Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 268
  • Acheson, D. J., & Hagoort, P. (2014). Twisting tongues to test for conflict monitoring in speech production. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8: 206. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00206.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    How do children eventually come to avoid the production of overgeneralisation errors, in particular, those involving the dative (e.g., *I said her “no”)? The present study addressed this question by obtaining from adults and children (5–6, 9–10 years) judgements of well-formed and over-general datives with 301 different verbs (44 for children). A significant effect of pre-emption—whereby the use of a verb in the prepositional-object (PO)-dative construction constitutes evidence that double-object (DO)-dative uses are not permitted—was observed for every age group. A significant effect of entrenchment—whereby the use of a verb in any construction constitutes evidence that unattested dative uses are not permitted—was also observed for every age group, with both predictors also accounting for developmental change between ages 5–6 and 9–10 years. Adults demonstrated knowledge of a morphophonological constraint that prohibits Latinate verbs from appearing in the DO-dative construction (e.g., *I suggested her the trip). Verbs’ semantic properties (supplied by independent adult raters) explained additional variance for all groups and developmentally, with the relative influence of narrow- vs broad-range semantic properties increasing with age. We conclude by outlining an account of the formation and restriction of argument-structure generalisations designed to accommodate these findings.
  • Araújo, S., Faísca, L., Bramão, I., Petersson, K. M., & Reis, A. (2014). Lexical and phonological processes in dyslexic readers: Evidences from a visual lexical decision task. Dyslexia, 20, 38-53. doi:10.1002/dys.1461.

    Abstract

    The aim of the present study was to investigate whether reading failure in the context of an orthography of intermediate consistency is linked to inefficient use of the lexical orthographic reading procedure. The performance of typically developing and dyslexic Portuguese-speaking children was examined in a lexical decision task, where the stimulus lexicality, word frequency and length were manipulated. Both lexicality and length effects were larger in the dyslexic group than in controls, although the interaction between group and frequency disappeared when the data were transformed to control for general performance factors. Children with dyslexia were influenced in lexical decision making by the stimulus length of words and pseudowords, whereas age-matched controls were influenced by the length of pseudowords only. These findings suggest that non-impaired readers rely mainly on lexical orthographic information, but children with dyslexia preferentially use the phonological decoding procedure—albeit poorly—most likely because they struggle to process orthographic inputs as a whole such as controls do. Accordingly, dyslexic children showed significantly poorer performance than controls for all types of stimuli, including words that could be considered over-learned, such as high-frequency words. This suggests that their orthographic lexical entries are less established in the orthographic lexicon
  • Bakker, I., Takashima, A., van Hell, J. G., Janzen, G., & McQueen, J. M. (2014). Competition from unseen or unheard novel words: Lexical consolidation across modalities. Journal of Memory and Language, 73, 116-139. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2014.03.002.

    Abstract

    In four experiments we investigated the formation of novel word memories across modalities, using competition between novel words and their existing phonological/orthographic neighbours as a test of lexical integration. Auditorily acquired novel words entered into competition both in the spoken modality (Experiment 1) and in the written modality (Experiment 4) after a consolidation period of 24 h. Words acquired from print, on the other hand, showed competition effects after 24 h in a visual word recognition task (Experiment 3) but required additional training and a consolidation period of a week before entering into spoken-word competition (Experiment 2). These cross-modal effects support the hypothesis that lexicalised rather than episodic representations underlie post-consolidation competition effects. We suggest that sublexical phoneme–grapheme conversion during novel word encoding and/or offline consolidation enables the formation of modality-specific lexemes in the untrained modality, which subsequently undergo the same cortical integration process as explicitly perceived word forms in the trained modality. Although conversion takes place in both directions, speech input showed an advantage over print both in terms of lexicalisation and explicit memory performance. In conclusion, the brain is able to integrate and consolidate internally generated lexical information as well as external perceptual input.
  • Barendse, M. T., Albers, C. J., Oort, F. J., & Timmerman, M. E. (2014). Measurement bias detection through Bayesian factor analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 1087. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01087.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    Whilst some locative verbs alternate between the ground- and figure-locative constructions (e.g. Lisa sprayed the flowers with water/Lisa sprayed water onto the flowers), others are restricted to one construction or the other (e.g. *Lisa filled water into the cup/*Lisa poured the cup with water). The present study investigated two proposals for how learners (aged 5–6, 9–10 and adults) acquire this restriction, using a novel-verb-learning grammaticality-judgment paradigm. In support of the semantic verb class hypothesis, participants in all age groups used the semantic properties of novel verbs to determine the locative constructions (ground/figure/both) in which they could and could not appear. In support of the frequency hypothesis, participants' tolerance of overgeneralisation errors decreased with each increasing level of verb frequency (novel/low/high). These results underline the need to develop an integrated account of the roles of semantics and frequency in the retreat from argument structure overgeneralisation.
  • Böckler, A., Hömke, P., & Sebanz, N. (2014). Invisible Man: Exclusion from shared attention affects gaze behavior and self-reports. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5(2), 140-148. doi:10.1177/1948550613488951.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    We present two arguments why physical adaptations for vocalization may be as important as neural adaptations. First, fine control over vocalization is not easy for physical reasons, and modern humans may be exceptional. Second, we present an example of a gorilla that shows rudimentary voluntary control over vocalization, indicating that some neural control is already shared with great apes.
  • Bolton, J. L., Hayward, C., Direk, N., Lewis, J. G., Hammond, G. L., Hill, L. A., Anderson, A., Huffman, J., Wilson, J. F., Campbell, H., Rudan, I., Wright, A., Hastie, N., Wild, S. H., Velders, F. P., Hofman, A., Uitterlinden, A. G., Lahti, J., Räikkönen, K., Kajantie, E. and 37 moreBolton, J. L., Hayward, C., Direk, N., Lewis, J. G., Hammond, G. L., Hill, L. A., Anderson, A., Huffman, J., Wilson, J. F., Campbell, H., Rudan, I., Wright, A., Hastie, N., Wild, S. H., Velders, F. P., Hofman, A., Uitterlinden, A. G., Lahti, J., Räikkönen, K., Kajantie, E., Widen, E., Palotie, A., Eriksson, J. G., Kaakinen, M., Järvelin, M.-R., Timpson, N. J., Davey Smith, G., Ring, S. M., Evans, D. M., St Pourcain, B., Tanaka, T., Milaneschi, Y., Bandinelli, S., Ferrucci, L., van der Harst, P., Rosmalen, J. G. M., Bakker, S. J. L., Verweij, N., Dullaart, R. P. F., Mahajan, A., Lindgren, C. M., Morris, A., Lind, L., Ingelsson, E., Anderson, L. N., Pennell, C. E., Lye, S. J., Matthews, S. G., Eriksson, J., Mellstrom, D., Ohlsson, C., Price, J. F., Strachan, M. W. J., Reynolds, R. M., Tiemeier, H., Walker, B. R., & CORtisol NETwork (CORNET) Consortium (2014). Genome Wide Association Identifies Common Variants at the SERPINA6/SERPINA1 Locus Influencing Plasma Cortisol and Corticosteroid Binding Globulin. PLoS Genetics, 10(7): e1004474. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004474.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    Where native speakers supposedly are fluent by default, non-native speakers often have to strive hard to achieve a native-like fluency level. However, disfluencies (such as pauses, fillers, repairs, etc.) occur in both native and non-native speech and it is as yet unclear ow luency raters weigh the fluency characteristics of native and non-native speech. Two rating experiments compared the way raters assess the luency of native and non-native speech. The fluency characteristics of native and non- native speech were controlled by using phonetic anipulations in pause (Experiment 1) and speed characteristics (Experiment 2). The results show that the ratings on manipulated native and on-native speech were affected in a similar fashion. This suggests that there is no difference in the way listeners weigh the fluency haracteristics of native and non-native speakers.
  • Bowerman, M. (1974). Learning the structure of causative verbs: A study in the relationship of cognitive, semantic, and syntactic development. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, 8, 142-178.
  • Broeder, D., & Lannom, L. (2014). Data Type Registries: A Research Data Alliance Working Group. D-Lib Magazine, 20, 1. doi:10.1045/january2014-broeder.

    Abstract

    Automated processing of large amounts of scientific data, especially across domains, requires that the data can be selected and parsed without human intervention. Precise characterization of that data, as in typing, is needed once the processing goes beyond the realm of domain specific or local research group assumptions. The Research Data Alliance (RDA) Data Type Registries Working Group (DTR-WG) was assembled to address this issue through the creation of a Data Type Registry methodology, data model, and prototype. The WG was approved by the RDA Council during March of 2013 and will complete its work in mid-2014, in between the third and fourth RDA Plenaries.
  • Brouwer, S., & Bradlow, A. R. (2014). Contextual variability during speech-in-speech recognition. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 136(1), EL26-EL32. doi:10.1121/1.4881322.

    Abstract

    This study examined the influence of background language variation on speech recognition. English listeners performed an English sentence recognition task in either “pure” background conditions in which all trials had either English or Dutch background babble or in mixed background conditions in which the background language varied across trials (i.e., a mix of English and Dutch or one of these background languages mixed with quiet trials). This design allowed the authors to compare performance on identical trials across pure and mixed conditions. The data reveal that speech-in-speech recognition is sensitive to contextual variation in terms of the target-background language (mis)match depending on the relative ease/difficulty of the test trials in relation to the surrounding trials.
  • Brucato, N., DeLisi, L. E., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2014). Hypomethylation of the paternally inherited LRRTM1 promoter linked to schizophrenia. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 165(7), 555-563. doi:10.1002/ajmg.b.32258.

    Abstract

    Epigenetic effects on psychiatric traits remain relatively under-studied, and it remains unclear what the sizes of individual epigenetic effects may be, or how they vary between different clinical populations. The gene LRRTM1 (chromosome 2p12) has previously been linked and associated with schizophrenia in a parent-of-origin manner in a set of affected siblings (LOD = 4.72), indirectly suggesting a disruption of paternal imprinting at this locus in these families. From the same set of siblings that originally showed strong linkage at this locus, we analyzed 99 individuals using 454-bisulfite sequencing, from whole blood DNA, to measure the level of DNA methylation in the promoter region of LRRTM1. We also assessed seven additional loci that would be informative to compare. Paternal identity-by-descent sharing at LRRTM1, within sibling pairs, was linked to their similarity of methylation at the gene's promoter. Reduced methylation at the promoter showed a significant association with schizophrenia. Sibling pairs concordant for schizophrenia showed more similar methylation levels at the LRRTM1 promoter than diagnostically discordant pairs. The alleles of common SNPs spanning the locus did not explain this epigenetic linkage, which can therefore be considered as largely independent of DNA sequence variation and would not be detected in standard genetic association analysis. Our data suggest that hypomethylation at the LRRTM1 promoter, particularly of the paternally inherited allele, was a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia in this set of siblings affected with familial schizophrenia, and that had previously showed linkage at this locus in an affected-sib-pair context.
  • Cai, D., Fonteijn, H. M., Guadalupe, T., Zwiers, M., Wittfeld, K., Teumer, A., Hoogman, M., Arias Vásquez, A., Yang, Y., Buitelaar, J., Fernández, G., Brunner, H. G., Van Bokhoven, H., Franke, B., Hegenscheid, K., Homuth, G., Fisher, S. E., Grabe, H. J., Francks, C., & Hagoort, P. (2014). A genome wide search for quantitative trait loci affecting the cortical surface area and thickness of Heschl's gyrus. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 13, 675-685. doi:10.1111/gbb.12157.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Additional information

    Capilla_Suppl_Data.pdf
  • Ceroni, F., Simpson, N. H., Francks, C., Baird, G., Conti-Ramsden, G., Clark, A., Bolton, P. F., Hennessy, E. R., Donnelly, P., Bentley, D. R., Martin, H., IMGSAC, SLI Consortium, WGS500 Consortium, Parr, J., Pagnamenta, A. T., Maestrini, E., Bacchelli, E., Fisher, S. E., & Newbury, D. F. (2014). Homozygous microdeletion of exon 5 in ZNF277 in a girl with specific language impairment. European Journal of Human Genetics, 22, 1165-1171. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.4.

