Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 498
  • Acheson, D. J., Ganushchak, L. Y., Christoffels, I. K., & Hagoort, P. (2012). Conflict monitoring in speech production: Physiological evidence from bilingual picture naming. Brain and Language, 123, 131 -136. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2012.08.008.

    Abstract

    Self-monitoring in production is critical to correct performance, and recent accounts suggest that such monitoring may occur via the detection of response conflict. The error-related negativity (ERN) is a response-locked event-related potential (ERP) that is sensitive to response conflict. The present study examines whether response conflict is detected in production by exploring a situation where multiple outputs are activated: the bilingual naming of form-related equivalents (i.e. cognates). ERPs were recorded while German-Dutch bilinguals named pictures in their first and second languages. Although cognates were named faster than non-cognates, response conflict was evident in the form of a larger ERN-like response for cognates and adaptation effects on naming, as the magnitude of cognate facilitation was smaller following the naming of cognates. Given that signals of response conflict are present during correct naming, the present results suggest that such conflict may serve as a reliable signal for monitoring in speech production.
  • Adank, P., Smits, R., & Van Hout, R. (2004). A comparison of vowel normalization procedures for language variation research. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 116(5), 3099-3109. doi:10.1121/1.1795335.

    Abstract

    An evaluation of vowel normalization procedures for the purpose of studying language variation is presented. The procedures were compared on how effectively they (a) preserve phonemic information, (b) preserve information about the talker's regional background (or sociolinguistic information), and (c) minimize anatomical/physiological variation in acoustic representations of vowels. Recordings were made for 80 female talkers and 80 male talkers of Dutch. These talkers were stratified according to their gender and regional background. The normalization procedures were applied to measurements of the fundamental frequency and the first three formant frequencies for a large set of vowel tokens. The normalization procedures were evaluated through statistical pattern analysis. The results show that normalization procedures that use information across multiple vowels ("vowel-extrinsic" information) to normalize a single vowel token performed better than those that include only information contained in the vowel token itself ("vowel-intrinsic" information). Furthermore, the results show that normalization procedures that operate on individual formants performed better than those that use information across multiple formants (e.g., "formant-extrinsic" F2-F1).
  • Adank, P., Van Hout, R., & Smits, R. (2004). An acoustic description of the vowels of Northern and Southern Standard Dutch. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 116(3), 1729-1738. doi:10.1121/1.1779271.
  • Adank, P., Davis, M. H., & Hagoort, P. (2012). Neural dissociation in processing noise and accent in spoken language comprehension. Neuropsychologia, 50, 77-84. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.10.024.

    Abstract

    We investigated how two distortions of the speech signal–added background noise and speech in an unfamiliar accent - affect comprehension of speech using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). Listeners performed a speeded sentence verification task for speech in quiet in Standard Dutch, in Standard Dutch with added background noise, and for speech in an unfamiliar accent of Dutch. The behavioural results showed slower responses for both types of distortion compared to clear speech, and no difference between the two distortions. The neuroimaging results showed that, compared to clear speech, processing noise resulted in more activity bilaterally in Inferior Frontal Gyrus, Frontal Operculum, while processing accented speech recruited an area in left Superior Temporal Gyrus/Sulcus. It is concluded that the neural bases for processing different distortions of the speech signal dissociate. It is suggested that current models of the cortical organisation of speech are updated to specifically associate bilateral inferior frontal areas with processing external distortions (e.g., background noise) and left temporal areas with speaker-related distortions (e.g., accents).

    Additional information

    Adank_2012_Suppl_Info.doc
  • Adank, P., Noordzij, M. L., & Hagoort, P. (2012). The role of planum temporale in processing accent variation in spoken language comprehension. Human Brain Mapping, 33, 360-372. doi:10.1002/hbm.21218.

    Abstract

    A repetition-suppression functional magnetic resonance imaging paradigm was used to explore the neuroanatomical substrates of processing two types of acoustic variation—speaker and accent—during spoken sentence comprehension. Recordings were made for two speakers and two accents: Standard Dutch and a novel accent of Dutch. Each speaker produced sentences in both accents. Participants listened to two sentences presented in quick succession while their haemodynamic responses were recorded in an MR scanner. The first sentence was spoken in Standard Dutch; the second was spoken by the same or a different speaker and produced in Standard Dutch or in the artificial accent. This design made it possible to identify neural responses to a switch in speaker and accent independently. A switch in accent was associated with activations in predominantly left-lateralized areas including posterior temporal regions, including superior temporal gyrus, planum temporale (PT), and supramarginal gyrus, as well as in frontal regions, including left pars opercularis of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). A switch in speaker recruited a predominantly right-lateralized network, including middle frontal gyrus and prenuneus. It is concluded that posterior temporal areas, including PT, and frontal areas, including IFG, are involved in processing accent variation in spoken sentence comprehension
  • Ahlenius, H., Devaraju, K., Monni, E., Oki, K., Wattananit, S., Darsalia, V., Iosif, R. E., Torper, O., Wood, J. C., Braun, S., Jagemann, L., Nuber, U. A., Englund, E., Jacobsen, S.-E.-W., Lindvall, O., & Kokaia, Z. (2012). Adaptor Protein LNK Is a Negative Regulator of Brain Neural Stem Cell Proliferation after Stroke. The Journal of Neuroscience, 32(15), 5151-5164. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0474-12.2012.

    Abstract

    Ischemic stroke causes transient increase of neural stem and progenitor cell (NSPC) proliferation in the subventricular zone (SVZ), and migration of newly formed neuroblasts toward the damaged area where they mature to striatal neurons. The molecular mechanisms regulating this plastic response, probably involved in structural reorganization and functional recovery, are poorly understood. The adaptor protein LNK suppresses hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal, but its presence and role in the brain are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that LNK is expressed in NSPCs in the adult mouse and human SVZ. Lnk−/− mice exhibited increased NSPC proliferation after stroke, but not in intact brain or following status epilepticus. Deletion of Lnk caused increased NSPC proliferation while overexpression decreased mitotic activity of these cells in vitro. We found that Lnk expression after stroke increased in SVZ through the transcription factors STAT1/3. LNK attenuated insulin-like growth factor 1 signaling by inhibition of AKT phosphorylation, resulting in reduced NSPC proliferation. Our findings identify LNK as a stroke-specific, endogenous negative regulator of NSPC proliferation, and suggest that LNK signaling is a novel mechanism influencing plastic responses in postischemic brain.
  • El Aissati, A., McQueen, J. M., & Cutler, A. (2012). Finding words in a language that allows words without vowels. Cognition, 124, 79-84. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2012.03.006.

    Abstract

    Across many languages from unrelated families, spoken-word recognition is subject to a constraint whereby potential word candidates must contain a vowel. This constraint minimizes competition from embedded words (e.g., in English, disfavoring win in twin because t cannot be a word). However, the constraint would be counter-productive in certain languages that allow stand-alone vowelless open-class words. One such language is Berber (where t is indeed a word). Berber listeners here detected words affixed to nonsense contexts with or without vowels. Length effects seen in other languages replicated in Berber, but in contrast to prior findings, word detection was not hindered by vowelless contexts. When words can be vowelless, otherwise universal constraints disfavoring vowelless words do not feature in spoken-word recognition.

    Additional information

    mmc1.pdf
  • Allen, G. L., Kirasic, K. C., Rashotte, M. A., & Haun, D. B. M. (2004). Aging and path integration skill: Kinesthetic and vestibular contributions to wayfinding. Perception & Psychophysics, 66(1), 170-179.

    Abstract

    In a triangle completion task designed to assess path integration skill, younger and older adults performed similarly after being led, while blindfolded, along the route segments on foot, which provided both kinesthetic and vestibular information about the outbound path. In contrast, older adults’ performance was impaired, relative to that of younger adults, after they were conveyed, while blindfolded, along the route segments in a wheelchair, which limited them principally to vestibular information. Correlational evidence suggested that cognitive resources were significant factors in accounting for age-related decline in path integration performance.
  • Ambridge, B., Pine, J. M., & Rowland, C. F. (2012). Semantics versus statistics in the retreat from locative overgeneralization errors. Cognition, 123(2), 260-279. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2012.01.002.

    Abstract

    The present study investigated how children learn that some verbs may appear in the figure-locative but not the ground-locative construction (e.g., Lisa poured water into the cup; *Lisa poured the cup with water), with some showing the opposite pattern (e.g., *Bart filled water into the cup; Bart filled the cup with water), and others appearing in both (Lisa sprayed water onto the flowers; Lisa sprayed the flowers with water). Grammatical acceptability judgments were obtained for the use of each of 142 locative verbs (60 for children) in each sentence type. Overall, and for each age group individually, the judgment data were best explained by a model that included ratings of the extent to which each verb exhibits both the broad- and narrow-range semantic properties of the figure- and ground-locative constructions (relating mainly to manner and end-state respectively; Pinker, 1989) and the statistical-learning measure of overall verb frequency (entrenchment; Braine & Brooks, 1995). A second statistical-learning measure, frequency in each of the two locative constructions (pre-emption; Goldberg, 1995), was found to have no additional dissociable effect. We conclude by drawing together various theoretical proposals to arrive at a possible account of how semantics and statistics interact in the retreat from overgeneralization.
  • Ambridge, B., Pine, J. M., Rowland, C. F., & Chang, F. (2012). The roles of verb semantics, entrenchment, and morphophonology in the retreat from dative argument-structure overgeneralization errors. Language, 88(1), 45-81. doi:10.1353/lan.2012.0000.

    Abstract

    Children (aged five-to-six and nine-to-ten years) and adults rated the acceptability of well-formed sentences and argument-structure overgeneralization errors involving the prepositional-object and double-object dative constructions (e.g. Marge pulled the box to Homer/*Marge pulled Homer the box). In support of the entrenchment hypothesis, a negative correlation was observed between verb frequency and the acceptability of errors, across all age groups. Adults additionally displayed sensitivity to narrow-range semantic constraints on the alternation, rejecting double-object dative uses of novel verbs consistent with prepositional-dative-only classes and vice versa. Adults also provided evidence for the psychological validity of a proposed morphophonological constraint prohibiting Latinate verbs from appearing in the double-object dative. These findings are interpreted in the light of a recent account of argument-structure acquisition, under which children retreat from error by incrementally learning the semantic, phonological, and pragmatic properties associated with particular verbs and particular construction slots.*
  • Ameka, F. K. (1999). [Review of M. E. Kropp Dakubu: Korle meets the sea: a sociolinguistic history of Accra]. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 62, 198-199. doi:10.1017/S0041977X0001836X.
  • Ameka, F. K., & Breedveld, A. (2004). Areal cultural scripts for social interaction in West African communities. Intercultural Pragmatics, 1(2), 167-187. doi:10.1515/iprg.2004.1.2.167.

