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Sample records for adult sentence processing

  1. Sentence Processing Factors in Adults with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poll, Gerard H.

    2012-01-01

    Sentence imitation effectively discriminates between adults with and without specific language impairment (SLI). Little is known, however, about the factors that result in performance differences. This study evaluated the effects of working memory, processing speed, and argument status on sentence imitation. Working memory was measured by both a…

  2. Children's and adults' on-line processing of syntactically ambiguous sentences during reading.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Holly S S L; Liversedge, Simon P

    2013-01-01

    While there has been a fair amount of research investigating children's syntactic processing during spoken language comprehension, and a wealth of research examining adults' syntactic processing during reading, as yet very little research has focused on syntactic processing during text reading in children. In two experiments, children and adults read sentences containing a temporary syntactic ambiguity while their eye movements were monitored. In Experiment 1, participants read sentences such as, 'The boy poked the elephant with the long stick/trunk from outside the cage' in which the attachment of a prepositional phrase was manipulated. In Experiment 2, participants read sentences such as, 'I think I'll wear the new skirt I bought tomorrow/yesterday. It's really nice' in which the attachment of an adverbial phrase was manipulated. Results showed that adults and children exhibited similar processing preferences, but that children were delayed relative to adults in their detection of initial syntactic misanalysis. It is concluded that children and adults have the same sentence-parsing mechanism in place, but that it operates with a slightly different time course. In addition, the data support the hypothesis that the visual processing system develops at a different rate than the linguistic processing system in children.

  3. Ambiguity in sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Altmann, G T

    1998-04-01

    As listeners and readers, we rarely notice the ambiguities that pervade our everyday language. When we hear the proverb `Time flies like an arrow' we might ponder its meaning, but not the fact that there are almost 100 grammatically permissible interpretations of this short sentence. On occasion, however, we do notice sentential ambiguity: headlines, such as `Two Sisters Reunited After 18 Years in Checkout Counter', are amusing because they so consistently lead to the unintended interpretation (presumably, the sisters did not spend 18 years at the checkout). It is this consistent preference for one interpretation-and one grammatical structure-rather than another that has fuelled research into sentence processing for more than 20 years. Until relatively recently, the dominant belief had been that these preferences arise from general principles that underlie our use of grammar, with certain grammatical constructions being preferred over others. There has now accrued, however, a considerable body of evidence demonstrating that these preferences are not absolute, but can change in particular circumstances. With this evidence have come new theories of sentence processing, some of which, at first glance, radically question the standard notions of linguistic representation, grammar and understanding.

  4. Sentence Repetition Accuracy in Adults With Developmental Language Impairment: Interactions of Participant Capacities and Sentence Structures

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Carol A.; van Hell, Janet G.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose We asked whether sentence repetition accuracy could be explained by interactions of participant processing limitations with the structures of the sentences. We also tested a prediction of the procedural deficit hypothesis (Ullman & Pierpont, 2005) that adjuncts are more difficult than arguments for individuals with developmental language impairment (DLI). Method Forty-four young adults participated, 21 with DLI. The sentence repetition task varied sentence length and the use of arguments and adjuncts. We also administered measures of working memory and processing speed. Our regression models focused on these interactions: group and argument status; processing speed, length, and argument status; and working memory capacity, length, and argument status. Results Language ability group was a significant predictor of sentence repetition accuracy but did not interact with argument status. Processing speed interacted with sentence length and argument status. Working memory capacity and its separate interactions with argument status and sentence length predicted sentence repetition accuracy. Conclusions Many adults with DLI may have difficulty with adjuncts as a result of their working memory limitations rather than their language ability. Cognitive limitations common to individuals with DLI are revealed more by particular sentence structures, suggesting ways to construct more diagnostically accurate sentence repetition tasks. PMID:27272196

  5. Sentence Comprehension in Young Adults with Developmental Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiseheart, Rebecca; Altmann, Lori J. P.; Park, Heeyoung; Lombardino, Linda J.

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of syntactic complexity on written sentence comprehension in compensated adults with dyslexia. Because working memory (WM) plays a key role in processing complex sentences, and individuals with dyslexia often demonstrate persistent deficits in WM, we hypothesized that individuals with dyslexia would perform more…

  6. Sentence comprehension in young adults with developmental dyslexia.

    PubMed

    Wiseheart, Rebecca; Altmann, Lori J P; Park, Heeyoung; Lombardino, Linda J

    2009-12-01

    This study investigated the effects of syntactic complexity on written sentence comprehension in compensated adults with dyslexia. Because working memory (WM) plays a key role in processing complex sentences, and individuals with dyslexia often demonstrate persistent deficits in WM, we hypothesized that individuals with dyslexia would perform more poorly on tasks designed to assess the comprehension of syntactic structures that are especially taxing on WM (e.g., passives, sentences with relative clauses). Compared to their nondyslexic peers, individuals with dyslexia were significantly less accurate and marginally slower on passive sentences. For sentences containing relative clauses, the dyslexic group was also less accurate but did not differ in response times. Covarying WM and word reading in both analyses eliminated group differences showing that syntactic deficits in adults with dyslexia are constrained by both WM and word-reading ability. These findings support previous research showing that syntactic processing deficits are characteristic of dyslexia, even among high-achieving students.

  7. Adult Dyslexic Readers Do Not Demonstrate Regularity Effects in Sentence Processing: Evidence from Eye-Movements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Manon Wyn; Kelly, M. Louise; Corley, Martin

    2007-01-01

    We report an eye-movement study that demonstrates differences in regularity effects between adult developmental dyslexic and control non-impaired readers, in contrast to findings from a large number of word recognition studies (see G. Brown, 1997). For low frequency words, controls showed an advantage for Regular items, in which…

  8. Sentence comprehension following moderate closed head injury in adults.

    PubMed

    Leikin, Mark; Ibrahim, Raphiq; Aharon-Peretz, Judith

    2012-09-01

    The current study explores sentence comprehension impairments among adults following moderate closed head injury. It was hypothesized that if the factor of syntactic complexity significantly affects sentence comprehension in these patients, it would testify to the existence of syntactic processing deficit along with working-memory problems. Thirty-six adults (18 closed head injury patients and 18 healthy controls matched in age, gender, and IQ) participated in the study. A picture-sentence matching task together with various tests for memory, language, and reading abilities were used to explore whether sentence comprehension impairments exist as a result of a deficit in syntactic processing or of working-memory dysfunction. Results indicate significant impairment in sentence comprehension among adults with closed head injury compared with their non-head-injured peers. Results also reveal that closed head injury patients demonstrate considerable decline in working memory, short-term memory, and semantic knowledge. Analysis of the results shows that memory impairment and syntactic complexity contribute significantly to sentence comprehension difficulties in closed head injury patients. At the same time, the presentation mode (spoken or written language) was found to have no effect on comprehension among adults with closed head injury, and their reading abilities appear to be relatively intact.

  9. Consequences of a Phonological Coding Deficit on Sentence Processing. Technical Report 85-5.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Friedrich, Frances J.; And Others

    The sentence processing abilities of a conduction aphasic adult woman with a documented phonological coding deficit were investigated in tests of auditory and visual sentence comprehension of reversible active and passive sentences and spatial prepositions, sentence production through story completion and picture description, and repetition of…

  10. Sentence Interpretation Strategies in Emergent Bilingual Children and Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reyes, Iliana; Hernandez, Arturo E.

    2006-01-01

    This study examined sentence processing in emergent bilingual children and young adults in both English (second language -- L2) and Spanish (first language -- L1). One hundred participants from five different age groups (5;4-7;11, 8;0-10;11, 11;2-13;11, 14;0-16;8 years, and college-age adults) participated in this study. An online sentence…

  11. Meaning Inhibition and Sentence Processing in Chinese

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yip, Michael C.

    2015-01-01

    The present study examined the inhibitory processes of spoken word recognition of Chinese homophones during sentence processing, using a standard cross-modal naming experiment with an innovative design and materials construction. Results confirmed that (1) preceding sentence context has exerted an early effect on disambiguating among different…

  12. Parallel Mechanisms of Sentence Processing: Assigning Roles to Constituents of Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McClelland, James L.; Kawamoto, Alan H.

    This paper describes and illustrates a simulation model for the processing of grammatical elements in a sentence, focusing on one aspect of sentence comprehension: the assignment of the constituent elements of a sentence to the correct thematic case roles. The model addresses questions about sentence processing from a perspective very different…

  13. 28 CFR 2.2 - Eligibility for parole; adult sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. 2.2 Section 2.2 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PAROLE, RELEASE, SUPERVISION AND... § 2.2 Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. (a) A Federal prisoner serving a maximum term or...

  14. 28 CFR 2.2 - Eligibility for parole; adult sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. 2.2 Section 2.2 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PAROLE, RELEASE, SUPERVISION AND... § 2.2 Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. (a) A Federal prisoner serving a maximum term or...

  15. 28 CFR 2.2 - Eligibility for parole; adult sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. 2.2 Section 2.2 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PAROLE, RELEASE, SUPERVISION AND... § 2.2 Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. (a) A Federal prisoner serving a maximum term or...

  16. 28 CFR 2.2 - Eligibility for parole; adult sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. 2.2 Section 2.2 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PAROLE, RELEASE, SUPERVISION AND... § 2.2 Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. (a) A Federal prisoner serving a maximum term or...

  17. 28 CFR 2.2 - Eligibility for parole; adult sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. 2.2 Section 2.2 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PAROLE, RELEASE, SUPERVISION AND... § 2.2 Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. (a) A Federal prisoner serving a maximum term or...

