The processing mechanism of verbs-actions and nouns-objects is a central topic of language research, with robust evidence for behavioral dissociation. The neural basis for these two major word and/or conceptual classes, however, remains controversial. Two experiments were conducted to study this question from the network perspective. Read More
Research has shown that linguistic functions in the bilingual brain are subserved by similar neural circuits as in monolinguals, but with extra-activity associated with cognitive and attentional control. Although a role for the right cerebellum in multilingual language processing has recently been acknowledged, a potential role of the left cerebellum remains largely unexplored. This paper reports the clinical and fMRI findings in a strongly right-handed (late) multilingual patient who developed differential polyglot aphasia, ataxic dysarthria and a selective decrease in executive function due to an ischemic stroke in the left cerebellum. Read More
Impaired confrontation naming is a common symptom of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). The neurobiological mechanisms underlying this impairment are poorly understood but may indicate a structural disorganization of broadly distributed neuronal networks that support naming ability. Importantly, naming is frequently impaired in other neurological disorders and by contrasting the neuronal structures supporting naming in TLE with other diseases, it will become possible to elucidate the common systems supporting naming. Read More
University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA. Electronic address:
Most of the existing behavioral and cognitive intervention programs in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have not been tested at the neurobiological level, thus falling short of finding quantifiable neurobiological changes underlying behavioral improvement. The current study takes a translational neuroimaging approach to test the impact of a structured visual imagery-based reading intervention on improving reading comprehension and assessing its underlying local neural circuitry. Behavioral and resting state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) data were collected from children with ASD who were randomly assigned to an Experimental group (ASD-EXP; n=14) and a Wait-list control group (ASD-WLC; n=14). Read More
Language and Genetics Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherland. Electronic address:
Orthographic competence allows automatic word recognition and reading fluency. To elucidate how the orthographic competence in Spanish-speaking adults might affect the neurofunctional mechanisms of visual word recognition, 32 young adults equally divided in two groups (HSS: High Spelling Skills, and LSS: Low Spelling Skills) were evaluated using fMRI methods, while they performed an orthographic recognition task involving pseudohomophones. HSS achieved significantly more correct responses and lower reaction times than LSS. Read More
Using a concurrent ERP/fMRI paradigm, we investigated how listeners take advantage of morphologically relevant tonal information at the beginning of words to predict and pre-activate likely word endings. More predictive, low tone word stems gave rise to a 'pre-activation negativity' (PrAN) in the ERPs, a brain potential which has previously been found to increase along with the degree of predictive certainty as regards how a word is going to end. It is suggested that more predictive, low tone stems lead to rapid access to word endings with processing subserved by the left primary auditory cortex as well as the supramarginal gyrus, while high tone stems - which are less predictive - decrease predictive certainty, leading to increased competition between activated word endings, which needs to be resolved by the left inferior frontal gyrus. Read More
The aim of the study was to investigate the efficiency of the use of response-contingent feedback in adolescents with and without developmental language disorder (DLD) by using the balloon analogue risk task (BART). The BIS/BAS scales were also used to evaluate a participant's responses to reward- or punishment-related events in everyday situations. The results showed that adolescents with DLD performed on the BART at a suboptimal level due to inefficient use of response-contingent feedback. Read More
Brain Lang 2017 Aug 14;174:103-111. Epub 2017 Aug 14.
Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics (TIMES), and Department of Psychology, University of Houston, 4849 Calhoun Rd., Houston, TX 77204, USA.