    Abstract

    Ways of interacting and not interacting in human societies have social, cognitive and cultural dimensions. These various aspects may be reflected in particular in relation to “taboos”. They reflect the ways of thinking and the values of a society. They are recognized as part of the communicative competence of the speakers and are learned in socialization. Some salient taboos are likely to be named in the language of the relevant society, others may not have a name. Interactional taboos can be specific to a cultural linguistic group or they may be shared across different communities that belong to a ‘speech area’ (Hymes 1972). In this article we describe a number of unnamed norms of communicative conduct which are widespread in West Africa such as the taboos on the use of the left hand in social interaction and on the use of personal names in adult address, and the widespread preference for the use of intermediaries for serious communication. We also examine a named avoidance (yaage) behavior specific to the Fulbe, a nomadic cattle-herding group spread from West Africa across the Sahel as far as Sudan. We show how tacit knowledge about these taboos and other interactive norms can be captured using the cultural scripts methodology.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2004). Grammar and cultural practices: The grammaticalization of triadic communication in West African languages. The Journal of West African Languages, 30(2), 5-28.
  • Ameka, F. K. (1999). Partir c'est mourir un peu: Universal and culture specific features of leave taking. RASK International Journal of Language and Communication, 9/10, 257-283.
  • Ameka, F. K. (1999). Spatial information packaging in Ewe and Likpe: A comparative perspective. Frankfurter Afrikanistische Blätter, 11, 7-34.
  • Ameka, F. K. (1999). The typology and semantics of complex nominal duplication in Ewe. Anthropological Linguistics, 41, 75-106.
  • Araújo, S., Bramão, I., Faísca, L., Petersson, K. M., & Reis, A. (2012). Electrophysiological correlates of impaired reading in dyslexic pre-adolescent children. Brain and Cognition, 79, 79-88. doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2012.02.010.

    Abstract

    In this study, event related potentials (ERPs) were used to investigate the extent to which dyslexics (aged 9–13 years) differ from normally reading controls in early ERPs, which reflect prelexical orthographic processing, and in late ERPs, which reflect implicit phonological processing. The participants performed an implicit reading task, which was manipulated in terms of letter-specific processing, orthographic familiarity, and phonological structure. Comparing consonant- and symbol sequences, the results showed significant differences in the P1 and N1 waveforms in the control but not in the dyslexic group. The reduced P1 and N1 effects in pre-adolescent children with dyslexia suggest a lack of visual specialization for letter-processing. The P1 and N1 components were not sensitive to the familiar vs. less familiar orthographic sequence contrast. The amplitude of the later N320 component was larger for phonologically legal (pseudowords) compared to illegal (consonant sequences) items in both controls and dyslexics. However, the topographic differences showed that the controls were more left-lateralized than the dyslexics. We suggest that the development of the mechanisms that support literacy skills in dyslexics is both delayed and follows a non-normal developmental path. This contributes to the hemispheric differences observed and might reflect a compensatory mechanism in dyslexics.
  • Baggio, G., & Fonseca, A. (2012). Complex dynamics of semantic memory access in reading. Interface: Journal of the Royal Society, 9, 328-338. doi:10.1098/rsif.2011.0289.

    Abstract

    Understanding a word in context relies on a cascade of perceptual and conceptual processes, starting with modality-specific input decoding, and leading to the unification of the word's meaning into a discourse model. One critical cognitive event, turning a sensory stimulus into a meaningful linguistic sign, is the access of a semantic representation from memory. Little is known about the changes that activating a word's meaning brings about in cortical dynamics. We recorded the electroencephalogram (EEG) while participants read sentences that could contain a contextually unexpected word, such as ‘cold’ in ‘In July it is very cold outside’. We reconstructed trajectories in phase space from single-trial EEG time series, and we applied three nonlinear measures of predictability and complexity to each side of the semantic access boundary, estimated as the onset time of the N400 effect evoked by critical words. Relative to controls, unexpected words were associated with larger prediction errors preceding the onset of the N400. Accessing the meaning of such words produced a phase transition to lower entropy states, in which cortical processing becomes more predictable and more regular. Our study sheds new light on the dynamics of information flow through interfaces between sensory and memory systems during language processing.
  • Baggio, G. (2012). Selective alignment of brain responses by task demands during semantic processing. Neuropsychologia, 50, 655-665. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.01.002.

    Abstract

    The way the brain binds together words to form sentences may depend on whether and how the arising cognitive representation is to be used in behavior. The amplitude of the N400 effect in event-related brain potentials is inversely correlated with the degree of fit of a word's meaning into a semantic representation of the preceding discourse. This study reports a double dissociation in the latency characteristics of the N400 effect depending on task demands. When participants silently read words in a sentence context, without issuing a relevant overt response, greater temporal alignment over recording sites occurs for N400 onsets than peaks. If however a behavior is produced – here pressing a button in a binary probe selection task – exactly the opposite pattern is observed, with stronger alignment of N400 peaks than onsets. The peak amplitude of the N400 effect correlates best with the latency characteristic showing less temporal dispersion. These findings suggest that meaning construction in the brain is subtly affected by task demands, and that there is complex functional integration between semantic combinatorics and control systems handling behavioral goals.
  • Barendse, M. T., Oort, F. J., Werner, C. S., Ligtvoet, R., & Schermelleh-Engel, K. (2012). Measurement bias detection through factor analysis. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 19(4), 561-579. doi:10.1080/10705511.2012.713261.

    Abstract

    Measurement bias is defined as a violation of measurement invariance, which can be investigated through multigroup factor analysis (MGFA), by testing across-group differences in intercepts (uniform bias) and factor loadings (nonuniform bias). Restricted factor analysis (RFA) can also be used to detect measurement bias. To also enable nonuniform bias detection, we extend RFA with latent moderated structures (LMS) or use a random slope parameterization (RSP). In a simulation study we compare the MGFA, RFA/LMS, and RFA/RSP methods in detecting measurement bias, varying type of bias (uniform, nonuniform), type of the variable that violates measurement invariance (dichotomous, continuous), and its relationship with the trait that we want to measure (independent, dependent). For each condition, 500 sets of data are generated and analyzed with each of the three detection methods, in single run and in an iterative procedure. The RFA methods outperform MGFA when the violating variable is continuous.
  • Bastiaansen, M. C. M., Böcker, K. B. E., Cluitmans, P. J. M., & Brunia, C. H. M. (1999). Event-related desynchronization related to the anticipation of a stimulus providing knowledge of results. Clinical Neurophysiology, 110, 250-260.

    Abstract

    In the present paper, event-related desynchronization (ERD) in the alpha and beta frequency bands is quantified in order to investigate the processes related to the anticipation of a knowledge of results (KR) stimulus. In a time estimation task, 10 subjects were instructed to press a button 4 s after the presentation of an auditory stimulus. Two seconds after the response they received auditory or visual feedback on the timing of their response. Preceding the button press, a centrally maximal ERD is found. Preceding the visual KR stimulus, an ERD is present that has an occipital maximum. Contrary to expectation, preceding the auditory KR stimulus there are no signs of a modalityspecific ERD. Results are related to a thalamo-cortical gating model which predicts a correspondence between negative slow potentials and ERD during motor preparation and stimulus anticipation.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2004). [Review of the book Pre-Indo-European by Winfred P. Lehmann]. Journal of Indo-European Studies, 32, 146-155.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2004). Vigesimal numerals in Romance: An Indo-European perspective. General Linguistics, 41, 21-46.
  • Baumann, H., Dirksmeyer, R., & Wittenburg, P. (2004). Long-term archiving. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(2), 3-3.
  • Behne, T., Liszkowski, U., Carpenter, M., & Tomasello, M. (2012). Twelve-month-olds’ comprehension and production of pointing. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 30, 359-375. doi:10.1111/j.2044-835X.2011.02043.x.

    Abstract

    This study explored whether infants aged 12 months already recognize the communicative function of pointing gestures. Infants participated in a task requiring them to comprehend an adult’s informative pointing gesture to the location of a hidden toy. They mostly succeeded in this task, which required them to infer that the adult was attempting to direct their attention to a location for a reason – because she wanted them to know that a toy was hidden there. Many of the infants also reversed roles and produced appropriate pointing gestures for the adult in this same game, and indeed there was a correlation such that comprehenders were for the most part producers. These findings indicate that by 12 months of age infants are beginning to show a bidirectional understanding of communicative pointing.
  • Benazzo, S., Dimroth, C., Perdue, C., & Watorek, M. (2004). Le rôle des particules additives dans la construction de la cohésion discursive en langue maternelle et en langue étrangère. Langages, 155, 76-106.

    Abstract

    We compare the use of additive particles such as aussi ('also'), encore ('again, still'), and their 'translation équivalents', in a narrative task based on a séries of piclures performed by groups of children aged 4 years, 7 years and 10 years using their first language (L1 French, German, Polish), and by adult Polish and German learners of French as a second language (L2). From the cross-sectional analysis we propose developmental patterns which show remarkable similarities for ail types of learner, but which stem from différent determining factors. For the children, the patterns can best be explained by the development of their capacity to use available items in appropriate discourse contexts; for the adults, the limitations of their linguistic répertoire at différent levels of achievement détermines the possibility of incorporating thèse items into their utterance structure. Fïnally, we discuss to what extent thèse gênerai tendencies are influenced by the specificities of the différent languages used.
  • Benazzo, S., Flecken, M., & Soroli, E. (Eds.). (2012). Typological perspectives on language and thought: Thinking for speaking in L2. [Special Issue]. Language, Interaction and Acquisition, 3(2).
  • Benazzo, S., Flecken, M., & Soroli, E. (2012). Typological perspectives on second language acquisition: ‘Thinking for Speaking’ in L2. Language Interaction and Acquisition, 3(2), 163-172.
  • Benders, T., Escudero, P., & Sjerps, M. J. (2012). The interrelation between acoustic context effects and available response categories in speech sound categorization. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 131, 3079-3087. doi:10.1121/1.3688512.

    Abstract

    In an investigation of contextual influences on sound categorization, 64 Peruvian Spanish listeners categorized vowels on an /i/ to /e/ continuum. First, to measure the influence of the stimulus range (broad acoustic context) and the preceding stimuli (local acoustic context), listeners were presented with different subsets of the Spanish /i/-/e/ continuum in separate blocks. Second, the influence of the number of response categories was measured by presenting half of the participants with /i/ and /e/ as responses, and the other half with /i/, /e/, /a/, /o/, and /u/. The results showed that the perceptual category boundary between /i/ and /e/ shifted depending on the stimulus range and that the formant values of locally preceding items had a contrastive influence. Categorization was less susceptible to broad and local acoustic context effects, however, when listeners were presented with five rather than two response options. Vowel categorization depends not only on the acoustic properties of the target stimulus, but also on its broad and local acoustic context. The influence of such context is in turn affected by the number of internal referents that are available to the listener in a task.
  • Bercelli, F., Viaro, M., & Rossano, F. (2004). Attività in alcuni generi di psicoterapia. Rivista di psicolinguistica applicata, IV (2/3), 111-127. doi:10.1400/19208.