  18. Incremental Sentence Processing in Japanese: A Maze Investigation into Scrambled and Control Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Witzel, Jeffrey; Witzel, Naoko

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates preverbal structural and semantic processing in Japanese, a head-final language, using the maze task. Two sentence types were tested--simple scrambled sentences (Experiment 1) and control sentences (Experiment 2). Experiment 1 showed that even for simple, mono-clausal Japanese sentences, (1) there are online processing…

  19. Sentence Repetition Accuracy in Adults with Developmental Language Impairment: Interactions of Participant Capacities and Sentence Structures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poll, Gerard H.; Miller, Carol A.; van Hell, Janet G.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: We asked whether sentence repetition accuracy could be explained by interactions of participant processing limitations with the structures of the sentences. We also tested a prediction of the procedural deficit hypothesis (Ullman & Pierpont, 2005) that adjuncts are more difficult than arguments for individuals with developmental…

  20. Individual Differences in Second Language Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Leah

    2012-01-01

    As is the case in traditional second language (L2) acquisition research, a major question in the field of L2 real-time sentence processing is the extent to which L2 learners process the input like native speakers. Where differences are observed, the underlying causes could be the influence of the learner's first language and/or differences…

  1. Incremental Sentence Processing in Japanese: A Maze Investigation into Scrambled and Control Sentences.

    PubMed

    Witzel, Jeffrey; Witzel, Naoko

    2016-06-01

    This study investigates preverbal structural and semantic processing in Japanese, a head-final language, using the maze task. Two sentence types were tested-simple scrambled sentences (Experiment 1) and control sentences (Experiment 2). Experiment 1 showed that even for simple, mono-clausal Japanese sentences, (1) there are online processing costs associated with parsing noncanonical word orders and (2) these costs are incurred during the incremental integration of constituents into developing sentence representations. Experiment 2 indicated (1) that antecedents are provisionally assigned to empty subjects in Japanese control sentences before verb information becomes available and (2) that this process is guided by an object control bias. Taken together, these findings are interpreted to suggest an important role for preverbal analysis in the processing of displaced constituents and of referential properties for empty elements in head-final languages.

  2. Sentence Integration Processes: An ERP Study of Chinese Sentence Comprehension with Relative Clauses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Chin Lung; Perfetti, Charles A.; Liu, Ying

    2010-01-01

    In an event-related potentials (ERPs) study, we examined the comprehension of different types of Chinese (Mandarin) relative clauses (object vs. subject-extracted) to test the universality and language specificity of sentence comprehension processes. Because Chinese lacks morphosyntactic cues to sentence constituent relations, it allows a test of…

  3. Multiple Solutions to the Same Problem: Utilization of Plausibility and Syntax in Sentence Comprehension by Older Adults with Impaired Hearing

    PubMed Central

    Amichetti, Nicole M.; White, Alison G.; Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    A fundamental question in psycholinguistic theory is whether equivalent success in sentence comprehension may come about by different underlying operations. Of special interest is whether adult aging, especially when accompanied by reduced hearing acuity, may shift the balance of reliance on formal syntax vs. plausibility in determining sentence meaning. In two experiments participants were asked to identify the thematic roles in grammatical sentences that contained either plausible or implausible semantic relations. Comprehension of sentence meanings was indexed by the ability to correctly name the agent or the recipient of an action represented in the sentence. In Experiment 1 young and older adults’ comprehension was tested for plausible and implausible sentences with the meaning expressed with either an active-declarative or a passive syntactic form. In Experiment 2 comprehension performance was examined for young adults with age-normal hearing, older adults with good hearing acuity, and age-matched older adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss for plausible or implausible sentences with meaning expressed with either a subject-relative (SR) or an object-relative (OR) syntactic structure. Experiment 1 showed that the likelihood of interpreting a sentence according to its literal meaning was reduced when that meaning expressed an implausible relationship. Experiment 2 showed that this likelihood was further decreased for OR as compared to SR sentences, and especially so for older adults whose hearing impairment added to the perceptual challenge. Experiment 2 also showed that working memory capacity as measured with a letter-number sequencing task contributed to the likelihood that listeners would base their comprehension responses on the literal syntax even when this processing scheme yielded an implausible meaning. Taken together, the results of both experiments support the postulate that listeners may use more than a single uniform processing strategy for

  4. The Effects of Syntactic Complexity on Processing Sentences in Noise

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carroll, Rebecca; Ruigendijk, Esther

    2013-01-01

    This paper discusses the influence of stationary (non-fluctuating) noise on processing and understanding of sentences, which vary in their syntactic complexity (with the factors canonicity, embedding, ambiguity). It presents data from two RT-studies with 44 participants testing processing of German sentences in silence and in noise. Results show a…

  5. Comprehending how visual context influences incremental sentence processing: Insights from ERPs and picture-sentence verification.

    PubMed

    Knoeferle, Pia; Urbach, Thomas P; Kutas, Marta

    2011-04-01

    To re-establish picture-sentence verification-discredited possibly for its over-reliance on post-sentence response time (RT) measures-as a task for situated comprehension, we collected event-related brain potentials (ERPs) as participants read a subject-verb-object sentence, and RTs indicating whether or not the verb matched a previously depicted action. For mismatches (vs. matches), speeded RTs were longer, verb N400s over centro-parietal scalp larger, and ERPs to the object noun more negative. RTs (congruence effect) correlated inversely with the centro-parietal verb N400s, and positively with the object ERP congruence effects. Verb N400s, object ERPs, and verbal working memory scores predicted more variance in RT effects (50%) than N400s alone. Thus, (1) verification processing is not all post-sentence; (2) simple priming cannot account for these results; and (3) verification tasks can inform studies of situated comprehension.

  6. Effects of Speaker Emotional Facial Expression and Listener Age on Incremental Sentence Processing

    PubMed Central

    Carminati, Maria Nella; Knoeferle, Pia

    2013-01-01

    We report two visual-world eye-tracking experiments that investigated how and with which time course emotional information from a speaker's face affects younger (N = 32, Mean age  = 23) and older (N = 32, Mean age  = 64) listeners’ visual attention and language comprehension as they processed emotional sentences in a visual context. The age manipulation tested predictions by socio-emotional selectivity theory of a positivity effect in older adults. After viewing the emotional face of a speaker (happy or sad) on a computer display, participants were presented simultaneously with two pictures depicting opposite-valence events (positive and negative; IAPS database) while they listened to a sentence referring to one of the events. Participants' eye fixations on the pictures while processing the sentence were increased when the speaker's face was (vs. wasn't) emotionally congruent with the sentence. The enhancement occurred from the early stages of referential disambiguation and was modulated by age. For the older adults it was more pronounced with positive faces, and for the younger ones with negative faces. These findings demonstrate for the first time that emotional facial expressions, similarly to previously-studied speaker cues such as eye gaze and gestures, are rapidly integrated into sentence processing. They also provide new evidence for positivity effects in older adults during situated sentence processing. PMID:24039781

  7. Dissociating sentential prosody from sentence processing: activation interacts with task demands.

    PubMed

    Plante, Elena; Creusere, Marlena; Sabin, Cynthia

    2002-09-01

    Sentence processing was contrasted with processing of syntactic prosody under two task conditions in order to examine the representation of these components of language and their interaction with working memory load. Twelve adults received fMDI scans while they listened to low-pass filtered and unfiltered sentences either passively, or during tasks that required subjects to remember and recognize information contained in the stimuli. Results indicated that temporal activation for prosodic stimuli differed compared to activation for sentence stimuli only during passive listening tasks. The inclusion of memory demands was associated with frontal activation, which was differentially lateralized for sentence and prosodic stimuli. The results demonstrate differential brain activation for prosodic vs sentential stimuli which interacts with the memory demands placed on the subjects.

  8. How the brain attunes to sentence processing: Relating behavior, structure, and function

    PubMed Central

    Fengler, Anja; Meyer, Lars; Friederici, Angela D.

    2016-01-01

    Unlike other aspects of language comprehension, the ability to process complex sentences develops rather late in life. Brain maturation as well as verbal working memory (vWM) expansion have been discussed as possible reasons. To determine the factors contributing to this functional development, we assessed three aspects in different age-groups (5–6 years, 7–8 years, and adults): first, functional brain activity during the processing of increasingly complex sentences; second, brain structure in language-related ROIs; and third, the behavioral comprehension performance on complex sentences and the performance on an independent vWM test. At the whole-brain level, brain functional data revealed a qualitatively similar neural network in children and adults including the left pars opercularis (PO), the left inferior parietal lobe together with the posterior superior temporal gyrus (IPL/pSTG), the supplementary motor area, and the cerebellum. While functional activation of the language-related ROIs PO and IPL/pSTG predicted sentence comprehension performance for all age-groups, only adults showed a functional selectivity in these brain regions with increased activation for more complex sentences. The attunement of both the PO and IPL/pSTG toward a functional selectivity for complex sentences is predicted by region-specific gray matter reduction while that of the IPL/pSTG is additionally predicted by vWM span. Thus, both structural brain maturation and vWM expansion provide the basis for the emergence of functional selectivity in language-related brain regions leading to more efficient sentence processing during development. PMID:26777477

  9. How the brain attunes to sentence processing: Relating behavior, structure, and function.

    PubMed

    Fengler, Anja; Meyer, Lars; Friederici, Angela D

    2016-04-01

    Unlike other aspects of language comprehension, the ability to process complex sentences develops rather late in life. Brain maturation as well as verbal working memory (vWM) expansion have been discussed as possible reasons. To determine the factors contributing to this functional development, we assessed three aspects in different age-groups (5-6 years, 7-8 years, and adults): first, functional brain activity during the processing of increasingly complex sentences; second, brain structure in language-related ROIs; and third, the behavioral comprehension performance on complex sentences and the performance on an independent vWM test. At the whole-brain level, brain functional data revealed a qualitatively similar neural network in children and adults including the left pars opercularis (PO), the left inferior parietal lobe together with the posterior superior temporal gyrus (IPL/pSTG), the supplementary motor area, and the cerebellum. While functional activation of the language-related ROIs PO and IPL/pSTG predicted sentence comprehension performance for all age-groups, only adults showed a functional selectivity in these brain regions with increased activation for more complex sentences. The attunement of both the PO and IPL/pSTG toward a functional selectivity for complex sentences is predicted by region-specific gray matter reduction while that of the IPL/pSTG is additionally predicted by vWM span. Thus, both structural brain maturation and vWM expansion provide the basis for the emergence of functional selectivity in language-related brain regions leading to more efficient sentence processing during development. PMID:26777477

  10. Experimental Designs in Sentence Processing Research: A Methodological Review and User's Guide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keating, Gregory D.; Jegerski, Jill

    2015-01-01

    Since the publication of Clahsen and Felser's (2006) keynote article on grammatical processing in language learners, the online study of sentence comprehension in adult second language (L2) learners has quickly grown into a vibrant and prolific subfield of SLA. As online methods begin to establish a foothold in SLA research, it is important…

  11. On-Line Sentence Processing in Swedish: Cross-Linguistic Developmental Comparisons with French

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kail, Michele; Kihlstedt, Maria; Bonnet, Philippe

    2012-01-01

    This study examined on-line processing of Swedish sentences in a grammaticality-judgement experiment within the framework of the Competition Model. Three age groups from 6 to 11 and an adult group were asked to detect grammatical violations as quickly as possible. Three factors concerning cue cost were studied: violation position (early vs. late),…