Components of reading proficiency such asaccuracy, fluency, and comprehension require the successful coordination of numerous, yet distinct, cortical regions. Underlying white matter tracts allow for communication among these regions. This study utilized unique residualized tract - based spatial statistics methodology to identify the relations of white matter microstructure integrity to three components of reading proficiency in 49 school - aged children with typically developing phonological decoding skills and 27 readers with poor decoders. Read More
The current study investigated the neural basis of reading performance in 60 school-age Spanish-speaking children, aged 6 to 9years. By using a data-driven approach and an automated matching procedure, we identified a left-lateralized resting state network that included typical language regions (Wernicke's and Broca's regions), prefrontal cortex, pre- and post-central gyri, superior and middle temporal gyri, cerebellum, and subcortical regions, and explored its relevance for reading performance (accuracy, comprehension and speed). Functional connectivity of the left frontal and temporal cortices and subcortical regions predicted reading speed. Read More
Current diagnostic criteria classify primary progressive aphasia into three variants-semantic (sv), nonfluent (nfv) and logopenic (lv) PPA-though the adequacy of this scheme is debated. This study took a data-driven approach, applying k-means clustering to data from 43 PPA patients. The algorithm grouped patients based on similarities in language, semantic and non-linguistic cognitive scores. Read More
Bilingual studies using alphabetic languages have shown parallel activation of two languages during word recognition. However, little is known about the brain mechanisms of language control during word comprehension with a logogram writing system. We manipulated the types of words (interlingual homographs (IH), cognates, and language-specific words) and the types of participants (Chinese (L1)-Japanese (L2) bilinguals vs. Read More
Brain Lang 2017 Jul 21;174:61-71. Epub 2017 Jul 21.
University of Pennsylvania, Department of Psychology, 425 S. University Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19104-6018, United States.
Object concepts refer to unique clusters of properties that can be selectively activated or inhibited depending on what information is currently relevant. This conceptual "stretching" enables limitless new meanings to be generated, and figurative language provides a useful framework in which to study this conceptual flexibility. Here we probe the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying the comprehension of novel metaphors as a means of understanding the conceptual flexibility inherent to language processing more generally. Read More
Brain Lang 2017 Jul 21;174:50-60. Epub 2017 Jul 21.
The Sheryl and Daniel R. Tishman Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory, Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC), Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine & Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY 10461, USA; Department of Neuroscience, Rose F. Kennedy Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA; Ernest J. Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience, Department of Neuroscience, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, USA. Electronic address:
Three lines of evidence motivated this study. 1) CNTNAP2 variation is associated with autism risk and speech-language development. 2) CNTNAP2 variations are associated with differences in white matter (WM) tracts comprising the speech-language circuitry. Read More
Brain Lang 2017 Jul 14;174:42-49. Epub 2017 Jul 14.
MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour, & Development, Western Sydney University, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia; ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, Canberra, ACT, Australia. Electronic address:
Speech sound acoustic properties vary largely across speakers and accents. When perceiving speech, adult listeners normally disregard non-linguistic variation caused by speaker or accent differences, in order to comprehend the linguistic message, e.g. Read More
Dyslexia is a developmental disorder characterized by reading and phonological difficulties, yet important questions remain regarding its underlying neural correlates. In this study, we used partial least squares (PLS), a multivariate analytic technique, to investigate the neural networks used by dyslexics while performing a word-rhyming task. Although the overall reading network was largely similar in dyslexics and typical readers, it did not correlate with behavior in the same way in the two groups. Read More
Brain Lang 2017 Jul 13;174:16-28. Epub 2017 Jul 13.