    Abstract

    The main aim of our paper is to contribute to the outline of a general inventory of activities in psychotherapy, as a step towards a description of overall conversational organizations of diff erent therapeutic approaches. From the perspective of Conversation Analysis, we describe some activities commonly occurrring in a corpus of sessions conducted by cognitive and relational-systemic therapists. Two activities appear to be basic: (a) inquiry: therapists elicit information from patients on their problems and circumstances; (b) reworking: therapists say something designed as an elaboration of what patients have previously said, or as something that can be grounded on it; and patients are induced to confi rm/disprove and contribute to the elaboration. Furthermore, we describe other activities, which turn out to be auxiliary to the basic ones: storytelling, procedural arrangement, recalling, noticing, teaching. We fi nally show some ways in which these activities can be integrated through conversational interaction.
  • Bergmann, C., Paulus, M., & Fikkert, P. (2012). Preschoolers’ comprehension of pronouns and reflexives: The impact of the task. Journal of Child Language, 39, 777-803. doi:10.1017/S0305000911000298.

    Abstract

    Pronouns seem to be acquired in an asymmetrical way, where children confuse the meaning of pronouns with reflexives up to the age of six, but not vice versa. Children’s production of the same referential expressions is appropriate at the age of four. However, response-based tasks, the usual means to investigate child language comprehension, are very demanding given children’s limited cognitive resources. Therefore, they might affect performance. To assess the impact of the task, we investigated learners of Dutch (three- and four-year-olds) using both eye-tracking, a non-demanding on-line method, and a typical response-based task. Eye-tracking results show an emerging ability to correctly comprehend pronouns at the age of four. A response-based task fails to indicate this ability across age groups, replicating results of earlier studies. Additionally, biases seem to influence the outcome of the response-based task. These results add new evidence to the ongoing debate of the asymmetrical acquisition of pronouns and reflexives and suggest that there is less of an asymmetry than previously assumed.
  • Bien, N., Ten Oever, S., Goebel, R., & Sack, A. T. (2012). The sound of size: Crossmodal binding in pitch-size synesthesia: A combined TMS, EEG and psychophysics study. NeuroImage, 59(1), 663-672. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.06.095.

    Abstract

    Crossmodal binding usually relies on bottom-up stimulus characteristics such as spatial and temporal correspondence. However, in case of ambiguity the brain has to decide whether to combine or segregate sensory inputs. We hypothesise that widespread, subtle forms of synesthesia provide crossmodal mapping patterns which underlie and influence multisensory perception. Our aim was to investigate if such a mechanism plays a role in the case of pitch-size stimulus combinations. Using a combination of psychophysics and ERPs, we could show that despite violations of spatial correspondence, the brain specifically integrates certain stimulus combinations which are congruent with respect to our hypothesis of pitch-size synesthesia, thereby impairing performance on an auditory spatial localisation task (Ventriloquist effect). Subsequently, we perturbed this process by functionally disrupting a brain area known for its role in multisensory processes, the right intraparietal sulcus, and observed how the Ventriloquist effect was abolished, thereby increasing behavioural performance. Correlating behavioural, TMS and ERP results, we could retrace the origin of the synesthestic pitch-size mappings to a right intraparietal involvement around 250 ms. The results of this combined psychophysics, TMS and ERP study provide evidence for shifting the current viewpoint on synesthesia more towards synesthesia being at the extremity of a spectrum of normal, adaptive perceptual processes, entailing close interplay between the different sensory systems. Our results support this spectrum view of synesthesia by demonstrating that its neural basis crucially depends on normal multisensory processes. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Additional information

    Corrigendum to the Sound of size
  • Blokland, A., Ten Oever, S., Van Gorp, D., Van Draanen, M., Schmidt, T., Nguyen, E., Krugliak, A., Napoletano, A., Keuter, S., & Klinkenberg, I. (2012). The use of a test battery assessing affective behavior in rats: Order effects. Behavioural Brain Research, 228(1), 16-21. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2011.11.042.

    Abstract

    Many studies have used test batteries for the evaluation of affective behavior in rodents. This has the advantage that treatment effects can be examined on different aspects of the affective domain. However, the behavior in one test may affect the behavior in following test. The present study examined possible order effects in rats that were tested in three different tests: Open Field (OF), Zero Maze (ZM) and Forced Swim Test (FST). The data of the present study indicated that the behavior in ZM was the least affected by the order of testing. In contrast, the behavior in the FST (and to a less extend the OF) was dependent on the order of the test in the test battery. Repeated testing in the same test did not change the behavior in the ZM. However, the behavior in the OF and FST changed with repeated testing. The present study indicates that the performance of rats in a test can be dependent on the order in a test battery. Consequently, these data caution the interpretation of treatment effects in studies in which test batteries are used. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Blythe, J. (2012). From passing-gesture to ‘true’ romance: Kin-based teasing in Murriny Patha conversation. Journal of Pragmatics, 44, 508-528. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2011.11.005.

    Abstract

    Just as interlocutors can manipulate physical objects for performing certain types of social action, they can also perform different social actions by manipulating symbolic objects. A kinship system can be thought of as an abstract collection of lexical mappings and associated cultural conventions. It is a sort of cognitive object that can be readily manipulated for special purposes. For example, the relationship between pairs of individuals can be momentarily re-construed in constructing jokes or teases. Murriny Patha speakers associate certain parts of the body with particular classes of kin. When a group of Murriny Patha women witness a cultural outsider performing a forearm-holding gesture that is characteristically associated with brothers-in-law, they re-associate the gesture to the husband–wife relationship, thus setting up an extended teasing episode. Many of these teases call on gestural resources. Although the teasing is at times repetitive, and the episode is only thinly populated with the telltale “off-record” markers that characterize teasing proposals as non-serious, the proposal is sufficiently far-fetched as to ensure that the teases come off as more bonding than biting.
  • Böcker, K. B. E., Bastiaansen, M. C. M., Vroomen, J., Brunia, C. H. M., & de Gelder, B. (1999). An ERP correlate of metrical stress in spoken word recognition. Psychophysiology, 36, 706-720. doi:10.1111/1469-8986.3660706.

    Abstract

    Rhythmic properties of spoken language such as metrical stress, that is, the alternation of strong and weak syllables, are important in speech recognition of stress-timed languages such as Dutch and English. Nineteen subjects listened passively to or discriminated actively between sequences of bisyllabic Dutch words, which started with either a weak or a strong syllable. Weak-initial words, which constitute 12% of the Dutch lexicon, evoked more negativity than strong-initial words in the interval between P2 and N400 components of the auditory event-related potential. This negativity was denoted as N325. The N325 was larger during stress discrimination than during passive listening. N325 was also larger when a weak-initial word followed sequence of strong-initial words than when it followed words with the same stress pattern. The latter difference was larger for listeners who performed well on stress discrimination. It was concluded that the N325 is probably a manifestation of the extraction of metrical stress from the acoustic signal and its transformation into task requirements.
  • Bögels, S., Schriefers, H., Vonk, W., Chwilla, D., & Kerkhofs, R. (2012). Are superfluous prosodic breaks harder to process than missing ones? ERP data on auditory sentence comprehension [Abstract]. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 85(3), 352. doi:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2012.06.167.

    Abstract

    PROCEEDINGS OF THE 16TH WORLD CONGRESS OF PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY of the International Organization of Psychophysiology (IOP) Pisa, Italy September 13-17, 2012
  • Borgwaldt, S. R., Hellwig, F. M., & De Groot, A. M. B. (2004). Word-initial entropy in five langauges: Letter to sound, and sound to letter. Written Language & Literacy, 7(2), 165-184.

    Abstract

    Alphabetic orthographies show more or less ambiguous relations between spelling and sound patterns. In transparent orthographies, like Italian, the pronunciation can be predicted from the spelling and vice versa. Opaque orthographies, like English, often display unpredictable spelling–sound correspondences. In this paper we present a computational analysis of word-initial bi-directional spelling–sound correspondences for Dutch, English, French, German, and Hungarian, stated in entropy values for various grain sizes. This allows us to position the five languages on the continuum from opaque to transparent orthographies, both in spelling-to-sound and sound-to-spelling directions. The analysis is based on metrics derived from information theory, and therefore independent of any specific theory of visual word recognition as well as of any specific theoretical approach of orthography.
  • Bosman, C., Schoffelen, J.-M., Brunet, N., Oostenveld, R., Bastos, A., Womelsdorf, T., Rubehn, B., Stieglitz, T., De Weerd, P., & Fries, P. (2012). Attentional stimulus selection through selective synchronization between monkey visual areas. Neuron, 75(5), 875-888. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2012.06.037.

    Abstract

    A central motif in neuronal networks is convergence, linking several input neurons to one target neuron. In visual cortex, convergence renders target neurons responsive to complex stimuli. Yet, convergence typically sends multiple stimuli to a target, and the behaviorally relevant stimulus must be selected. We used two stimuli, activating separate electrocorticographic V1 sites, and both activating an electrocorticographic V4 site equally strongly. When one of those stimuli activated one V1 site, it gamma synchronized (60-80 Hz) to V4. When the two stimuli activated two V1 sites, primarily the relevant one gamma synchronized to V4. Frequency bands of gamma activities showed substantial overlap containing the band of interareal coherence. The relevant V1 site had its gamma peak frequency 2-3 Hz higher than the irrelevant V1 site and 4-6 Hz higher than V4. Gamma-mediated interareal influences were predominantly directed from V1 to V4. We propose that selective synchronization renders relevant input effective, thereby modulating effective connectivity.
  • Bouckaert, R., Lemey, P., Dunn, M., Greenhill, S. J., Alekseyenko, A. V., Drummond, A. J., Gray, R. D., Suchard, M. A., & Atkinson, Q. D. (2012). Mapping the origins and expansion of the Indo-European language family. Science, 337(6097), 957-960. doi:10.1126/science.1219669.

    Abstract

    There are two competing hypotheses for the origin of the Indo-European language family. The conventional view places the homeland in the Pontic steppes about 6000 years ago. An alternative hypothesis claims that the languages spread from Anatolia with the expansion of farming 8000 to 9500 years ago. We used Bayesian phylogeographic approaches, together with basic vocabulary data from 103 ancient and contemporary Indo-European languages, to explicitly model the expansion of the family and test these hypotheses. We found decisive support for an Anatolian origin over a steppe origin. Both the inferred timing and root location of the Indo-European language trees fit with an agricultural expansion from Anatolia beginning 8000 to 9500 years ago. These results highlight the critical role that phylogeographic inference can play in resolving debates about human prehistory.
  • Bramão, I., Francisco, A., Inácio, F., Faísca, L., Reis, A., & Petersson, K. M. (2012). Electrophysiological evidence for colour effects on the naming of colour diagnostic and noncolour diagnostic objects. Visual Cognition, 20, 1164-1185. doi:10.1080/13506285.2012.739215.