    Abstract

    Specific language impairment (SLI), an unexpected failure to develop appropriate language skills despite adequate non-verbal intelligence, is a heterogeneous multifactorial disorder with a complex genetic basis. We identified a homozygous microdeletion of 21,379 bp in the ZNF277 gene (NM_021994.2), encompassing exon 5, in an individual with severe receptive and expressive language impairment. The microdeletion was not found in the proband’s affected sister or her brother who had mild language impairment. However, it was inherited from both parents, each of whom carries a heterozygous microdeletion and has a history of language problems. The microdeletion falls within the AUTS1 locus, a region linked to autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs). Moreover, ZNF277 is adjacent to the DOCK4 and IMMP2L genes, which have been implicated in ASD. We screened for the presence of ZNF277 microdeletions in cohorts of children with SLI or ASD and panels of control subjects. ZNF277 microdeletions were at an increased allelic frequency in SLI probands (1.1%) compared with both ASD family members (0.3%) and independent controls (0.4%). We performed quantitative RT-PCR analyses of the expression of IMMP2L, DOCK4 and ZNF277 in individuals carrying either an IMMP2L_DOCK4 microdeletion or a ZNF277 microdeletion. Although ZNF277 microdeletions reduce the expression of ZNF277, they do not alter the levels of DOCK4 or IMMP2L transcripts. Conversely, IMMP2L_DOCK4 microdeletions do not affect the expression levels of ZNF277. We postulate that ZNF277 microdeletions may contribute to the risk of language impairments in a manner that is independent of the autism risk loci previously described in this region.
  • Chu, M., Meyer, A. S., Foulkes, L., & Kita, S. (2014). Individual differences in frequency and saliency of speech-accompanying gestures: The role of cognitive abilities and empathy. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143, 694-709. doi:10.1037/a0033861.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    Language and action systems are highly interlinked. A critical piece of evidence is that speech and its accompanying gestures are tightly synchronized. Five experiments were conducted to test 2 hypotheses about the synchronization of speech and gesture. According to the interactive view, there is continuous information exchange between the gesture and speech systems, during both their planning and execution phases. According to the ballistic view, information exchange occurs only during the planning phases of gesture and speech, but the 2 systems become independent once their execution has been initiated. In all experiments, participants were required to point to and/or name a light that had just lit up. Virtual reality and motion tracking technologies were used to disrupt their gesture or speech execution. Participants delayed their speech onset when their gesture was disrupted. They did so even when their gesture was disrupted at its late phase and even when they received only the kinesthetic feedback of their gesture. Also, participants prolonged their gestures when their speech was disrupted. These findings support the interactive view and add new constraints on models of speech and gesture production
  • Cooper, R. P., & Guest, O. (2014). Implementations are not specifications: Specification, replication and experimentation in computational cognitive modeling. Cognitive Systems Research, 27, 42-49. doi:10.1016/j.cogsys.2013.05.001.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the MIR137, TCF4, and ZNF804A genes show genome-wide association to schizophrenia. However, the biological basis for the associations is unknown. Here, we tested the effects of these genes on brain structure in 1300 healthy adults. Using volumetry and voxel-based morphometry, neither gene-wide effects—including the combined effect of the genes—nor single SNP effects—including specific psychosis risk SNPs—were found on total brain volume, grey matter, white matter, or hippocampal volume. These results suggest that the associations between these risk genes and schizophrenia are unlikely to be mediated via effects on macroscopic brain structure.
  • Cristia, A., Minagawa-Kawai, Y., Egorova, N., Gervain, J., Filippin, L., Cabrol, D., & Dupoux, E. (2014). Neural correlates of infant accent discrimination: An fNIRS study. Developmental Science, 17(4), 628-635. doi:10.1111/desc.12160.

    Abstract

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

    Files private

    Request files
  • Cristia, A., Seidl, A., Junge, C., Soderstrom, M., & Hagoort, P. (2014). Predicting individual variation in language from infant speech perception measures. Child development, 85(4), 1330-1345. doi:10.1111/cdev.12193.

    Abstract

    There are increasing reports that individual variation in behavioral and neurophysiological measures of infant speech processing predicts later language outcomes, and specifically concurrent or subsequent vocabulary size. If such findings are held up under scrutiny, they could both illuminate theoretical models of language development and contribute to the prediction of communicative disorders. A qualitative, systematic review of this emergent literature illustrated the variety of approaches that have been used and highlighted some conceptual problems regarding the measurements. A quantitative analysis of the same data established that the bivariate relation was significant, with correlations of similar strength to those found for well-established nonlinguistic predictors of language. Further exploration of infant speech perception predictors, particularly from a methodological perspective, is recommended.
  • Cristia, A., & Seidl, A. (2014). The hyperarticulation hypothesis of infant-directed speech. Journal of Child Language, 41(4), 913-934. doi:10.1017/S0305000912000669.

    Abstract

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

    Additional information

    CORRIGENDUM
  • Cronin, K. A., Van Leeuwen, E. J. C., Vreeman, V., & Haun, D. B. M. (2014). Population-level variability in the social climates of four chimpanzee societies. Evolution and Human Behavior, 35(5), 389-396. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.05.004.

    Abstract

    Recent debates have questioned the extent to which culturally-transmitted norms drive behavioral variation in resource sharing across human populations. We shed new light on this discussion by examining the group-level variation in the social dynamics and resource sharing of chimpanzees, a species that is highly social and forms long-term community associations but differs from humans in the extent to which cultural norms are adopted and enforced. We rely on theory developed in primate socioecology to guide our investigation in four neighboring chimpanzee groups at a sanctuary in Zambia. We used a combination of experimental and observational approaches to assess the distribution of resource holding potential in each group. In the first assessment, we measured the proportion of the population that gathered in a resource-rich zone, in the second we assessed naturally occurring social spacing via social network analysis, and in the third we assessed the degree to which benefits were equally distributed within the group. We report significant, stable group-level variation across these multiple measures, indicating that group-level variation in resource sharing and social tolerance is not necessarily reliant upon human-like cultural norms.
  • Cronin, K. A., Pieper, B., Van Leeuwen, E. J. C., Mundry, R., & Haun, D. B. M. (2014). Problem solving in the presence of others: How rank and relationship quality impact resource acquisition in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). PLoS One, 9(4): e93204. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093204.

    Abstract

    In the wild, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) are often faced with clumped food resources that they may know how to access but abstain from doing so due to social pressures. To better understand how social settings influence resource acquisition, we tested fifteen semi-wild chimpanzees from two social groups alone and in the presence of others. We investigated how resource acquisition was affected by relative social dominance, whether collaborative problem solving or (active or passive) sharing occurred amongst any of the dyads, and whether these outcomes were related to relationship quality as determined from six months of observational data. Results indicated that chimpanzees, regardless of rank, obtained fewer rewards when tested in the presence of others compared to when they were tested alone. Chimpanzees demonstrated behavioral inhibition; chimpanzees who showed proficient skill when alone often abstained from solving the task when in the presence of others. Finally, individuals with close social relationships spent more time together in the problem solving space, but collaboration and sharing were infrequent and sessions in which collaboration or sharing did occur contained more instances of aggression. Group living provides benefits and imposes costs, and these findings highlight that one cost of group living may be diminishing productive individual behaviors.
  • Cutler, A. (2014). In thrall to the vocabulary. Acoustics Australia, 42, 84-89.

    Abstract

    Vocabularies contain hundreds of thousands of words built from only a handful of phonemes; longer words inevitably tend to contain shorter ones. Recognising speech thus requires distinguishing intended words from accidentally present ones. Acoustic information in speech is used wherever it contributes significantly to this process; but as this review shows, its contribution differs across languages, with the consequences of this including: identical and equivalently present information distinguishing the same phonemes being used in Polish but not in German, or in English but not in Italian; identical stress cues being used in Dutch but not in English; expectations about likely embedding patterns differing across English, French, Japanese.
  • Dautriche, I., Cristia, A., Brusini, P., Yuan, S., Fisher, C., & Christophe, A. (2014). Toddlers default to canonical surface-to-meaning mapping when learning verbs. Child Development, 85(3), 1168-1180. doi:10.1111/cdev.12183.

    Abstract

    This work was supported by grants from the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-2010-BLAN-1901) and from French Fondation de France to Anne Christophe, from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HD054448) to Cynthia Fisher, Fondation Fyssen and Ecole de Neurosciences de Paris to Alex Cristia, and a PhD fellowship from the Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA, France) supported by the PhD program FdV (Frontières du Vivant) to Isabelle Dautriche. We thank Isabelle Brunet for the recruitment, Michel Dutat for the technical support, and Hernan Anllo for his puppet mastery skill. We are grateful to the families that participated in this study. We also thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.
  • Defina, R. (2014). Arbil: Free tool for creating, editing and searching metadata. Language Documentation and Conservation, 8, 307-314.
  • Deriziotis, P., O'Roak, B. J., Graham, S. A., Estruch, S. B., Dimitropoulou, D., Bernier, R. A., Gerdts, J., Shendure, J., Eichler, E. E., & Fisher, S. E. (2014). De novo TBR1 mutations in sporadic autism disrupt protein functions. Nature Communications, 5: 4954. doi:10.1038/ncomms5954.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Additional information

    video
  • Devanna, P., & Vernes, S. C. (2014). A direct molecular link between the autism candidate gene RORa and the schizophrenia candidate MIR137. Scientific Reports, 4: 3994. doi:10.1038/srep03994.

    Abstract

    Retinoic acid-related orphan receptor alpha gene (RORa) and the microRNA MIR137 have both recently been identified as novel candidate genes for neuropsychiatric disorders. RORa encodes a ligand-dependent orphan nuclear receptor that acts as a transcriptional regulator and miR-137 is a brain enriched small non-coding RNA that interacts with gene transcripts to control protein levels. Given the mounting evidence for RORa in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and MIR137 in schizophrenia and ASD, we investigated if there was a functional biological relationship between these two genes. Herein, we demonstrate that miR-137 targets the 3'UTR of RORa in a site specific manner. We also provide further support for MIR137 as an autism candidate by showing that a large number of previously implicated autism genes are also putatively targeted by miR-137. This work supports the role of MIR137 as an ASD candidate and demonstrates a direct biological link between these previously unrelated autism candidate genes
  • Devanna, P., Middelbeek, J., & Vernes, S. C. (2014). FOXP2 drives neuronal differentiation by interacting with retinoic acid signaling pathways. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 8: 305. doi:10.3389/fncel.2014.00305.

