Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 261
  • Acheson, D. J., Ganushchak, L. Y., Christoffels, I. K., & Hagoort, P. (2012). Conflict monitoring in speech production: Physiological evidence from bilingual picture naming. Brain and Language, 123, 131 -136. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2012.08.008.

    Abstract

    Self-monitoring in production is critical to correct performance, and recent accounts suggest that such monitoring may occur via the detection of response conflict. The error-related negativity (ERN) is a response-locked event-related potential (ERP) that is sensitive to response conflict. The present study examines whether response conflict is detected in production by exploring a situation where multiple outputs are activated: the bilingual naming of form-related equivalents (i.e. cognates). ERPs were recorded while German-Dutch bilinguals named pictures in their first and second languages. Although cognates were named faster than non-cognates, response conflict was evident in the form of a larger ERN-like response for cognates and adaptation effects on naming, as the magnitude of cognate facilitation was smaller following the naming of cognates. Given that signals of response conflict are present during correct naming, the present results suggest that such conflict may serve as a reliable signal for monitoring in speech production.
  • Adank, P., Davis, M. H., & Hagoort, P. (2012). Neural dissociation in processing noise and accent in spoken language comprehension. Neuropsychologia, 50, 77-84. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.10.024.

    Abstract

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

    Additional information

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Additional information

    mmc1.pdf
  • Ambridge, B., Pine, J. M., & Rowland, C. F. (2012). Semantics versus statistics in the retreat from locative overgeneralization errors. Cognition, 123(2), 260-279. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2012.01.002.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    Children (aged five-to-six and nine-to-ten years) and adults rated the acceptability of well-formed sentences and argument-structure overgeneralization errors involving the prepositional-object and double-object dative constructions (e.g. Marge pulled the box to Homer/*Marge pulled Homer the box). In support of the entrenchment hypothesis, a negative correlation was observed between verb frequency and the acceptability of errors, across all age groups. Adults additionally displayed sensitivity to narrow-range semantic constraints on the alternation, rejecting double-object dative uses of novel verbs consistent with prepositional-dative-only classes and vice versa. Adults also provided evidence for the psychological validity of a proposed morphophonological constraint prohibiting Latinate verbs from appearing in the double-object dative. These findings are interpreted in the light of a recent account of argument-structure acquisition, under which children retreat from error by incrementally learning the semantic, phonological, and pragmatic properties associated with particular verbs and particular construction slots.*
  • Araújo, S., Bramão, I., Faísca, L., Petersson, K. M., & Reis, A. (2012). Electrophysiological correlates of impaired reading in dyslexic pre-adolescent children. Brain and Cognition, 79, 79-88. doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2012.02.010.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    Measurement bias is defined as a violation of measurement invariance, which can be investigated through multigroup factor analysis (MGFA), by testing across-group differences in intercepts (uniform bias) and factor loadings (nonuniform bias). Restricted factor analysis (RFA) can also be used to detect measurement bias. To also enable nonuniform bias detection, we extend RFA with latent moderated structures (LMS) or use a random slope parameterization (RSP). In a simulation study we compare the MGFA, RFA/LMS, and RFA/RSP methods in detecting measurement bias, varying type of bias (uniform, nonuniform), type of the variable that violates measurement invariance (dichotomous, continuous), and its relationship with the trait that we want to measure (independent, dependent). For each condition, 500 sets of data are generated and analyzed with each of the three detection methods, in single run and in an iterative procedure. The RFA methods outperform MGFA when the violating variable is continuous.
  • Behne, T., Liszkowski, U., Carpenter, M., & Tomasello, M. (2012). Twelve-month-olds’ comprehension and production of pointing. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 30, 359-375. doi:10.1111/j.2044-835X.2011.02043.x.

    Abstract

    This study explored whether infants aged 12 months already recognize the communicative function of pointing gestures. Infants participated in a task requiring them to comprehend an adult’s informative pointing gesture to the location of a hidden toy. They mostly succeeded in this task, which required them to infer that the adult was attempting to direct their attention to a location for a reason – because she wanted them to know that a toy was hidden there. Many of the infants also reversed roles and produced appropriate pointing gestures for the adult in this same game, and indeed there was a correlation such that comprehenders were for the most part producers. These findings indicate that by 12 months of age infants are beginning to show a bidirectional understanding of communicative pointing.
  • Benazzo, S., Flecken, M., & Soroli, E. (2012). Typological perspectives on second language acquisition: ‘Thinking for Speaking’ in L2. Language Interaction and Acquisition, 3(2), 163-172.
  • Benders, T., Escudero, P., & Sjerps, M. J. (2012). The interrelation between acoustic context effects and available response categories in speech sound categorization. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 131, 3079-3087. doi:10.1121/1.3688512.

    Abstract

    In an investigation of contextual influences on sound categorization, 64 Peruvian Spanish listeners categorized vowels on an /i/ to /e/ continuum. First, to measure the influence of the stimulus range (broad acoustic context) and the preceding stimuli (local acoustic context), listeners were presented with different subsets of the Spanish /i/-/e/ continuum in separate blocks. Second, the influence of the number of response categories was measured by presenting half of the participants with /i/ and /e/ as responses, and the other half with /i/, /e/, /a/, /o/, and /u/. The results showed that the perceptual category boundary between /i/ and /e/ shifted depending on the stimulus range and that the formant values of locally preceding items had a contrastive influence. Categorization was less susceptible to broad and local acoustic context effects, however, when listeners were presented with five rather than two response options. Vowel categorization depends not only on the acoustic properties of the target stimulus, but also on its broad and local acoustic context. The influence of such context is in turn affected by the number of internal referents that are available to the listener in a task.
  • Bergmann, C., Paulus, M., & Fikkert, P. (2012). Preschoolers’ comprehension of pronouns and reflexives: The impact of the task. Journal of Child Language, 39, 777-803. doi:10.1017/S0305000911000298.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Additional information

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    Just as interlocutors can manipulate physical objects for performing certain types of social action, they can also perform different social actions by manipulating symbolic objects. A kinship system can be thought of as an abstract collection of lexical mappings and associated cultural conventions. It is a sort of cognitive object that can be readily manipulated for special purposes. For example, the relationship between pairs of individuals can be momentarily re-construed in constructing jokes or teases. Murriny Patha speakers associate certain parts of the body with particular classes of kin. When a group of Murriny Patha women witness a cultural outsider performing a forearm-holding gesture that is characteristically associated with brothers-in-law, they re-associate the gesture to the husband–wife relationship, thus setting up an extended teasing episode. Many of these teases call on gestural resources. Although the teasing is at times repetitive, and the episode is only thinly populated with the telltale “off-record” markers that characterize teasing proposals as non-serious, the proposal is sufficiently far-fetched as to ensure that the teases come off as more bonding than biting.
  • Bögels, S., Schriefers, H., Vonk, W., Chwilla, D., & Kerkhofs, R. (2012). Are superfluous prosodic breaks harder to process than missing ones? ERP data on auditory sentence comprehension [Abstract]. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 85(3), 352. doi:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2012.06.167.

