marvin 2003) consider derivational affixes a type of functional morpheme that realizes a categorial head, others (Lowenstamm 2015; De Belder 2011) argue that derivational affixes are roots. Our proposal, which finds its empirical basis in a study of Dutch derivational affixes, takes a middle position. We argue that there are two types of derivational affixes: some that are roots (i.e. lexical morphemes) and others that are categorial heads (i.e. functional morphemes). Affixes that are roots show ‘flexible’ categorial behavior, are subject to ‘lexical’ phonological rules, and may trigger idiosyncratic meanings. Affixes that realize categorial heads, on the other hand, are categorially rigid, do not trigger ‘lexical’ phonological rules nor allow for idiosyncrasies in their interpretation.
  • 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., & 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.
  • 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.
  • Cutler, A. (1985). Cross-language psycholinguistics. Linguistics, 23, 659-667.
  • Cutler, A. (2011). Listening to REAL second language. AATSEEL Newsletter, 54(3), 14.
  • Cutler, A., Hawkins, J. A., & Gilligan, G. (1985). The suffixing preference: A processing explanation. Linguistics, 23, 723-758.
  • Dai, B., Chen, C., Long, Y., Zheng, L., Zhao, H., Bai, X., Liu, W., Zhang, Y., Liu, L., Guo, T., Ding, G., & Lu, C. (2018). Neural mechanisms for selectively tuning into the target speaker in a naturalistic noisy situation. Nature Communications, 9: 2405. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-04819-z.

    Abstract

    The neural mechanism for selectively tuning in to a target speaker while tuning out the others in a multi-speaker situation (i.e., the cocktail-party effect) remains elusive. Here we addressed this issue by measuring brain activity simultaneously from a listener and from multiple speakers while they were involved in naturalistic conversations. Results consistently show selectively enhanced interpersonal neural synchronization (INS) between the listener and the attended speaker at left temporal–parietal junction, compared with that between the listener and the unattended speaker across different multi-speaker situations. Moreover, INS increases significantly prior to the occurrence of verbal responses, and even when the listener’s brain activity precedes that of the speaker. The INS increase is independent of brain-to-speech synchronization in both the anatomical location and frequency range. These findings suggest that INS underlies the selective process in a multi-speaker situation through neural predictions at the content level but not the sensory level of speech.

    Additional information

    Dai_etal_2018_sup.pdf
  • 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.
  • 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). 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.
  • 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. (2018). Making genealogical language classifications available for phylogenetic analysis: Newick trees, unified identifiers, and branch length. Language Dynamics and Change, 8(1), 1-21. doi:10.1163/22105832-00801001.

    Abstract

    One of the best-known types of non-independence between languages is caused by genealogical relationships due to descent from a common ancestor. These can be represented by (more or less resolved and controversial) language family trees. In theory, one can argue that language families should be built through the strict application of the comparative method of historical linguistics, but in practice this is not always the case, and there are several proposed classifications of languages into language families, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. A major stumbling block shared by most of them is that they are relatively difficult to use with computational methods, and in particular with phylogenetics. This is due to their lack of standardization, coupled with the general non-availability of branch length information, which encapsulates the amount of evolution taking place on the family tree. In this paper I introduce a method (and its implementation in R) that converts the language classifications provided by four widely-used databases (Ethnologue, WALS, AUTOTYP and Glottolog) intothe de facto Newick standard generally used in phylogenetics, aligns the four most used conventions for unique identifiers of linguistic entities (ISO 639-3, WALS, AUTOTYP and Glottocode), and adds branch length information from a variety of sources (the tree's own topology, an externally given numeric constant, or a distance matrix). The R scripts, input data and resulting Newick trees are available under liberal open-source licenses in a GitHub repository (https://github.com/ddediu/lgfam-newick), to encourage and promote the use of phylogenetic methods to investigate linguistic diversity and its temporal dynamics.
  • Dediu, D., & Levinson, S. C. (2018). Neanderthal language revisited: Not only us. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 21, 49-55. doi:10.1016/j.cobeha.2018.01.001.