    Abstract

    FOXP2 was the first gene shown to cause a Mendelian form of speech and language disorder. Although developmentally expressed in many organs, loss of a single copy of FOXP2 leads to a phenotype that is largely restricted to orofacial impairment during articulation and linguistic processing deficits. Why perturbed FOXP2 function affects specific aspects of the developing brain remains elusive. We investigated the role of FOXP2 in neuronal differentiation and found that FOXP2 drives molecular changes consistent with neuronal differentiation in a human model system. We identified a network of FOXP2 regulated genes related to retinoic acid signaling and neuronal differentiation. FOXP2 also produced phenotypic changes associated with neuronal differentiation including increased neurite outgrowth and reduced migration. Crucially, cells expressing FOXP2 displayed increased sensitivity to retinoic acid exposure. This suggests a mechanism by which FOXP2 may be able to increase the cellular differentiation response to environmental retinoic acid cues for specific subsets of neurons in the brain. These data demonstrate that FOXP2 promotes neuronal differentiation by interacting with the retinoic acid signaling pathway and regulates key processes required for normal circuit formation such as neuronal migration and neurite outgrowth. In this way, FOXP2, which is found only in specific subpopulations of neurons in the brain, may drive precise neuronal differentiation patterns and/or control localization and connectivity of these FOXP2 positive cells
  • Dingemanse, M., Blythe, J., & Dirksmeyer, T. (2014). Formats for other-initiation of repair across languages: An exercise in pragmatic typology. Studies in Language, 38, 5-43. doi:10.1075/sl.38.1.01din.

    Abstract

    In conversation, people have to deal with problems of speaking, hearing, and understanding. We report on a cross-linguistic investigation of the conversational structure of other-initiated repair (also known as collaborative repair, feedback, requests for clarification, or grounding sequences). We take stock of formats for initiating repair across languages (comparable to English huh?, who?, y’mean X?, etc.) and find that different languages make available a wide but remarkably similar range of linguistic resources for this function. We exploit the patterned variation as evidence for several underlying concerns addressed by repair initiation: characterising trouble, managing responsibility, and handling knowledge. The concerns do not always point in the same direction and thus provide participants in interaction with alternative principles for selecting one format over possible others. By comparing conversational structures across languages, this paper contributes to pragmatic typology: the typology of systems of language use and the principles that shape them
  • Dingemanse, M. (2014). Making new ideophones in Siwu: Creative depiction in conversation. Pragmatics and Society, 5(3), 384-405. doi:10.1075/ps.5.3.04din.

    Abstract

    Ideophones are found in many of the world’s languages. Though they are a major word class on a par with nouns and verbs, their origins are ill-understood, and the question of ideophone creation has been a source of controversy. This paper studies ideophone creation in naturally occurring speech. New, unconventionalised ideophones are identified using native speaker judgements, and are studied in context to understand the rules and regularities underlying their production and interpretation. People produce and interpret new ideophones with the help of the semiotic infrastructure that underlies the use of existing ideophones: foregrounding frames certain stretches of speech as depictive enactments of sensory imagery, and various types of iconicity link forms and meanings. As with any creative use of linguistic resources, context and common ground also play an important role in supporting rapid ‘good enough’ interpretations of new material. The making of new ideophones is a special case of a more general phenomenon of creative depiction: the art of presenting verbal material in such a way that the interlocutor recognises and interprets it as a depiction.
  • Dingemanse, M., & Enfield, N. J. (2014). Let's talk: Universal social rules underlie languages. Scientific American Mind, 25, 64-69. doi:10.1038/scientificamericanmind0914-64.

    Abstract

    Recent developments in the science of language signal the emergence of a new paradigm for language study: a social approach to the fundamental questions of what language is like, how much languages really have in common, and why only our species has it. The key to these developments is a new appreciation of the need to study everyday spoken language, with all its complications and ‘imperfections’, in a systematic way. The work reviewed in this article —on turn-taking, timing, and other-initiated repair in languages around the world— has important implications for our understanding of human sociality and sheds new light on the social shape of language. For the first time in the history of linguistics, we are no longer tied to what can be written down or thought up. Rather, we look at language as a biologist would: as it occurs in nature.
  • Dingemanse, M., & Enfield, N. J. (2014). Ongeschreven regels van de taal. Psyche en Brein, 6, 6-11.

    Abstract

    Als je wereldwijd gesprekken beluistert, merk je dat de menselijke dialoog universele regels volgt. Die sturen en verrijken onze sociale interactie.
  • Dolscheid, S., Hunnius, S., Casasanto, D., & Majid, A. (2014). Prelinguistic infants are sensitive to space-pitch associations found across cultures. Psychological Science, 25(6), 1256-1261. doi:10.1177/0956797614528521.

    Abstract

    People often talk about musical pitch using spatial metaphors. In English, for instance, pitches can be “high” or “low” (i.e., height-pitch association), whereas in other languages, pitches are described as “thin” or “thick” (i.e., thickness-pitch association). According to results from psychophysical studies, metaphors in language can shape people’s nonlinguistic space-pitch representations. But does language establish mappings between space and pitch in the first place, or does it only modify preexisting associations? To find out, we tested 4-month-old Dutch infants’ sensitivity to height-pitch and thickness-pitch mappings using a preferential-looking paradigm. The infants looked significantly longer at cross-modally congruent stimuli for both space-pitch mappings, which indicates that infants are sensitive to these associations before language acquisition. The early presence of space-pitch mappings means that these associations do not originate from language. Instead, language builds on preexisting mappings, changing them gradually via competitive associative learning. Space-pitch mappings that are language-specific in adults develop from mappings that may be universal in infants.
  • Drude, S., Broeder, D., & Trilsbeek, P. (2014). The Language Archive and its solutions for sustainable endangered languages corpora. Book 2.0, 4, 5-20. doi:10.1386/btwo.4.1-2.5_1.

    Abstract

    Since the late 1990s, the technical group at the Max-Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics has worked on solutions for important challenges in building sustainable data archives, in particular, how to guarantee long-time-availability of digital research data for future research. The support for the well-known DOBES (Documentation of Endangered Languages) programme has greatly inspired and advanced this work, and lead to the ongoing development of a whole suite of tools for annotating, cataloguing and archiving multi-media data. At the core of the LAT (Language Archiving Technology) tools is the IMDI metadata schema, now being integrated into a larger network of digital resources in the European CLARIN project. The multi-media annotator ELAN (with its web-based cousin ANNEX) is now well known not only among documentary linguists. We aim at presenting an overview of the solutions, both achieved and in development, for creating and exploiting sustainable digital data, in particular in the area of documenting languages and cultures, and their interfaces with related other developments
  • Dunn, M. (2014). [Review of the book Evolutionary Linguistics by April McMahon and Robert McMahon]. American Anthropologist, 116(3), 690-691.
  • Eaves, L. J., St Pourcain, B., Smith, G. D., York, T. P., & Evans, D. M. (2014). Resolving the Effects of Maternal and Offspring Genotype on Dyadic Outcomes in Genome Wide Complex Trait Analysis (“M-GCTA”). Behavior Genetics, 44(5), 445-455. doi:10.1007/s10519-014-9666-6.

    Abstract

    Genome wide complex trait analysis (GCTA) is extended to include environmental effects of the maternal genotype on offspring phenotype (“maternal effects”, M-GCTA). The model includes parameters for the direct effects of the offspring genotype, maternal effects and the covariance between direct and maternal effects. Analysis of simulated data, conducted in OpenMx, confirmed that model parameters could be recovered by full information maximum likelihood (FIML) and evaluated the biases that arise in conventional GCTA when indirect genetic effects are ignored. Estimates derived from FIML in OpenMx showed very close agreement to those obtained by restricted maximum likelihood using the published algorithm for GCTA. The method was also applied to illustrative perinatal phenotypes from ~4,000 mother-offspring pairs from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. The relative merits of extended GCTA in contrast to quantitative genetic approaches based on analyzing the phenotypic covariance structure of kinships are considered.
  • Ernestus, M. (2014). Acoustic reduction and the roles of abstractions and exemplars in speech processing. Lingua, 142, 27-41. doi:10.1016/j.lingua.2012.12.006.

    Abstract

    Acoustic reduction refers to the frequent phenomenon in conversational speech that words are produced with fewer or lenited segments compared to their citation forms. The few published studies on the production and comprehension of acoustic reduction have important implications for the debate on the relevance of abstractions and exemplars in speech processing. This article discusses these implications. It first briefly introduces the key assumptions of simple abstractionist and simple exemplar-based models. It then discusses the literature on acoustic reduction and draws the conclusion that both types of models need to be extended to explain all findings. The ultimate model should allow for the storage of different pronunciation variants, but also reserve an important role for phonetic implementation. Furthermore, the recognition of a highly reduced pronunciation variant requires top down information and leads to activation of the corresponding unreduced variant, the variant that reaches listeners’ consciousness. These findings are best accounted for in hybrids models, assuming both abstract representations and exemplars. None of the hybrid models formulated so far can account for all data on reduced speech and we need further research for obtaining detailed insight into how speakers produce and listeners comprehend reduced speech.
  • Evans, S., McGettigan, C., Agnew, Z., Rosen, S., Cesar, L., Boebinger, D., Ostarek, M., Chen, S. H., Richards, A., Meekins, S., & Scott, S. K. (2014). The neural basis of informational and energetic masking effects in the perception and production of speech [abstract]. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 136(4), 2243. doi:10.1121/1.4900096.

    Abstract

    When we have spoken conversations, it is usually in the context of competing sounds within our environment. Speech can be masked by many different kinds of sounds, for example, machinery noise and the speech of others, and these different sounds place differing demands on cognitive resources. In this talk, I will present data from a series of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies in which the informational properties of background sounds have been manipulated to make them more or less similar to speech. I will demonstrate the neural effects associated with speaking over and listening to these sounds, and demonstrate how in perception these effects are modulated by the age of the listener. The results will be interpreted within a framework of auditory processing developed from primate neurophysiology and human functional imaging work (Rauschecker and Scott 2009).
  • Filippi, P., Gingras, B., & Fitch, W. T. (2014). Pitch enhancement facilitates word learning across visual contexts. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 1468. doi:10.3389%2Ffpsyg.2014.01468.

    Abstract

    This study investigates word-learning using a new experimental paradigm that integrates three processes: (a) extracting a word out of a continuous sound sequence, (b) inferring its referential meanings in context, (c) mapping the segmented word onto its broader intended referent, such as other objects of the same semantic category, and to novel utterances. Previous work has examined the role of statistical learning and/or of prosody in each of these processes separately. Here, we combine these strands of investigation into a single experimental approach, in which participants viewed a photograph belonging to one of three semantic categories while hearing a complex, five-word utterance containing a target word. Six between-subjects conditions were tested with 20 adult participants each. In condition 1, the only cue to word-meaning mapping was the co-occurrence of word and referents. This statistical cue was present in all conditions. In condition 2, the target word was sounded at a higher pitch. In condition 3, random words were sounded at a higher pitch, creating an inconsistent cue. In condition 4, the duration of the target word was lengthened. In conditions 5 and 6, an extraneous acoustic cue and a visual cue were associated with the target word, respectively. Performance in this word-learning task was significantly higher than that observed with simple co-occurrence only when pitch prominence consistently marked the target word. We discuss implications for the pragmatic value of pitch marking as well as the relevance of our findings to language acquisition and language evolution.
  • FitzPatrick, I., & Indefrey, P. (2014). Head start for target language in bilingual listening. Brain Research, 1542, 111-130. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2013.10.014.