  12. Sentence Processing in Traumatic Brain Injury: Evidence from the P600

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Key-DeLyria, Sarah E.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Sentence processing can be affected following a traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to linguistic or cognitive deficits. Language-related event-related potentials (ERPs), particularly the P600, have not been described in individuals with TBI history. Method: Four young adults with a history of closed head injury participated. Two had severe…

  13. A Computational Evaluation of Sentence Processing Deficits in Aphasia.

    PubMed

    Patil, Umesh; Hanne, Sandra; Burchert, Frank; De Bleser, Ria; Vasishth, Shravan

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with agrammatic Broca's aphasia experience difficulty when processing reversible non-canonical sentences. Different accounts have been proposed to explain this phenomenon. The Trace Deletion account (Grodzinsky, 1995, 2000, 2006) attributes this deficit to an impairment in syntactic representations, whereas others (e.g., Caplan, Waters, Dede, Michaud, & Reddy, 2007; Haarmann, Just, & Carpenter, 1997) propose that the underlying structural representations are unimpaired, but sentence comprehension is affected by processing deficits, such as slow lexical activation, reduction in memory resources, slowed processing and/or intermittent deficiency, among others. We test the claims of two processing accounts, slowed processing and intermittent deficiency, and two versions of the Trace Deletion Hypothesis (TDH), in a computational framework for sentence processing (Lewis & Vasishth, 2005) implemented in ACT-R (Anderson, Byrne, Douglass, Lebiere, & Qin, 2004). The assumption of slowed processing is operationalized as slow procedural memory, so that each processing action is performed slower than normal, and intermittent deficiency as extra noise in the procedural memory, so that the parsing steps are more noisy than normal. We operationalize the TDH as an absence of trace information in the parse tree. To test the predictions of the models implementing these theories, we use the data from a German sentence-picture matching study reported in Hanne, Sekerina, Vasishth, Burchert, and De Bleser (2011). The data consist of offline (sentence-picture matching accuracies and response times) and online (eye fixation proportions) measures. From among the models considered, the model assuming that both slowed processing and intermittent deficiency are present emerges as the best model of sentence processing difficulty in aphasia. The modeling of individual differences suggests that, if we assume that patients have both slowed processing and intermittent deficiency, they

  14. Brain responses during sentence reading: visual input affects central processes.

    PubMed

    Gunter, T C; Friederici, A D; Hahne, A

    1999-10-19

    The effect of visual contrast on sentence reading was investigated using event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Under the low contrast condition semantic integration as reflected in the N400 ERP component was delayed to some degree. The left anterior negativity (LAN) reflecting initial syntactic processes, in contrast, seemed to change its characteristics as a function of visual input. In the high contrast condition the LAN preceded the P200 component whereas in the low contrast condition it was present after this component. These ERP-data from word-by-word sentence reading together with prior results from sentence listening suggest that the physical characteristics of the input must fall within a certain optimal range to guarantee ERP-effects of fast initial syntactic processes.

  15. The Timing of Island Effects in Nonnative Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Felser, Claudia; Cunnings, Ian; Batterham, Claire; Clahsen, Harald

    2012-01-01

    Using the eye-movement monitoring technique in two reading comprehension experiments, this study investigated the timing of constraints on wh-dependencies (so-called island constraints) in first- and second-language (L1 and L2) sentence processing. The results show that both L1 and L2 speakers of English are sensitive to extraction islands during…

  16. A Computational Evaluation of Sentence Processing Deficits in Aphasia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patil, Umesh; Hanne, Sandra; Burchert, Frank; De Bleser, Ria; Vasishth, Shravan

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with agrammatic Broca's aphasia experience difficulty when processing reversible non-canonical sentences. Different accounts have been proposed to explain this phenomenon. The Trace Deletion account (Grodzinsky, 1995, 2000, 2006) attributes this deficit to an impairment in syntactic representations, whereas others (e.g., Caplan,…

  17. Can Sentence Combining Play a Role in the Revision Process?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mellon, John C.

    Sentence combining is one kind of practice activity, quite specific in character, aimed at teaching syntactic fluency and judgment and the use of the devices of cohesion. Students can be led through the revision process step by step by converting the odd essay from real writing to a practice exercise, then actually providing the content needed for…

  18. Where is the action? Action sentence processing in Parkinson's disease

    PubMed Central

    Fernandino, Leonardo; Conant, Lisa L.; Binder, Jeffrey R.; Blindauer, Karen; Hiner, Bradley; Spangler, Katie; Desai, Rutvik H.

    2013-01-01

    According to an influential view of conceptual representation, action concepts are understood through motoric simulations, involving motor networks of the brain. A stronger version of this embodied account suggests that even figurative uses of action words (e.g., grasping the concept) are understood through motoric simulations. We investigated these claims by assessing whether Parkinson's disease (PD), a disorder affecting the motor system, is associated with selective deficits in comprehending action-related sentences. Twenty PD patients and 21 age-matched controls performed a sentence comprehension task, where sentences belonged to one of four conditions: literal action, non-idiomatic metaphoric action, idiomatic action, and abstract. The same verbs (referring to hand/arm actions) were used in the three action-related conditions. Patients, but not controls, were slower to respond to literal and idiomatic action than to abstract sentences. These results indicate that sensory-motor systems play a functional role in semantic processing, including processing of figurative action language. PMID:23624313

  19. Integration of moral values during L2 sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Foucart, Alice; Moreno, Eva; Martin, Clara D; Costa, Albert

    2015-11-01

    This study reports an event-related potential (ERP) experiment examining whether valuation (i.e., one's own values) is integrated incrementally and whether it affects L2 speakers' online interpretation of the sentence. We presented Spanish native speakers and French-Spanish mid-proficiency late L2 speakers with visual sentences containing value-consistent and value-inconsistent statements (e.g., 'Nowadays, paedophilia should be prohibited/tolerated across the world.'). Participants' brain activity was recorded as they were reading the sentences and indicating whether they agreed with the statements or not. Behaviourally, the two groups revealed identical valuation. The ERP analyses showed both a semantic (N400) and an affect-related response (LPP) to value-inconsistent statements in the native group, but only an LPP in the non-native group. These results suggest that valuation is integrated online (presence of LPP) during L2 sentence comprehension but that it does not interfere with semantic processing (absence of N400).

  20. Effects of accelerated reading rate on syntactic processing of Hebrew sentences: electrophysiological evidence.

    PubMed

    Leikin, M; Breznitz, Z

    2001-05-01

    The present study was designed to investigate whether accelerated reading rate influences the way adult readers process sentence components with different grammatical functions. Participants were 20 male native Hebrew-speaking college students aged 18-27 years. The processing of normal word strings was examined during word-by-word reading of sentences having subject-verb-object (SVO) syntactic structure in self-paced and fast-paced conditions. In both reading conditions, the N100 (late positive) and P300 (late negative) event-related potential (ERP) components were sensitive to such internal processes as recognition of words' syntactic functions. However, an accelerated reading rate influenced the way in which readers processed these sentence elements. In the self-paced condition, the predicate-centered (morphologically based) strategy was used, whereas in the fast-paced condition an approach that was more like the word-order strategy was used. This new pattern was correlated with findings on the shortening of latency and the increasing of amplitudes in both N100 and P300 ERP components for most sentence elements. These changes seemed to be related to improved working memory functioning and maximized attention.

  1. Age Differences in the Effects of Conceptual Integration Training on Resource Allocation in Sentence Processing

    PubMed Central

    Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A. L.; Noh, Soo Rim; Shake, Matthew C.

    2009-01-01

    This research examined age differences in the accommodation of reading strategies as a consequence of explicit instruction in conceptual integration. In Experiment 1, young, middle-aged, and older adults read sentences for delayed recall using a moving window method. Readers in an experimental group received instruction in making conceptual links during reading while readers in a control group were simply encouraged to allocate effort. Regression analysis to decompose word-by-word reading times in each condition isolated the time allocated to conceptual processing at the point in the text at which new concepts were introduced, as well as at clause and sentence boundaries. While younger adults responded to instructions by differentially allocating effort to sentence wrap-up, older adults allocated effort to intrasentence wrap-up and on new concepts as they were introduced, suggesting that older readers optimized their allocation of effort to linguistic computations for textbase construction within their processing capacity. Experiment 2 verified that conceptual integration training improved immediate recall among older readers as a consequence of engendering allocation to conceptual processing. PMID:19941199

  2. Cultural considerations in the criminal law: the sentencing process.

    PubMed

    Boehnlein, James K; Schaefer, Michele N; Bloom, Joseph D

    2005-01-01

    In forensic psychiatry, there is increasing recognition of the importance of culture and ethnicity in the criminal justice process as the population becomes more culturally diverse. However, there has been little consideration of the role of cultural factors in the trial process for criminal defendants, particularly in the sentencing phase of trial. Using a capital murder case study, this article explores the role of cultural forensic psychiatric consultation, focusing on the sentencing phase of trial as the place where the full scope and power of a cultural evaluation can be brought most effectively to the attention of the court. Cultural psychiatric perspectives can enrich a core forensic evaluation and be maximally helpful to the court, by exploring family dynamics and psychological health influenced by cultural history, immigrant and refugee experiences, and sociocultural environment. Specific recommendations and cautions for effective cultural consultation in forensic psychiatry are discussed.

  3. Adult age differences in the use of prosody for syntactic parsing and recall of spoken sentences.

    PubMed

    Wingfield, A; Wayland, S C; Stine, E A

    1992-09-01

    In this experiment, young and elderly adults listened to and recalled sentences that were varied in speech rate through computer-controlled time compression. Half of the sentences at each speech rate were presented with a normal prosodic pattern that reinforced the lexically defined syntactic structure of the sentences, and half were presented with a prosodic contour that conflicted with that structure. Both young and elderly subjects showed better recall for slower speech rates and when prosody was consistent with syntactic structure, but these effects were larger for elderly subjects. When syntax and prosody were placed in conflict, elderly subjects were more likely than the young to reconstruct the lexical content of the presented sentences to produce responses with a syntactic structure consistent with the prosody marking. Although elderly adults may be disadvantaged by rapid speech input rates, we show that they rely on normal prosody to aid syntactic parsing as a step toward language comprehension.

  4. Knowing a Lot for One's Age: Vocabulary Skill and Not Age Is Associated with Anticipatory Incremental Sentence Interpretation in Children and Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Borovsky, Arielle; Elman, Jeffrey L.; Fernald, Anne

    2012-01-01

    Adults can incrementally combine information from speech with astonishing speed to anticipate future words. Concurrently, a growing body of work suggests that vocabulary ability is crucially related to lexical processing skills in children. However, little is known about this relationship with predictive sentence processing in children or adults.…

  5. The Write Way. Book I. The Simple Sentence. Writing and Grammar Instruction for Indian Adults.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Tahlequah.