    Abstract

    PROCEEDINGS OF THE 16TH WORLD CONGRESS OF PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY of the International Organization of Psychophysiology (IOP) Pisa, Italy September 13-17, 2012
  • Bosman, C., Schoffelen, J.-M., Brunet, N., Oostenveld, R., Bastos, A., Womelsdorf, T., Rubehn, B., Stieglitz, T., De Weerd, P., & Fries, P. (2012). Attentional stimulus selection through selective synchronization between monkey visual areas. Neuron, 75(5), 875-888. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2012.06.037.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

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  • Broersma, M. (2012). Increased lexical activation and reduced competition in second-language listening. Language and Cognitive Processes, 27(7-8), 1205-1224. doi:10.1080/01690965.2012.660170.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    Background: According to decades of research on affective motivation in the human brain, approach motivational states are supported primarily by the left hemisphere and avoidance states by the right hemisphere. The underlying cause of this specialization, however, has remained unknown. Here we conducted a first test of the Sword and Shield Hypothesis (SSH), according to which the hemispheric laterality of affective motivation depends on the laterality of motor control for the dominant hand (i.e., the "sword hand," used preferentially to perform approach actions) and the nondominant hand (i.e., the "shield hand," used preferentially to perform avoidance actions). Methodology/Principal Findings: To determine whether the laterality of approach motivation varies with handedness, we measured alpha-band power (an inverse index of neural activity) in right- and left-handers during resting-state electroencephalography and analyzed hemispheric alpha-power asymmetries as a function of the participants' trait approach motivational tendencies. Stronger approach motivation was associated with more left-hemisphere activity in right-handers, but with more right-hemisphere activity in left-handers. Conclusions: The hemispheric correlates of approach motivation reversed between right- and left-handers, consistent with the way they typically use their dominant and nondominant hands to perform approach and avoidance actions. In both right- and left-handers, approach motivation was lateralized to the same hemisphere that controls the dominant hand. This covariation between neural systems for action and emotion provides initial support for the SSH
  • Brouwer, S., Mitterer, H., & Huettig, F. (2012). Can hearing puter activate pupil? Phonological competition and the processing of reduced spoken words in spontaneous conversations. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65, 2193-2220. doi:10.1080/17470218.2012.693109.

    Abstract

    In listeners' daily communicative exchanges, they most often hear casual speech, in which words are often produced with fewer segments, rather than the careful speech used in most psycholinguistic experiments. Three experiments examined phonological competition during the recognition of reduced forms such as [pjutər] for computer using a target-absent variant of the visual world paradigm. Listeners' eye movements were tracked upon hearing canonical and reduced forms as they looked at displays of four printed words. One of the words was phonologically similar to the canonical pronunciation of the target word, one word was similar to the reduced pronunciation, and two words served as unrelated distractors. When spoken targets were presented in isolation (Experiment 1) and in sentential contexts (Experiment 2), competition was modulated as a function of the target word form. When reduced targets were presented in sentential contexts, listeners were probabilistically more likely to first fixate reduced-form competitors before shifting their eye gaze to canonical-form competitors. Experiment 3, in which the original /p/ from [pjutər] was replaced with a “real” onset /p/, showed an effect of cross-splicing in the late time window. We conjecture that these results fit best with the notion that speech reductions initially activate competitors that are similar to the phonological surface form of the reduction, but that listeners nevertheless can exploit fine phonetic detail to reconstruct strongly reduced forms to their canonical counterparts.
  • Brouwer, H., Fitz, H., & Hoeks, J. (2012). Getting real about semantic illusions: Rethinking the functional role of the P600 in language comprehension. Brain Research, 1446, 127-143. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2012.01.055.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    This study examined whether speech-on-speech masking is sensitive to variation in the degree of similarity between the target and the masker speech. Three experiments investigated whether speech-in-speech recognition varies across different background speech languages (English vs Dutch) for both English and Dutch targets, as well as across variation in the semantic content of the background speech (meaningful vs semantically anomalous sentences), and across variation in listener status vis-à-vis the target and masker languages (native, non-native, or unfamiliar). The results showed that the more similar the target speech is to the masker speech (e.g., same vs different language, same vs different levels of semantic content), the greater the interference on speech recognition accuracy. Moreover, the listener’s knowledge of the target and the background language modulate the size of the release from masking. These factors had an especially strong effect on masking effectiveness in highly unfavorable listening conditions. Overall this research provided evidence that that the degree of target-masker similarity plays a significant role in speech-in-speech recognition. The results also give insight into how listeners assign their resources differently depending on whether they are listening to their first or second language
  • Brouwer, S., Mitterer, H., & Huettig, F. (2012). Speech reductions change the dynamics of competition during spoken word recognition. Language and Cognitive Processes, 27(4), 539-571. doi:10.1080/01690965.2011.555268.

    Abstract

    Three eye-tracking experiments investigated how phonological reductions (e.g., ‘‘puter’’ for ‘‘computer’’) modulate phonological competition. Participants listened to sentences extracted from a pontaneous speech corpus and saw four printed words: a target (e.g., ‘‘computer’’), a competitor similar to the canonical form (e.g., ‘‘companion’’), one similar to the reduced form (e.g., ‘‘pupil’’), and an unrelated distractor. In Experiment 1, we presented canonical and reduced forms in a syllabic and in a sentence context. Listeners directed their attention to a similar degree to both competitors independent of the target’s spoken form. In Experiment 2, we excluded reduced forms and presented canonical forms only. In such a listening situation, participants showed a clear preference for the ‘‘canonical form’’ competitor. In Experiment 3, we presented canonical forms intermixed with reduced forms in a sentence context and replicated the competition pattern of Experiment 1. These data suggest that listeners penalize acoustic mismatches less strongly when listeningto reduced speech than when listening to fully articulated speech. We conclude that flexibility to adjust to speech-intrinsic factors is a key feature of the spoken word recognition system.
  • Brown, A., & Gullberg, M. (2012). Multicompetence and native speaker variation in clausal packaging in Japanese. Second Language Research, 28, 415-442. doi:10.1177/0267658312455822.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

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  • Carota, F., Moseley, R., & Pulvermüller, F. (2012). Body-part-specific Representations of Semantic Noun Categories. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24(6), 1492-1509. doi:10.1162/jocn\_a\_00219.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    Messenger ribonucleic acids (RNAs) contain a large number of cis-regulatory RNA elements that function in many types of post-transcriptional regulation. These cis-regulatory elements are often characterized by conserved structures and/or sequences. Although some classes are well known, given the wide range of RNA-interacting proteins in eukaryotes, it is likely that many new classes of cis-regulatory elements are yet to be discovered. An approach to this is to use computational methods that have the advantage of analysing genomic data, particularly comparative data on a large scale. In this study, a set of structural discovery algorithms was applied followed by support vector machine (SVM) classification. We trained a new classification model (CisRNA-SVM) on a set of known structured cis-regulatory elements from 3′-untranslated regions (UTRs) and successfully distinguished these and groups of cis-regulatory elements not been strained on from control genomic and shuffled sequences. The new method outperformed previous methods in classification of cis-regulatory RNA elements. This model was then used to predict new elements from cross-species conserved regions of human 3′-UTRs. Clustering of these elements identified new classes of potential cis-regulatory elements. The model, training and testing sets and novel human predictions are available at: http://mRNA.otago.ac.nz/CisRNA-SVM.
  • Cohen, E. (2012). [Review of the book Searching for Africa in Brazil: Power and Tradition in Candomblé by Stefania Capone]. Critique of Anthropology, 32, 217-218. doi:10.1177/0308275X12439961.
  • Cohen, E. (2012). The evolution of tag-based cooperation in humans: The case for accent. Current Anthropology, 53, 588-616. doi:10.1086/667654.