    Abstract

    In this study we investigated the availability of non-target language semantic features in bilingual speech processing. We recorded EEG from Dutch-English bilinguals who listened to spoken sentences in their L2 (English) or L1 (Dutch). In Experiments 1 and 3 the sentences contained an interlingual homophone. The sentence context was either biased towards the target language meaning of the homophone (target biased), the non-target language meaning (non-target biased), or neither meaning of the homophone (fully incongruent). These conditions were each compared to a semantically congruent control condition. In L2 sentences we observed an N400 in the non-target biased condition that had an earlier offset than the N400 to fully incongruent homophones. In the target biased condition, a negativity emerged that was later than the N400 to fully incongruent homophones. In L1 contexts, neither target biased nor non-target biased homophones yielded significant N400 effects (compared to the control condition). In Experiments 2 and 4 the sentences contained a language switch to a non-target language word that could be semantically congruent or incongruent. Semantically incongruent words (switched, and non-switched) elicited an N400 effect. The N400 to semantically congruent language-switched words had an earlier offset than the N400 to incongruent words. Both congruent and incongruent language switches elicited a Late Positive Component (LPC). These findings show that bilinguals activate both meanings of interlingual homophones irrespective of their contextual fit. In L2 contexts, the target-language meaning of the homophone has a head start over the non-target language meaning. The target-language head start is also evident for language switches from both L2-to-L1 and L1-to-L2
  • Flecken, M., von Stutterheim, C., & Carroll, M. (2014). Grammatical aspect influences motion event perception: Evidence from a cross-linguistic non-verbal recognition task. Language and Cognition, 6(1), 45-78. doi:10.1017/langcog.2013.2.

    Abstract

    Using eye-tracking as a window on cognitive processing, this study investigates language effects on attention to motion events in a non-verbal task. We compare gaze allocation patterns by native speakers of German and Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), two languages that differ with regard to the grammaticalization of temporal concepts. Findings of the non-verbal task, in which speakers watch dynamic event scenes while performing an auditory distracter task, are compared to gaze allocation patterns which were obtained in an event description task, using the same stimuli. We investigate whether differences in the grammatical aspectual systems of German and MSA affect the extent to which endpoints of motion events are linguistically encoded and visually processed in the two tasks. In the linguistic task, we find clear language differences in endpoint encoding and in the eye-tracking data (attention to event endpoints) as well: German speakers attend to and linguistically encode endpoints more frequently than speakers of MSA. The fixation data in the non-verbal task show similar language effects, providing relevant insights with regard to the language-and-thought debate. The present study is one of the few studies that focus explicitly on language effects related to grammatical concepts, as opposed to lexical concepts.
  • Floyd, S. (2014). [Review of the book Flexible word classes: Typological studies of underspecified parts of speech ed. by Jan Rijkhoff and Eva van Lier]. Linguistics, 52, 1499-1502. doi:10.1515/ling-2014-0027.
  • Folia, V., & Petersson, K. M. (2014). Implicit structured sequence learning: An fMRI study of the structural mere-exposure effect. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 41. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00041.

    Abstract

    In this event-related FMRI study we investigated the effect of five days of implicit acquisition on preference classification by means of an artificial grammar learning (AGL) paradigm based on the structural mere-exposure effect and preference classification using a simple right-linear unification grammar. This allowed us to investigate implicit AGL in a proper learning design by including baseline measurements prior to grammar exposure. After 5 days of implicit acquisition, the FMRI results showed activations in a network of brain regions including the inferior frontal (centered on BA 44/45) and the medial prefrontal regions (centered on BA 8/32). Importantly, and central to this study, the inclusion of a naive preference FMRI baseline measurement allowed us to conclude that these FMRI findings were the intrinsic outcomes of the learning process itself and not a reflection of a preexisting functionality recruited during classification, independent of acquisition. Support for the implicit nature of the knowledge utilized during preference classification on day 5 come from the fact that the basal ganglia, associated with implicit procedural learning, were activated during classification, while the medial temporal lobe system, associated with explicit declarative memory, was consistently deactivated. Thus, preference classification in combination with structural mere-exposure can be used to investigate structural sequence processing (syntax) in unsupervised AGL paradigms with proper learning designs.
  • French, C. A., & Fisher, S. E. (2014). What can mice tell us about Foxp2 function? Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 28, 72-79. doi:10.1016/j.conb.2014.07.003.

    Abstract

    Disruptions of the FOXP2 gene cause a rare speech and language disorder, a discovery that has opened up novel avenues for investigating the relevant neural pathways. FOXP2 shows remarkably high conservation of sequence and neural expression in diverse vertebrates, suggesting that studies in other species are useful in elucidating its functions. Here we describe how investigations of mice that carry disruptions of Foxp2 provide insights at multiple levels: molecules, cells, circuits and behaviour. Work thus far has implicated the gene in key processes including neurite outgrowth, synaptic plasticity, sensorimotor integration and motor-skill learning.
  • Fuhrmann, D., Ravignani, A., Marshall-Pescini, S., & Whiten, A. (2014). Synchrony and motor mimicking in chimpanzee observational learning. Scientific Reports, 4: 5283. doi:10.1038/srep05283.

    Abstract

    Cumulative tool-based culture underwrote our species' evolutionary success and tool-based nut-cracking is one of the strongest candidates for cultural transmission in our closest relatives, chimpanzees. However the social learning processes that may explain both the similarities and differences between the species remain unclear. A previous study of nut-cracking by initially naïve chimpanzees suggested that a learning chimpanzee holding no hammer nevertheless replicated hammering actions it witnessed. This observation has potentially important implications for the nature of the social learning processes and underlying motor coding involved. In the present study, model and observer actions were quantified frame-by-frame and analysed with stringent statistical methods, demonstrating synchrony between the observer's and model's movements, cross-correlation of these movements above chance level and a unidirectional transmission process from model to observer. These results provide the first quantitative evidence for motor mimicking underlain by motor coding in apes, with implications for mirror neuron function.

    Additional information

    Supplementary Information
  • Furman, R., Kuntay, A., & Ozyurek, A. (2014). Early language-specificity of children's event encoding in speech and gesture: Evidence from caused motion in Turkish. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 29, 620-634. doi:10.1080/01690965.2013.824993.

    Abstract

    Previous research on language development shows that children are tuned early on to the language-specific semantic and syntactic encoding of events in their native language. Here we ask whether language-specificity is also evident in children's early representations in gesture accompanying speech. In a longitudinal study, we examined the spontaneous speech and cospeech gestures of eight Turkish-speaking children aged one to three and focused on their caused motion event expressions. In Turkish, unlike in English, the main semantic elements of caused motion such as Action and Path can be encoded in the verb (e.g. sok- ‘put in’) and the arguments of a verb can be easily omitted. We found that Turkish-speaking children's speech indeed displayed these language-specific features and focused on verbs to encode caused motion. More interestingly, we found that their early gestures also manifested specificity. Children used iconic cospeech gestures (from 19 months onwards) as often as pointing gestures and represented semantic elements such as Action with Figure and/or Path that reinforced or supplemented speech in language-specific ways until the age of three. In the light of previous reports on the scarcity of iconic gestures in English-speaking children's early productions, we argue that the language children learn shapes gestures and how they get integrated with speech in the first three years of life.
  • Ganushchak, L., Konopka, A. E., & Chen, Y. (2014). What the eyes say about planning of focused referents during sentence formulation: a cross-linguistic investigation. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 1124. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01124.

    Abstract

    This study investigated how sentence formulation is influenced by a preceding discourse context. In two eye-tracking experiments, participants described pictures of two-character transitive events in Dutch (Experiment 1) and Chinese (Experiment 2). Focus was manipulated by presenting questions before each picture. In the Neutral condition, participants first heard ‘What is happening here?’ In the Object or Subject Focus conditions, the questions asked about the Object or Subject character (What is the policeman stopping? Who is stopping the truck?). The target response was the same in all conditions (The policeman is stopping the truck). In both experiments, sentence formulation in the Neutral condition showed the expected pattern of speakers fixating the subject character (policeman) before the object character (truck). In contrast, in the focus conditions speakers rapidly directed their gaze preferentially only to the character they needed to encode to answer the question (the new, or focused, character). The timing of gaze shifts to the new character varied by language group (Dutch vs. Chinese): shifts to the new character occurred earlier when information in the question can be repeated in the response with the same syntactic structure (in Chinese but not in Dutch). The results show that discourse affects the timecourse of linguistic formulation in simple sentences and that these effects can be modulated by language-specific linguistic structures such as parallels in the syntax of questions and declarative sentences.
  • Gaskell, M. G., Warker, J., Lindsay, S., Frost, R. L. A., Guest, J., Snowdon, R., & Stackhouse, A. (2014). Sleep Underpins the Plasticity of Language Production. Psychological Science, 25(7), 1457-1465. doi:10.1177/0956797614535937.

    Abstract

    The constraints that govern acceptable phoneme combinations in speech perception and production have considerable plasticity. We addressed whether sleep influences the acquisition of new constraints and their integration into the speech-production system. Participants repeated sequences of syllables in which two phonemes were artificially restricted to syllable onset or syllable coda, depending on the vowel in that sequence. After 48 sequences, participants either had a 90-min nap or remained awake. Participants then repeated 96 sequences so implicit constraint learning could be examined, and then were tested for constraint generalization in a forced-choice task. The sleep group, but not the wake group, produced speech errors at test that were consistent with restrictions on the placement of phonemes in training. Furthermore, only the sleep group generalized their learning to new materials. Polysomnography data showed that implicit constraint learning was associated with slow-wave sleep. These results show that sleep facilitates the integration of new linguistic knowledge with existing production constraints. These data have relevance for systems-consolidation models of sleep.

    Additional information

    https://osf.io/zqg9y/
  • Gialluisi, A., Newbury, D. F., Wilcutt, E. G., Olson, R. K., DeFries, J. C., Brandler, W. M., Pennington, B. F., Smith, S. D., Scerri, T. S., Simpson, N. H., The SLI Consortium, Luciano, M., Evans, D. M., Bates, T. C., Stein, J. F., Talcott, J. B., Monaco, A. P., Paracchini, S., Francks, C., & Fisher, S. E. (2014). Genome-wide screening for DNA variants associated with reading and language traits. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 13, 686-701. doi:10.1111/gbb.12158.