    This workbook is designed to teach American Indian adults how to write grammatically correct sentences by using mathematical-type formulae for writing and by recognizing the strong visual learning style exhibited by American Indians. It is particularly designed for Cherokee adult basic education students, incorporating their experiences, culture,…

  6. Priority Information Used for the Processing of Japanese Sentences: Thematic Roles, Case Particles or Grammatical Functions?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tamaoka, Katsuo; Sakai, Hiromu; Kawahara, Jun-ichiro; Miyaoka, Yayoi; Lim, Hyunjung; Koizumi, Masatoshi

    2005-01-01

    The present study investigated scrambling effects on the processing of Japanese sentences and priority information used among thematic roles, case particles and grammatical functions. Reaction times for correct sentence decisions were significantly prolonged for scrambled active sentences with transitive verbs in the first experiment and with…

  7. Is children's reading "good enough"? Links between online processing and comprehension as children read syntactically ambiguous sentences.

    PubMed

    Wonnacott, Elizabeth; Joseph, Holly S S L; Adelman, James S; Nation, Kate

    2016-01-01

    We monitored 8- and 10-year-old children's eye movements as they read sentences containing a temporary syntactic ambiguity to obtain a detailed record of their online processing. Children showed the classic garden-path effect in online processing. Their reading was disrupted following disambiguation, relative to control sentences containing a comma to block the ambiguity, although the disruption occurred somewhat later than would be expected for mature readers. We also asked children questions to probe their comprehension of the syntactic ambiguity offline. They made more errors following ambiguous sentences than following control sentences, demonstrating that the initial incorrect parse of the garden-path sentence influenced offline comprehension. These findings are consistent with "good enough" processing effects seen in adults. While faster reading times and more regressions were generally associated with better comprehension, spending longer reading the question predicted comprehension success specifically in the ambiguous condition. This suggests that reading the question prompted children to reconstruct the sentence and engage in some form of processing, which in turn increased the likelihood of comprehension success. Older children were more sensitive to the syntactic function of commas, and, overall, they were faster and more accurate than younger children.

  8. Elaboration over a Discourse Facilitates Retrieval in Sentence Processing.

    PubMed

    Troyer, Melissa; Hofmeister, Philip; Kutas, Marta

    2016-01-01

    Language comprehension requires access to stored knowledge and the ability to combine knowledge in new, meaningful ways. Previous work has shown that processing linguistically more complex expressions ('Texas cattle rancher' vs. 'rancher') leads to slow-downs in reading during initial processing, possibly reflecting effort in combining information. Conversely, when this information must subsequently be retrieved (as in filler-gap constructions), processing is facilitated for more complex expressions, possibly because more semantic cues are available during retrieval. To follow up on this hypothesis, we tested whether information distributed across a short discourse can similarly provide effective cues for retrieval. Participants read texts introducing two referents (e.g., two senators), one of whom was described in greater detail than the other (e.g., 'The Democrat had voted for one of the senators, and the Republican had voted for the other, a man from Ohio who was running for president'). The final sentence (e.g., 'The senator who the {Republican/Democrat}had voted for…') contained a relative clause picking out either the Many-Cue referent (with 'Republican') or the One-Cue referent (with 'Democrat'). We predicted facilitated retrieval (faster reading times) for the Many-Cue condition at the verb region ('had voted for'), where readers could understand that 'The senator' is the object of the verb. As predicted, this pattern was observed at the retrieval region and continued throughout the rest of the sentence. Participants also completed the Author/Magazine Recognition Tests (ART/MRT; Stanovich and West, 1989), providing a proxy for world knowledge. Since higher ART/MRT scores may index (a) greater experience accessing relevant knowledge and/or (b) richer/more highly structured representations in semantic memory, we predicted it would be positively associated with effects of elaboration on retrieval. We did not observe the predicted interaction between ART

  9. Elaboration over a Discourse Facilitates Retrieval in Sentence Processing.

    PubMed

    Troyer, Melissa; Hofmeister, Philip; Kutas, Marta

    2016-01-01

    Language comprehension requires access to stored knowledge and the ability to combine knowledge in new, meaningful ways. Previous work has shown that processing linguistically more complex expressions ('Texas cattle rancher' vs. 'rancher') leads to slow-downs in reading during initial processing, possibly reflecting effort in combining information. Conversely, when this information must subsequently be retrieved (as in filler-gap constructions), processing is facilitated for more complex expressions, possibly because more semantic cues are available during retrieval. To follow up on this hypothesis, we tested whether information distributed across a short discourse can similarly provide effective cues for retrieval. Participants read texts introducing two referents (e.g., two senators), one of whom was described in greater detail than the other (e.g., 'The Democrat had voted for one of the senators, and the Republican had voted for the other, a man from Ohio who was running for president'). The final sentence (e.g., 'The senator who the {Republican/Democrat}had voted for…') contained a relative clause picking out either the Many-Cue referent (with 'Republican') or the One-Cue referent (with 'Democrat'). We predicted facilitated retrieval (faster reading times) for the Many-Cue condition at the verb region ('had voted for'), where readers could understand that 'The senator' is the object of the verb. As predicted, this pattern was observed at the retrieval region and continued throughout the rest of the sentence. Participants also completed the Author/Magazine Recognition Tests (ART/MRT; Stanovich and West, 1989), providing a proxy for world knowledge. Since higher ART/MRT scores may index (a) greater experience accessing relevant knowledge and/or (b) richer/more highly structured representations in semantic memory, we predicted it would be positively associated with effects of elaboration on retrieval. We did not observe the predicted interaction between ART

  10. Elaboration over a Discourse Facilitates Retrieval in Sentence Processing

    PubMed Central

    Troyer, Melissa; Hofmeister, Philip; Kutas, Marta

    2016-01-01

    Language comprehension requires access to stored knowledge and the ability to combine knowledge in new, meaningful ways. Previous work has shown that processing linguistically more complex expressions (‘Texas cattle rancher’ vs. ‘rancher’) leads to slow-downs in reading during initial processing, possibly reflecting effort in combining information. Conversely, when this information must subsequently be retrieved (as in filler-gap constructions), processing is facilitated for more complex expressions, possibly because more semantic cues are available during retrieval. To follow up on this hypothesis, we tested whether information distributed across a short discourse can similarly provide effective cues for retrieval. Participants read texts introducing two referents (e.g., two senators), one of whom was described in greater detail than the other (e.g., ‘The Democrat had voted for one of the senators, and the Republican had voted for the other, a man from Ohio who was running for president’). The final sentence (e.g., ‘The senator who the {Republican/Democrat}had voted for…’) contained a relative clause picking out either the Many-Cue referent (with ‘Republican’) or the One-Cue referent (with ‘Democrat’). We predicted facilitated retrieval (faster reading times) for the Many-Cue condition at the verb region (‘had voted for’), where readers could understand that ‘The senator’ is the object of the verb. As predicted, this pattern was observed at the retrieval region and continued throughout the rest of the sentence. Participants also completed the Author/Magazine Recognition Tests (ART/MRT; Stanovich and West, 1989), providing a proxy for world knowledge. Since higher ART/MRT scores may index (a) greater experience accessing relevant knowledge and/or (b) richer/more highly structured representations in semantic memory, we predicted it would be positively associated with effects of elaboration on retrieval. We did not observe the

  11. Impact of Background Noise and Sentence Complexity on Processing Demands during Sentence Comprehension.

    PubMed

    Wendt, Dorothea; Dau, Torsten; Hjortkjær, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Speech comprehension in adverse listening conditions can be effortful even when speech is fully intelligible. Acoustical distortions typically make speech comprehension more effortful, but effort also depends on linguistic aspects of the speech signal, such as its syntactic complexity. In the present study, pupil dilations, and subjective effort ratings were recorded in 20 normal-hearing participants while performing a sentence comprehension task. The sentences were either syntactically simple (subject-first sentence structure) or complex (object-first sentence structure) and were presented in two levels of background noise both corresponding to high intelligibility. A digit span and a reading span test were used to assess individual differences in the participants' working memory capacity (WMC). The results showed that the subjectively rated effort was mostly affected by the noise level and less by syntactic complexity. Conversely, pupil dilations increased with syntactic complexity but only showed a small effect of the noise level. Participants with higher WMC showed increased pupil responses in the higher-level noise condition but rated sentence comprehension as being less effortful compared to participants with lower WMC. Overall, the results demonstrate that pupil dilations and subjectively rated effort represent different aspects of effort. Furthermore, the results indicate that effort can vary in situations with high speech intelligibility. PMID:27014152

  12. Impact of Background Noise and Sentence Complexity on Processing Demands during Sentence Comprehension.

    PubMed

    Wendt, Dorothea; Dau, Torsten; Hjortkjær, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Speech comprehension in adverse listening conditions can be effortful even when speech is fully intelligible. Acoustical distortions typically make speech comprehension more effortful, but effort also depends on linguistic aspects of the speech signal, such as its syntactic complexity. In the present study, pupil dilations, and subjective effort ratings were recorded in 20 normal-hearing participants while performing a sentence comprehension task. The sentences were either syntactically simple (subject-first sentence structure) or complex (object-first sentence structure) and were presented in two levels of background noise both corresponding to high intelligibility. A digit span and a reading span test were used to assess individual differences in the participants' working memory capacity (WMC). The results showed that the subjectively rated effort was mostly affected by the noise level and less by syntactic complexity. Conversely, pupil dilations increased with syntactic complexity but only showed a small effect of the noise level. Participants with higher WMC showed increased pupil responses in the higher-level noise condition but rated sentence comprehension as being less effortful compared to participants with lower WMC. Overall, the results demonstrate that pupil dilations and subjectively rated effort represent different aspects of effort. Furthermore, the results indicate that effort can vary in situations with high speech intelligibility.