    Abstract

    Recent game-theoretic simulation and analytical models have demonstrated that cooperative strategies mediated by indicators of cooperative potential, or “tags,” can invade, spread, and resist invasion by noncooperators across a range of population-structure and cost-benefit scenarios. The plausibility of these models is potentially relevant for human evolutionary accounts insofar as humans possess some phenotypic trait that could serve as a reliable tag. Linguistic markers, such as accent and dialect, have frequently been either cursorily defended or promptly dismissed as satisfying the criteria of a reliable and evolutionarily viable tag. This paper integrates evidence from a range of disciplines to develop and assess the claim that speech accent mediated the evolution of tag-based cooperation in humans. Existing evidence warrants the preliminary conclusion that accent markers meet the demands of an evolutionarily viable tag and potentially afforded a cost-effective solution to the challenges of maintaining viable cooperative relationships in diffuse, regional social networks.
  • Cristia, A., Seidl, A., Vaughn, C., Schmale, R., Bradlow, A., & Floccia, C. (2012). Linguistic processing of accented speech across the lifespan. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 479. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00479.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    To examine whether lexically stored knowledge about spelling influences phoneme evaluation, we conducted three experiments with a low-level phonetic judgement task: phoneme goodness rating. In each experiment, listeners heard phonetic tokens varying along a continuum centred on /s/, occurring finally in isolated word or nonword tokens. An effect of spelling appeared in Experiment 1: Native English speakers’ goodness ratings for the best /s/ tokens were significantly higher in words spelled with S (e.g., bless) than in words spelled with C (e.g., voice). No such difference appeared when nonnative speakers rated the same materials in Experiment 2, indicating that the difference could not be due to acoustic characteristics of the S- versus C-words. In Experiment 3, nonwords with lexical neighbours consistently spelled with S (e.g., pless) versus with C (e.g., floice) failed to elicit orthographic neighbourhood effects; no significant difference appeared in native English speakers’ ratings for the S-consistent versus the C-consistent sets. Obligatory influence of lexical knowledge on phonemic processing would have predicted such neighbourhood effects; the findings are thus better accommodated by models in which phonemic decisions draw strategically upon lexical information.
  • Cutler, A. (2012). Native listening: The flexibility dimension. Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics, 1(2), 169-187.

    Abstract

    The way we listen to spoken language is tailored to the specific benefit of native-language speech input. Listening to speech in non-native languages can be significantly hindered by this native bias. Is it possible to determine the degree to which a listener is listening in a native-like manner? Promising indications of how this question may be tackled are provided by new research findings concerning the great flexibility that characterises listening to the L1, in online adjustment of phonetic category boundaries for adaptation across talkers, and in modulation of lexical dynamics for adjustment across listening conditions. This flexibility pays off in many dimensions, including listening in noise, adaptation across dialects, and identification of voices. These findings further illuminate the robustness and flexibility of native listening, and potentially point to ways in which we might begin to assess degrees of ‘native-likeness’ in this skill.
  • Cutler, A., Otake, T., & Bruggeman, L. (2012). Phonologically determined asymmetries in vocabulary structure across languages. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 132(2), EL155-EL160. doi:10.1121/1.4737596.

    Abstract

    Studies of spoken-word recognition have revealed that competition from embedded words differs in strength as a function of where in the carrier word the embedded word is found and have further shown embedding patterns to be skewed such that embeddings in initial position in carriers outnumber embeddings in final position. Lexico-statistical analyses show that this skew is highly attenuated in Japanese, a noninflectional language. Comparison of the extent of the asymmetry in the three Germanic languages English, Dutch, and German allows the source to be traced to a combination of suffixal morphology and vowel reduction in unstressed syllables.
  • Cysouw, M., Dediu, D., & Moran, S. (2012). Comment on “Phonemic Diversity Supports a Serial Founder Effect Model of Language Expansion from Africa”. Science, 335, 657-b. doi:10.1126/science.1208841.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    Evidence from certain geographical areas links lymphomas of the ocular adnexa marginal zone B-cell lymphomas (OAMZL) with Chlamydophila psittaci (Cp) infection, suggesting that lymphoma development is dependent upon chronic stimulation by persistent infections. Notwithstanding that, the actual immunopathogenetical mechanisms have not yet been elucidated. As in other B-cell lymphomas, insight into this issue, especially with regard to potential selecting ligands, could be provided by analysis of the immunoglobulin (IG) receptors of the malignant clones. To this end, we studied the molecular features of IGs in 44 patients with OAMZL (40% Cp-positive), identifying features suggestive of a pathogenic mechanism of autoreactivity. Herein, we show that lymphoma cells express a distinctive IG repertoire, with electropositive antigen (Ag)-binding sites, reminiscent of autoantibodies (auto-Abs) recognizing DNA. Additionally, five (11%) cases of OAMZL expressed IGs homologous with autoreactive Abs or IGs of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a disease known for the expression of autoreactive IGs by neoplastic cells. In contrast, no similarity with known anti-Chlamydophila Abs was found. Taken together, these results strongly indicate that OAMZL may originate from B cells selected for their capability to bind Ags and, in particular, auto-Ags. In OAMZL associated with Cp infection, the pathogen likely acts indirectly on the malignant B cells, promoting the development of an inflammatory milieu, where auto-Ags could be exposed and presented, driving proliferation and expansion of self-reactive B cells.
  • Davidson, D. J., Hanulikova, A., & Indefrey, P. (2012). Electrophysiological correlates of morphosyntactic integration in German phrasal context. Language and Cognitive Processes, 27, 288-311. doi:10.1080/01690965.2011.616448.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    Abnormal prosody is a striking feature of the speech of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but previous reports suggest large variability among those with ASD. Here we show that part of this heterogeneity can be explained by level of language functioning. We recorded semi-spontaneous but controlled conversations in adults with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder and measured features related to pitch and duration to determine (1) general use of prosodic features, (2) prosodic use in relation to marking information structure, specifically, the emphasis of new information in a sentence (focus) as opposed to information already given in the conversational context (topic), and (3) the relation between prosodic use and level of language function. We found that, compared to typical adults, those with ASD with high language functioning generally used a larger pitch range than controls but did not mark information structure, whereas those with moderate language functioning generally used a smaller pitch range than controls but marked information structure appropriately to a large extent. Both impaired general prosodic use and impaired marking of information structure would be expected to seriously impact social communication and thereby lead to increased difficulty in personal domains, such as making and keeping friendships, and in professional domains, such as competing for employment opportunities.
  • Diaz, B., Hintz, F., Kiebel, S. J., & von Kriegstein, K. (2012). Dysfunction of the auditory thalamus in developmental dyslexia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(34), 13841-13846. doi:10.1073/pnas.1119828109.

    Abstract

    Developmental dyslexia, a severe and persistent reading and spelling impairment, is characterized by difficulties in processing speech sounds (i.e., phonemes). Here, we test the hypothesis that these phonological difficulties are associated with a dysfunction of the auditory sensory thalamus, the medial geniculate body (MGB). By using functional MRI, we found that, in dyslexic adults, the MGB responded abnormally when the task required attending to phonemes compared with other speech features. No other structure in the auditory pathway showed distinct functional neural patterns between the two tasks for dyslexic and control participants. Furthermore, MGB activity correlated with dyslexia diagnostic scores, indicating that the task modulation of the MGB is critical for performance in dyslexics. These results suggest that deficits in dyslexia are associated with a failure of the neural mechanism that dynamically tunes MGB according to predictions from cortical areas to optimize speech processing. This view on task-related MGB dysfunction in dyslexics has the potential to reconcile influential theories of dyslexia within a predictive coding framework of brain function.

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  • Díaz, B., Mitterer, H., Broersma, M., & Sebastián-Gallés, N. (2012). Individual differences in late bilinguals' L2 phonological processes: From acoustic-phonetic analysis to lexical access. Learning and Individual Differences, 22, 680-689. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2012.05.005.

    Abstract

    The extent to which the phonetic system of a second language is mastered varies across individuals. The present study evaluates the pattern of individual differences in late bilinguals across different phonological processes. Fifty-five late Dutch-English bilinguals were tested on their ability to perceive a difficult L2 speech contrast (the English /æ/-/ε/ contrast) in three different tasks: A categorization task, a word identification task and a lexical decision task. As a group, L2 listeners were less accurate than native listeners. However, at the individual level, almost half of the L2 listeners scored within the native range in the categorization task whereas a small percentage scored within the native range in the identification and lexical decision tasks. These results show that L2 listeners' performance crucially depends on the nature of the task, with higher L2 listener accuracy on an acoustic-phonetic analysis task than on tasks involving lexical processes. These findings parallel previous results for early bilinguals, where the pattern of performance was consistent with the processing hierarchy proposed by different models of speech perception. The results indicate that the analysis of patterns of non-native performance can provide important insights concerning the architecture of the speech perception system and the issue of language learnability.
  • Dimitrova, D. V., Stowe, L. A., Redeker, G., & Hoeks, J. C. J. (2012). Less is not more: Neural responses to missing and superfluous accents in context. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24, 2400-2418. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00302.