    Abstract

    In this study, we investigated the level of visual processing at which surface colour information improves the naming of colour diagnostic and noncolour diagnostic objects. Continuous electroencephalograms were recorded while participants performed a visual object naming task in which coloured and black-and-white versions of both types of objects were presented. The black-and-white and the colour presentations were compared in two groups of event-related potentials (ERPs): (1) The P1 and N1 components, indexing early visual processing; and (2) the N300 and N400 components, which index late visual processing. A colour effect was observed in the P1 and N1 components, for both colour and noncolour diagnostic objects. In addition, for colour diagnostic objects, a colour effect was observed in the N400 component. These results suggest that colour information is important for the naming of colour and noncolour diagnostic objects at different levels of visual processing. It thus appears that the visual system uses colour information, during naming of both object types, at early visual stages; however, for the colour diagnostic objects naming, colour information is also recruited during the late visual processing stages.
  • Bramão, I., Faísca, L., Forkstam, C., Inácio, F., Araújo, S., Petersson, K. M., & Reis, A. (2012). The interaction between surface color and color knowledge: Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence. Brain and Cognition, 78, 28-37. doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2011.10.004.

    Abstract

    In this study, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to evaluate the contribution of surface color and color knowledge information in object identification. We constructed two color-object verification tasks – a surface and a knowledge verification task – using high color diagnostic objects; both typical and atypical color versions of the same object were presented. Continuous electroencephalogram was recorded from 26 subjects. A cluster randomization procedure was used to explore the differences between typical and atypical color objects in each task. In the color knowledge task, we found two significant clusters that were consistent with the N350 and late positive complex (LPC) effects. Atypical color objects elicited more negative ERPs compared to typical color objects. The color effect found in the N350 time window suggests that surface color is an important cue that facilitates the selection of a stored object representation from long-term memory. Moreover, the observed LPC effect suggests that surface color activates associated semantic knowledge about the object, including color knowledge representations. We did not find any significant differences between typical and atypical color objects in the surface color verification task, which indicates that there is little contribution of color knowledge to resolve the surface color verification. Our main results suggest that surface color is an important visual cue that triggers color knowledge, thereby facilitating object identification.
  • Brandmeyer, A., Desain, P. W., & McQueen, J. M. (2012). Effects of native language on perceptual sensitivity to phonetic cues. Neuroreport, 23, 653-657. doi:10.1097/WNR.0b013e32835542cd.

    Abstract

    The present study used electrophysiological and behavioral measures to investigate the perception of an English stop consonant contrast by native English listeners and by native Dutch listeners who were highly proficient in English. A /ba/-/pa/ continuum was created from a naturally produced /pa/ token by removing successive periods of aspiration, thus reducing the voice onset time. Although aspiration is a relevant cue for distinguishing voiced and unvoiced labial stop consonants (/b/ and /p/) in English, prevoicing is the primary cue used to distinguish between these categories in Dutch. In the electrophysiological experiment, participants listened to oddball sequences containing the standard /pa/ stimulus and one of three deviant stimuli while the mismatch-negativity response was measured. Participants then completed an identification task on the same stimuli. The results showed that native English participants were more sensitive to reductions in aspiration than native Dutch participants, as indicated by shifts in the category boundary, by differing within-group patterns of mismatch-negativity responses, and by larger mean evoked potential amplitudes in the native English group for two of the three deviant stimuli. This between-group difference in the sensorineural processing of aspiration cues indicates that native language experience alters the way in which the acoustic features of speech are processed in the auditory brain, even following extensive second-language training.

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  • Broeder, D. (2004). 40,000 IMDI sessions. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(4), 12-12.
  • Broeder, D., & Offenga, F. (2004). IMDI Metadata Set 3.0. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(2), 3-3.
  • Broersma, M. (2012). Increased lexical activation and reduced competition in second-language listening. Language and Cognitive Processes, 27(7-8), 1205-1224. doi:10.1080/01690965.2012.660170.

    Abstract

    This study investigates how inaccurate phoneme processing affects recognition of partially onset-overlapping pairs like DAFFOdil-DEFIcit and of minimal pairs like flash-flesh in second-language listening. Two cross-modal priming experiments examined differences between native (L1) and second-language (L2) listeners at two stages of lexical processing: first, the activation of intended and mismatching lexical representations and second, the competition between those lexical representations. Experiment 1 shows that truncated primes like daffo- and defi- activated lexical representations of mismatching words (either deficit or daffodil) more for L2 listeners than for L1 listeners. Experiment 2 shows that for minimal pairs, matching primes (prime: flash, target: FLASH) facilitated recognition of visual targets for L1 and L2 listeners alike, whereas mismatching primes (flesh, FLASH) inhibited recognition consistently for L1 listeners but only in a minority of cases for L2 listeners; in most cases, for them, primes facilitated recognition of both words equally strongly. Thus, L1 and L2 listeners' results differed both at the stages of lexical activation and competition. First, perceptually difficult phonemes activated mismatching words more for L2 listeners than for L1 listeners, and second, lexical competition led to efficient inhibition of mismatching competitors for L1 listeners but in most cases not for L2 listeners.
  • Brookshire, G., & Casasanto, D. (2012). Motivation and motor control: Hemispheric specialization for approach motivation reverses with handedness. PLoS One, 7(4), e36036. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036036.

    Abstract

    Background: According to decades of research on affective motivation in the human brain, approach motivational states are supported primarily by the left hemisphere and avoidance states by the right hemisphere. The underlying cause of this specialization, however, has remained unknown. Here we conducted a first test of the Sword and Shield Hypothesis (SSH), according to which the hemispheric laterality of affective motivation depends on the laterality of motor control for the dominant hand (i.e., the "sword hand," used preferentially to perform approach actions) and the nondominant hand (i.e., the "shield hand," used preferentially to perform avoidance actions). Methodology/Principal Findings: To determine whether the laterality of approach motivation varies with handedness, we measured alpha-band power (an inverse index of neural activity) in right- and left-handers during resting-state electroencephalography and analyzed hemispheric alpha-power asymmetries as a function of the participants' trait approach motivational tendencies. Stronger approach motivation was associated with more left-hemisphere activity in right-handers, but with more right-hemisphere activity in left-handers. Conclusions: The hemispheric correlates of approach motivation reversed between right- and left-handers, consistent with the way they typically use their dominant and nondominant hands to perform approach and avoidance actions. In both right- and left-handers, approach motivation was lateralized to the same hemisphere that controls the dominant hand. This covariation between neural systems for action and emotion provides initial support for the SSH
  • Brouwer, H., Fitz, H., & Hoeks, J. (2012). Getting real about semantic illusions: Rethinking the functional role of the P600 in language comprehension. Brain Research, 1446, 127-143. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2012.01.055.

    Abstract

    In traditional theories of language comprehension, syntactic and semantic processing are inextricably linked. This assumption has been challenged by the ‘Semantic Illusion Effect’ found in studies using Event Related brain Potentials. Semantically anomalous sentences did not produce the expected increase in N400 amplitude but rather one in P600 amplitude. To explain these findings, complex models have been devised in which an independent semantic processing stream can arrive at a sentence interpretation that may differ from the interpretation prescribed by the syntactic structure of the sentence. We review five such multi-stream models and argue that they do not account for the full range of relevant results because they assume that the amplitude of the N400 indexes some form of semantic integration. Based on recent evidence we argue that N400 amplitude might reflect the retrieval of lexical information from memory. On this view, the absence of an N400-effect in Semantic Illusion sentences can be explained in terms of priming. Furthermore, we suggest that semantic integration, which has previously been linked to the N400 component, might be reflected in the P600 instead. When combined, these functional interpretations result in a single-stream account of language processing that can explain all of the Semantic Illusion data.
  • Brouwer, S., Van Engen, K. J., Calandruccio, L., & Bradlow, A. R. (2012). Linguistic contributions to speech-on-speech masking for native and non-native listeners: Language familiarity and semantic content. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 131(2), 1449-1464. doi:10.1121/1.3675943.

    Abstract

    This study examined whether speech-on-speech masking is sensitive to variation in the degree of similarity between the target and the masker speech. Three experiments investigated whether speech-in-speech recognition varies across different background speech languages (English vs Dutch) for both English and Dutch targets, as well as across variation in the semantic content of the background speech (meaningful vs semantically anomalous sentences), and across variation in listener status vis-à-vis the target and masker languages (native, non-native, or unfamiliar). The results showed that the more similar the target speech is to the masker speech (e.g., same vs different language, same vs different levels of semantic content), the greater the interference on speech recognition accuracy. Moreover, the listener’s knowledge of the target and the background language modulate the size of the release from masking. These factors had an especially strong effect on masking effectiveness in highly unfavorable listening conditions. Overall this research provided evidence that that the degree of target-masker similarity plays a significant role in speech-in-speech recognition. The results also give insight into how listeners assign their resources differently depending on whether they are listening to their first or second language
  • Brouwer, S., Mitterer, H., & Huettig, F. (2012). Can hearing puter activate pupil? Phonological competition and the processing of reduced spoken words in spontaneous conversations. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65, 2193-2220. doi:10.1080/17470218.2012.693109.

    Abstract

    In listeners' daily communicative exchanges, they most often hear casual speech, in which words are often produced with fewer segments, rather than the careful speech used in most psycholinguistic experiments. Three experiments examined phonological competition during the recognition of reduced forms such as [pjutər] for computer using a target-absent variant of the visual world paradigm. Listeners' eye movements were tracked upon hearing canonical and reduced forms as they looked at displays of four printed words. One of the words was phonologically similar to the canonical pronunciation of the target word, one word was similar to the reduced pronunciation, and two words served as unrelated distractors. When spoken targets were presented in isolation (Experiment 1) and in sentential contexts (Experiment 2), competition was modulated as a function of the target word form. When reduced targets were presented in sentential contexts, listeners were probabilistically more likely to first fixate reduced-form competitors before shifting their eye gaze to canonical-form competitors. Experiment 3, in which the original /p/ from [pjutər] was replaced with a “real” onset /p/, showed an effect of cross-splicing in the late time window. We conjecture that these results fit best with the notion that speech reductions initially activate competitors that are similar to the phonological surface form of the reduction, but that listeners nevertheless can exploit fine phonetic detail to reconstruct strongly reduced forms to their canonical counterparts.
  • Brouwer, S., Mitterer, H., & Huettig, F. (2012). Speech reductions change the dynamics of competition during spoken word recognition. Language and Cognitive Processes, 27(4), 539-571. doi:10.1080/01690965.2011.555268.