  13. Impact of Background Noise and Sentence Complexity on Processing Demands during Sentence Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Wendt, Dorothea; Dau, Torsten; Hjortkjær, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Speech comprehension in adverse listening conditions can be effortful even when speech is fully intelligible. Acoustical distortions typically make speech comprehension more effortful, but effort also depends on linguistic aspects of the speech signal, such as its syntactic complexity. In the present study, pupil dilations, and subjective effort ratings were recorded in 20 normal-hearing participants while performing a sentence comprehension task. The sentences were either syntactically simple (subject-first sentence structure) or complex (object-first sentence structure) and were presented in two levels of background noise both corresponding to high intelligibility. A digit span and a reading span test were used to assess individual differences in the participants’ working memory capacity (WMC). The results showed that the subjectively rated effort was mostly affected by the noise level and less by syntactic complexity. Conversely, pupil dilations increased with syntactic complexity but only showed a small effect of the noise level. Participants with higher WMC showed increased pupil responses in the higher-level noise condition but rated sentence comprehension as being less effortful compared to participants with lower WMC. Overall, the results demonstrate that pupil dilations and subjectively rated effort represent different aspects of effort. Furthermore, the results indicate that effort can vary in situations with high speech intelligibility. PMID:27014152

  14. Effects of Context Type on Lipreading and Listening Performance and Implications for Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spehar, Brent; Goebel, Stacey; Tye-Murray, Nancy

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: This study compared the use of 2 different types of contextual cues (sentence based and situation based) in 2 different modalities (visual only and auditory only). Method: Twenty young adults were tested with the Illustrated Sentence Test (Tye-Murray, Hale, Spehar, Myerson, & Sommers, 2014) and the Speech Perception in Noise Test…

  15. Temporal cortex reflects effects of sentence context on phonetic processing

    PubMed Central

    Guediche, Sara; Salvata, Caden; Blumstein, Sheila E.

    2013-01-01

    Listeners’ perception of acoustically presented speech is constrained by many different sources of information that arise from other sensory modalities and from more abstract higher-level language context. An open question is how perceptual processes are influenced by and interact with these other sources of information. In this study, we use fMRI to examine the effect of a prior sentence-fragment meaning on the categorization of two possible target words that differ in an acoustic phonetic feature of the initial consonant, voice-onset time (VOT). Specifically, we manipulate the bias of the sentence context (biased, neutral) and the target type (ambiguous, unambiguous). Our results show that an interaction between these two factors emerged in a cluster in temporal cortex encompassing the left middle temporal gyrus and the superior temporal gyrus. The locus and pattern of these interactions support an interactive view of speech processing and suggest that both the quality of the input and the potential bias of the context together interact and modulate neural activation patterns. PMID:23281778

  16. Program Completion and Recidivism Outcomes among Adult Offenders Ordered to Complete a Community Service Sentence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bouffard, Jeffrey A.; Muftic, Lisa R.

    2006-01-01

    Relatively little research has examined the outcomes (either program completion or recidivism) of community service (CS) sentences among adult offenders in the United States, despite the fact that this form of alternative sanction has been employed in the United States for nearly 40 years. What little research exists, primarily from Europe,…

  17. The Real-Time Processing of Sluiced Sentences

    PubMed Central

    Wolfinger, Katie; Spellman, Lisa; Shapiro, Lewis P.

    2012-01-01

    Ellipsis refers to an element that is absent from the input but whose meaning can nonetheless be recovered from context. In this cross-modal priming study, we examined the online processing of Sluicing, an ellipsis whose antecedent is an entire clause: The handyman threw a book to the programmer but I don’t know which book the handyman threw to the programmerellipsis. To understand such an elliptical construction, the listener arguably must ‘fill in’ the missing material (“the handyman threw___ to the programmer”) based on that which occurs in the antecedent clause. We aimed to determine the point in time in which reconstruction of the sluiced sentence is attempted and whether such a complex antecedent is re-accessed by the ellipsis. Out of the two antecedent constituents for which we probed, only the Object (programmer) was found active in the elliptical clause, confirming that an antecedent is attributed to the sluice in real time. Possible reasons for the non-observation of the Subject (handyman) are considered. We also suggest that ellipses are detected earlier in coordinated than subordinated sentences. PMID:20229060

  18. Sentence processing selectivity in Broca’s area: evident for structure but not syntactic movement

    PubMed Central

    Almeida, Diogo; Sprouse, Jon; Hickok, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    The role of Broca’s area in sentence processing is hotly debated. Prominent hypotheses include that Broca’s area supports sentence comprehension via syntax-specific processes (“syntactic movement” in particular), hierarchical structure building or working memory. In the present fMRI study we adopt a within subject, across task approach using targeted sentence-level contrasts and non-sentential comparison tasks to address these hypotheses regarding the role of Broca’s area in sentence processing. For clarity, we have presented findings as three experiments: (i) Experiment 1 examines selectivity for a particular type of sentence construction, namely those containing syntactic movement. Standard syntactic movement distance effects in Broca’s area were replicated but no difference was found between movement and non-movement sentences in Broca’s area at the group level or consistently in individual subjects. (ii) Experiment 2 examines selectivity for sentences versus non-sentences, to assess claims regarding the role of Broca’s area in hierarchical structure building. Group and individual results differ, but both identify subregions of Broca’s area that are selective for sentence structure. (iii) Experiment 3 assesses whether activations in Broca’s area are selective for sentences when contrasted with simple subvocal articulation. Group results suggest shared resources for sentence processing and articulation in Broca’s area, but individual subject analyses contradict this finding. We conclude that Broca’s area is not selectively involved in processing syntactic movement, but that subregions are selectively responsive to sentence structure. Our findings also reinforce Fedorenko & Kanwishser’s call for the use of more individual subject analyses in functional imaging studies of sentence processing in Broca’s area, as group findings can obscure selective response patterns. PMID:27135039

  19. Correctional Sentence Plan: A Pathway to Adult Correctional Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mokoele, Matata

    2016-01-01

    In this essay, Matata Mokoele reflects on the importance of prisoner education, and notes that what is missing is official recognition of this or adult-specific components outlining an upper secondary school adult education diploma entitling holders to apply for higher education. Studies reporting a correlation between greater education and lower…

  20. Does the punishment fit the crime? Judicial sentencing in adolescent and adult sexual assault cases.

    PubMed

    Du Mont, Janice; Forte, Tania; Badgley, Robin F

    2007-12-01

    This is the first Canadian study to focus directly on whether factors commonly identified as reflecting the seriousness of a sexual assault are noted by judges, and in turn, related to the severity of the sentences they impose. We examined adolescent and adult female sexual assault cases heard in Ontario between 1993 and 2001. Two hundred twenty-one cases were identified using Quicklaw, Canada's most comprehensive on-line legal information system, with data extracted onto a coding instrument. In 201 (91%) of these cases, a perpetrator had been sentenced to prison or jail. Judges reported that in a substantial proportion of these women they had been penetrated (67%), forced (49%), coerced (50%), physically injured (33%), and psychologically harmed (65%). However, only two of the six offence seriousness factors examined were associated with a prison versus jail sentence: the occurrence of vaginal and/or anal penetration and the threat or use of a weapon(s).

  1. Does the punishment fit the crime? Judicial sentencing in adolescent and adult sexual assault cases.

    PubMed

    Du Mont, Janice; Forte, Tania; Badgley, Robin F

    2008-06-01

    This is the first Canadian study to focus directly on whether factors commonly identified as reflecting the seriousness of a sexual assault are noted by judges, and in turn, related to the severity of the sentences they impose. We examined adolescent and adult female sexual assault cases heard in Ontario between 1993 and 2001. Two hundred twenty-one cases were identified using Quicklaw, Canada's most comprehensive on-line legal information system, with data extracted onto a coding instrument. In 201 (91%) of these cases, a perpetrator had been sentenced to prison or jail. Judges reported that in a substantial proportion of these women they had been penetrated (67%), forced (49%), coerced (50%), physically injured (33%), and psychologically harmed (65%). However, only two of the six offence seriousness factors examined were associated with a prison versus jail sentence: the occurrence of vaginal and/or anal penetration and the threat or use of a weapon(s).

  2. The Time Course of Verb Processing in Dutch Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Goede, Dieuwke; Shapiro, Lewis P.; Wester, Femke; Swinney, David A.; Bastiaanse, Roelien

    2009-01-01

    The verb has traditionally been characterized as the central element in a sentence. Nevertheless, the exact role of the verb during the actual ongoing comprehension of a sentence as it unfolds in time remains largely unknown. This paper reports the results of two Cross-Modal Lexical Priming (CMLP) experiments detailing the pattern of verb priming…

  3. The time-course and spatial distribution of brain activity associated with sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Brennan, Jonathan; Pylkkänen, Liina

    2012-04-01

    Sentence comprehension involves a host of highly interrelated processes, including syntactic parsing, semantic composition, and pragmatic inferencing. In neuroimaging, a primary paradigm for examining the brain bases of sentence processing has been to compare brain activity elicited by sentences versus unstructured lists of words. These studies commonly find an effect of increased activity for sentences in the anterior temporal lobes (aTL). Together with neuropsychological data, these findings have motivated the hypothesis that the aTL is engaged in sentence level combinatorics. Combinatoric processing during language comprehension, however, occurs within tens and hundreds of milliseconds, i.e., at a time-scale much faster than the temporal resolution of hemodynamic measures. Here, we examined the time-course of sentence-level processing using magnetoencephalography (MEG) to better understand the temporal profile of activation in this common paradigm and to test a key prediction of the combinatoric hypothesis: because sentences are interpreted incrementally, word-by-word, activity associated with basic linguistic combinatorics should be time-locked to word-presentation. Our results reveal increased anterior temporal activity for sentences compared to word lists beginning approximately 250 ms after word onset. We also observed increased activation in a network of other brain areas, extending across posterior temporal, inferior frontal, and ventral medial areas. These findings confirm a key prediction of the combinatoric hypothesis for the aTL and further elucidate the spatio-temporal characteristics of sentence-level computations in the brain.

  4. The time-course and spatial distribution of brain activity associated with sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Brennan, Jonathan; Pylkkänen, Liina

    2012-04-01

    Sentence comprehension involves a host of highly interrelated processes, including syntactic parsing, semantic composition, and pragmatic inferencing. In neuroimaging, a primary paradigm for examining the brain bases of sentence processing has been to compare brain activity elicited by sentences versus unstructured lists of words. These studies commonly find an effect of increased activity for sentences in the anterior temporal lobes (aTL). Together with neuropsychological data, these findings have motivated the hypothesis that the aTL is engaged in sentence level combinatorics. Combinatoric processing during language comprehension, however, occurs within tens and hundreds of milliseconds, i.e., at a time-scale much faster than the temporal resolution of hemodynamic measures. Here, we examined the time-course of sentence-level processing using magnetoencephalography (MEG) to better understand the temporal profile of activation in this common paradigm and to test a key prediction of the combinatoric hypothesis: because sentences are interpreted incrementally, word-by-word, activity associated with basic linguistic combinatorics should be time-locked to word-presentation. Our results reveal increased anterior temporal activity for sentences compared to word lists beginning approximately 250 ms after word onset. We also observed increased activation in a network of other brain areas, extending across posterior temporal, inferior frontal, and ventral medial areas. These findings confirm a key prediction of the combinatoric hypothesis for the aTL and further elucidate the spatio-temporal characteristics of sentence-level computations in the brain. PMID:22248581

  5. Reading Development Electrified: Semantic and Syntactic Integration during Sentence Comprehension in School-Age Children and Young Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    VanDyke, Justine M.