    Abstract

    Here we re-evaluate our 2013 paper on the antiquity of language (Dediu and Levinson, 2013) in the light of a surge of new information on human evolution in the last half million years. Although new genetic data suggest the existence of some cognitive differences between Neanderthals and modern humans — fully expected after hundreds of thousands of years of partially separate evolution, overall our claims that Neanderthals were fully articulate beings and that language evolution was gradual are further substantiated by the wealth of new genetic, paleontological and archeological evidence briefly reviewed here.
  • Degand, L., & Van Bergen, G. (2018). Discourse markers as turn-transition devices: Evidence from speech and instant messaging. Discourse Processes, 55, 47-71. doi:10.1080/0163853X.2016.1198136.

    Abstract

    In this article we investigate the relation between discourse markers and turn-transition strategies in face-to-face conversations and Instant Messaging (IM), that is, unplanned, real-time, text-based, computer-mediated communication. By means of a quantitative corpus study of utterances containing a discourse marker, we show that utterance-final discourse markers are used more often in IM than in face-to-face conversations. Moreover, utterance-final discourse markers are shown to occur more often at points of turn-transition compared with points of turn-maintenance in both types of conversation. From our results we conclude that the discourse markers in utterance-final position can function as a turn-transition mechanism, signaling that the turn is over and the floor is open to the hearer. We argue that this linguistic turn-taking strategy is essentially similar in face-to-face and IM communication. Our results add to the evidence that communication in IM is more like speech than like writing.
  • Den Hoed, J., Sollis, E., Venselaar, H., Estruch, S. B., Derizioti, P., & Fisher, S. E. (2018). Functional characterization of TBR1 variants in neurodevelopmental disorder. Scientific Reports, 8: 14279. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-32053-6.

    Abstract

    Recurrent de novo variants in the TBR1 transcription factor are implicated in the etiology of sporadic autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Disruptions include missense variants located in the T-box DNA-binding domain and previous work has demonstrated that they disrupt TBR1 protein function. Recent screens of thousands of simplex families with sporadic ASD cases uncovered additional T-box variants in TBR1 but their etiological relevance is unclear. We performed detailed functional analyses of de novo missense TBR1 variants found in the T-box of ASD cases, assessing many aspects of protein function, including subcellular localization, transcriptional activity and protein-interactions. Only two of the three tested variants severely disrupted TBR1 protein function, despite in silico predictions that all would be deleterious. Furthermore, we characterized a putative interaction with BCL11A, a transcription factor that was recently implicated in a neurodevelopmental syndrome involving developmental delay and language deficits. Our findings enhance understanding of molecular functions of TBR1, as well as highlighting the importance of functional testing of variants that emerge from next-generation sequencing, to decipher their contributions to neurodevelopmental disorders like ASD.

    Additional information

    Electronic supplementary material
  • Deriziotis, P., André, R., Smith, D. M., Goold, R., Kinghorn, K. J., Kristiansen, M., Nathan, J. A., Rosenzweig, R., Krutauz, D., Glickman, M. H., Collinge, J., Goldberg, A. L., & Tabrizi, S. J. (2011). Misfolded PrP impairs the UPS by interaction with the 20S proteasome and inhibition of substrate entry. EMBO Journal, 30(15), 3065-3077. doi:10.1038/emboj.2011.224.

    Abstract

    * Deriziotis, P., André, R., and Smith. D.M. contributed equally to this work * - Prion diseases are associated with the conversion of cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) to toxic β-sheet isoforms (PrP(Sc)), which are reported to inhibit the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). Accordingly, UPS substrates accumulate in prion-infected mouse brains, suggesting impairment of the 26S proteasome. A direct interaction between its 20S core particle and PrP isoforms was demonstrated by immunoprecipitation. β-PrP aggregates associated with the 20S particle, but did not impede binding of the PA26 complex, suggesting that the aggregates do not bind to its ends. Aggregated β-PrP reduced the 20S proteasome's basal peptidase activity, and the enhanced activity induced by C-terminal peptides from the 19S ATPases or by the 19S regulator itself, including when stimulated by polyubiquitin conjugates. However, the 20S proteasome was not inhibited when the gate in the α-ring was open due to a truncation mutation or by association with PA26/PA28. These PrP aggregates inhibit by stabilising the closed conformation of the substrate entry channel. A similar inhibition of substrate entry into the proteasome may occur in other neurodegenerative diseases where misfolded β-sheet-rich proteins accumulate.