    Abstract

    Prosody, particularly accent, aids comprehension by drawing attention to important elements such as the information that answers a question. A study using ERP registration investigated how the brain deals with the interpretation of prosodic prominence. Sentences were embedded in short dialogues and contained accented elements that were congruous or incongruous with respect to a preceding question. In contrast to previous studies, no explicit prosodic judgment task was added. Robust effects of accentuation were evident in the form of an “accent positivity” (200–500 msec) for accented elements irrespective of their congruity. Our results show that incongruously accented elements, that is, superfluous accents, activate a specific set of neural systems that is inactive in case of incongruously unaccented elements, that is, missing accents. Superfluous accents triggered an early positivity around 100 msec poststimulus, followed by a right-lateralized negative effect (N400). This response suggests that redundant information is identified immediately and leads to the activation of a neural system that is associated with semantic processing (N400). No such effects were found when contextually expected accents were missing. In a later time window, both missing and superfluous accents triggered a late positivity on midline electrodes, presumably related to making sense of both kinds of mismatching stimuli. These results challenge previous findings of greater processing for missing accents and suggest that the natural processing of prosody involves a set of distinct, temporally organized neural systems.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2012). Advances in the cross-linguistic study of ideophones. Language and Linguistics Compass, 6, 654-672. doi:10.1002/lnc3.361.

    Abstract

    Ideophones are marked words that depict sensory imagery found in many of the world’s languages. They are noted for their special forms, distinct grammatical behaviour, rich sensory meanings, and interactional uses related to experience and evidentiality. This review surveys recent developments in ideophone research. Work on the semiotics of ideophones helps explain why they are marked and how they realise the depictive potential of speech. A true semantic typology of ideophone systems is coming within reach through a combination of language-internal analyses and language-independent elicitation tools. Documentation of ideophones in a wide variety of genres as well as sequential analysis of ideophone use in natural discourse leads to new insights about their interactional uses and about their relation to other linguistic devices like reported speech and grammatical evidentials. As the study of ideophones is coming of age, it sheds new light on what is possible and probable in human language.
  • Drude, S. (2012). [Review of the book O português e o tupi no Brasil by Volker Noll and Wolf Dietrich]. Revista Internacional de Lingüística Iberoamerican, 19, 264-268.
  • Dunbar, R., Baron, R., Frangou, A., Peirce, E., Van Leeuwen, E. J. C., Stow, J., Partridge, G., MacDonald, I., Barra, V., & Van Vugt, M. (2012). Social laughter is correlated with an elevated pain threshold. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London/B, 279, 1161-1167. doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.1373.

    Abstract

    Although laughter forms an important part of human non-verbal communication, it has received rather less attention than it deserves in both the experimental and the observational literatures. Relaxed social (Duchenne) laughter is associated with feelings of wellbeing and heightened affect, a proximate expla- nation for which might be the release of endorphins. We tested this hypothesis in a series of six experimental studies in both the laboratory (watching videos) and naturalistic contexts (watching stage performances), using change in pain threshold as an assay for endorphin release. The results show that pain thresholds are significantly higher after laughter than in the control condition. This pain-tolerance effect is due to laughter itself and not simply due to a change in positive affect. We suggest that laughter, through an endorphin-mediated opiate effect, may play a crucial role in social bonding.

    Additional information

    Dunbar_et_al_suppl_material.doc
  • Dunn, M. (2012). [Review of the book "The Dene-Yeniseian connection", ed. by J. Kari and B.A. Potter]. Language, 88(2), 429-431. doi:10.1353/lan.2012.0036.

    Abstract

    A review of "Anthropological papers of the University of Alaska: The Dene-Yeniseian connection." Ed. by JAMES KARI and BEN A. POTTER Fairbanks, AK: University of Alaska, Fairbanks. 2010. Pp. vi, 363.
  • Dunn, M., & Terrill, A. (2012). Assessing the evidence for a Central Solomons Papuan family using the Oswalt Monte Carlo Test. Diachronica, 29(1), 1-27. doi:10.1075/dia.29.1.01dun.

    Abstract

    In the absence of comparative method reconstruction, high rate of lexical cognate candidates is often used as evidence for relationships between languages. This paper uses the Oswalt Monte Carlo Shift test (a variant of Oswalt 1970) to explore the statistical basis of the claim that the four Papuan languages of the Solomon Islands have greater than chance levels of lexical similarity. The results of this test initially appear to show that the lexical similarities between the Central Solomons Papuan languages are statistically significant, but the effect disappears when known Oceanic loanwords are removed. The Oswalt Monte Carlo test is a useful technique to test a claim of greater than chance similarity between any two word lists — with the proviso that undetected loanwords strongly increase the chance of spurious identification.
  • Eerland, A., Guadalupe, T., & Zwaan, R. A. (2012). Posture as index for approach-avoidance behavior. PLoS One, 7(2), e31291. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031291.

    Abstract

    Approach and avoidance are two behavioral responses that make people tend to approach positive and avoid negative situations. This study examines whether postural behavior is influenced by the affective state of pictures. While standing on the Wii™ Balance Board, participants viewed pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures (passively viewing phase). Then they had to move their body to the left or the right (lateral movement phase) to make the next picture appear. We recorded movements in the anterior-posterior direction to examine approach and avoidant behavior. During passively viewing, people approached pleasant pictures. They avoided unpleasant ones while they made a lateral movement. These findings provide support for the idea that we tend to approach positive and avoid negative situations.
  • Ellis-Davies, K., Sakkalou, E., Fowler, N., Hilbrink, E., & Gattis, M. (2012). CUE: The continuous unified electronic diary method. Behavior Research Methods, 44, 1063-1078. doi:10.3758/s13428-012-0205-1.

    Abstract

    In the present article, we introduce the continuous unified electronic (CUE) diary method, a longitudinal, event-based, electronic parent report method that allows real-time recording of infant and child behavior in natural contexts. Thirty-nine expectant mothers were trained to identify and record target behaviors into programmed handheld computers. From birth to 18 months, maternal reporters recorded the initial, second, and third occurrences of seven target motor behaviors: palmar grasp, rolls from side to back, reaching when sitting, pincer grip, crawling, walking, and climbing stairs. Compliance was assessed as two valid entries per behavior: 97 % of maternal reporters met compliance criteria. Reliability was assessed by comparing diary entries with researcher assessments for three of the motor behaviors: palmar grasp, pincer grip and walking. A total of 81 % of maternal reporters met reliability criteria. For those three target behaviors, age of emergence was compared across data from the CUE diary method and researcher assessments. The CUE diary method was found to detect behaviors earlier and with greater sensitivity to individual differences. The CUE diary method is shown to be a reliable methodological tool for studying processes of change in human development.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2012). [Review of the book "Language, culture, and mind: Natural constructions and social kinds", by Paul Kockelman]. Language in Society, 41(5), 674-677. doi:10.1017/S004740451200070X.
  • Enfield, N. J., & Sidnell, J. (2012). Collateral effects, agency, and systems of language use [Reply to commentators]. Current Anthropology, 53(3), 327-329.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2012). Diversity disregarded [Review of the book Games primates play: An undercover investigation of the evolution and economics of human relationships by Dario Maestripieri]. Science, 337, 1295-1296. doi:10.1126/science.1225365.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2012). Language innateness [Letter to the Editor]. The Times Literary Supplement, October 26, 2012(5717), 6.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2012). The slow explosion of speech [Review of the book The origins of Grammar by James R. Hurford]. The Times Literary Supplement, March 30, 2012(5687), 11-12. Retrieved from http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article1004404.ece.