    2011-01-01

    Adults are able to access semantic and syntactic information rapidly as they hear or read in real-time in order to interpret sentences. Young children, on the other hand, tend to rely on syntactically-based parsing routines, adopting the first noun as the agent of a sentence regardless of plausibility, at least during oral comprehension. Little is…

  6. Parametric Effects of Syntactic-Semantic Conflict in Broca's Area during Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thothathiri, Malathi; Kim, Albert; Trueswell, John C.; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L.

    2012-01-01

    The hypothesized role of Broca's area in sentence processing ranges from domain-general executive function to domain-specific computation that is specific to certain syntactic structures. We examined this issue by manipulating syntactic structure and conflict between syntactic and semantic cues in a sentence processing task. Functional…

  7. Propositional Integration and World-Knowledge Inference: Processes in Understanding "Because" Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cozijn, Reinier; Noordman, Leo G. M.; Vonk, Wietske

    2011-01-01

    The issue addressed in this study is whether propositional integration and world-knowledge inference can be distinguished as separate processes during the comprehension of Dutch "omdat" (because) sentences. "Propositional integration" refers to the process by which the reader establishes the type of relation between two clauses or sentences.…

  8. Sentence Processing in Lewy Body Spectrum Disorder: The Role of Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gross, Rachel G.; McMillan, Corey T.; Chandrasekaran, Keerthi; Dreyfuss, Michael; Ash, Sharon; Avants, Brian; Cook, Philip; Moore, Peachie; Libon, David J.; Siderowf, Andrew; Grossman, Murray

    2012-01-01

    Prior work has related sentence processing to executive deficits in non-demented patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). We extended this investigation to patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and PD dementia (PDD) by examining grammatical and working memory components of sentence processing in the full range of patients with Lewy body…

  9. Prosodic Boundaries Delay the Processing of Upcoming Lexical Information during Silent Sentence Reading

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luo, Yingyi; Yan, Ming; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2013-01-01

    Prosodic boundaries can be used to guide syntactic parsing in both spoken and written sentence comprehension, but it is unknown whether the processing of prosodic boundaries affects the processing of upcoming lexical information. In 3 eye-tracking experiments, participants read silently sentences that allow for 2 possible syntactic interpretations…

  10. How Hearing Impairment Affects Sentence Comprehension: Using Eye Fixations to Investigate the Duration of Speech Processing

    PubMed Central

    Kollmeier, Birger; Brand, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The main objective of this study was to investigate the extent to which hearing impairment influences the duration of sentence processing. An eye-tracking paradigm is introduced that provides an online measure of how hearing impairment prolongs processing of linguistically complex sentences; this measure uses eye fixations recorded while the participant listens to a sentence. Eye fixations toward a target picture (which matches the aurally presented sentence) were measured in the presence of a competitor picture. Based on the recorded eye fixations, the single target detection amplitude, which reflects the tendency of the participant to fixate the target picture, was used as a metric to estimate the duration of sentence processing. The single target detection amplitude was calculated for sentence structures with different levels of linguistic complexity and for different listening conditions: in quiet and in two different noise conditions. Participants with hearing impairment spent more time processing sentences, even at high levels of speech intelligibility. In addition, the relationship between the proposed online measure and listener-specific factors, such as hearing aid use and cognitive abilities, was investigated. Longer processing durations were measured for participants with hearing impairment who were not accustomed to using a hearing aid. Moreover, significant correlations were found between sentence processing duration and individual cognitive abilities (such as working memory capacity or susceptibility to interference). These findings are discussed with respect to audiological applications. PMID:25910503

  11. Higher Language Ability is Related to Angular Gyrus Activation Increase During Semantic Processing, Independent of Sentence Incongruency

    PubMed Central

    Van Ettinger-Veenstra, Helene; McAllister, Anita; Lundberg, Peter; Karlsson, Thomas; Engström, Maria

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates the relation between individual language ability and neural semantic processing abilities. Our aim was to explore whether high-level language ability would correlate to decreased activation in language-specific regions or rather increased activation in supporting language regions during processing of sentences. Moreover, we were interested if observed neural activation patterns are modulated by semantic incongruency similarly to previously observed changes upon syntactic congruency modulation. We investigated 27 healthy adults with a sentence reading task—which tapped language comprehension and inference, and modulated sentence congruency—employing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We assessed the relation between neural activation, congruency modulation, and test performance on a high-level language ability assessment with multiple regression analysis. Our results showed increased activation in the left-hemispheric angular gyrus extending to the temporal lobe related to high language ability. This effect was independent of semantic congruency, and no significant relation between language ability and incongruency modulation was observed. Furthermore, there was a significant increase of activation in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) bilaterally when the sentences were incongruent, indicating that processing incongruent sentences was more demanding than processing congruent sentences and required increased activation in language regions. The correlation of high-level language ability with increased rather than decreased activation in the left angular gyrus, a region specific for language processing, is opposed to what the neural efficiency hypothesis would predict. We can conclude that no evidence is found for an interaction between semantic congruency related brain activation and high-level language performance, even though the semantic incongruent condition shows to be more demanding and evoking more neural activation. PMID

  12. Higher Language Ability is Related to Angular Gyrus Activation Increase During Semantic Processing, Independent of Sentence Incongruency.

    PubMed

    Van Ettinger-Veenstra, Helene; McAllister, Anita; Lundberg, Peter; Karlsson, Thomas; Engström, Maria

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates the relation between individual language ability and neural semantic processing abilities. Our aim was to explore whether high-level language ability would correlate to decreased activation in language-specific regions or rather increased activation in supporting language regions during processing of sentences. Moreover, we were interested if observed neural activation patterns are modulated by semantic incongruency similarly to previously observed changes upon syntactic congruency modulation. We investigated 27 healthy adults with a sentence reading task-which tapped language comprehension and inference, and modulated sentence congruency-employing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We assessed the relation between neural activation, congruency modulation, and test performance on a high-level language ability assessment with multiple regression analysis. Our results showed increased activation in the left-hemispheric angular gyrus extending to the temporal lobe related to high language ability. This effect was independent of semantic congruency, and no significant relation between language ability and incongruency modulation was observed. Furthermore, there was a significant increase of activation in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) bilaterally when the sentences were incongruent, indicating that processing incongruent sentences was more demanding than processing congruent sentences and required increased activation in language regions. The correlation of high-level language ability with increased rather than decreased activation in the left angular gyrus, a region specific for language processing, is opposed to what the neural efficiency hypothesis would predict. We can conclude that no evidence is found for an interaction between semantic congruency related brain activation and high-level language performance, even though the semantic incongruent condition shows to be more demanding and evoking more neural activation. PMID

  13. Children’s assignment of grammatical roles in the online processing of Mandarin passive sentences

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yi Ting; Zheng, Xiaobei; Meng, Xiangzhi; Snedeker, Jesse

    2013-01-01

    Children’s difficulty understanding passives in English has been attributed to the syntactic complexity, overall frequency, cue reliability, and/or incremental processing of this construction. To understand the role of these factors, we used the visual-world paradigm to examine comprehension in Mandarin Chinese where passives are infrequent but signaled by a highly valid marker (BEI). Eye-movements during sentences indicated that these markers triggered incremental role assignments in adults and 5-year-olds. Actions after sentences indicated that passives were often misinterpreted as actives when markers appeared after the referential noun (“Seal BEI it eat” → The seal is eaten by it). However, they were more likely to be interpreted correctly when markers appeared before (“It BEI seal eat” → It is eaten by the seal). The actions and the eye-movements suggest that for both adults and children, interpretations of passive are easier when they do not require revision of an earlier role assignment. PMID:24376303

  14. Neural basis of first and second language processing of sentence-level linguistic prosody.

    PubMed

    Gandour, Jackson; Tong, Yunxia; Talavage, Thomas; Wong, Donald; Dzemidzic, Mario; Xu, Yisheng; Li, Xiaojian; Lowe, Mark

    2007-02-01

    A fundamental question in multilingualism is whether the neural substrates are shared or segregated for the two or more languages spoken by polyglots. This study employs functional MRI to investigate the neural substrates underlying the perception of two sentence-level prosodic phenomena that occur in both Mandarin Chinese (L1) and English (L2): sentence focus (sentence-initial vs. -final position of contrastive stress) and sentence type (declarative vs. interrogative modality). Late-onset, medium proficiency Chinese-English bilinguals were asked to selectively attend to either sentence focus or sentence type in paired three-word sentences in both L1 and L2 and make speeded-response discrimination judgments. L1 and L2 elicited highly overlapping activations in frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes. Furthermore, region of interest analyses revealed that for both languages the sentence focus task elicited a leftward asymmetry in the supramarginal gyrus; both tasks elicited a rightward asymmetry in the mid-portion of the middle frontal gyrus. A direct comparison between L1 and L2 did not show any difference in brain activation in the sentence type task. In the sentence focus task, however, greater activation for L2 than L1 occurred in the bilateral anterior insula and superior frontal sulcus. The sentence focus task also elicited a leftward asymmetry in the posterior middle temporal gyrus for L1 only. Differential activation patterns are attributed primarily to disparities between L1 and L2 in the phonetic manifestation of sentence focus. Such phonetic divergences lead to increased computational demands for processing L2. These findings support the view that L1 and L2 are mediated by a unitary neural system despite late age of acquisition, although additional neural resources may be required in task-specific circumstances for unequal bilinguals. PMID:16718651

  15. Neural basis of first and second language processing of sentence-level linguistic prosody.

    PubMed

    Gandour, Jackson; Tong, Yunxia; Talavage, Thomas; Wong, Donald; Dzemidzic, Mario; Xu, Yisheng; Li, Xiaojian; Lowe, Mark

    2007-02-01

    A fundamental question in multilingualism is whether the neural substrates are shared or segregated for the two or more languages spoken by polyglots. This study employs functional MRI to investigate the neural substrates underlying the perception of two sentence-level prosodic phenomena that occur in both Mandarin Chinese (L1) and English (L2): sentence focus (sentence-initial vs. -final position of contrastive stress) and sentence type (declarative vs. interrogative modality). Late-onset, medium proficiency Chinese-English bilinguals were asked to selectively attend to either sentence focus or sentence type in paired three-word sentences in both L1 and L2 and make speeded-response discrimination judgments. L1 and L2 elicited highly overlapping activations in frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes. Furthermore, region of interest analyses revealed that for both languages the sentence focus task elicited a leftward asymmetry in the supramarginal gyrus; both tasks elicited a rightward asymmetry in the mid-portion of the middle frontal gyrus. A direct comparison between L1 and L2 did not show any difference in brain activation in the sentence type task. In the sentence focus task, however, greater activation for L2 than L1 occurred in the bilateral anterior insula and superior frontal sulcus. The sentence focus task also elicited a leftward asymmetry in the posterior middle temporal gyrus for L1 only. Differential activation patterns are attributed primarily to disparities between L1 and L2 in the phonetic manifestation of sentence focus. Such phonetic divergences lead to increased computational demands for processing L2. These findings support the view that L1 and L2 are mediated by a unitary neural system despite late age of acquisition, although additional neural resources may be required in task-specific circumstances for unequal bilinguals.