    Abstract

    Three eye-tracking experiments investigated how phonological reductions (e.g., ‘‘puter’’ for ‘‘computer’’) modulate phonological competition. Participants listened to sentences extracted from a pontaneous speech corpus and saw four printed words: a target (e.g., ‘‘computer’’), a competitor similar to the canonical form (e.g., ‘‘companion’’), one similar to the reduced form (e.g., ‘‘pupil’’), and an unrelated distractor. In Experiment 1, we presented canonical and reduced forms in a syllabic and in a sentence context. Listeners directed their attention to a similar degree to both competitors independent of the target’s spoken form. In Experiment 2, we excluded reduced forms and presented canonical forms only. In such a listening situation, participants showed a clear preference for the ‘‘canonical form’’ competitor. In Experiment 3, we presented canonical forms intermixed with reduced forms in a sentence context and replicated the competition pattern of Experiment 1. These data suggest that listeners penalize acoustic mismatches less strongly when listeningto reduced speech than when listening to fully articulated speech. We conclude that flexibility to adjust to speech-intrinsic factors is a key feature of the spoken word recognition system.
  • Brown, P. (1999). Anthropologie cognitive. Anthropologie et Sociétés, 23(3), 91-119.

    Abstract

    In reaction to the dominance of universalism in the 1970s and '80s, there have recently been a number of reappraisals of the relation between language and cognition, and the field of cognitive anthropology is flourishing in several new directions in both America and Europe. This is partly due to a renewal and re-evaluation of approaches to the question of linguistic relativity associated with Whorf, and partly to the inspiration of modern developments in cognitive science. This review briefly sketches the history of cognitive anthropology and surveys current research on both sides of the Atlantic. The focus is on assessing current directions, considering in particular, by way of illustration, recent work in cultural models and on spatial language and cognition. The review concludes with an assessment of how cognitive anthropology could contribute directly both to the broader project of cognitive science and to the anthropological study of how cultural ideas and practices relate to structures and processes of human cognition.
  • Brown, C. M., Hagoort, P., & Ter Keurs, M. (1999). Electrophysiological signatures of visual lexical processing: open en closed-class words. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 11(3), 261-281.

    Abstract

    In this paper presents evidence of the disputed existence of an electrophysiological marker for the lexical-categorical distinction between open- and closed-class words. Event-related brain potentials were recorded from the scalp while subjects read a story. Separate waveforms were computed for open- and closed-class words. Two aspects of the waveforms could be reliably related to vocabulary class. The first was an early negativity in the 230- to 350-msec epoch, with a bilateral anterior predominance. This negativity was elicited by open- and closed-class words alike, was not affected by word frequency or word length, and had an earlier peak latency for closed-class words. The second was a frontal slow negative shift in the 350- to 500-msec epoch, largest over the left side of the scalp. This late negativity was only elicited by closed-class words. Although the early negativity cannot serve as a qualitative marker of the open- and closed-class distinction, it does reflect the earliest electrophysiological manifestation of the availability of categorical information from the mental lexicon. These results suggest that the brain honors the distinction between open- and closed-class words, in relation to the different roles that they play in on-line sentence processing.
  • Brown, P. (1999). Repetition [Encyclopedia entry for 'Lexicon for the New Millenium', ed. Alessandro Duranti]. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 9(2), 223-226. doi:10.1525/jlin.1999.9.1-2.223.

    Abstract

    This is an encyclopedia entry describing conversational and interactional uses of linguistic repetition.
  • Brown, A., & Gullberg, M. (2012). Multicompetence and native speaker variation in clausal packaging in Japanese. Second Language Research, 28, 415-442. doi:10.1177/0267658312455822.

    Abstract

    This work was supported by the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO; MPI 56-384, The Dynamics of Multilingual Processing, awarded to M Gullberg and P Indefrey).
  • Brown, P. (2012). Time and space in Tzeltal: Is the future uphill? Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 212. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00212.

    Abstract

    Linguistic expressions of time often draw on spatial language, which raises the question of whether cultural specificity in spatial language and cognition is reflected in thinking about time. In the Mayan language Tzeltal, spatial language relies heavily on an absolute frame of reference utilizing the overall slope of the land, distinguishing an “uphill/downhill” axis oriented from south to north, and an orthogonal “crossways” axis (sunrise-set) on the basis of which objects at all scales are located. Does this absolute system for calculating spa-tial relations carry over into construals of temporal relations? This question was explored in a study where Tzeltal consultants produced temporal expressions and performed two different non-linguistic temporal ordering tasks. The results show that at least five distinct schemata for conceptualizing time underlie Tzeltal linguistic expressions: (i) deictic ego-centered time, (ii) time as an ordered sequence (e.g., “first”/“later”), (iii) cyclic time (times of the day, seasons), (iv) time as spatial extension or location (e.g., “entering/exiting July”), and (v) a time vector extending uphillwards into the future. The non-linguistic task results showed that the “time moves uphillwards” metaphor, based on the absolute frame of reference prevalent in Tzeltal spatial language and thinking and important as well in the linguistic expressions for time, is not strongly reflected in responses on these tasks. It is argued that systematic and consistent use of spatial language in an absolute frame of reference does not necessarily transfer to consistent absolute time conceptualization in non-linguistic tasks; time appears to be more open to alternative construals.
  • Brucato, N., Mazières, S., Guitard, E., Giscard, P.-H., Bois, É., Larrouy, G., & Dugoujon, J.-M. (2012). The Hmong diaspora: Preserved South-East Asian genetic ancestry in French Guianese Asians. Comptes Rendus Biologies, 335, 698-707. doi:10.1016/j.crvi.2012.10.003.

    Abstract

    The Hmong Diaspora is one of the widest modern human migrations. Mainly localised in South-East Asia, the United States of America, and metropolitan France, a small community has also settled the Amazonian forest of French Guiana. We have biologically analysed 62 individuals of this unique Guianese population through three complementary genetic markers: mitochondrial DNA (HVS-I/II and coding region SNPs), Y-chromosome (SNPs and STRs), and the Gm allotypic system. All genetic systems showed a high conservation of the Asian gene pool (Asian ancestry: mtDNA = 100.0%; NRY = 99.1%; Gm = 96.6%), without a trace of founder effect. When compared across various Asian populations, the highest correlations were observed with Hmong-Mien groups still living in South-East Asia (Fst < 0.05; P-value < 0.05). Despite a long history punctuated by exodus, the French Guianese Hmong have maintained their original genetic diversity.
  • Brugman, H. (2004). ELAN 2.2 now available. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(3), 13-14.
  • Brugman, H., Sloetjes, H., Russel, A., & Klassmann, A. (2004). ELAN 2.3 available. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(4), 13-13.
  • Brugman, H. (2004). ELAN Releases 2.0.2 and 2.1. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(2), 4-4.
  • Burenhult, N. (2004). Landscape terms and toponyms in Jahai: A field report. Lund Working Papers, 51, 17-29.
  • Buzon, V., Carbo, L. R., Estruch, S. B., Fletterick, R. J., & Estebanez-Perpina, E. (2012). A conserved surface on the ligand binding domain of nuclear receptors for allosteric control. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 348(2), 394-402. doi:10.1016/j.mce.2011.08.012.

    Abstract

    Nuclear receptors (NRs) form a large superfamily of transcription factors that participate in virtually every key biological process. They control development, fertility, gametogenesis and are misregulated in many cancers. Their enormous functional plasticity as transcription factors relates in part to NR-mediated interactions with hundreds of coregulatory proteins upon ligand (e.g., hormone) binding to their ligand binding domains (LBD), or following covalent modification. Some coregulator association relates to the distinct residues that shape a coactivator binding pocket termed AF-2, a surface groove that primarily determines the preference and specificity of protein–protein interactions. However, the highly conserved AF-2 pocket in the NR superfamily appears to be insufficient to account for NR subtype specificity leading to fine transcriptional modulation in certain settings. Additional protein–protein interaction surfaces, most notably on their LBD, may contribute to modulating NR function. NR coregulators and chaperones, normally much larger than the NR itself, may also bind to such interfaces. In the case of the androgen receptor (AR) LBD surface, structural and functional data highlighted the presence of another site named BF-3, which lies at a distinct but topographically adjacent surface to AF-2. AR BF-3 is a hot spot for mutations involved in prostate cancer and androgen insensitivity syndromes, and some FDA-approved drugs bind at this site. Structural studies suggested an allosteric relationship between AF-2 and BF-3, as occupancy of the latter affected coactivator recruitment to AF-2. Physiological relevant partners of AR BF-3 have not been described as yet. The newly discovered site is highly conserved among the steroid receptors subclass, but is also present in other NRs. Several missense mutations in the BF-3 regions of these human NRs are implicated in pathology and affect their function in vitro. The fact that AR BF-3 pocket is a druggable site evidences its pharmacological potential. Compounds that may affect allosterically NR function by binding to BF-3 open promising avenues to develop type-specific NR modulators.

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  • Carlsson, K., Petersson, K. M., Lundqvist, D., Karlsson, A., Ingvar, M., & Öhman, A. (2004). Fear and the amygdala: manipulation of awareness generates differential cerebral responses to phobic and fear-relevant (but nonfeared) stimuli. Emotion, 4(4), 340-353. doi:10.1037/1528-3542.4.4.340.

    Abstract

    Rapid response to danger holds an evolutionary advantage. In this positron emission tomography study, phobics were exposed to masked visual stimuli with timings that either allowed awareness or not of either phobic, fear-relevant (e.g., spiders to snake phobics), or neutral images. When the timing did not permit awareness, the amygdala responded to both phobic and fear-relevant stimuli. With time for more elaborate processing, phobic stimuli resulted in an addition of an affective processing network to the amygdala activity, whereas no activity was found in response to fear-relevant stimuli. Also, right prefrontal areas appeared deactivated, comparing aware phobic and fear-relevant conditions. Thus, a shift from top-down control to an affectively driven system optimized for speed was observed in phobic relative to fear-relevant aware processing.
  • Carota, F., Moseley, R., & Pulvermüller, F. (2012). Body-part-specific Representations of Semantic Noun Categories. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24(6), 1492-1509. doi:10.1162/jocn\_a\_00219.