Center for the Study of Applied Psychology, Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science of Guangdong Province, School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, PR China. Electronic address:
Early second language (L2) experience influences the neural organization of L2 in neuro-plastic terms. Previous studies tried to reveal these plastic effects of age of second language acquisition (AoA-L2) and proficiency-level in L2 (PL-L2) on the neural basis of language processing in bilinguals. Although different activation patterns have been observed during language processing in early and late bilinguals by task-fMRI, few studies reported the effect of AoA-L2 and high PL-L2 on language network at resting state. Read More
Situs inversus totalis is a rare condition where the visceral organs are organized as a mirror image of default organ position. In this study we picture the co-development between brain and visceral organs in a case of situs inversus totalis from a fetal stage to adolescence and compare our findings to an age-, gender-, and education-matched control with normal position of thoracic and abdominal organs. We show that in this case of situs inversus, functional and structural brain lateralization do not coincide with visceral organ situs. Read More
Human and several nonhuman species share the rare ability of modifying acoustic and/or syntactic features of sounds produced, i.e. vocal learning, which is the important neurobiological and behavioral substrate of human speech/language. Read More
Numerous behavioral studies have found a modulation effect of phonological experience on voice discrimination. However, the neural substrates underpinning this phenomenon are poorly understood. Here we manipulated language familiarity to test the hypothesis that phonological experience affects voice discrimination via mediating the engagement of multiple perceptual and cognitive resources. Read More
Developmental Dyslexia (DD) is often attributed to phonological processing deficits. Recent evidence, however, indicates the need for a more general explanatory framework to account for DD's range of deficits. The current study examined the specificity versus domain generality of DD by comparing the recognition and discrimination of three visual categories (faces and words with cars as control stimuli) in typical and dyslexic readers. Read More
We genotyped a healthy population for three haplotype-tagging FOXP2 SNPs, and tested for associations of these SNPs with strength of handedness and questionnaire-based metrics of inner speech characteristics (ISP) and speech fluency (FLU), as derived from the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire-BR. Levels of mixed-handedness were positively correlated with ISP and FLU, supporting prior work on these two domains. Genotype for rs7799109, a SNP previously linked with lateralization of left frontal regions underlying language, was associated with degree of mixed handedness and with scores for ISP and FLU phenotypes. Read More
Brain Lang 2017 Sep 31;172:22-29. Epub 2017 May 31.
Center for Neuroimaging, Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA; Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; Department of Neurology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA; Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA. Electronic address:
Language impairment is common in prodromal stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and progresses over time. However, the genetic architecture underlying language performance is poorly understood. To identify novel genetic variants associated with language performance, we analyzed brain MRI and performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using a composite measure of language performance from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI; n=1560). Read More
Brain Lang 2017 Oct 29;173:20-32. Epub 2017 May 29.
Department of Physiotherapy, Speech Therapy, and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sao Paulo, Rua Cipotânea, 51, Cidade Universitaria, Sao Paulo, SP 05360-160, Brazil. Electronic address:
Between 1970 and 1990, the study of aphasia secondary to subcortical lesions (including the basal ganglia - BG) was largely driven by the advent of modern neuroimaging techniques such as MRI and PET. However, attempts to characterize a pattern of language abnormalities in patients with basal ganglia lesions proved unfruitful. We conducted a comprehensive review of language disturbances after vascular lesions in the BG. Read More
Previous studies have shown that the link between parental and offspring's reading is mediated by the cognitive system of the offspring, yet information about the mediating role of the neurobiological system is missing. This family study includes cognitive and diffusion MRI (dMRI) data collected in 71 pre-readers as well as parental reading and environmental data. Using sequential path analyses, which take into account the interrelationships between the different components, we observed mediating effects of the neurobiological system. Read More
University Children's Hospital, Department of Pediatric Neurology and Developmental Medicine, University of Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany; Clinic for Neuropediatrics and Neurorehabilitation, Epilepsy Centre for Children and Adolescents, Schön Klinik Vogtareuth, Krankenhausstr. 20, 83569 Vogtareuth, Germany.
Pre- or perinatally acquired ("congenital") left-hemispheric brain lesions can be compensated for by reorganizing language into homotopic brain regions in the right hemisphere. Language comprehension may be hemispherically dissociated from language production. We investigated the lesion characteristics driving inter-hemispheric reorganization of language comprehension and language production in 19 patients (7-32years; eight females) with congenital left-hemispheric brain lesions (periventricular lesions [n=11] and middle cerebral artery infarctions [n=8]) by fMRI. Read More
Communicative gestures can compensate incomprehensibility of oral speech in severe aphasia, but the brain damage that causes aphasia may also have an impact on the production of gestures. We compared the comprehensibility of gestural communication of persons with severe aphasia and non-aphasic persons and used voxel based lesion symptom mapping (VLSM) to determine lesion sites that are responsible for poor gestural expression in aphasia. On group level, persons with aphasia conveyed more information via gestures than controls indicating a compensatory use of gestures in persons with severe aphasia. Read More
Brain Lang 2017 Aug 17;171:52-61. Epub 2017 May 17.