    Abstract

    Reading and language abilities are heritable traits that are likely to share some genetic influences with each other. To identify pleiotropic genetic variants affecting these traits, we first performed a Genome-wide Association Scan (GWAS) meta-analysis using three richly characterised datasets comprising individuals with histories of reading or language problems, and their siblings. GWAS was performed in a total of 1862 participants using the first principal component computed from several quantitative measures of reading- and language-related abilities, both before and after adjustment for performance IQ. We identified novel suggestive associations at the SNPs rs59197085 and rs5995177 (uncorrected p≈10−7 for each SNP), located respectively at the CCDC136/FLNC and RBFOX2 genes. Each of these SNPs then showed evidence for effects across multiple reading and language traits in univariate association testing against the individual traits. FLNC encodes a structural protein involved in cytoskeleton remodelling, while RBFOX2 is an important regulator of alternative splicing in neurons. The CCDC136/FLNC locus showed association with a comparable reading/language measure in an independent sample of 6434 participants from the general population, although involving distinct alleles of the associated SNP. Our datasets will form an important part of on-going international efforts to identify genes contributing to reading and language skills.
  • Gialluisi, A., Pippucci, T., & Romeo, G. (2014). Reply to ten Kate et al. European Journal of Human Genetics, 2, 157-158. doi:10.1038/ejhg.2013.153.
  • Gonzalez Gomez, N., Hayashi, A., Tsuji, S., Mazuka, R., & Nazzi, T. (2014). The role of the input on the development of the LC bias: A crosslinguistic comparison. Cognition, 132(3), 301-311. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2014.04.004.

    Abstract

    Previous studies have described the existence of a phonotactic bias called the Labial–Coronal (LC) bias, corresponding to a tendency to produce more words beginning with a labial consonant followed by a coronal consonant (i.e. “bat”) than the opposite CL pattern (i.e. “tap”). This bias has initially been interpreted in terms of articulatory constraints of the human speech production system. However, more recently, it has been suggested that this presumably language-general LC bias in production might be accompanied by LC and CL biases in perception, acquired in infancy on the basis of the properties of the linguistic input. The present study investigates the origins of these perceptual biases, testing infants learning Japanese, a language that has been claimed to possess more CL than LC sequences, and comparing them with infants learning French, a language showing a clear LC bias in its lexicon. First, a corpus analysis of Japanese IDS and ADS revealed the existence of an overall LC bias, except for plosive sequences in ADS, which show a CL bias across counts. Second, speech preference experiments showed a perceptual preference for CL over LC plosive sequences (all recorded by a Japanese speaker) in 13- but not in 7- and 10-month-old Japanese-learning infants (Experiment 1), while revealing the emergence of an LC preference between 7 and 10 months in French-learning infants, using the exact same stimuli. These crosslinguistic behavioral differences, obtained with the same stimuli, thus reflect differences in processing in two populations of infants, which can be linked to differences in the properties of the lexicons of their respective native languages. These findings establish that the emergence of a CL/LC bias is related to exposure to a linguistic input.
  • Goodhew, S. C., McGaw, B., & Kidd, E. (2014). Why is the sunny side always up? Explaining the spatial mapping of concepts by language use. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21(5), 1287-1293. doi:10.3758/s13423-014-0593-6.

    Abstract

    Humans appear to rely on spatial mappings to represent and describe concepts. The conceptual cuing effect describes the tendency for participants to orient attention to a spatial location following the presentation of an unrelated cue word (e.g., orienting attention upward after reading the word sky). To date, such effects have predominately been explained within the embodied cognition framework, according to which people’s attention is oriented on the basis of prior experience (e.g., sky → up via perceptual simulation). However, this does not provide a compelling explanation for how abstract words have the same ability to orient attention. Why, for example, does dream also orient attention upward? We report on an experiment that investigated the role of language use (specifically, collocation between concept words and spatial words for up and down dimensions) and found that it predicted the cuing effect. The results suggest that language usage patterns may be instrumental in explaining conceptual cuing.
  • Gori, M., Vercillo, T., Sandini, G., & Burr, D. (2014). Tactile feedback improves auditory spatial localization. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 1121. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01121.

    Abstract

    Our recent studies suggest that congenitally blind adults have severely impaired thresholds in an auditory spatial bisection task, pointing to the importance of vision in constructing complex auditory spatial maps (Gon etal., 2014). To explore strategies that may improve the auditory spatial sense in visually impaired people, we investigated the impact of tactile feedback on spatial auditory localization in 48 blindfolded sighted subjects. We measured auditory spatial bisection thresholds before and after training, either with tactile feedback, verbal feedback, or no feedback. Audio thresholds were first measured with a spatial bisection task: subjects judged whether the second sound of a three sound sequence was spatially closer to the first or the third sound. The tactile feedback group underwent two audio-tactile feedback sessions of 100 trials, where each auditory trial was followed by the same spatial sequence played on the subject's forearm; auditory spatial bisection thresholds were evaluated after each session. In the verbal feedback condition, the positions of the sounds were verbally reported to the subject after each feedback trial.The no feedback group did the same sequence of trials, with no feedback. Performance improved significantly only after audio-tactile feedback. The results suggest that direct tactile feedback interacts with the auditory spatial localization system, possibly by a process of cross-sensory recalibration. Control tests with the subject rotated suggested that this effect occurs only when the tactile and acoustic sequences are spatially congruent. Our results suggest that the tactile system can be used to recalibrate the auditory sense of space. These results encourage the possibility of designing rehabilitation programs to help blind persons establish a robust auditory sense of space, through training with the tactile modality.
  • De Grauwe, S., Willems, R. M., Rüschemeyer, S.-A., Lemhöfer, K., & Schriefers, H. (2014). Embodied language in first- and second-language speakers: Neural correlates of processing motor verbs. Neuropsychologia, 56, 334-349. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.02.003.

    Abstract

    The involvement of neural motor and sensory systems in the processing of language has so far mainly been studied in native (L1) speakers. In an fMRI experiment, we investigated whether non-native (L2) semantic representations are rich enough to allow for activation in motor and somatosensory brain areas. German learners of Dutch and a control group of Dutch native speakers made lexical decisions about visually presented Dutch motor and non-motor verbs. Region-of-interest (ROI) and whole-brain analyses indicated that L2 speakers, like L1 speakers, showed significantly increased activation for simple motor compared to non-motor verbs in motor and somatosensory regions. This effect was not restricted to Dutch-German cognate verbs, but was also present for non-cognate verbs. These results indicate that L2 semantic representations are rich enough for motor-related activations to develop in motor and somatosensory areas.
  • De Grauwe, S., Lemhöfer, K., Willems, R. M., & Schriefers, H. (2014). L2 speakers decompose morphologically complex verbs: fMRI evidence from priming of transparent derived verbs. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8: 802. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00802.

    Abstract

    In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) long-lag priming study, we investigated the processing of Dutch semantically transparent, derived prefix verbs. In such words, the meaning of the word as a whole can be deduced from the meanings of its parts, e.g., wegleggen “put aside.” Many behavioral and some fMRI studies suggest that native (L1) speakers decompose transparent derived words. The brain region usually implicated in morphological decomposition is the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG). In non-native (L2) speakers, the processing of transparent derived words has hardly been investigated, especially in fMRI studies, and results are contradictory: some studies find more reliance on holistic (i.e., non-decompositional) processing by L2 speakers; some find no difference between L1 and L2 speakers. In this study, we wanted to find out whether Dutch transparent derived prefix verbs are decomposed or processed holistically by German L2 speakers of Dutch. Half of the derived verbs (e.g., omvallen “fall down”) were preceded by their stem (e.g., vallen “fall”) with a lag of 4–6 words (“primed”); the other half (e.g., inslapen “fall asleep”) were not (“unprimed”). L1 and L2 speakers of Dutch made lexical decisions on these visually presented verbs. Both region of interest analyses and whole-brain analyses showed that there was a significant repetition suppression effect for primed compared to unprimed derived verbs in the LIFG. This was true both for the analyses over L2 speakers only and for the analyses over the two language groups together. The latter did not reveal any interaction with language group (L1 vs. L2) in the LIFG. Thus, L2 speakers show a clear priming effect in the LIFG, an area that has been associated with morphological decomposition. Our findings are consistent with the idea that L2 speakers engage in decomposition of transparent derived verbs rather than processing them holistically

    Additional information

    Data Sheet 1.docx
  • Guadalupe, T., Willems, R. M., Zwiers, M., Arias Vasquez, A., Hoogman, M., Hagoort, P., Fernández, G., Buitelaar, J., Franke, B., Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2014). Differences in cerebral cortical anatomy of left- and right-handers. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 261. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00261.

    Abstract

    The left and right sides of the human brain are specialized for different kinds of information processing, and much of our cognition is lateralized to an extent towards one side or the other. Handedness is a reflection of nervous system lateralization. Roughly ten percent of people are mixed- or left-handed, and they show an elevated rate of reductions or reversals of some cerebral functional asymmetries compared to right-handers. Brain anatomical correlates of left-handedness have also been suggested. However, the relationships of left-handedness to brain structure and function remain far from clear. We carried out a comprehensive analysis of cortical surface area differences between 106 left-handed subjects and 1960 right-handed subjects, measured using an automated method of regional parcellation (FreeSurfer, Destrieux atlas). This is the largest study sample that has so far been used in relation to this issue. No individual cortical region showed an association with left-handedness that survived statistical correction for multiple testing, although there was a nominally significant association with the surface area of a previously implicated region: the left precentral sulcus. Identifying brain structural correlates of handedness may prove useful for genetic studies of cerebral asymmetries, as well as providing new avenues for the study of relations between handedness, cerebral lateralization and cognition.
  • Guadalupe, T., Zwiers, M. P., Teumer, A., Wittfeld, K., Arias Vasquez, A., Hoogman, M., Hagoort, P., Fernández, G., Buitelaar, J., Hegenscheid, K., Völzke, H., Franke, B., Fisher, S. E., Grabe, H. J., & Francks, C. (2014). Measurement and genetics of human subcortical and hippocampal asymmetries in large datasets. Human Brain Mapping, 35(7), 3277-3289. doi:10.1002/hbm.22401.

    Abstract

    Functional and anatomical asymmetries are prevalent features of the human brain, linked to gender, handedness, and cognition. However, little is known about the neurodevelopmental processes involved. In zebrafish, asymmetries arise in the diencephalon before extending within the central nervous system. We aimed to identify genes involved in the development of subtle, left-right volumetric asymmetries of human subcortical structures using large datasets. We first tested the feasibility of measuring left-right volume differences in such large-scale samples, as assessed by two automated methods of subcortical segmentation (FSL|FIRST and FreeSurfer), using data from 235 subjects who had undergone MRI twice. We tested the agreement between the first and second scan, and the agreement between the segmentation methods, for measures of bilateral volumes of six subcortical structures and the hippocampus, and their volumetric asymmetries. We also tested whether there were biases introduced by left-right differences in the regional atlases used by the methods, by analyzing left-right flipped images. While many bilateral volumes were measured well (scan-rescan r = 0.6-0.8), most asymmetries, with the exception of the caudate nucleus, showed lower repeatabilites. We meta-analyzed genome-wide association scan results for caudate nucleus asymmetry in a combined sample of 3,028 adult subjects but did not detect associations at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10-8). There was no enrichment of genetic association in genes involved in left-right patterning of the viscera. Our results provide important information for researchers who are currently aiming to carry out large-scale genome-wide studies of subcortical and hippocampal volumes, and their asymmetries
  • Guerra, E., & Knoeferle, P. (2014). Spatial distance effects on incremental semantic interpretation of abstract sentences: Evidence from eye tracking. Cognition, 133(3), 535-552. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2014.07.007.