    Abstract

    Word meaning processing in the brain involves ventrolateral temporal cortex, but a semantic contribution of the dorsal stream, especially frontocentral sensorimotor areas, has been controversial. We here examine brain activation during passive reading of object-related nouns from different semantic categories, notably animal, food, and tool words, matched for a range of psycholinguistic features. Results show ventral stream activation in temporal cortex along with category-specific activation patterns in both ventral and dorsal streams, including sensorimotor systems and adjacent pFC. Precentral activation reflected action-related semantic features of the word categories. Cortical regions implicated in mouth and face movements were sparked by food words, and hand area activation was seen for tool words, consistent with the actions implicated by the objects the words are used to speak about. Furthermore, tool words specifically activated the right cerebellum, and food words activated the left orbito-frontal and fusiform areas. We discuss our results in the context of category-specific semantic deficits in the processing of words and concepts, along with previous neuroimaging research, and conclude that specific dorsal and ventral areas in frontocentral and temporal cortex index visual and affective–emotional semantic attributes of object-related nouns and action-related affordances of their referent objects.
  • Carroll, M., Lambert, M., Weimar, K., Flecken, M., & von Stutterheim, C. (2012). Tracing trajectories: Motion event construal by advanced L2 French-English and L2 French-German speakers. Language Interaction and Acquisition, 3(2), 202-230. doi:10.1075/lia.3.2.03car.

    Abstract

    Although the typological contrast between Romance and Germanic languages as verb-framed versus satellite-framed (Talmy 1985) forms the background for many empirical studies on L2 acquisition, the inconclusive picture to date calls for more differentiated, fine-grained analyses. The present study goes beyond explanations based on this typological contrast and takes into account the sources from which spatial concepts are mainly derived in order to shape the trajectory traced by the entity in motion when moving through space: the entity in V-languages versus features of the ground in S-languages. It investigates why advanced French learners of English and German have difficulty acquiring the use of spatial concepts typical of the L2s to shape the trajectory, although relevant concepts can be expressed in their L1. The analysis compares motion event descriptions, based on the same sets of video clips, of L1 speakers of the three languages to L1 French-L2 English and L1 French-L2 German speakers, showing that the learners do not fully acquire the use of L2-specific spatial concepts. We argue that encoded concepts derived from the entity in motion vs. the ground lead to a focus on different aspects of motion events, in accordance with their compatibility with these sources, and are difficult to restructure in L2 acquisition.
  • Casasanto, D., & Henetz, T. (2012). Handedness shapes children’s abstract concepts. Cognitive Science, 36, 359-372. doi:10.1111/j.1551-6709.2011.01199.x.

    Abstract

    Can children’s handedness influence how they represent abstract concepts like kindness and intelligence? Here we show that from an early age, right-handers associate rightward space more strongly with positive ideas and leftward space with negative ideas, but the opposite is true for left-handers. In one experiment, children indicated where on a diagram a preferred toy and a dispreferred toy should go. Right-handers tended to assign the preferred toy to a box on the right and the dispreferred toy to a box on the left. Left-handers showed the opposite pattern. In a second experiment, children judged which of two cartoon animals looked smarter (or dumber) or nicer (or meaner). Right-handers attributed more positive qualities to animals on the right, but left-handers to animals on the left. These contrasting associations between space and valence cannot be explained by exposure to language or cultural conventions, which consistently link right with good. Rather, right- and left-handers implicitly associated positive valence more strongly with the side of space on which they can act more fluently with their dominant hands. Results support the body-specificity hypothesis (Casasanto, 2009), showing that children with different kinds of bodies think differently in corresponding ways.
  • Chang, F., Janciauskas, M., & Fitz, H. (2012). Language adaptation and learning: Getting explicit about implicit learning. Language and Linguistics Compass, 6, 259-278. doi:10.1002/lnc3.337.

    Abstract

    Linguistic adaptation is a phenomenon where language representations change in response to linguistic input. Adaptation can occur on multiple linguistic levels such as phonology (tuning of phonotactic constraints), words (repetition priming), and syntax (structural priming). The persistent nature of these adaptations suggests that they may be a form of implicit learning and connectionist models have been developed which instantiate this hypothesis. Research on implicit learning, however, has also produced evidence that explicit chunk knowledge is involved in the performance of these tasks. In this review, we examine how these interacting implicit and explicit processes may change our understanding of language learning and processing.
  • Chen, X. S., & Brown, C. M. (2012). Computational identification of new structured cis-regulatory elements in the 3'-untranslated region of human protein coding genes. Nucleic Acids Research, 40, 8862-8873. doi:10.1093/nar/gks684.

    Abstract

    Messenger ribonucleic acids (RNAs) contain a large number of cis-regulatory RNA elements that function in many types of post-transcriptional regulation. These cis-regulatory elements are often characterized by conserved structures and/or sequences. Although some classes are well known, given the wide range of RNA-interacting proteins in eukaryotes, it is likely that many new classes of cis-regulatory elements are yet to be discovered. An approach to this is to use computational methods that have the advantage of analysing genomic data, particularly comparative data on a large scale. In this study, a set of structural discovery algorithms was applied followed by support vector machine (SVM) classification. We trained a new classification model (CisRNA-SVM) on a set of known structured cis-regulatory elements from 3′-untranslated regions (UTRs) and successfully distinguished these and groups of cis-regulatory elements not been strained on from control genomic and shuffled sequences. The new method outperformed previous methods in classification of cis-regulatory RNA elements. This model was then used to predict new elements from cross-species conserved regions of human 3′-UTRs. Clustering of these elements identified new classes of potential cis-regulatory elements. The model, training and testing sets and novel human predictions are available at: http://mRNA.otago.ac.nz/CisRNA-SVM.
  • Chen, A., Gussenhoven, C., & Rietveld, T. (2004). Language specificity in perception of paralinguistic intonational meaning. Language and Speech, 47(4), 311-349.

    Abstract

    This study examines the perception of paralinguistic intonational meanings deriving from Ohala’s Frequency Code (Experiment 1) and Gussenhoven’s Effort Code (Experiment 2) in British English and Dutch. Native speakers of British English and Dutch listened to a number of stimuli in their native language and judged each stimulus on four semantic scales deriving from these two codes: SELF-CONFIDENT versus NOT SELF-CONFIDENT, FRIENDLY versus NOT FRIENDLY (Frequency Code); SURPRISED versus NOT SURPRISED, and EMPHATIC versus NOT EMPHATIC (Effort Code). The stimuli, which were lexically equivalent across the two languages, differed in pitch contour, pitch register and pitch span in Experiment 1, and in pitch register, peak height, peak alignment and end pitch in Experiment 2. Contrary to the traditional view that the paralinguistic usage of intonation is similar across languages, it was found that British English and Dutch listeners differed considerably in the perception of “confident,” “friendly,” “emphatic,” and “surprised.” The present findings support a theory of paralinguistic meaning based on the universality of biological codes, which however acknowledges a languagespecific component in the implementation of these codes.
  • Cho, T. (2004). Prosodically conditioned strengthening and vowel-to-vowel coarticulation in English. Journal of Phonetics, 32(2), 141-176. doi:10.1016/S0095-4470(03)00043-3.

    Abstract

    The goal of this study is to examine how the degree of vowel-to-vowel coarticulation varies as a function of prosodic factors such as nuclear-pitch accent (accented vs. unaccented), level of prosodic boundary (Prosodic Word vs. Intermediate Phrase vs. Intonational Phrase), and position-in-prosodic-domain (initial vs. final). It is hypothesized that vowels in prosodically stronger locations (e.g., in accented syllables and at a higher prosodic boundary) are not only coarticulated less with their neighboring vowels, but they also exert a stronger influence on their neighbors. Measurements of tongue position for English /a i/ over time were obtained with Carsten’s electromagnetic articulography. Results showed that vowels in prosodically stronger locations are coarticulated less with neighboring vowels, but do not exert a stronger influence on the articulation of neighboring vowels. An examination of the relationship between coarticulation and duration revealed that (a) accent-induced coarticulatory variation cannot be attributed to a duration factor and (b) some of the data with respect to boundary effects may be accounted for by the duration factor. This suggests that to the extent that prosodically conditioned coarticulatory variation is duration-independent, there is no absolute causal relationship from duration to coarticulation. It is proposed that prosodically conditioned V-to-V coarticulatory reduction is another type of strengthening that occurs in prosodically strong locations. The prosodically driven coarticulatory patterning is taken to be part of the phonetic signatures of the hierarchically nested structure of prosody.
  • Choi, S., McDonough, L., Bowerman, M., & Mandler, J. M. (1999). Early sensitivity to language-specific spatial categories in English and Korean. Cognitive Development, 14, 241-268. doi:10.1016/S0885-2014(99)00004-0.

    Abstract

    This study investigates young children’s comprehension of spatial terms in two languages that categorize space strikingly differently. English makes a distinction between actions resulting in containment (put in) versus support or surface attachment (put on), while Korean makes a cross-cutting distinction between tight-fit relations (kkita) versus loose-fit or other contact relations (various verbs). In particular, the Korean verb kkita refers to actions resulting in a tight-fit relation regardless of containment or support. In a preferential looking study we assessed the comprehension of in by 20 English learners and kkita by 10 Korean learners, all between 18 and 23 months. The children viewed pairs of scenes while listening to sentences with and without the target word. The target word led children to gaze at different and language-appropriate aspects of the scenes. We conclude that children are sensitive to language-specific spatial categories by 18–23 months.
  • Cholin, J., Schiller, N. O., & Levelt, W. J. M. (2004). The preparation of syllables in speech production. Journal of Memory and Language, 50(1), 47-61. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2003.08.003.

    Abstract

    Models of speech production assume that syllables play a functional role in the process of word-form encoding in speech production. In this study, we investigate this claim and specifically provide evidence about the level at which syllables come into play. We report two studies using an odd-man-out variant of the implicit priming paradigm to examine the role of the syllable during the process of word formation. Our results show that this modified version of the implicit priming paradigm can trace the emergence of syllabic structure during spoken word generation. Comparing these results to prior syllable priming studies, we conclude that syllables emerge at the interface between phonological and phonetic encoding. The results are discussed in terms of the WEAVER++ model of lexical access.
  • Claus, A. (2004). Access management system. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(2), 5.
  • Clifton, Jr., C., Cutler, A., McQueen, J. M., & Van Ooijen, B. (1999). The processing of inflected forms. [Commentary on H. Clahsen: Lexical entries and rules of language.]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22, 1018-1019.

    Abstract

    Clashen proposes two distinct processing routes, for regularly and irregularly inflected forms, respectively, and thus is apparently making a psychological claim. We argue his position, which embodies a strictly linguistic perspective, does not constitute a psychological processing model.
  • Cohen, E. (2012). [Review of the book Searching for Africa in Brazil: Power and Tradition in Candomblé by Stefania Capone]. Critique of Anthropology, 32, 217-218. doi:10.1177/0308275X12439961.
  • Cohen, E. (2012). The evolution of tag-based cooperation in humans: The case for accent. Current Anthropology, 53, 588-616. doi:10.1086/667654.