    Abstract

    Book review of James R. Hurford THE ORIGINS OF GRAMMAR 791pp. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978 0 19 920787 9
  • Erb, J., Henry, M. J., Eisner, F., & Obleser, J. (2012). Auditory skills and brain morphology predict individual differences in adaptation to degraded speech. Neuropsychologia, 50, 2154-2164. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.05.013.

    Abstract

    Noise-vocoded speech is a spectrally highly degraded signal, but it preserves the temporal envelope of speech. Listeners vary considerably in their ability to adapt to this degraded speech signal. Here, we hypothesized that individual differences in adaptation to vocoded speech should be predictable by non-speech auditory, cognitive, and neuroanatomical factors. We tested eighteen normal-hearing participants in a short-term vocoded speech-learning paradigm (listening to 100 4-band-vocoded sentences). Non-speech auditory skills were assessed using amplitude modulation (AM) rate discrimination, where modulation rates were centered on the speech-relevant rate of 4 Hz. Working memory capacities were evaluated (digit span and nonword repetition), and structural MRI scans were examined for anatomical predictors of vocoded speech learning using voxel-based morphometry. Listeners who learned faster to understand degraded speech also showed smaller thresholds in the AM discrimination task. This ability to adjust to degraded speech is furthermore reflected anatomically in increased volume in an area of the left thalamus (pulvinar) that is strongly connected to the auditory and prefrontal cortices. Thus, individual non-speech auditory skills and left thalamus grey matter volume can predict how quickly a listener adapts to degraded speech.
  • Escudero, P., Simon, E., & Mitterer, H. (2012). The perception of English front vowels by North Holland and Flemish listeners: Acoustic similarity predicts and explains cross-linguistic and L2 perception. Journal of Phonetics, 40, 280-288. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2011.11.004.

    Abstract

    We investigated whether regional differences in the native language (L1) influence the perception of second language (L2) sounds. Many cross-language and L2 perception studies have assumed that the degree of acoustic similarity between L1 and L2 sounds predicts cross-linguistic and L2 performance. The present study tests this assumption by examining the perception of the English contrast between /e{open}/ and /æ/ in native speakers of Dutch spoken in North Holland (the Netherlands) and in East- and West-Flanders (Belgium). A Linear Discriminant Analysis on acoustic data from both dialects showed that their differences in vowel production, as reported in and Adank, van Hout, and Van de Velde (2007), should influence the perception of the L2 vowels if listeners focus on the vowels' acoustic/auditory properties. Indeed, the results of categorization tasks with Dutch or English vowels as response options showed that the two listener groups differed as predicted by the discriminant analysis. Moreover, the results of the English categorization task revealed that both groups of Dutch listeners displayed the asymmetric pattern found in previous word recognition studies, i.e. English /æ/ was more frequently confused with English /e{open}/ than the reverse. This suggests a strong link between previous L2 word learning results and the present L2 perceptual assimilation patterns.
  • Estruch, S. B., Buzon, V., Carbo, L. R., Schorova, L., Luders, J., & Estebanez-Perpina, E. (2012). The oncoprotein BCL11A binds to Orphan Nuclear Receptor TLX and potentiates its transrepressive function. PLoS One, 7(6): e37963. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037963.

    Abstract

    Nuclear orphan receptor TLX (NR2E1) functions primarily as a transcriptional repressor and its pivotal role in brain development, glioblastoma, mental retardation and retinopathologies make it an attractive drug target. TLX is expressed in the neural stem cells (NSCs) of the subventricular zone and the hippocampus subgranular zone, regions with persistent neurogenesis in the adult brain, and functions as an essential regulator of NSCs maintenance and self-renewal. Little is known about the TLX social network of interactors and only few TLX coregulators are described. To identify and characterize novel TLX-binders and possible coregulators, we performed yeast-two-hybrid (Y2H) screens of a human adult brain cDNA library using different TLX constructs as baits. Our screens identified multiple clones of Atrophin-1 (ATN1), a previously described TLX interactor. In addition, we identified an interaction with the oncoprotein and zinc finger transcription factor BCL11A (CTIP1/Evi9), a key player in the hematopoietic system and in major blood-related malignancies. This interaction was validated by expression and coimmunoprecipitation in human cells. BCL11A potentiated the transrepressive function of TLX in an in vitro reporter gene assay. Our work suggests that BCL11A is a novel TLX coregulator that might be involved in TLX-dependent gene regulation in the brain.
  • Fahrenfort, J. J., Snijders, T. M., Heinen, K., van Gaal, S., & Scholte, H. S. (2012). Neuronal integration in visual cortex elevates face category tuning to conscious face perception. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(52), 21504-21509. doi:10.1073/pnas.1207414110.
  • Fawcett, C., & Liszkowski, U. (2012). Observation and initiation of joint action in infants. Child Development, 83, 434-441. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01717.x.

    Abstract

    Infants imitate others’ individual actions, but do they also replicate others’ joint activities? To examine whether observing joint action influences infants’ initiation of joint action, forty-eight 18-month-old infants observed object demonstrations by 2 models acting together (joint action), 2 models acting individually (individual action), or 1 model acting alone (solitary action). Infants’ behavior was examined after they were given each object. Infants in the joint action condition attempted to initiate joint action more often than infants in the other conditions, yet they were equally likely to communicate for other reasons and to imitate the demonstrated object-directed actions. The findings suggest that infants learn to replicate others’ joint activity through observation, an important skill for cultural transmission of shared practices.
  • Fawcett, C., & Liszkowski, U. (2012). Infants anticipate others’ social preferences. Infant and Child Development, 21, 239-249. doi:10.1002/icd.739.

    Abstract

    In the current eye-tracking study, we explored whether 12-month-old infants can predict others' social preferences. We showed infants scenes in which two characters alternately helped or hindered an agent in his goal of climbing a hill. In a control condition, the two characters moved up and down the hill in identical ways to the helper and hinderer but did not make contact with the agent; thus, they did not cause him to reach or not reach her or his goal. Following six alternating familiarization trials of helping and hindering interactions (help-hinder condition) or up and down interactions (up-down condition), infants were shown one test trial in which they could visually anticipate the agent approaching one of the two characters. As predicted, infants in the help-hinder condition made significantly more visual anticipations toward the helping than hindering character, suggesting that they predicted the agent to approach the helping character. In contrast, infants revealed no difference in visual anticipations between the up and down characters. The up-down condition served to control for low-level perceptual explanations of the results for the help-hinder condition. Thus, together the results reveal that 12-month-old infants make predictions about others' behaviour and social preferences from a third-party perspective.
  • Fawcett, C., & Liszkowski, U. (2012). Mimicry and play initiation in 18-month-old infants. Infant Behavior and Development, 35, 689-696. doi:10.1016/j.infbeh.2012.07.014.

    Abstract

    Across two experiments, we examined the relationship between 18-month-old infants’ mimicry and social behavior – particularly invitations to play with an adult play partner. In Experiment 1, we manipulated whether an adult mimicked the infant's play or not during an initial play phase. We found that infants who had been mimicked were subsequently more likely to invite the adult to join their play with a new toy. In addition, they reenacted marginally more steps from a social learning demonstration she gave. In Experiment 2, infants had the chance to spontaneously mimic the adult during the play phase. Complementing Experiment 1, those infants who spent more time mimicking the adult were more likely to invite her to play with a new toy. This effect was specific to play and not apparent in other communicative acts, such as directing the adult's attention to an event or requesting toys. Together, the results suggest that infants use mimicry as a tool to establish social connections with others and that mimicry has specific influences on social behaviors related to initiating subsequent joint interactions.
  • Fedden, S., & Boroditsky, L. (2012). Spatialization of time in Mian. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 485. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00485.