  16. Eye movements and the perceptual span during first- and second-language sentence reading in bilingual older adults.

    PubMed

    Whitford, Veronica; Titone, Debra

    2016-02-01

    This study addressed a central yet previously unexplored issue in the psychological science of aging, namely, whether the advantages of healthy aging (e.g., greater lifelong experience with language) or disadvantages (e.g., decreases in cognitive and sensory processing) drive L1 and L2 reading performance in bilingual older adults. To this end, we used a gaze-contingent moving window paradigm to examine both global aspects of reading fluency (e.g., reading rates, number of regressions) and the perceptual span (i.e., allocation of visual attention into the parafovea) in bilingual older adults during L1 and L2 sentence reading, as a function of individual differences in current L2 experience. Across the L1 and L2, older adults exhibited reduced reading fluency (e.g., slower reading rates, more regressions), but a similar perceptual span compared with matched younger adults. Also similar to matched younger adults, older adults' reading fluency was lower for L2 reading than for L1 reading as a function of current L2 experience. Specifically, greater current L2 experience increased L2 reading fluency, but decreased L1 reading fluency (for global reading measures only). Taken together, the dissociation between intact perceptual span and impaired global reading measures suggests that older adults may prioritize parafoveal processing despite age-related encoding difficulties. Consistent with this interpretation, post hoc analyses revealed that older adults with higher versus lower executive control were more likely to adopt this strategy. PMID:26866589

  17. Processing Advantages of Lexical Bundles: Evidence from Self-Paced Reading and Sentence Recall Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tremblay, Antoine; Derwing, Bruce; Libben, Gary; Westbury, Chris

    2011-01-01

    This article examines the extent to which lexical bundles (LBs; i.e., frequently recurring strings of words that often span traditional syntactic boundaries) are stored and processed holistically. Three self-paced reading experiments compared sentences containing LBs (e.g., "in the middle of the") and matched control sentence fragments (e.g., "in…

  18. Verb Agreements during On-Line Sentence Processing in Alzheimer's Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Price, C.C.; Grossman, M.

    2005-01-01

    An on-line ''word detection'' paradigm was used to assess the comprehension of thematic and transitive verb agreements during sentence processing in individuals diagnosed with probable Alzheimer's Disease (AD, n=15) and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD, n=14). AD, FTD, and control participants (n=17) were asked to listen for a word in a sentence.…

  19. Eye-Movement Patterns of Readers with Down Syndrome during Sentence-Processing: An Exploratory Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frenck-Mestre, Cheryl; Zardan, Nathalie; Colas, Annie; Ghio, Alain

    2010-01-01

    Eye movements were examined to determine how readers with Down syndrome process sentences online. Participants were 9 individuals with Down syndrome ranging in reading level from Grades 1 to 3 and a reading-level-matched control group. For syntactically simple sentences, the pattern of reading times was similar for the two groups, with longer…

  20. Disfluencies along the Garden Path: Brain Electrophysiological Evidence of Disrupted Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maxfield, Nathan D.; Lyon, Justine M.; Silliman, Elaine R.

    2009-01-01

    Bailey and Ferreira (2003) hypothesized and reported behavioral evidence that disfluencies (filled and silent pauses) undesirably affect sentence processing when they appear before disambiguating verbs in Garden Path (GP) sentences. Disfluencies here cause the parser to "linger" on, and apparently accept as correct, an erroneous parse. Critically,…

  1. Children's Verbal Working Memory: Role of Processing Complexity in Predicting Spoken Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magimairaj, Beula M.; Montgomery, James W.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: This study investigated the role of processing complexity of verbal working memory tasks in predicting spoken sentence comprehension in typically developing children. Of interest was whether simple and more complex working memory tasks have similar or different power in predicting sentence comprehension. Method: Sixty-five children (6- to…

  2. Constructive Processing of Sentences: A Simulation Model of Encoding and Retrieval.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, James R.

    1981-01-01

    Presents a computer simulation testing semantic networks and spreading activation models of human memory. Describes how a sentence is encoded by building a working memory structure from its words and from semantic memory concepts related to its meaning. Retrieval processes use cue words or sentences to locate working memory structures. (Author/MES)

  3. An Activation-Based Model of Sentence Processing as Skilled Memory Retrieval

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Richard L.; Vasishth, Shravan

    2005-01-01

    We present a detailed process theory of the moment-by-moment working-memory retrievals and associated control structure that subserve sentence comprehension. The theory is derived from the application of independently motivated principles of memory and cognitive skill to the specialized task of sentence parsing. The resulting theory construes…

  4. Interference Effects From Grammatically Unavailable Constituents During Sentence Processing

    PubMed Central

    Van Dyke, Julie A.

    2007-01-01

    Evidence from 3 experiments reveals interference effects from structural relationships that are inconsistent with any grammatical parse of the perceived input. Processing disruption was observed when items occurring between a head and a dependent overlapped with either (or both) syntactic or semantic features of the dependent. Effects of syntactic interference occur in the earliest online measures in the region where the retrieval of a long-distance dependent occurs. Semantic interference effects occur in later online measures at the end of the sentence. Both effects endure in offline comprehension measures, suggesting that interfering items participate in incorrect interpretations that resist reanalysis. The data are discussed in terms of a cue-based retrieval account of parsing, which reconciles the fact that the parser must violate the grammar in order for these interference effects to occur. Broader implications of this research indicate a need for a precise specification of the interface between the parsing mechanism and the memory system that supports language comprehension. PMID:17352621

  5. Selective Attention to Semantic and Syntactic Features Modulates Sentence Processing Networks in Anterior Temporal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Rogalsky, Corianne

    2009-01-01

    Numerous studies have identified an anterior temporal lobe (ATL) region that responds preferentially to sentence-level stimuli. It is unclear, however, whether this activity reflects a response to syntactic computations or some form of semantic integration. This distinction is difficult to investigate with the stimulus manipulations and anomaly detection paradigms traditionally implemented. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study addresses this question via a selective attention paradigm. Subjects monitored for occasional semantic anomalies or occasional syntactic errors, thus directing their attention to semantic integration, or syntactic properties of the sentences. The hemodynamic response in the sentence-selective ATL region (defined with a localizer scan) was examined during anomaly/error-free sentences only, to avoid confounds due to error detection. The majority of the sentence-specific region of interest was equally modulated by attention to syntactic or compositional semantic features, whereas a smaller subregion was only modulated by the semantic task. We suggest that the sentence-specific ATL region is sensitive to both syntactic and integrative semantic functions during sentence processing, with a smaller portion of this area preferentially involved in the later. This study also suggests that selective attention paradigms may be effective tools to investigate the functional diversity of networks involved in sentence processing. PMID:18669589

  6. The Role of Island Constraints in Second Language Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Eunah; Baek, Soondo; Tremblay, Annie

    2015-01-01

    This study investigates whether adult second language learners' online processing of "wh"-dependencies is constrained by island constraints on movement. Proficiency-matched Spanish and Korean learners of English completed a grammaticality judgment task and a stop-making-sense task designed to examine their knowledge of the relative…

  7. Remediation of sentence processing deficits in aphasia using a computer-based microworld.

    PubMed

    Crerar, M A; Ellis, A W; Dean, E C

    1996-01-01

    Byng (1988) has argued that some aphasic patients who show problems in sentence comprehension are unable to "map" a syntactic analysis of the sentence form onto the thematic roles specified by the verb or preposition in the sentence. In Byng's study, therapy aimed at improving the mapping process as applied to sentences containing locative prepositions led to improvements not only in the comprehension of such sentences but also in the comprehension of reversible verb sentences. In the present study, 14 aphasic patients were selected for having problems with sentence-picture matching involving reversible verb and preposition sentences. These problems were shown to be stable across three pre-intervention assessments. All assessments were computer-based and involved the matching of written sentences to pictures. A small vocabulary was used in assessment and therapy which involved a "microworld" of three characters (ball, box, and star) which could engage in a limited number of actions and could occupy a limited set of spatial relationships. Before therapy began, all the patients were given an assessment battery which included a 40-item Verb Test and a 40-item Preposition Test. The patients were then divided into two groups, A and B. Group A received two 1-hr sessions of therapy per week for 3 weeks aimed at improving the comprehension of verb sentences, then a second full assessment, followed by the same amount of therapy aimed at improving the comprehension of preposition sentences, and finally a third assessment. Group B received the preposition therapy first, followed by the verb therapy. The therapy involved the patient and therapist interacting with the computer, either assembling pictures to match written sentences ("picture-building mode") or assembling sentences to match pictures ("sentence-building mode"). Group A showed a classical "cross-over" treatment outcome. Performance on treated verb sentences improved during verb therapy and was retained when therapy

  8. Honorifics: A Sociocultural Verb Agreement Cue in Japanese Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yoshimura, Yuki; MacWhinney, Brian

    2010-01-01

    Case marking is the major cue to sentence interpretation in Japanese, whereas animacy and word order are much weaker. However, when subjects and their cases markers are omitted, Japanese honorific and humble verbs can provide information that compensates for the missing case role markers. This study examined the usage of honorific and humble verbs…

  9. Task Difficulty Differentially Affects Two Measures of Processing Load: The Pupil Response during Sentence Processing and Delayed Cued Recall of the Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zekveld, Adriana A.; Festen, Joost M.; Kramer, Kramera

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: In this study, the authors assessed the influence of masking level (29% or 71% sentence perception) and test modality on the processing load during language perception as reflected by the pupil response. In addition, the authors administered a delayed cued stimulus recall test to examine whether processing load affected the encoding of…

  10. Sentence processing in an artificial language: Learning and using combinatorial constraints.

    PubMed

    Amato, Michael S; MacDonald, Maryellen C

    2010-07-01

    A study combining artificial grammar and sentence comprehension methods investigated the learning and online use of probabilistic, nonadjacent combinatorial constraints. Participants learned a small artificial language describing cartoon monsters acting on objects. Self-paced reading of sentences in the artificial language revealed comprehenders' sensitivity to nonadjacent combinatorial constraints, without explicit awareness of the probabilities embedded in the language. These results show that even newly-learned constraints have an identifiable effect on online sentence processing. The rapidity of learning in this paradigm relative to others has implications for theories of implicit learning and its role in language acquisition.