    Abstract

    Recent game-theoretic simulation and analytical models have demonstrated that cooperative strategies mediated by indicators of cooperative potential, or “tags,” can invade, spread, and resist invasion by noncooperators across a range of population-structure and cost-benefit scenarios. The plausibility of these models is potentially relevant for human evolutionary accounts insofar as humans possess some phenotypic trait that could serve as a reliable tag. Linguistic markers, such as accent and dialect, have frequently been either cursorily defended or promptly dismissed as satisfying the criteria of a reliable and evolutionarily viable tag. This paper integrates evidence from a range of disciplines to develop and assess the claim that speech accent mediated the evolution of tag-based cooperation in humans. Existing evidence warrants the preliminary conclusion that accent markers meet the demands of an evolutionarily viable tag and potentially afforded a cost-effective solution to the challenges of maintaining viable cooperative relationships in diffuse, regional social networks.
  • Colzato, L. S., Zech, H., Hommel, B., Verdonschot, R. G., Van den Wildenberg, W. P. M., & Hsieh, S. (2012). Loving-kindness brings loving-kindness: The impact of Buddhism on cognitive self-other integration. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 19(3), 541-545. doi:10.3758/s13423-012-0241-y.

    Abstract

    Common wisdom has it that Buddhism enhances compassion and self-other integration. We put this assumption to empirical test by comparing practicing Taiwanese Buddhists with well-matched atheists. Buddhists showed more evidence of self-other integration in the social Simon task, which assesses the degree to which people co-represent the actions of a coactor. This suggests that self-other integration and task co-representation vary as a function of religious practice.
  • Cristia, A., Seidl, A., Vaughn, C., Schmale, R., Bradlow, A., & Floccia, C. (2012). Linguistic processing of accented speech across the lifespan. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 479. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00479.

    Abstract

    In most of the world, people have regular exposure to multiple accents. Therefore, learning to quickly process accented speech is a prerequisite to successful communication. In this paper, we examine work on the perception of accented speech across the lifespan, from early infancy to late adulthood. Unfamiliar accents initially impair linguistic processing by infants, children, younger adults, and older adults, but listeners of all ages come to adapt to accented speech. Emergent research also goes beyond these perceptual abilities, by assessing links with production and the relative contributions of linguistic knowledge and general cognitive skills. We conclude by underlining points of convergence across ages, and the gaps left to face in future work.
  • Cronin, K. A. (2012). Prosocial behaviour in animals: The influence of social relationships, communication and rewards. Animal Behaviour, 84, 1085-1093. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.08.009.

    Abstract

    Researchers have struggled to obtain a clear account of the evolution of prosocial behaviour despite a great deal of recent effort. The aim of this review is to take a brief step back from addressing the question of evolutionary origins of prosocial behaviour in order to identify contextual factors that are contributing to variation in the expression of prosocial behaviour and hindering progress towards identifying phylogenetic patterns. Most available data come from the Primate Order, and the choice of contextual factors to consider was informed by theory and practice, including the nature of the relationship between the potential donor and recipient, the communicative behaviour of the recipients, and features of the prosocial task including whether rewards are visible and whether the prosocial choice creates an inequity between actors. Conclusions are drawn about the facilitating or inhibiting impact of each of these factors on the expression of prosocial behaviour, and areas for future research are highlighted. Acknowledging the impact of these contextual features on the expression of prosocial behaviours should stimulate new research into the proximate mechanisms that drive these effects, yield experimental designs that better control for potential influences on prosocial expression, and ultimately allow progress towards reconstructing the evolutionary origins of prosocial behaviour.
  • Cronin, K. A., & Sanchez, A. (2012). Social dynamics and cooperation: The case of nonhuman primates and its implications for human behavior. Advances in complex systems, 15, 1250066. doi:10.1142/S021952591250066X.

    Abstract

    The social factors that influence cooperation have remained largely uninvestigated but have the potential to explain much of the variation in cooperative behavior observed in the natural world. We show here that certain dimensions of the social environment, namely the size of the social group, the degree of social tolerance expressed, the structure of the dominance hierarchy, and the patterns of dispersal, may influence the emergence and stability of cooperation in predictable ways. Furthermore, the social environment experienced by a species over evolutionary time will have shaped their cognition to provide certain strengths and strategies that are beneficial in their species‟ social world. These cognitive adaptations will in turn impact the likelihood of cooperating in a given social environment. Experiments with one primate species, the cottontop tamarin, illustrate how social dynamics may influence emergence and stability of cooperative behavior in this species. We then take a more general viewpoint and argue that the hypotheses presented here require further experimental work and the addition of quantitative modeling to obtain a better understanding of how social dynamics influence the emergence and stability of cooperative behavior in complex systems. We conclude by pointing out subsequent specific directions for models and experiments that will allow relevant advances in the understanding of the emergence of cooperation.
  • Cutfield, S. (2012). Foreword. Australian Journal of Linguistics, 32(4), 457-458.
  • Cutler, A., & Davis, C. (2012). An orthographic effect in phoneme processing, and its limitations. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 18. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00018.

    Abstract

    To examine whether lexically stored knowledge about spelling influences phoneme evaluation, we conducted three experiments with a low-level phonetic judgement task: phoneme goodness rating. In each experiment, listeners heard phonetic tokens varying along a continuum centred on /s/, occurring finally in isolated word or nonword tokens. An effect of spelling appeared in Experiment 1: Native English speakers’ goodness ratings for the best /s/ tokens were significantly higher in words spelled with S (e.g., bless) than in words spelled with C (e.g., voice). No such difference appeared when nonnative speakers rated the same materials in Experiment 2, indicating that the difference could not be due to acoustic characteristics of the S- versus C-words. In Experiment 3, nonwords with lexical neighbours consistently spelled with S (e.g., pless) versus with C (e.g., floice) failed to elicit orthographic neighbourhood effects; no significant difference appeared in native English speakers’ ratings for the S-consistent versus the C-consistent sets. Obligatory influence of lexical knowledge on phonemic processing would have predicted such neighbourhood effects; the findings are thus better accommodated by models in which phonemic decisions draw strategically upon lexical information.
  • Cutler, A. (1986). Forbear is a homophone: Lexical prosody does not constrain lexical access. Language and Speech, 29, 201-220.

    Abstract

    Because stress can occur in any position within an Eglish word, lexical prosody could serve as a minimal distinguishing feature between pairs of words. However, most pairs of English words with stress pattern opposition also differ vocalically: OBject an obJECT, CONtent and content have different vowels in their first syllables an well as different stress patters. To test whether prosodic information is made use in auditory word recognition independently of segmental phonetic information, it is necessary to examine pairs like FORbear – forBEAR of TRUSty – trusTEE, semantically unrelated words which echbit stress pattern opposition but no segmental difference. In a cross-modal priming task, such words produce the priming effects characteristic of homophones, indicating that lexical prosody is not used in the same was as segmental structure to constrain lexical access.
  • Cutler, A. (2012). Native listening: The flexibility dimension. Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics, 1(2), 169-187.

    Abstract

    The way we listen to spoken language is tailored to the specific benefit of native-language speech input. Listening to speech in non-native languages can be significantly hindered by this native bias. Is it possible to determine the degree to which a listener is listening in a native-like manner? Promising indications of how this question may be tackled are provided by new research findings concerning the great flexibility that characterises listening to the L1, in online adjustment of phonetic category boundaries for adaptation across talkers, and in modulation of lexical dynamics for adjustment across listening conditions. This flexibility pays off in many dimensions, including listening in noise, adaptation across dialects, and identification of voices. These findings further illuminate the robustness and flexibility of native listening, and potentially point to ways in which we might begin to assess degrees of ‘native-likeness’ in this skill.
  • Cutler, A. (1986). Phonological structure in speech recognition. Phonology Yearbook, 3, 161-178. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/4615397.

    Abstract

    Two bodies of recent research from experimental psycholinguistics are summarised, each of which is centred upon a concept from phonology: LEXICAL STRESS and the SYLLABLE. The evidence indicates that neither construct plays a role in prelexical representations during speech recog- nition. Both constructs, however, are well supported by other performance evidence. Testing phonological claims against performance evidence from psycholinguistics can be difficult, since the results of studies designed to test processing models are often of limited relevance to phonological theory.
  • Cutler, A., Otake, T., & Bruggeman, L. (2012). Phonologically determined asymmetries in vocabulary structure across languages. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 132(2), EL155-EL160. doi:10.1121/1.4737596.

    Abstract

    Studies of spoken-word recognition have revealed that competition from embedded words differs in strength as a function of where in the carrier word the embedded word is found and have further shown embedding patterns to be skewed such that embeddings in initial position in carriers outnumber embeddings in final position. Lexico-statistical analyses show that this skew is highly attenuated in Japanese, a noninflectional language. Comparison of the extent of the asymmetry in the three Germanic languages English, Dutch, and German allows the source to be traced to a combination of suffixal morphology and vowel reduction in unstressed syllables.
  • Cutler, A., & Otake, T. (1999). Pitch accent in spoken-word recognition in Japanese. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 105, 1877-1888.

    Abstract

    Three experiments addressed the question of whether pitch-accent information may be exploited in the process of recognizing spoken words in Tokyo Japanese. In a two-choice classification task, listeners judged from which of two words, differing in accentual structure, isolated syllables had been extracted ~e.g., ka from baka HL or gaka LH!; most judgments were correct, and listeners’ decisions were correlated with the fundamental frequency characteristics of the syllables. In a gating experiment, listeners heard initial fragments of words and guessed what the words were; their guesses overwhelmingly had the same initial accent structure as the gated word even when only the beginning CV of the stimulus ~e.g., na- from nagasa HLL or nagashi LHH! was presented. In addition, listeners were more confident in guesses with the same initial accent structure as the stimulus than in guesses with different accent. In a lexical decision experiment, responses to spoken words ~e.g., ame HL! were speeded by previous presentation of the same word ~e.g., ame HL! but not by previous presentation of a word differing only in accent ~e.g., ame LH!. Together these findings provide strong evidence that accentual information constrains the activation and selection of candidates for spoken-word recognition.
  • Cutler, A., Weber, A., Smits, R., & Cooper, N. (2004). Patterns of English phoneme confusions by native and non-native listeners. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 116(6), 3668-3678. doi:10.1121/1.1810292.

    Abstract

    Native American English and non-native(Dutch)listeners identified either the consonant or the vowel in all possible American English CV and VC syllables. The syllables were embedded in multispeaker babble at three signal-to-noise ratios(0, 8, and 16 dB). The phoneme identification performance of the non-native listeners was less accurate than that of the native listeners. All listeners were adversely affected by noise. With these isolated syllables, initial segments were harder to identify than final segments. Crucially, the effects of language background and noise did not interact; the performance asymmetry between the native and non-native groups was not significantly different across signal-to-noise ratios. It is concluded that the frequently reported disproportionate difficulty of non-native listening under disadvantageous conditions is not due to a disproportionate increase in phoneme misidentifications.
  • Cutler, A. (2004). On spoken-word recognition in a second language. Newsletter, American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages, 47, 15-15.
  • Cutler, A., & Swinney, D. A. (1986). Prosody and the development of comprehension. Journal of Child Language, 14, 145-167.