    Abstract

    We examine representations of time among the Mianmin of Papua New Guinea. We begin by describing the patterns of spatial and temporal reference in Mian. Mian uses a system of spatial terms that derive from the orientation and direction of the Hak and Sek rivers and the surrounding landscape. We then report results from a temporal arrangement task administered to a group of Mian speakers. The results reveal evidence for a variety of temporal representations. Some participants arranged time with respect to their bodies (left to right or toward the body). Others arranged time as laid out on the landscape, roughly along the east/west axis (either east to west or west to east). This absolute pattern is consistent both with the axis of the motion of the sun and the orientation of the two rivers, which provides the basis for spatial reference in the Mian language. The results also suggest an increase in left-to-right temporal representations with increasing years of formal education (and the reverse pattern for absolute spatial representations for time). These results extend previous work on spatial representations for time to a new geographical region, physical environment, and linguistic and cultural system.
  • Ferreri, A., Ponzoni, M., Govi, S., Pasini, E., Mappa, S., Vino, A., Facchetti, F., Vezzoli, P., Doglioni, C., Berti, E., & Dolcetti, R. (2012). Prevalence of chlamydial infection in a series of 108 primary cutaneous lymphomas. British Journal of Dermatology, 166(5), 1121-1123. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2011.10704.x.
  • Fessler, D. M., Stieger, S., Asaridou, S. S., Bahia, U., Cravalho, M., de Barros, P., Delgado, T., Fisher, M. L., Frederick, D., Perez, P. G., Goetz, C., Haley, K., Jackson, J., Kushnick, G., Lew, K., Pain, E., Florindo, P. P., Pisor, A., Sinaga, E., Sinaga, L. and 3 moreFessler, D. M., Stieger, S., Asaridou, S. S., Bahia, U., Cravalho, M., de Barros, P., Delgado, T., Fisher, M. L., Frederick, D., Perez, P. G., Goetz, C., Haley, K., Jackson, J., Kushnick, G., Lew, K., Pain, E., Florindo, P. P., Pisor, A., Sinaga, E., Sinaga, L., Smolich, L., Sun, D. M., & Voracek, M. (2012). Testing a postulated case of intersexual selection in humans: The role of foot size in judgments of physical attractiveness and age. Evolution and Human Behavior, 33, 147-164. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2011.08.002.

    Abstract

    The constituents of attractiveness differ across the sexes. Many relevant traits are dimorphic, suggesting that they are the product of intersexual selection. However, direction of causality is generally difficult to determine, as aesthetic criteria can as readily result from, as cause, dimorphism. Women have proportionately smaller feet than men. Prior work on the role of foot size in attractiveness suggests an asymmetry across the sexes, as small feet enhance female appearance, yet average, rather than large, feet are preferred on men. Previous investigations employed crude stimuli and limited samples. Here, we report on multiple cross-cultural studies designed to overcome these limitations. With the exception of one rural society, we find that small foot size is preferred when judging women, yet no equivalent preference applies to men. Similarly, consonant with the thesis that a preference for youth underlies intersexual selection acting on women, we document an inverse relationship between foot size and perceived age. Examination of preferences regarding, and inferences from, feet viewed in isolation suggests different roles for proportionality and absolute size in judgments of female and male bodies. Although the majority of these results bolster the conclusion that pedal dimorphism is the product of intersexual selection, the picture is complicated by the reversal of the usual preference for small female feet found in one rural society. While possibly explicable in terms of greater emphasis on female economic productivity relative to beauty, the latter finding underscores the importance of employing diverse samples when exploring postulated evolved aesthetic preferences.

    Additional information

    Fessler_2011_Suppl_material.pdf
  • Filippi, P., Charlton, B. D., & Fitch, W. T. (2012). Do Women Prefer More Complex Music around Ovulation? PLoS One, 7(4): e35626. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035626.

    Abstract

    The evolutionary origins of music are much debated. One theory holds that the ability to produce complex musical sounds might reflect qualities that are relevant in mate choice contexts and hence, that music is functionally analogous to the sexually-selected acoustic displays of some animals. If so, women may be expected to show heightened preferences for more complex music when they are most fertile. Here, we used computer-generated musical pieces and ovulation predictor kits to test this hypothesis. Our results indicate that women prefer more complex music in general; however, we found no evidence that their preference for more complex music increased around ovulation. Consequently, our findings are not consistent with the hypothesis that a heightened preference/bias in women for more complex music around ovulation could have played a role in the evolution of music. We go on to suggest future studies that could further investigate whether sexual selection played a role in the evolution of this universal aspect of human culture.
  • Fitch, W. T., Friederici, A. D., & Hagoort, P. (2012). Pattern perception and computational complexity: Introduction to the special issue. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 367 (1598), 1925-1932. doi:10.1098/rstb.2012.0099.

    Abstract

    Research on pattern perception and rule learning, grounded in formal language theory (FLT) and using artificial grammar learning paradigms, has exploded in the last decade. This approach marries empirical research conducted by neuroscientists, psychologists and ethologists with the theory of computation and FLT, developed by mathematicians, linguists and computer scientists over the last century. Of particular current interest are comparative extensions of this work to non-human animals, and neuroscientific investigations using brain imaging techniques. We provide a short introduction to the history of these fields, and to some of the dominant hypotheses, to help contextualize these ongoing research programmes, and finally briefly introduce the papers in the current issue.
  • Floyd, S. (2012). Book review of [Poeticas de vida en espacios de muerte: Ge´ nero, poder y estado en la contidianeidad warao [Poetics of life in spaces of death: Gender, power and the state in Warao everyday life] Charles L. Briggs. Quito, Ecuador: Abya Yala, 2008. 460 pp.]. American Anthropologist, 114, 543 -544. doi:10.1111/j.1548-1433.2012.01461_1.x.

    Abstract

    No abstract is available for this article
  • Fonteijn, H. M., Modat, M., Clarkson, M. J., Barnes, J., Lehmann, M., Hobbs, N. Z., Scahill, R. I., Tabrizi, S. J., Ourselin, S., Fox, N. C., & Alexander, D. C. (2012). An event-based model for disease progression and its application in familial Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease. NeuroImage, 60, 1880-1889. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.01.062.

    Abstract

    Understanding the progression of neurological diseases is vital for accurate and early diagnosis and treatment planning. We introduce a new characterization of disease progression, which describes the disease as a series of events, each comprising a significant change in patient state. We provide novel algorithms to learn the event ordering from heterogeneous measurements over a whole patient cohort and demonstrate using combined imaging and clinical data from familial-Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease cohorts. Results provide new detail in the progression pattern of these diseases, while confirming known features, and give unique insight into the variability of progression over the cohort. The key advantage of the new model and algorithms over previous progression models is that they do not require a priori division of the patients into clinical stages. The model and its formulation extend naturally to a wide range of other diseases and developmental processes and accommodate cross-sectional and longitudinal input data.
  • Franceschini, R. (2012). Wolfgang Klein und die LiLi [Laudatio]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 42(168), 5-7.
  • Franken, M. K., Huizinga, C. S. M., & Schiller, N. O. (2012). De grafemische buffer: Aspecten van een spellingstoornis. Stem- Spraak- en Taalpathologie, 17(3), 17-36.