    Additional information

    EMBOsup.pdf
  • Devanna, P., Van de Vorst, M., Pfundt, R., Gilissen, C., & Vernes, S. C. (2018). Genome-wide investigation of an ID cohort reveals de novo 3′UTR variants affecting gene expression. Human Genetics, 137(9), 717-721. doi:10.1007/s00439-018-1925-9.

    Abstract

    Intellectual disability (ID) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder with genetically heterogeneous causes. Large-scale sequencing has led to the identification of many gene-disrupting mutations; however, a substantial proportion of cases lack a molecular diagnosis. As such, there remains much to uncover for a complete understanding of the genetic underpinnings of ID. Genetic variants present in non-coding regions of the genome have been highlighted as potential contributors to neurodevelopmental disorders given their role in regulating gene expression. Nevertheless the functional characterization of non-coding variants remains challenging. We describe the identification and characterization of de novo non-coding variation in 3′UTR regulatory regions within an ID cohort of 50 patients. This cohort was previously screened for structural and coding pathogenic variants via CNV, whole exome and whole genome analysis. We identified 44 high-confidence single nucleotide non-coding variants within the 3′UTR regions of these 50 genomes. Four of these variants were located within predicted miRNA binding sites and were thus hypothesised to have regulatory consequences. Functional testing showed that two of the variants interfered with miRNA-mediated regulation of their target genes, AMD1 and FAIM. Both these variants were found in the same individual and their functional consequences may point to a potential role for such variants in intellectual disability.

    Additional information

    439_2018_1925_MOESM1_ESM.docx
  • Devanna, P., Chen, X. S., Ho, J., Gajewski, D., Smith, S. D., Gialluisi, A., Francks, C., Fisher, S. E., Newbury, D. F., & Vernes, S. C. (2018). Next-gen sequencing identifies non-coding variation disrupting miRNA binding sites in neurological disorders. Molecular Psychiatry, 23(5), 1375-1384. doi:10.1038/mp.2017.30.

    Abstract

    Understanding the genetic factors underlying neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders is a major challenge given their prevalence and potential severity for quality of life. While large-scale genomic screens have made major advances in this area, for many disorders the genetic underpinnings are complex and poorly understood. To date the field has focused predominantly on protein coding variation, but given the importance of tightly controlled gene expression for normal brain development and disorder, variation that affects non-coding regulatory regions of the genome is likely to play an important role in these phenotypes. Herein we show the importance of 3 prime untranslated region (3'UTR) non-coding regulatory variants across neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. We devised a pipeline for identifying and functionally validating putatively pathogenic variants from next generation sequencing (NGS) data. We applied this pipeline to a cohort of children with severe specific language impairment (SLI) and identified a functional, SLI-associated variant affecting gene regulation in cells and post-mortem human brain. This variant and the affected gene (ARHGEF39) represent new putative risk factors for SLI. Furthermore, we identified 3′UTR regulatory variants across autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder NGS cohorts demonstrating their impact on neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Our findings show the importance of investigating non-coding regulatory variants when determining risk factors contributing to neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. In the future, integration of such regulatory variation with protein coding changes will be essential for uncovering the genetic causes of complex neurological disorders and the fundamental mechanisms underlying health and disease

    Additional information

    mp201730x1.docx
  • Dingemanse, M. (2011). Ideophones and the aesthetics of everyday language in a West-African society. The Senses & Society, 6(1), 77-85. doi:10.2752/174589311X12893982233830.

    Abstract

    This article explores language, culture, and the perceptual world as reflected in a particular linguistic device: ideophones, marked words that depict sensory imagery. Data from a range of elicitation tasks shows that ideophones are a key resource in talking about sensory perception in Siwu. Their use in everyday conversations underlines their communicative versatility while at the same time showing that people delight in their expressiveness. In ideophones, we have an expressive resource that combines sheer playfulness with extraordinary precision
  • Dingemanse, M. (2018). Redrawing the margins of language: Lessons from research on ideophones. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics, 3(1): 4. doi:10.5334/gjgl.444.