Center for Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China; School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China; Key Laboratory of Computational Linguistics, Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China; Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China; PKU-IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China. Electronic address:
Contextual relevance, which is vital for understanding conversational implicatures (CI), engages both the frontal-temporal language and theory-of-mind networks. Here we investigate how contextual relevance affects CI processing and regulates the connectivity between CI-processing-related brain regions. Participants listened to dialogues in which the level of contextual relevance to dialogue-final utterance (reply) was manipulated. Read More
We examined narrative speech production longitudinally in non-demented (n=15) and mildly demented (n=8) patients with Parkinson's disease spectrum disorder (PDSD), and we related increasing impairment to structural brain changes in specific language and motor regions. Patients provided semi-structured speech samples, describing a standardized picture at two time points (mean±SD interval=38±24months). The recorded speech samples were analyzed for fluency, grammar, and informativeness. Read More
Epilepsy Center, Ramos Mejía Hospital, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Center for Clinical and Experimental Neuroscience: Epilepsy, Cognition and Behavior, Cell Biology and Neuroscience Institute (IBCN), School of Medicine, UBA - CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina; National Neuroscience and Neurosurgery Center, El Cruce Dr. Néstor Kirchner Hospital, Florencio Varela, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Objective: Discourse skills - in which the right hemisphere has an important role - enables verbal communication by selecting contextually relevant information and integrating it coherently to infer the correct meaning. However, language research in epilepsy has focused on single word analysis related mainly to left hemisphere processing. The purpose of this study was to investigate discourse abilities in patients with right lateralized medial temporal lobe epilepsy (RTLE) by comparing their performance to that of patients with left temporal lobe epilepsy (LTLE). Read More
Studies of language production in bilinguals have seldom considered the fact that language selection likely involves proactive control. Here, we show that Chinese-English bilinguals actively inhibit the language not-to-be used before the onset of a picture to be named. Depending on the nature of a directive cue, participants named a subsequent picture in their native language, in their second language, or remained silent. Read More
Relationships between maternal education (ME) and both behavioral performances and brain activation during the discrimination of phonemic and nonphonemic sounds were examined using fMRI in children with different levels of phoneme categorization proficiency (CP). Significant relationships were found between ME and intellectual functioning and vocabulary, with a trend for phonological awareness. A significant interaction between CP and ME was seen for nonverbal reasoning abilities. Read More
To examine how L1 influences L2 reading in the brain, two late bilingual groups, Korean-English (KE) and Chinese-English (CE), performed a visual word rhyming judgment task in their L2 (English) and were compared to L1 control groups (i.e., KK and CC). Read More
The aim of this study was to investigate the comprehension of concrete, abstract and abstract emotional words in semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and healthy elderly adults (HE) Three groups of participants (9 svPPA, 12 AD, 11 HE) underwent a general neuropsychological assessment, a similarity judgment task, and structural brain MRI. The three types of words were processed similarly in the group of AD participants. In contrast, patients in the svPPA group were significantly more impaired at processing concrete words than abstract words, while comprehension of abstract emotional words was in between. Read More
Brain Lang 2017 Jul 20;170:82-92. Epub 2017 Apr 20.