    Abstract

    Four studies are reported in which young children’s response time to detect word targets was measured. Children under about six years of age did not show response time advantage for accented target words which adult listeners show. When semantic focus of the target word was manipulated independently of accent, children of about five years of age showed an adult-like response time advantage for focussed targets, but children younger than five did not. Id is argued that the processing advantage for accented words reflect the semantic role of accent as an expression of sentence focus. Processing advantages for accented words depend on the prior development of representations of sentence semantic structure, including the concept of focus. The previous literature on the development of prosodic competence shows an apparent anomaly in that young children’s productive skills appear to outstrip their receptive skills; however, this anomaly disappears if very young children’s prosody is assumed to be produced without an underlying representation of the relationship between prosody and semantics.
  • Cutler, A., & Norris, D. (1999). Sharpening Ockham’s razor (Commentary on W.J.M. Levelt, A. Roelofs & A.S. Meyer: A theory of lexical access in speech production). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22, 40-41.

    Abstract

    Language production and comprehension are intimately interrelated; and models of production and comprehension should, we argue, be constrained by common architectural guidelines. Levelt et al.'s target article adopts as guiding principle Ockham's razor: the best model of production is the simplest one. We recommend adoption of the same principle in comprehension, with consequent simplification of some well-known types of models.
  • Cutler, A., Mehler, J., Norris, D., & Segui, J. (1986). The syllable’s differing role in the segmentation of French and English. Journal of Memory and Language, 25, 385-400. doi:10.1016/0749-596X(86)90033-1.

    Abstract

    Speech segmentation procedures may differ in speakers of different languages. Earlier work based on French speakers listening to French words suggested that the syllable functions as a segmentation unit in speech processing. However, while French has relatively regular and clearly bounded syllables, other languages, such as English, do not. No trace of syllabifying segmentation was found in English listeners listening to English words, French words, or nonsense words. French listeners, however, showed evidence of syllabification even when they were listening to English words. We conclude that alternative segmentation routines are available to the human language processor. In some cases speech segmentation may involve the operation of more than one procedure
  • Cutler, A. (1986). Why readers of this newsletter should run cross-linguistic experiments. European Psycholinguistics Association Newsletter, 13, 4-8.
  • Cysouw, M., Dediu, D., & Moran, S. (2012). Comment on “Phonemic Diversity Supports a Serial Founder Effect Model of Language Expansion from Africa”. Science, 335, 657-b. doi:10.1126/science.1208841.

    Abstract

    We show that Atkinson’s (Reports, 15 April 2011, p. 346) intriguing proposal—that global linguistic diversity supports a single language origin in Africa—is an artifact of using suboptimal data, biased methodology, and unjustified assumptions. We criticize his approach using more suitable data, and we additionally provide new results suggesting a more complex scenario for the emergence of global linguistic diversity.
  • Dagklis, A., Ponzoni, M., Govi, S., Cangi, M. G., Pasini, E., Charlotte, F., Vino, A., Doglioni, C., Davi, F., Lossos, I. S., Ntountas, I., Papadaki, T., Dolcetti, R., Ferreri, A. J. M., Stamatopoulos, K., & Ghia, P. (2012). Immunoglobulin gene repertoire in ocular adnexal lymphomas: hints on the nature of the antigenic stimulation. Leukemia, 26, 814-821. doi:10.1038/leu.2011.276.

    Abstract

    Evidence from certain geographical areas links lymphomas of the ocular adnexa marginal zone B-cell lymphomas (OAMZL) with Chlamydophila psittaci (Cp) infection, suggesting that lymphoma development is dependent upon chronic stimulation by persistent infections. Notwithstanding that, the actual immunopathogenetical mechanisms have not yet been elucidated. As in other B-cell lymphomas, insight into this issue, especially with regard to potential selecting ligands, could be provided by analysis of the immunoglobulin (IG) receptors of the malignant clones. To this end, we studied the molecular features of IGs in 44 patients with OAMZL (40% Cp-positive), identifying features suggestive of a pathogenic mechanism of autoreactivity. Herein, we show that lymphoma cells express a distinctive IG repertoire, with electropositive antigen (Ag)-binding sites, reminiscent of autoantibodies (auto-Abs) recognizing DNA. Additionally, five (11%) cases of OAMZL expressed IGs homologous with autoreactive Abs or IGs of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a disease known for the expression of autoreactive IGs by neoplastic cells. In contrast, no similarity with known anti-Chlamydophila Abs was found. Taken together, these results strongly indicate that OAMZL may originate from B cells selected for their capability to bind Ags and, in particular, auto-Ags. In OAMZL associated with Cp infection, the pathogen likely acts indirectly on the malignant B cells, promoting the development of an inflammatory milieu, where auto-Ags could be exposed and presented, driving proliferation and expansion of self-reactive B cells.
  • Dahan, D., & Tanenhaus, M. K. (2004). Continuous mapping from sound to meaning in spoken-language comprehension: Immediate effects of verb-based thematic constraints. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 30(2), 498-513. doi:10.1037/0278-7393.30.2.498.

    Abstract

    The authors used 2 “visual-world” eye-tracking experiments to examine lexical access using Dutch constructions in which the verb did or did not place semantic constraints on its subsequent subject noun phrase. In Experiment 1, fixations to the picture of a cohort competitor (overlapping with the onset of the referent’s name, the subject) did not differ from fixations to a distractor in the constraining-verb condition. In Experiment 2, cross-splicing introduced phonetic information that temporarily biased the input toward the cohort competitor. Fixations to the cohort competitor temporarily increased in both the neutral and constraining conditions. These results favor models in which mapping from the input onto meaning is continuous over models in which contextual effects follow access of an initial form-based competitor set.
  • Davidson, D. J., Hanulikova, A., & Indefrey, P. (2012). Electrophysiological correlates of morphosyntactic integration in German phrasal context. Language and Cognitive Processes, 27, 288-311. doi:10.1080/01690965.2011.616448.

    Abstract

    The morphosyntactic paradigm of an inflected word can influence isolated word recognition, but its role in multiple-word phrasal integration is less clear. We examined the electrophysiological response to adjectives in short German prepositional phrases to evaluate whether strong and weak forms of the adjective show a differential response, and whether paradigm variables are related to this response. Twenty native German speakers classified serially presented phrases as grammatically correct or not while the electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded. A functional mixed effects model of the response to grammatically correct trials revealed a differential response to strong and weak forms of the adjectives. This response difference depended on whether the preceding preposition imposed accusative or dative case. The lexically conditioned information content of the adjectives modulated a later interval of the response. The results indicate that grammatical context modulates the response to morphosyntactic information content, and lends support to the role of paradigm structure in integrative phrasal processing.
  • Dediu, D., & Levinson, S. C. (2012). Abstract profiles of structural stability point to universal tendencies, family-specific factors, and ancient connections between languages. PLoS One, 7(9), e45198. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045198.

    Abstract

    Language is the best example of a cultural evolutionary system, able to retain a phylogenetic signal over many thousands of years. The temporal stability (conservatism) of basic vocabulary is relatively well understood, but the stability of the structural properties of language (phonology, morphology, syntax) is still unclear. Here we report an extensive Bayesian phylogenetic investigation of the structural stability of numerous features across many language families and we introduce a novel method for analyzing the relationships between the “stability profiles” of language families. We found that there is a strong universal component across language families, suggesting the existence of universal linguistic, cognitive and genetic constraints. Against this background, however, each language family has a distinct stability profile, and these profiles cluster by geographic area and likely deep genealogical relationships. These stability profiles reveal, for example, the ancient historical relationships between the Siberian and American language families, presumed to be separated by at least 12,000 years. Thus, such higher-level properties of language seen as an evolutionary system might allow the investigation of ancient connections between languages and shed light on the peopling of the world.

    Additional information

    journal.pone.0045198.s001.pdf
  • Dediu, D., & Dingemanse, M. (2012). More than accent: Linguistic and cultural cues in the emergence of tag-based cooperation [Commentary]. Current Anthropology, 53, 606-607. doi:10.1086/667654.

    Abstract

    Commentary on Cohen, E. (2012). The evolution of tag-based cooperation in humans: The case for accent. Current Anthropology, 53, 588-616. doi:10.1086/667654.
  • Demir, Ö. E., So, W.-C., Ozyurek, A., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2012). Turkish- and English-speaking children display sensitivity to perceptual context in referring expressions they produce in speech and gesture. Language and Cognitive Processes, 27, 844 -867. doi:10.1080/01690965.2011.589273.

    Abstract

    Speakers choose a particular expression based on many factors, including availability of the referent in the perceptual context. We examined whether, when expressing referents, monolingual English- and Turkish-speaking children: (1) are sensitive to perceptual context, (2) express this sensitivity in language-specific ways, and (3) use co-speech gestures to specify referents that are underspecified. We also explored the mechanisms underlying children's sensitivity to perceptual context. Children described short vignettes to an experimenter under two conditions: The characters in the vignettes were present in the perceptual context (perceptual context); the characters were absent (no perceptual context). Children routinely used nouns in the no perceptual context condition, but shifted to pronouns (English-speaking children) or omitted arguments (Turkish-speaking children) in the perceptual context condition. Turkish-speaking children used underspecified referents more frequently than English-speaking children in the perceptual context condition; however, they compensated for the difference by using gesture to specify the forms. Gesture thus gives children learning structurally different languages a way to achieve comparable levels of specification while at the same time adhering to the referential expressions dictated by their language.
  • DePape, A., Chen, A., Hall, G., & Trainor, L. (2012). Use of prosody and information structure in high functioning adults with Autism in relation to language ability. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 72. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00072.

    Abstract

    Abnormal prosody is a striking feature of the speech of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but previous reports suggest large variability among those with ASD. Here we show that part of this heterogeneity can be explained by level of language functioning. We recorded semi-spontaneous but controlled conversations in adults with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder and measured features related to pitch and duration to determine (1) general use of prosodic features, (2) prosodic use in relation to marking information structure, specifically, the emphasis of new information in a sentence (focus) as opposed to information already given in the conversational context (topic), and (3) the relation between prosodic use and level of language function. We found that, compared to typical adults, those with ASD with high language functioning generally used a larger pitch range than controls but did not mark information structure, whereas those with moderate language functioning generally used a smaller pitch range than controls but marked information structure appropriately to a large extent. Both impaired general prosodic use and impaired marking of information structure would be expected to seriously impact social communication and thereby lead to increased difficulty in personal domains, such as making and keeping friendships, and in professional domains, such as competing for employment opportunities.

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