    Abstract

    A large body of evidence has shown that visual context information can rapidly modulate language comprehension for concrete sentences and when it is mediated by a referential or a lexical-semantic link. What has not yet been examined is whether visual context can also modulate comprehension of abstract sentences incrementally when it is neither referenced by, nor lexically associated with, the sentence. Three eye-tracking reading experiments examined the effects of spatial distance between words (Experiment 1) and objects (Experiment 2 and 3) on participants’ reading times for sentences that convey similarity or difference between two abstract nouns (e.g., ‘Peace and war are certainly different...’). Before reading the sentence, participants inspected a visual context with two playing cards that moved either far apart or close together. In Experiment 1, the cards turned and showed the first two nouns of the sentence (e.g., ‘peace’, ‘war’). In Experiments 2 and 3, they turned but remained blank. Participants’ reading times at the adjective (Experiment 1: first-pass reading time; Experiment 2: total times) and at the second noun phrase (Experiment 3: first-pass times) were faster for sentences that expressed similarity when the preceding words/objects were close together (vs. far apart) and for sentences that expressed dissimilarity when the preceding words/objects were far apart (vs. close together). Thus, spatial distance between words or entirely unrelated objects can rapidly and incrementally modulate the semantic interpretation of abstract sentences.

    Additional information

    mmc1.doc
  • Guggenheim, J. A., Williams, C., Northstone, K., Howe, L. D., Tilling, K., St Pourcain, B., McMahon, G., & Lawlor, D. A. (2014). Does Vitamin D Mediate the Protective Effects of Time Outdoors On Myopia? Findings From a Prospective Birth Cohort. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 55(12), 8550-8558. doi:10.1167/iovs.14-15839.
  • Hagoort, P. (2014). Nodes and networks in the neural architecture for language: Broca's region and beyond. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 28, 136-141. doi:10.1016/j.conb.2014.07.013.

    Abstract

    Current views on the neurobiological underpinnings of language are discussed that deviate in a number of ways from the classical Wernicke–Lichtheim–Geschwind model. More areas than Broca's and Wernicke's region are involved in language. Moreover, a division along the axis of language production and language comprehension does not seem to be warranted. Instead, for central aspects of language processing neural infrastructure is shared between production and comprehension. Three different accounts of the role of Broca's area in language are discussed. Arguments are presented in favor of a dynamic network view, in which the functionality of a region is co-determined by the network of regions in which it is embedded at particular moments in time. Finally, core regions of language processing need to interact with other networks (e.g. the attentional networks and the ToM network) to establish full functionality of language and communication.
  • Hagoort, P., & Indefrey, P. (2014). The neurobiology of language beyond single words. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 37, 347-362. doi:10.1146/annurev-neuro-071013-013847.

    Abstract

    A hallmark of human language is that we combine lexical building blocks retrieved from memory in endless new ways. This combinatorial aspect of language is referred to as unification. Here we focus on the neurobiological infrastructure for syntactic and semantic unification. Unification is characterized by a high-speed temporal profile including both prediction and integration of retrieved lexical elements. A meta-analysis of numerous neuroimaging studies reveals a clear dorsal/ventral gradient in both left inferior frontal cortex and left posterior temporal cortex, with dorsal foci for syntactic processing and ventral foci for semantic processing. In addition to core areas for unification, further networks need to be recruited to realize language-driven communication to its full extent. One example is the theory of mind network, which allows listeners and readers to infer the intended message (speaker meaning) from the coded meaning of the linguistic utterance. This indicates that sensorimotor simulation cannot handle all of language processing.
  • Hammarstroem, H., & Güldemann, T. (2014). Quantifying geographical determinants of large-scale distributions of linguistic features. Language Dynamics and Change, 4, 87-115. doi:10.1163/22105832-00401002.

    Abstract

    In the recent past the work on large-scale linguistic distributions across the globe has intensified considerably. Work on macro-areal relationships in Africa (Güldemann, 2010) suggests that the shape of convergence areas may be determined by climatic factors and geophysical features such as mountains, water bodies, coastlines, etc. Worldwide data is now available for geophysical features as well as linguistic features, including numeral systems and basic constituent order. We explore the possibility that the shape of areal aggregations of individual features in these two linguistic domains correlates with Köppen-Geiger climate zones. Furthermore, we test the hypothesis that the shape of such areal feature aggregations is determined by the contour of adjacent geophysical features like mountain ranges or coastlines. In these first basic tests, we do not find clear evidence that either Köppen-Geiger climate zones or the contours of geophysical features are major predictors for the linguistic data at hand

    Files private

    Request files
  • Hammarstroem, H., & Donohue, M. (2014). Some principles on the use of macro-areas in typological comparison. Language Dynamics and Change, 4, 167-187. doi:10.1163/22105832-00401001.

    Abstract

    While the notion of the ‘area’ or ‘Sprachbund’ has a long history in linguistics, with geographically-defined regions frequently cited as a useful means to explain typological distributions, the problem of delimiting areas has not been well addressed. Lists of general-purpose, largely independent ‘macro-areas’ (typically continent size) have been proposed as a step to rule out contact as an explanation for various large-scale linguistic phenomena. This squib points out some problems in some of the currently widely-used predetermined areas, those found in the World Atlas of Language Structures (Haspelmath et al., 2005). Instead, we propose a principled division of the world’s landmasses into six macro-areas that arguably have better geographical independence properties
  • Hammarström, H. (2014). [Review of the book A grammar of the great Andamanese language: An ethnolinguistic study by Anvita Abbi]. Journal of South Asian Languages and Linguistics, 1, 111-116. doi:10.1515/jsall-2014-0007.
  • Haun, D. B. M., Rekers, Y., & Tomasello, M. (2014). Children conform the behavior of peers; Other great apes stick with what they know. Psychological Science, 25, 2160-2167. doi:10.1177/0956797614553235.

    Abstract

    All primates learn things from conspecifics socially, but it is not clear whether they conform to the behavior of these conspecifics—if conformity is defined as overriding individually acquired behavioral tendencies in order to copy peers’ behavior. In the current study, chimpanzees, orangutans, and 2-year-old human children individually acquired a problem-solving strategy. They then watched several conspecific peers demonstrate an alternative strategy. The children switched to this new, socially demonstrated strategy in roughly half of all instances, whereas the other two great-ape species almost never adjusted their behavior to the majority’s. In a follow-up study, children switched much more when the peer demonstrators were still present than when they were absent, which suggests that their conformity arose at least in part from social motivations. These results demonstrate an important difference between the social learning of humans and great apes, a difference that might help to account for differences in human and nonhuman cultures

    Additional information

    Haun_Rekers_Tomasello_2014_supp.pdf
  • Hervais-Adelman, A., Pefkou, M., & Golestani, N. (2014). Bilingual speech-in-noise: Neural bases of semantic context use in the native language. Brain and Language, 132, 1-6. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2014.01.009.

    Abstract

    Bilingual listeners comprehend speech-in-noise better in their native than non-native language. This native-language benefit is thought to arise from greater use of top-down linguistic information to assist degraded speech comprehension. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we recently showed that left angular gyrus activation is modulated when semantic context is used to assist native language speech-in-noise comprehension (Golestani, Hervais-Adelman, Obleser, & Scott, 2013). Here, we extend the previous work, by reanalyzing the previous data alongside the results obtained in the non-native language of the same late bilingual participants. We found a behavioral benefit of semantic context in processing speech-in-noise in the native language only, and the imaging results also revealed a native language context effect in the left angular gyrus. We also find a complementary role of lower-level auditory regions during stimulus-driven processing. Our findings help to elucidate the neural basis of the established native language behavioral benefit of speech-in-noise processing. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Hessels, R. S., Hooge, I., Snijders, T. M., & Kemner, C. (2014). Is there a limit to the superiority of individuals with ASD in visual search? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44, 443-451. doi:10.1007/s10803-013-1886-8.

    Abstract

    Superiority in visual search for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a well-reported finding. We administered two visual search tasks to individuals with ASD and matched controls. One showed no difference between the groups, and one did show the expected superior performance for individuals with ASD. These results offer an explanation, formulated in terms of load theory. We suggest that there is a limit to the superiority in visual search for individuals with ASD, related to the perceptual load of the stimuli. When perceptual load becomes so high that no additional task-(ir)relevant information can be processed, performance will be based on single stimulus identification, in which no differences between individuals with ASD and controls have been demonstrated
  • Hoedemaker, R. S., & Gordon, P. C. (2014). Embodied language comprehension: Encoding-based and goal-driven processes. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143(2), 914-929. doi:10.1037/a0032348.

    Abstract

    Theories of embodied language comprehension have proposed that language is understood through perceptual simulation of the sensorimotor characteristics of its meaning. Strong support for this claim requires demonstration of encoding-based activation of sensorimotor representations that is distinct from task-related or goal-driven processes. Participants in 3 eye-tracking experiments were presented with triplets of either numbers or object and animal names. In Experiment 1, participants indicated whether the size of the referent of the middle object or animal name was in between the size of the 2 outer items. In Experiment 2, the object and animal names were encoded for an immediate recognition memory task. In Experiment 3, participants completed the same comparison task of Experiment 1 for both words and numbers. During the comparison tasks, word and number decision times showed a symbolic distance effect, such that response time was inversely related to the size difference between the items. A symbolic distance effect was also observed for animal and object encoding times in cases where encoding time likely reflected some goal-driven processes as well. When semantic size was irrelevant to the task (Experiment 2), it had no effect on word encoding times. Number encoding times showed a numerical distance priming effect: Encoding time increased with numerical difference between items. Together these results suggest that while activation of numerical magnitude representations is encoding-based as well as goal-driven, activation of size information associated with words is goal-driven and does not occur automatically during encoding. This conclusion challenges strong theories of embodied cognition which claim that language comprehension consists of activation of analog sensorimotor representations irrespective of higher level processes related to context or task-specific goals
  • Hoedemaker, R. S., & Gordon, P. C. (2014). It takes time to prime: Semantic priming in the ocular lexical decision task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 40(6), 2179-2197. doi:10.1037/a0037677.

    Abstract

    Two eye-tracking experiments were conducted in which the manual response mode typically used in lexical decision tasks (LDTs) was replaced with an eye-movement response through a sequence of 3 words. This ocular LDT combines the explicit control of task goals found in LDTs with the highly practiced ocular response used in reading text. In Experiment 1, forward saccades indicated an affirmative lexical decision (LD) on each word in the triplet. In Experiment 2, LD responses were delayed until all 3 letter strings had been read. The goal of the study was to evaluate the contribution of task goals and response mode to semantic priming. Semantic priming is very robust in tasks that involve recognition of words in isolation, such as LDT, but limited during text reading, as measured using eye movements. Gaze durations in both experiments showed robust semantic priming even though ocular response times were much shorter than manual LDs for the same words in the English Lexicon Project. Ex-Gaussian distribution fits revealed that the priming effect was concentrated in estimates of tau (τ), meaning that priming was most pronounced in the slow tail of the distribution. This pattern shows differential use of the prime information, which may be more heavily recruited in cases in which the LD is difficult, as indicated by longer response times. Compared with the manual LD responses, ocular LDs provide a more sensitive measure of this task-related influence on word recognition as measured by the LDT.
  • Hoey, E. (2014). Sighing in interaction: Somatic, semiotic, and social. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 47(2), 175-200. doi:10.1080/08351813.2014.900229.