    Abstract

    Ideophones (also known as expressives or mimetics, and including onomatopoeia) have been systematically studied in linguistics since the 1850s, when they were first described as a lexical class of vivid sensory words in West-African languages. This paper surveys the research history of ideophones, from its roots in African linguistics to its fruits in general linguistics and typology around the globe. It shows that despite a recurrent narrative of marginalisation, work on ideophones has made an impact in many areas of linguistics, from theories of phonological features to typologies of manner and motion, and from sound symbolism to sensory language. Due to their hybrid nature as gradient vocal gestures that grow roots in discrete linguistic systems, ideophones provide opportunities to reframe typological questions, reconsider the role of language ideology in linguistic scholarship, and rethink the margins of language. With ideophones increasingly being brought into the fold of the language sciences, this review synthesises past theoretical insights and empirical findings in order to enable future work to build on them.
  • Doumas, L. A. A., & Martin, A. E. (2018). Learning structured representations from experience. Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 69, 165-203. doi:10.1016/bs.plm.2018.10.002.

    Abstract

    How a system represents information tightly constrains the kinds of problems it can solve. Humans routinely solve problems that appear to require structured representations of stimulus properties and the relations between them. An account of how we might acquire such representations has central importance for theories of human cognition. We describe how a system can learn structured relational representations from initially unstructured inputs using comparison, sensitivity to time, and a modified Hebbian learning algorithm. We summarize how the model DORA (Discovery of Relations by Analogy) instantiates this approach, which we call predicate learning, as well as how the model captures several phenomena from cognitive development, relational reasoning, and language processing in the human brain. Predicate learning offers a link between models based on formal languages and models which learn from experience and provides an existence proof for how structured representations might be learned in the first place.
  • Dow, D. J., Huxley-Jones, J., Hall, J. M., Francks, C., Maycox, P. R., Kew, J. N., Gloger, I. S., Mehta, N. A., Kelly, F. M., Muglia, P., Breen, G., Jugurnauth, S., Pederoso, I., St.Clair, D., Rujescu, D., & Barnes, M. R. (2011). ADAMTSL3 as a candidate gene for schizophrenia: Gene sequencing and ultra-high density association analysis by imputation. Schizophrenia Research, 127(1-3), 28-34. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2010.12.009.

    Abstract

    We previously reported an association with a putative functional variant in the ADAMTSL3 gene, just below genome-wide significance in a genome-wide association study of schizophrenia. As variants impacting the function of ADAMTSL3 (a disintegrin-like and metalloprotease domain with thrombospondin type I motifs-like-3) could illuminate a novel disease mechanism and a potentially specific target, we have used complementary approaches to further evaluate the association. We imputed genotypes and performed high density association analysis using data from the HapMap and 1000 genomes projects. To review all variants that could potentially cause the association, and to identify additional possible pathogenic rare variants, we sequenced ADAMTSL3 in 92 schizophrenics. A total of 71 ADAMTSL3 variants were identified by sequencing, many were also seen in the 1000 genomes data, but 26 were novel. None of the variants identified by re-sequencing was in strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) with the associated markers. Imputation analysis refined association between ADAMTSL3 and schizophrenia, and highlighted additional common variants with similar levels of association. We evaluated the functional consequences of all variants identified by sequencing, or showing direct or imputed association. The strongest evidence for function remained with the originally associated variant, rs950169, suggesting that this variant may be causal of the association. Rare variants were also identified with possible functional impact. Our study confirms ADAMTSL3 as a candidate for further investigation in schizophrenia, using the variants identified here. The utility of imputation analysis is demonstrated, and we recommend wider use of this method to re-evaluate the existing canon of suggestive schizophrenia associations.
  • Drijvers, L., & Trujillo, J. P. (2018). Commentary: Transcranial magnetic stimulation over left inferior frontal and posterior temporal cortex disrupts gesture-speech integration. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12: 256. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2018.00256.

    Abstract

    A commentary on Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation over Left Inferior Frontal and Posterior Temporal Cortex Disrupts Gesture-Speech Integration by Zhao, W., Riggs, K., Schindler, I., and Holle, H. (2018). J. Neurosci. 10, 1748–1717. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1748-17.2017

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