    Abstract

    A spelling disorder that received much attention recently is the so-called graphemic buffer impairment. Caramazza et al. (1987) presented the first systematic case study of a patient with this disorder. Miceli & Capasso (2006) provide an extensive overview of the relevant literature. This article adds to the literature by describing a Dutch case, i.e. patient BM. We demonstrate how specific features of Dutch and Dutch orthography interact with the graphemic buffer impairment. In addition, we paid special attention to the influence of grapheme position on the patient’s spelling accuracy. For this we used, in contrast with most of the previous literature, the proportional accountability method described in Machtynger & Shallice (2009). We show that by using this method the underlying error distribution can be more optimally captured than with classical methods. The result of this analysis replicates two distributions that have been previously reported in the literature. Finally, attention will be paid to the role of phonology in the described disorder.
  • French, C. A., Jin, X., Campbell, T. G., Gerfen, E., Groszer, M., Fisher, S. E., & Costa, R. M. (2012). An aetiological Foxp2 mutation causes aberrant striatal activity and alters plasticity during skill learning. Molecular Psychiatry, 17, 1077-1085. doi:10.1038/mp.2011.105.

    Abstract

    Mutations in the human FOXP2 gene cause impaired speech development and linguistic deficits, which have been best characterised in a large pedigree called the KE family. The encoded protein is highly conserved in many vertebrates and is expressed in homologous brain regions required for sensorimotor integration and motor-skill learning, in particular corticostriatal circuits. Independent studies in multiple species suggest that the striatum is a key site of FOXP2 action. Here, we used in vivo recordings in awake-behaving mice to investigate the effects of the KE-family mutation on the function of striatal circuits during motor-skill learning. We uncovered abnormally high ongoing striatal activity in mice carrying an identical mutation to that of the KE family. Furthermore, there were dramatic alterations in striatal plasticity during the acquisition of a motor skill, with most neurons in mutants showing negative modulation of firing rate, starkly contrasting with the predominantly positive modulation seen in control animals. We also observed striking changes in the temporal coordination of striatal firing during motor-skill learning in mutants. Our results indicate that FOXP2 is critical for the function of striatal circuits in vivo, which are important not only for speech but also for other striatal-dependent skills.

    Additional information

    French_2011_Supplementary_Info.pdf
  • Frost, R. L. A., Gaskell, G., Warker, J., Guest, J., Snowdon, R., & Stackhouse, A. (2012). Sleep Facilitates Acquisition of Implicit Phonotactic Constraints in Speech Production. Journal of sleep research, 21(s1), 249-249. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2869.2012.01044.x.

    Abstract

    Sleep plays an important role in neural reorganisation which underpins memory consolidation. The gradual replacement of hippocampal binding of new memories with intracortical connections helps to link new memories to existing knowledge. This process appears to be faster for memories which fit more easily into existing schemas. Here we seek to investigate whether this more rapid consolidation of schema-conformant information is facilitated by sleep, and the neural basis of this process.
  • Ganushchak, L. Y., Krott, A., & Meyer, A. S. (2012). From gr8 to great: Lexical access to SMS shortcuts. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 150. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00150.

    Abstract

    Many contemporary texts include shortcuts, such as cu or phones4u. The aim of this study was to investigate how the meanings of shortcuts are retrieved. A primed lexical decision paradigm was used with shortcuts and the corresponding words as primes. The target word was associatively related to the meaning of the whole prime (cu/see you – goodbye), to a component of the prime (cu/see you – look), or unrelated to the prime. In Experiment 1, primes were presented for 57 ms. For both word and shortcut primes, responses were faster to targets preceded by whole-related than by unrelated primes. No priming from component-related primes was found. In Experiment 2, the prime duration was 1000 ms. The priming effect seen in Experiment 1 was replicated. Additionally, there was priming from component-related word primes, but not from component-related shortcut primes. These results indicate that the meanings of shortcuts can be retrieved without translating them first into corresponding words.
  • Gao, X., Levinthal, B. R., & Stine-Morrow, E. A. L. (2012). The effects of ageing and visual noise on conceptual integration during sentence reading. Quarterly journal of experimental psychology, 65(9), 1833-1847. doi:10.1080/17470218.2012.674146.

    Abstract

    The effortfulness hypothesis implies that difficulty in decoding the surface form, as in the case of age-related sensory limitations or background noise, consumes the attentional resources that are then unavailable for semantic integration in language comprehension. Because ageing is associated with sensory declines, degrading of the surface form by a noisy background can pose an extra challenge for older adults. In two experiments, this hypothesis was tested in a self-paced moving window paradigm in which younger and older readers' online allocation of attentional resources to surface decoding and semantic integration was measured as they read sentences embedded in varying levels of visual noise. When visual noise was moderate (Experiment 1), resource allocation among young adults was unaffected but older adults allocated more resources to decode the surface form at the cost of resources that would otherwise be available for semantic processing; when visual noise was relatively intense (Experiment 2), both younger and older participants allocated more attention to the surface form and less attention to semantic processing. The decrease in attentional allocation to semantic integration resulted in reduced recall of core ideas in both experiments, suggesting that a less organized semantic representation was constructed in noise. The greater vulnerability of older adults at relatively low levels of noise is consistent with the effortfulness hypothesis.
  • Gialluisi, A., Pippucci, T., Anikster, Y., Ozbek, U., Medlej-Hashim, M., Mégarbané, A., & Romeo, G. (2012). Estimating the allele frequency of autosomal recessive disorders through mutational records and consanguinity: The homozygosity index (HI). Annals of Human Genetics, 76, 159-167. doi:10.1111/j.1469-1809.2011.00693.x.

    Abstract

    In principle mutational records make it possible to estimate frequencies of disease alleles (q) for autosomal recessive disorders using a novel approach based on the calculation of the Homozygosity Index (HI), i.e., the proportion of homozygous patients, which is complementary to the proportion of compound heterozygous patients P(CH). In other words, the rarer the disorder, the higher will be the HI and the lower will be the P(CH). To test this hypothesis we used mutational records of individuals affected with Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) and Phenylketonuria (PKU), born to either consanguineous or apparently unrelated parents from six population samples of the Mediterranean region. Despite the unavailability of precise values of the inbreeding coefficient for the general population, which are needed in the case of apparently unrelated parents, our estimates of q are very similar to those of previous descriptive epidemiological studies. Finally, we inferred from simulation studies that the minimum sample size needed to use this approach is 25 patients either with unrelated or first cousin parents. These results show that the HI can be used to produce a ranking order of allele frequencies of autosomal recessive disorders, especially in populations with high rates of consanguineous marriages.
  • Gretscher, H., Haun, D. B. M., Liebal, K., & Kaminski, J. (2012). Orang-utans rely on orientation cues and egocentric rules when judging others' perspectives in a competitive food task. Animal Behaviour, 84, 323-331. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.04.021.

    Abstract

    Adopting the paradigm of a study conducted with chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes (Melis et al. 2006, Journal of Comparative Psychology, 120, 154–162), we investigated orang-utans', Pongo pygmaeus, understanding of others' visual perspectives. More specifically, we examined whether orang-utans would adjust their behaviour in a way that prevents a human competitor from seeing them steal a piece of food. In the task, subjects had to reach through one of two opposing Plexiglas tunnels in order to retrieve a food reward. Both rewards were also physically accessible to a human competitor sitting opposite the subject. Subjects always had the possibility of reaching one piece of food that was outside the human's line of sight. This was because either the human was oriented to one, but not the other, reward or because one tunnel was covered by an opaque barrier and the other remained transparent. In the situation in which the human was oriented towards one reward, the orang-utans successfully avoided the tunnel that the competitor was facing. If one tunnel was covered, they marginally preferred to reach through the opaque versus the transparent tunnel. However, they did so frequently after initially inspecting the transparent tunnel (then switching to the opaque one). Considering only the subjects' initial inspections, they chose randomly between the opaque and transparent tunnel, indicating that their final decision to reach was probably driven by a more egocentric behavioural rule. Overall the results suggest that orang-utans have a limited understanding of others' perspectives, relying mainly on cues from facial and bodily orientation and egocentric rules when making such judgements.
  • Guggenheim, J. A., Northstone, K., McMahon, G., Ness, A. R., Deere, K., Mattocks, C., St Pourcain, B., & Williams, C. (2012). Time outdoors and physical activity as predictors of incident myopia in childhood: a prospective cohort study. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 53(6), 2856-2865. doi:10.1167/iovs.11-9091.