    Abstract

    Participants in interaction routinely orient to gaze, bodily comportment, and nonlexical vocalizations as salient for developing an analysis of the unfolding course of action. In this article, I address the respiratory phenomenon of sighing, the aim being to describe sighing as a situated practice that contributes to the achievement of particular actions in interaction. I report on the various actions sighs implement or construct and how their positioning and delivery informs participants’ understandings of their significance for interaction. Data are in American English
  • Hogan-Brown, A. L., Hoedemaker, R. S., Gordon, P. C., & Losh, M. (2014). Eye-voice span during rapid automatized naming: Evidence of reduced automaticity in individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their siblings. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 6(1): 33. doi:10.1186/1866-1955-6-33.

    Abstract

    Background: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their parents demonstrate impaired performance in rapid automatized naming (RAN), a task that recruits a variety of linguistic and executive processes. Though the basic processes that contribute to RAN differences remain unclear, eye-voice relationships, as measured through eye tracking, can provide insight into cognitive and perceptual processes contributing to RAN performance. For example, in RAN, eye-voice span (EVS), the distance ahead the eyes are when articulation of a target item's label begins, is an indirect measure of automaticity of the processes underlying RAN. The primary objective of this study was to investigate automaticity in naming processes, as indexed by EVS during RAN. The secondary objective was to characterize RAN difficulties in individuals with ASD and their siblings. Methods: Participants (aged 15 – 33 years) included 21 individuals with ASD, 23 siblings of individuals with ASD, and 24 control subjects, group-matched on chronological age. Naming time, frequency of errors, and EVS were measured during a RAN task and compared across groups. Results: A stepwise pattern of RAN performance was observed, with individuals with ASD demonstrating the slowest naming across all RAN conditions, controls demonstrating the fastest naming, and siblings demonstrating intermediate performance. Individuals with ASD exhibited smaller EVSs than controls on all RAN conditions, and siblings exhibited smaller EVSs during number naming (the most highly automatized type of naming). EVSs were correlated with naming times in controls only, and only in the more automatized conditions. Conclusions: These results suggest that reduced automaticity in the component processes of RAN may underpin differences in individuals with ASD and their siblings. These findings also provide further support that RAN abilities are impacted by genetic liability to ASD. This study has important implications for understanding the underlying skills contributing to language-related deficits in ASD.
  • Holler, J., Schubotz, L., Kelly, S., Hagoort, P., Schuetze, M., & Ozyurek, A. (2014). Social eye gaze modulates processing of speech and co-speech gesture. Cognition, 133, 692-697. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2014.08.008.

    Abstract

    In human face-to-face communication, language comprehension is a multi-modal, situated activity. However, little is known about how we combine information from different modalities during comprehension, and how perceived communicative intentions, often signaled through visual signals, influence this process. We explored this question by simulating a multi-party communication context in which a speaker alternated her gaze between two recipients. Participants viewed speech-only or speech + gesture object-related messages when being addressed (direct gaze) or unaddressed (gaze averted to other participant). They were then asked to choose which of two object images matched the speaker’s preceding message. Unaddressed recipients responded significantly more slowly than addressees for speech-only utterances. However, perceiving the same speech accompanied by gestures sped unaddressed recipients up to a level identical to that of addressees. That is, when unaddressed recipients’ speech processing suffers, gestures can enhance the comprehension of a speaker’s message. We discuss our findings with respect to two hypotheses attempting to account for how social eye gaze may modulate multi-modal language comprehension.
  • Hoogman, M., Guadalupe, T., Zwiers, M. P., Klarenbeek, P., Francks, C., & Fisher, S. E. (2014). Assessing the effects of common variation in the FOXP2 gene on human brain structure. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8: 473. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00473.

    Abstract

    The FOXP2 transcription factor is one of the most well-known genes to have been implicated in developmental speech and language disorders. Rare mutations disrupting the function of this gene have been described in different families and cases. In a large three-generation family carrying a missense mutation, neuroimaging studies revealed significant effects on brain structure and function, most notably in the inferior frontal gyrus, caudate nucleus and cerebellum. After the identification of rare disruptive FOXP2 variants impacting on brain structure, several reports proposed that common variants at this locus may also have detectable effects on the brain, extending beyond disorder into normal phenotypic variation. These neuroimaging genetics studies used groups of between 14 and 96 participants. The current study assessed effects of common FOXP2 variants on neuroanatomy using voxel-based morphometry and volumetric techniques in a sample of >1300 people from the general population. In a first targeted stage we analyzed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) claimed to have effects in prior smaller studies (rs2253478, rs12533005, rs2396753, rs6980093, rs7784315, rs17137124, rs10230558, rs7782412, rs1456031), beginning with regions proposed in the relevant papers, then assessing impact across the entire brain. In the second gene-wide stage, we tested all common FOXP2 variation, focusing on volumetry of those regions most strongly implicated from analyses of rare disruptive mutations. Despite using a sample that is more than ten times that used for prior studies of common FOXP2 variation, we found no evidence for effects of SNPs on variability in neuroanatomy in the general population. Thus, the impact of this gene on brain structure may be largely limited to extreme cases of rare disruptive alleles. Alternatively, effects of common variants at this gene exist but are too subtle to be detected with standard volumetric techniques
  • Hoymann, G. (2014). [Review of the book Bridging the language gap, Approaches to Herero verbal interaction as development practice in Namibia by Rose Marie Beck]. Journal of African languages and linguistics, 35(1), 130-133. doi:10.1515/jall-2014-0004.
  • Huettig, F., & Mishra, R. K. (2014). How literacy acquisition affects the illiterate mind - A critical examination of theories and evidence. Language and Linguistics Compass, 8(10), 401-427. doi:10.1111/lnc3.12092.

    Abstract

    At present, more than one-fifth of humanity is unable to read and write. We critically examine experimental evidence and theories of how (il)literacy affects the human mind. In our discussion we show that literacy has significant cognitive consequences that go beyond the processing of written words and sentences. Thus, cultural inventions such as reading shape general cognitive processing in non-trivial ways. We suggest that this has important implications for educational policy and guidance as well as research into cognitive processing and brain functioning.
  • Hulten, A., Karvonen, L., Laine, M., & Salmelin, R. (2014). Producing speech with a newly learned morphosyntax and vocabulary: An MEG study. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 26(8), 1721-1735. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00558.
  • Indefrey, P. (2014). Time course of word production does not support a parallel input architecture. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 29(1), 33-34. doi:10.1080/01690965.2013.847191.

    Abstract

    Hickok's enterprise to unify psycholinguistic and motor control models is highly stimulating. Nonetheless, there are problems of the model with respect to the time course of neural activation in word production, the flexibility for continuous speech, and the need for non-motor feedback.

    Files private

    Request files
  • Janse, E., & Jesse, A. (2014). Working memory affects older adults’ use of context in spoken-word recognition. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 67, 1842-1862. doi:10.1080/17470218.2013.879391.

    Abstract

    Many older listeners report difficulties in understanding speech in noisy situations. Working memory and other cognitive skills may modulate, however, older listeners’ ability to use context information to alleviate the effects of noise on spoken-word recognition. In the present study, we investigated whether working memory predicts older adults’ ability to immediately use context information in the recognition of words embedded in sentences, presented in different listening conditions. In a phoneme-monitoring task, older adults were asked to detect as fast and as accurately as possible target phonemes in sentences spoken by a target speaker. Target speech was presented without noise, with fluctuating speech-shaped noise, or with competing speech from a single distractor speaker. The gradient measure of contextual probability (derived from a separate offline rating study) mainly affected the speed of recognition, with only a marginal effect on detection accuracy. Contextual facilitation was modulated by older listeners’ working memory and age across listening conditions. Working memory and age, as well as hearing loss, were also the most consistent predictors of overall listening performance. Older listeners’ immediate benefit from context in spoken-word recognition thus relates to their ability to keep and update a semantic representation of the sentence content in working memory.

    Files private

    Request files
  • Jesse, A., & McQueen, J. M. (2014). Suprasegmental lexical stress cues in visual speech can guide spoken-word recognition. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 67, 793-808. doi:10.1080/17470218.2013.834371.

    Abstract

    Visual cues to the individual segments of speech and to sentence prosody guide speech recognition. The present study tested whether visual suprasegmental cues to the stress patterns of words can also constrain recognition. Dutch listeners use acoustic suprasegmental cues to lexical stress (changes in duration, amplitude, and pitch) in spoken-word recognition. We asked here whether they can also use visual suprasegmental cues. In two categorization experiments, Dutch participants saw a speaker say fragments of word pairs that were segmentally identical but differed in their stress realization (e.g., 'ca-vi from cavia "guinea pig" vs. 'ka-vi from kaviaar "caviar"). Participants were able to distinguish between these pairs from seeing a speaker alone. Only the presence of primary stress in the fragment, not its absence, was informative. Participants were able to distinguish visually primary from secondary stress on first syllables, but only when the fragment-bearing target word carried phrase-level emphasis. Furthermore, participants distinguished fragments with primary stress on their second syllable from those with secondary stress on their first syllable (e.g., pro-'jec from projector "projector" vs. 'pro-jec from projectiel "projectile"), independently of phrase-level emphasis. Seeing a speaker thus contributes to spoken-word recognition by providing suprasegmental information about the presence of primary lexical stress.
  • Junge, C., & Cutler, A. (2014). Early word recognition and later language skills. Brain sciences, 4(4), 532-559. doi:10.3390/brainsci4040532.

    Abstract

    Recent behavioral and electrophysiological evidence has highlighted the long-term importance for language skills of an early ability to recognize words in continuous speech. We here present further tests of this long-term link in the form of follow-up studies conducted with two (separate) groups of infants who had earlier participated in speech segmentation tasks. Each study extends prior follow-up tests: Study 1 by using a novel follow-up measure that taps into online processing, Study 2 by assessing language performance relationships over a longer time span than previously tested. Results of Study 1 show that brain correlates of speech segmentation ability at 10 months are positively related to 16-month-olds’ target fixations in a looking-while-listening task. Results of Study 2 show that infant speech segmentation ability no longer directly predicts language profiles at the age of five. However, a meta-analysis across our results and those of similar studies (Study 3) reveals that age at follow-up does not moderate effect size. Together, the results suggest that infants’ ability to recognize words in speech certainly benefits early vocabulary development; further observed relationships of later language skills to early word recognition may be consequent upon this vocabulary size effect.
  • Junge, C., Cutler, A., & Hagoort, P. (2014). Successful word recognition by 10-month-olds given continuous speech both at initial exposure and test. Infancy, 19(2), 179-193. doi:10.1111/infa.12040.

    Abstract

    Most words that infants hear occur within fluent speech. To compile a vocabulary, infants therefore need to segment words from speech contexts. This study is the first to investigate whether infants (here: 10-month-olds) can recognize words when both initial exposure and test presentation are in continuous speech. Electrophysiological evidence attests that this indeed occurs: An increased extended negativity (word recognition effect) appears for familiarized target words relative to control words. This response proved constant at the individual level: Only infants who showed this negativity at test had shown such a response, within six repetitions after first occurrence, during familiarization.
  • Keller, K. L., Fritz, R. S., Zoubek, C. M., Kennedy, E. H., Cronin, K. A., Rothwell, E. S., & Serfass, T. L. (2014). Effects of transport on fecal glucocorticoid levels in captive-bred cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus). Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, 88(2), 84-88.