Center for Multimodal Imaging and Genetics, University of California - San Diego, 9452 Medical Center Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA; Department of Psychiatry, University of California - San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA; SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, San Diego, CA, USA. Electronic address:
This study explored the relationships among multimodal imaging, clinical features, and language impairment in patients with left temporal lobe epilepsy (LTLE). Fourteen patients with LTLE and 26 controls underwent structural MRI, functional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging, and neuropsychological language tasks. Laterality indices were calculated for each imaging modality and a principal component (PC) was derived from language measures. Read More
Better understanding of the role of sensorimotor processing in speech and non-speech segmentation can be achieved with more temporally precise measures. Twenty adults made same/different discriminations of speech and non-speech stimuli pairs, with and without segmentation demands. Independent component analysis of 64-channel EEG data revealed clear sensorimotor mu components, with characteristic alpha and beta peaks, localized to premotor regions in 70% of participants. Read More
Blindness is associated with well-documented changes to the morphometry and function of the occipital cortex. By comparison, its impact on the perisylvian regions in the superior temporal plane (STP) is poorly understood, with many studies reporting null findings on this issue. Here we re-approach this question using a morphometric analysis that relied on fine-scale, manual annotation of 13 sub-regions within the STP and that quantified both univariate and multivariate differences in morphometry. Read More
An area near the left lateral occipito-temporal sulcus that responds preferentially to print has been designated as the visual word form area (VWFA). Research suggests that specialization in this brain region increases as reading expertise is achieved. Here we aimed to characterize that development in terms of sensitivity (response to printed words relative to non-linguistic faces) versus specificity (response to printed words versus line drawings of nameable objects) in typically reading children ages 7-14 versus young adults as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Read More
In an implicit phonological priming paradigm, deaf bimodal bilinguals made semantic relatedness decisions for pairs of English words. Half of the semantically unrelated pairs had phonologically related translations in American Sign Language (ASL). As in previous studies with unimodal bilinguals, targets in pairs with phonologically related translations elicited smaller negativities than targets in pairs with phonologically unrelated translations within the N400 window. Read More
Segmenting word units from running speech is a fundamental skill infants must develop in order to acquire language. Despite ample behavioral evidence of this skill, its neurocognitive basis remains unclear. Using behavioral testing and functional near-infrared spectroscopy, we aimed to uncover the neurocognitive substrates of word segmentation and its development. Read More
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Centre for Language Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Perspective is a crucial feature for communicating about events. Yet it is unclear how linguistically encoded perspective relates to cognitive perspective taking. Here, we tested the effect of perspective taking with short literary stories. Read More
Although benign, rolandic epilepsy (RE) or benign childhood epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes is often associated with language impairment. Recently, fronto-rolandic EEG abnormalities have been described in children with developmental dysphasia (DD), suggesting an interaction between language impairment and interictal epileptiform discharges. To investigate if a behavioral-linguistic continuum between RE and DD exists, a clinical prospective study was carried out to evaluate the language profile of 15 children with RE and 22 children with DD. Read More
In this paper we demonstrate the application of new effective connectivity analyses to characterize changing patterns of task-related directed interaction in large (25-55 node) cortical networks following the onset of aphasia. The subject was a left-handed woman who became aphasic following a right-hemisphere stroke. She was tested on an auditory word-picture verification task administered one and seven months after the onset of aphasia. Read More
Research on bilinguals with brain lesions is complicated by high patient variability, making it difficult to find well-matched controls. We benefitted from a database of over 700 patients and conducted an analysis of pre-operative functional magnetic resonance imaging data to assess language dominance in 25 early, highly proficient Spanish-English bilinguals, and 25 carefully matched monolingual controls. Our results showed that early bilingualism is associated with greater bilateral hemispheric involvement, and monolingualism is associated with stronger left hemisphere lateralization (p=0. Read More
Reductions in spoken language complexity have been associated with the onset of various neurological disorders. The objective of this study is to analyze whether similar trends are found in professional football players who are at risk for chronic traumatic encephalopathy. We compare changes in linguistic complexity (as indexed by the type-to-token ratio and lexical density) measured from the interview transcripts of players in the National Football League (NFL) to those measured from interview transcripts of coaches and/or front-office NFL executives who have never played professional football. Read More
Progressive visual processing decline is a known factor in aging. The present study investigates the evolution of visual expertise for printed stimuli with aging. Fifty-five participants of increasing age (20-30, 40-50, 60-70, 75-85years old) were recruited. Read More
Despite intact decoding ability, deficits in reading comprehension are relatively common in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, few neuroimaging studies have tested the neural bases of this specific profile of reading deficit in ASD. This fMRI study examined activation and synchronization of the brain's reading network in children with ASD with specific reading comprehension deficits during a word similarities task. Read More
Researchers have long questioned whether information presented through different sensory modalities involves distinct or shared semantic systems. We investigated uni-sensory cross-modal processing by recording event-related brain potentials to words replacing the climactic event in a visual narrative sequence (comics). We compared Onomatopoeic words, which phonetically imitate action sounds (Pow!), with Descriptive words, which describe an action (Punch!), that were (in)congruent within their sequence contexts. Read More