    Abstract

    PURPOSE: Time spent in "sports/outdoor activity" has shown a negative association with incident myopia during childhood. We investigated the association of incident myopia with time spent outdoors and physical activity separately. METHODS: Participants in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) were assessed by noncycloplegic autorefraction at ages 7, 10, 11, 12, and 15 years, and classified as myopic (≤-1 diopters) or as emmetropic/hyperopic (≥-0.25 diopters) at each visit (N = 4,837-7,747). Physical activity at age 11 years was measured objectively using an accelerometer, worn for 1 week. Time spent outdoors was assessed via a parental questionnaire administered when children were aged 8-9 years. Variables associated with incident myopia were examined using Cox regression. RESULTS: In analyses using all available data, both time spent outdoors and physical activity were associated with incident myopia, with time outdoors having the larger effect. The results were similar for analyses restricted to children classified as either nonmyopic or emmetropic/hyperopic at age 11 years. Thus, for children nonmyopic at age 11, the hazard ratio (95% confidence interval, CI) for incident myopia was 0.66 (0.47-0.93) for a high versus low amount of time spent outdoors, and 0.87 (0.76-0.99) per unit standard deviation above average increase in moderate/vigorous physical activity. CONCLUSION: Time spent outdoors was predictive of incident myopia independently of physical activity level. The greater association observed for time outdoors suggests that the previously reported link between "sports/outdoor activity" and incident myopia is due mainly to its capture of information relating to time outdoors rather than physical activity.
  • Gullberg, M., Roberts, L., & Dimroth, C. (2012). What word-level knowledge can adult learners acquire after minimal exposure to a new language? International Review of Applied Linguistics, 50, 239-276.

    Abstract

    Discussions about the adult L2 learning capacity often take as their starting point stages where considerable L2 knowledge has already been accumulated. This paper probes the absolute earliest stages of learning and investigates what lexical knowledge adult learners can extract from complex, continuous speech in an unknown language after minimal exposure and without any help. Dutch participants were exposed to naturalistic but controlled audiovisual input in Mandarin Chinese, in which item frequency and gestural highlighting were manipulated. The results from a word recognition task showed that adults are able to draw on frequency to recognize disyllabic words appearing only eight times in continuous speech. The findings from a sound-to-picture matching task revealed that the mapping of meaning to word form requires a combination of cues: disyllabic words accompanied by a gesture were correctly assigned meaning after eight encounters. Overall, the study suggests that the adult learning mechanism is a considerably more powerful than typically assumed in the SLA literature drawing on frequency, gestural cues and syllable structure. Even in the absence of pre-existing knowledge about cognates and sound system to bootstrap and boost learning, it deals efficiently with very little, very complex input.
  • Habscheid, S., & Klein, W. (2012). Einleitung: Dinge und Maschinen in der Kommunikation. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 42(168), 8-12. Retrieved from http://www.uni-siegen.de/lili/ausgaben/2012/lili168.html?lang=de#einleitung.

    Abstract

    “The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.” (Weiser 1991, S. 94). – Die Behauptung stammt aus einem vielzitierten Text von Mark Weiser, ehemals Chief Technology Officer am berühmten Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), wo nicht nur einige bedeutende computertechnische Innovationen ihren Ursprung hatten, sondern auch grundlegende anthropologische Einsichten zum Umgang mit technischen Artefakten gewonnen wurden.1 In einem populärwissenschaftlichen Artikel mit dem Titel „The Computer for the 21st Century” entwarf Weiser 1991 die Vision einer Zukunft, in der wir nicht mehr mit einem einzelnen PC an unserem Arbeitsplatz umgehen – vielmehr seien wir in jedem Raum umgeben von hunderten elektronischer Vorrichtungen, die untrennbar in Alltagsgegenstände eingebettet und daher in unserer materiellen Umwelt gleichsam „verschwunden“ sind. Dabei ging es Weiser nicht allein um das ubiquitäre Phänomen, das in der Medientheorie als „Transparenz der Medien“ bekannt ist2 oder in allgemeineren Theorien der Alltagserfahrung als eine selbstverständliche Verwobenheit des Menschen mit den Dingen, die uns in ihrem Sinn vertraut und praktisch „zuhanden“ sind.3 Darüber hinaus zielte Weisers Vision darauf, unsere bereits existierende Umwelt durch computerlesbare Daten zu erweitern und in die Operationen eines solchen allgegenwärtigen Netzwerks alltägliche Praktiken gleichsam lückenlos zu integrieren: In der Welt, die Weiser entwirft, öffnen sich Türen für denjenigen, der ein bestimmtes elektronisches Abzeichen trägt, begrüßen Räume Personen, die sie betreten, mit Namen, passen sich Computerterminals an die Präferenzen individueller Nutzer an usw. (Weiser 1991, S. 99).
  • Hagoort, P. (2012). Het muzikale brein. Speling: Tijdschrift voor bezinning. Muziek als bron van bezieling, 64(1), 44-48.
  • Hagoort, P. (2012). Het sprekende brein. MemoRad, 17(1), 27-30.

    Abstract

    Geen andere soort dan homo sapiens heeft in de loop van zijn evolutionaire geschiedenis een communicatiesysteem ontwikkeld waarin een eindig aantal symbolen samen met een reeks van regels voor het combineren daarvan een oneindig aantal uitdrukkingen mogelijk maakt. Dit natuurlijke taalsysteem stelt leden van onze soort in staat gedachten een uiterlijke vorm te geven en uit te wisselen met de sociale groep en, door de uitvinding van schriftsystemen, met de gehele samenleving. Spraak en taal zijn effectieve middelen voor het behoud van sociale cohesie in samenlevingen waarvan de groepsgrootte en de complexe sociale organisatie van dien aard is dat dit niet langer kan door middel van ‘vlooien’, de wijze waarop onze genetische buren, de primaten van de oude wereld, sociale cohesie bevorderen [1,2].
  • Hammarström, H. (2012). [Review of Ferdinand von Mengden, Cardinal numerals: Old English from a cross-linguistic perspective]. Linguistic Typology, 16, 321-324. doi:10.1515/lity-2012-0010.
  • Hammarström, H., & van den Heuvel, W. (2012). Introduction to the LLM Special Issue 2012 on the History, contact and classification of Papuan languages. Language & Linguistics in Melanesia, 2012(Special Issue, Part 1), i-v.
  • Hammarström, H. (2012). Pronouns and the (Preliminary) Classification of Papuan languages. Language and linguistics in Melanesia, Special issue 2012 Part 2, 428-539. Retrieved from http://www.langlxmelanesia.com/hammarstrom428-539.pdf.

    Abstract

    A series of articles by Ross (1995, 2001, 2005) use pronoun sim- ilarities to gauge relatedness between various Papuan microgroups, arguing that the similarities could not be the result of chance or bor- rowing. I argue that a more appropriate manner of calculating chance gives a signicantly dierent result: when cross-comparing a pool of languages the prospects for chance matches of rst and second person pronouns are very good. Using pronoun form data from over 3000 lan- guages and over 300 language families inside and outside New Guinea, I show that there is, nevertheless, a tendency for Papuan pronouns to use certain consonants more often in 1P and 2P SG forms than in the rest of the world. This could reect an underlying family. An alter- native explanation is the established Papuan areal feature of having a small consonant inventory, which results in a higher functional load on the remaining consonants, which is, in turn, reected in the enhanced popularity of certain consonants in pronouns of those languages. A test of surface forms (i.e., non-reconstructed forms) favours the latter explanation.

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