    Abstract

    The relocation of animals can induce stress when animals are placed in novel environmental conditions. The movement of captive animals among facilities is common, especially for non-human primates used in research. The stress response begins with the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis which results in the release of glucocorticoid hormones (GC), which at chronic levels could lead to deleterious physiological effects. There is a substantial body of data concerning GC levels affecting reproduction, and rank and aggression in primates. However, the effect of transport has received much less attention. Fecal samples from eight (four male and four female) captive-bred cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) were collected at four different time points (two pre-transport and two post-transport). The fecal samples were analyzed using an immunoassay to determine GC levels. A repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) demonstrated that GC levels differed among transport times (p = 0.009), but not between sexes (p = 0.963). Five of the eight tamarins exhibited an increase in GC levels after transport. Seven of the eight tamarins exhibited a decrease in GC levels from three to six days post-transport to three weeks post-transport. Most values returned to pre-transport levels after three weeks. The results indicate that these tamarins experienced elevated GC levels following transport, but these increases were of short duration. This outcome would suggest that the negative effects of elevated GC levels were also of short duration.
  • Kelly, B., Wigglesworth, G., Nordlinger, R., & Blythe, J. (2014). The acquisition of polysynthetic languages. Language and Linguistics Compass, 8, 51-64. doi:10.1111/lnc3.12062.

    Abstract

    One of the major challenges in acquiring a language is being able to use morphology as an adult would, and thus, a considerable amount of acquisition research has focused on morphological production and comprehension. Most of this research, however, has focused on the acquisition of morphology in isolating languages, or languages (such as English) with limited inflectional morphology. The nature of the learning task is different, and potentially more challenging, when the child is learning a polysynthetic language – a language in which words are highly morphologically complex, expressing in a single word what in English takes a multi-word clause. To date, there has been no cross-linguistic survey of how children approach this puzzle and learn polysynthetic languages. This paper aims to provide such a survey, including a discussion of some of the general findings in the literature regarding the acquisition of polysynthetic systems
  • Kemp, J. P., Sayers, A., Paternoster, L., Evans, D. M., Deere, K., St Pourcain, B., Timpson, N. J., Ring, S. M., Lorentzon, M., Lehtimäki, T., Eriksson, J., Kähönen, M., Raitakari, O., Laaksonen, M., Sievänen, H., Viikari, J., Lyytikäinen, L.-P., Smith, G. D., Fraser, W. D., Vandenput, L. and 2 moreKemp, J. P., Sayers, A., Paternoster, L., Evans, D. M., Deere, K., St Pourcain, B., Timpson, N. J., Ring, S. M., Lorentzon, M., Lehtimäki, T., Eriksson, J., Kähönen, M., Raitakari, O., Laaksonen, M., Sievänen, H., Viikari, J., Lyytikäinen, L.-P., Smith, G. D., Fraser, W. D., Vandenput, L., Ohlsson, C., & Tobias, J. H. (2014). Does Bone Resorption Stimulate Periosteal Expansion? A Cross-Sectional Analysis of β-C-telopeptides of Type I Collagen (CTX), Genetic Markers of the RANKL Pathway, and Periosteal Circumference as Measured by pQCT. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 29(4), 1015-1024. doi:10.1002/jbmr.2093.

    Abstract

    We hypothesized that bone resorption acts to increase bone strength through stimulation of periosteal expansion. Hence, we examined whether bone resorption, as reflected by serum β-C-telopeptides of type I collagen (CTX), is positively associated with periosteal circumference (PC), in contrast to inverse associations with parameters related to bone remodeling such as cortical bone mineral density (BMDC ). CTX and mid-tibial peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) scans were available in 1130 adolescents (mean age 15.5 years) from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Analyses were adjusted for age, gender, time of sampling, tanner stage, lean mass, fat mass, and height. CTX was positively related to PC (β=0.19 [0.13, 0.24]) (coefficient=SD change per SD increase in CTX, 95% confidence interval)] but inversely associated with BMDC (β=-0.46 [-0.52,-0.40]) and cortical thickness [β=-0.11 (-0.18, -0.03)]. CTX was positively related to bone strength as reflected by the strength-strain index (SSI) (β=0.09 [0.03, 0.14]). To examine the causal nature of this relationship, we then analyzed whether single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within key osteoclast regulatory genes, known to reduce areal/cortical BMD, conversely increase PC. Fifteen such genetic variants within or proximal to genes encoding receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK), RANK ligand (RANKL), and osteoprotegerin (OPG) were identified by literature search. Six of the 15 alleles that were inversely related to BMD were positively related to CTX (p<}0.05 cut-off) (n=2379). Subsequently, we performed a meta-analysis of associations between these SNPs and PC in ALSPAC (n=3382), Gothenburg Osteoporosis and Obesity Determinants (GOOD) (n=938), and the Young Finns Study (YFS) (n=1558). Five of the 15 alleles that were inversely related to BMD were positively related to PC (p{<0.05 cut-off). We conclude that despite having lower BMD, individuals with a genetic predisposition to higher bone resorption have greater bone size, suggesting that higher bone resorption is permissive for greater periosteal expansion.
  • Kemp, J. P., Medina-Gomez, C., Estrada, K., St Pourcain, B., Heppe, D. H. M., Warrington, N. M., Oei, L., Ring, S. M., Kruithof, C. J., Timpson, N. J., Wolber, L. E., Reppe, S., Gautvik, K., Grundberg, E., Ge, B., van der Eerden, B., van de Peppel, J., Hibbs, M. A., Ackert-Bicknell, C. L., Choi, K. and 13 moreKemp, J. P., Medina-Gomez, C., Estrada, K., St Pourcain, B., Heppe, D. H. M., Warrington, N. M., Oei, L., Ring, S. M., Kruithof, C. J., Timpson, N. J., Wolber, L. E., Reppe, S., Gautvik, K., Grundberg, E., Ge, B., van der Eerden, B., van de Peppel, J., Hibbs, M. A., Ackert-Bicknell, C. L., Choi, K., Koller, D. L., Econs, M. J., Williams, F. M. K., Foroud, T., Zillikens, M. C., Ohlsson, C., Hofman, A., Uitterlinden, A. G., Davey Smith, G., Jaddoe, V. W. V., Tobias, J. H., Rivadeneira, F., & Evans, D. M. (2014). Phenotypic dissection of bone mineral density reveals skeletal site specificity and facilitates the identification of novel loci in the genetic regulation of bone mass attainment. PLoS Genetics, 10(6): e1004423. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004423.

    Abstract

    Heritability of bone mineral density (BMD) varies across skeletal sites, reflecting different relative contributions of genetic and environmental influences. To quantify the degree to which common genetic variants tag and environmental factors influence BMD, at different sites, we estimated the genetic (rg) and residual (re) correlations between BMD measured at the upper limbs (UL-BMD), lower limbs (LL-BMD) and skull (SK-BMD), using total-body DXA scans of ∼ 4,890 participants recruited by the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and their Children (ALSPAC). Point estimates of rg indicated that appendicular sites have a greater proportion of shared genetic architecture (LL-/UL-BMD rg = 0.78) between them, than with the skull (UL-/SK-BMD rg = 0.58 and LL-/SK-BMD rg = 0.43). Likewise, the residual correlation between BMD at appendicular sites (r(e) = 0.55) was higher than the residual correlation between SK-BMD and BMD at appendicular sites (r(e) = 0.20-0.24). To explore the basis for the observed differences in rg and re, genome-wide association meta-analyses were performed (n ∼ 9,395), combining data from ALSPAC and the Generation R Study identifying 15 independent signals from 13 loci associated at genome-wide significant level across different skeletal regions. Results suggested that previously identified BMD-associated variants may exert site-specific effects (i.e. differ in the strength of their association and magnitude of effect across different skeletal sites). In particular, variants at CPED1 exerted a larger influence on SK-BMD and UL-BMD when compared to LL-BMD (P = 2.01 × 10(-37)), whilst variants at WNT16 influenced UL-BMD to a greater degree when compared to SK- and LL-BMD (P = 2.31 × 10(-14)). In addition, we report a novel association between RIN3 (previously associated with Paget's disease) and LL-BMD (rs754388: β = 0.13, SE = 0.02, P = 1.4 × 10(-10)). Our results suggest that BMD at different skeletal sites is under a mixture of shared and specific genetic and environmental influences. Allowing for these differences by performing genome-wide association at different skeletal sites may help uncover new genetic influences on BMD.
  • Kempen, G. (2014). Prolegomena to a neurocomputational architecture for human grammatical encoding and decoding. Neuroinformatics, 12, 111-142. doi:10.1007/s12021-013-9191-4.

    Abstract

    The study develops a neurocomputational architecture for grammatical processing in language production and language comprehension (grammatical encoding and decoding, respectively). It seeks to answer two questions. First, how is online syntactic structure formation of the complexity required by natural-language grammars possible in a fixed, preexisting neural network without the need for online creation of new connections or associations? Second, is it realistic to assume that the seemingly disparate instantiations of syntactic structure formation in grammatical encoding and grammatical decoding can run on the same neural infrastructure? This issue is prompted by accumulating experimental evidence for the hypothesis that the mechanisms for grammatical decoding overlap with those for grammatical encoding to a considerable extent, thus inviting the hypothesis of a single “grammatical coder.” The paper answers both questions by providing the blueprint for a syntactic structure formation mechanism that is entirely based on prewired circuitry (except for referential processing, which relies on the rapid learning capacity of the hippocampal complex), and can subserve decoding as well as encoding tasks. The model builds on the “Unification Space” model of syntactic parsing developed by Vosse & Kempen (2000, 2008, 2009). The design includes a neurocomputational mechanism for the treatment of an important class of grammatical movement phenomena.
  • Kersten, R. W. J., Van Gastel, B. E., Shkaravska, O., Montenegro, M., & Van Eekelen, M. C. J. D. (2014). ResAna: a resource analysis toolset for (real-time) JAVA. Concurrency and Computing: Practice and Experience, 26, 2432-2455. doi:10.1002/cpe.3154.

    Abstract

    For real-time and embedded systems, limiting the consumption of time and memory resources is often an important part of the requirements. Being able to predict bounds on the consumption of such resources during the development process of the code can be of great value. In this paper, we focus mainly on memory-related bounds. Recent research results have advanced the state of the art of resource consumption analysis. In this paper, we present a toolset that makes it possible to apply these research results in practice for (real-time) systems enabling JAVA developers to analyse symbolic loop bounds, symbolic bounds on heap size and both symbolic and numeric bounds on stack size. We describe which theoretical additions were needed in order to achieve this. We give an overview of the capabilities of the RESANA (Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands) toolset that is the result of this effort. The toolset can not only perform generally applicable analyses, but it also contains a part of the analysis that is dedicated to the developers' (real-time) virtual machine, such that the results apply directly to the actual development environment that is used in practice

Share this page