  11. Prosodic boundaries delay the processing of upcoming lexical information during silent sentence reading.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yingyi; Yan, Ming; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2013-05-01

    Prosodic boundaries can be used to guide syntactic parsing in both spoken and written sentence comprehension, but it is unknown whether the processing of prosodic boundaries affects the processing of upcoming lexical information. In 3 eye-tracking experiments, participants read silently sentences that allow for 2 possible syntactic interpretations when there is no comma or other cue specifying which interpretation should be taken. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants heard a low-pass filtered auditory version of the sentence, which provided a prosodic boundary cue prior to each sentence. In Experiment 1, we found that the boundary cue helped syntactic disambiguation after the cue and led to longer fixation durations on regions right before the cue than on identical regions without prosodic boundary information. In Experiments 2 and 3, we used a gaze-contingent display-change paradigm to manipulate the parafoveal visibility of the first constituent character of the target word after the disambiguating position. Results of Experiment 2 showed that previewing the first character significantly reduced the reading time of the target word, but this preview benefit was greatly reduced when the prosodic boundary cue was introduced at this position. In Experiment 3, instead of the acoustic cues, a visually presented comma was inserted at the disambiguating position in each sentence. Results showed that the comma effect on lexical processing was essentially the same as the effect of prosodic boundary cue. These findings demonstrate that processing a prosodic boundary could impair the processing of parafoveal information during sentence reading.

  12. The effect of noun animacy on the processing of unambiguous sentences: evidence from French relative clauses.

    PubMed

    Baudiffier, Vanessa; Caplan, David; Gaonac'h, Daniel; Chesnet, David

    2011-10-01

    Two experiments, one using self-paced reading and one using eye tracking, investigated the influence of noun animacy on the processing of subject relative (SR) clauses, object relative (OR) clauses, and object relative clauses with stylistic inversion (OR-SI) in French. Each sentence type was presented in two versions: either with an animate relative clause (RC) subject and an inanimate object (AS/IO), or with an inanimate RC subject and an animate object (IS/AO). There was an interaction between the RC structure and noun animacy. The advantage of SR sentences over OR and OR-SI sentences disappeared in AS/IO sentences. The interaction between animacy and structure occurred in self-paced reading times and in total fixation times on the RCs, but not in first-pass reading times. The results are consistent with a late interaction between animacy and structural processing during parsing and provide data relevant to several models of parsing.

  13. Searching for the Trace: The Influence of Age, Lexical Activation and Working Memory on Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Angwin, Anthony J.; Chenery, Helen J.; Copland, David A.; Cardell, Elizabeth A.; Murdoch, Bruce E.; Ingram, John C. L.

    2006-01-01

    To investigate the stability of trace reactivation in healthy older adults, 22 older volunteers with no significant neurological history participated in a cross-modal priming task. Whilst both object relative center embedded (ORC) and object relative right branching (ORR) sentences were employed, working memory load was reduced by limiting the…

  14. Anticipatory Sentence Processing in Children with Specific Language Impairment: Evidence from Eye Movements during Listening

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andreu, Llorenc; Sanz-Torrent, Monica; Trueswell, John C.

    2013-01-01

    Twenty-five children with specific language impairment (SLI; age 5 years, 3 months [5;3]-8;2), 50 typically developing children (3;3-8;2), and 31 normal adults participated in three eye-tracking experiments of spoken language comprehension that were designed to investigate the use of verb information during real-time sentence comprehension in…

  15. Processing noncanonical sentences in broca's region: reflections of movement distance and type.

    PubMed

    Makuuchi, Michiru; Grodzinsky, Yosef; Amunts, Katrin; Santi, Andrea; Friederici, Angela D

    2013-03-01

    Various noncanonical sentence constructions are derived from basic sentence structures by a phrase displacement called Movement. The moved phrase (filler) leaves a silent copy at the extracted position (gap) and is reactivated when the hearer/reader passes over the gap. Consequently, memory operations are assumed to occur to establish the filler-gap link. For languages that have a relatively free word order like German, a distinct linguistic operation called Scrambling is proposed. Although Movement and Scrambling are assumed to be different linguistic operations, they both involve memory prone filler-gap processes. To clarify whether filler-gap memory processes in Scrambling and Movement differ neuroanatomically, we designed a functional magnetic resonance imaging study and compared the effect of memory load parameterized by filler-gap distance in the 2 sentence types. Here, we show that processing of the 2 sentence types commonly relies on a left hemispheric network consisting of the inferior frontal gyrus, middle part of the middle temporal gyrus, and intraparietal sulcus. However, we found differences for the 2 sentence types in the linearity of filler-gap distance effect. Thus, the present results suggest that the same neural substrate supports the memory processes of sentences constructed by Movement and Scrambling, although differentially modulated by memory load.

  16. Young Children with ASD Use Lexical and Referential Information During On-line Sentence Processing

    PubMed Central

    Bavin, Edith L.; Kidd, Evan; Prendergast, Luke A.; Baker, Emma K.

    2016-01-01

    Research with adults and older children indicates that verb biases are strong influences on listeners’ interpretations when processing sentences, but they can be overruled. In this paper, we ask two questions: (i) are children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are high functioning sensitive to verb biases like their same age typically developing peers?, and (ii) do young children with ASD and young children with typical development (TD) override strong verb biases to consider alternative interpretations of ambiguous sentences? Participants were aged 5–9 years (mean age 6.65 years): children with ASD who were high functioning and children with TD. In task 1, biasing and neutral verbs were included (e.g., eat cake versus move cake). In task 2, the focus was on whether the prepositional phrase occurring with an instrument biasing verb (e.g., ‘Chop the tree with the axe’) was interpreted as an instrument even if the named item was an implausible instrument (e.g., candle in ‘Cut the cake with the candle’). Overall, the results showed similarities between groups but the ASD group was generally slower. In task 1, both groups looked at the named object faster in the biasing than the non-biasing condition, and in the biasing condition the ASD group looked away from the target more quickly than the TD group. In task 2, both groups identified the target in the prepositional phrase. They were more likely to override the verb instrument bias and consider the alternative (modification) interpretation in the implausible condition (e.g., looking at the picture of a cake with a candle on it’). Our findings indicate that children of age 5 years and above can use context to override verb biases. Additionally, an important component of the sentence processing mechanism is largely intact for young children with ASD who are high functioning. Like children with TD, they draw on verb semantics and plausibility in integrating information. However, they are likely to be

  17. Young Children with ASD Use Lexical and Referential Information During On-line Sentence Processing.

    PubMed

    Bavin, Edith L; Kidd, Evan; Prendergast, Luke A; Baker, Emma K

    2016-01-01

    Research with adults and older children indicates that verb biases are strong influences on listeners' interpretations when processing sentences, but they can be overruled. In this paper, we ask two questions: (i) are children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are high functioning sensitive to verb biases like their same age typically developing peers?, and (ii) do young children with ASD and young children with typical development (TD) override strong verb biases to consider alternative interpretations of ambiguous sentences? Participants were aged 5-9 years (mean age 6.65 years): children with ASD who were high functioning and children with TD. In task 1, biasing and neutral verbs were included (e.g., eat cake versus move cake). In task 2, the focus was on whether the prepositional phrase occurring with an instrument biasing verb (e.g., 'Chop the tree with the axe') was interpreted as an instrument even if the named item was an implausible instrument (e.g., candle in 'Cut the cake with the candle'). Overall, the results showed similarities between groups but the ASD group was generally slower. In task 1, both groups looked at the named object faster in the biasing than the non-biasing condition, and in the biasing condition the ASD group looked away from the target more quickly than the TD group. In task 2, both groups identified the target in the prepositional phrase. They were more likely to override the verb instrument bias and consider the alternative (modification) interpretation in the implausible condition (e.g., looking at the picture of a cake with a candle on it'). Our findings indicate that children of age 5 years and above can use context to override verb biases. Additionally, an important component of the sentence processing mechanism is largely intact for young children with ASD who are high functioning. Like children with TD, they draw on verb semantics and plausibility in integrating information. However, they are likely to be slower in

  18. Young Children with ASD Use Lexical and Referential Information During On-line Sentence Processing.

    PubMed

    Bavin, Edith L; Kidd, Evan; Prendergast, Luke A; Baker, Emma K

    2016-01-01

    Research with adults and older children indicates that verb biases are strong influences on listeners' interpretations when processing sentences, but they can be overruled. In this paper, we ask two questions: (i) are children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are high functioning sensitive to verb biases like their same age typically developing peers?, and (ii) do young children with ASD and young children with typical development (TD) override strong verb biases to consider alternative interpretations of ambiguous sentences? Participants were aged 5-9 years (mean age 6.65 years): children with ASD who were high functioning and children with TD. In task 1, biasing and neutral verbs were included (e.g., eat cake versus move cake). In task 2, the focus was on whether the prepositional phrase occurring with an instrument biasing verb (e.g., 'Chop the tree with the axe') was interpreted as an instrument even if the named item was an implausible instrument (e.g., candle in 'Cut the cake with the candle'). Overall, the results showed similarities between groups but the ASD group was generally slower. In task 1, both groups looked at the named object faster in the biasing than the non-biasing condition, and in the biasing condition the ASD group looked away from the target more quickly than the TD group. In task 2, both groups identified the target in the prepositional phrase. They were more likely to override the verb instrument bias and consider the alternative (modification) interpretation in the implausible condition (e.g., looking at the picture of a cake with a candle on it'). Our findings indicate that children of age 5 years and above can use context to override verb biases. Additionally, an important component of the sentence processing mechanism is largely intact for young children with ASD who are high functioning. Like children with TD, they draw on verb semantics and plausibility in integrating information. However, they are likely to be slower in

  19. Reading differences and brain: cortical integration of speech and print in sentence processing varies with reader skill.

    PubMed

    Shankweiler, Donald; Mencl, W Einar; Braze, David; Tabor, Whitney; Pugh, Kenneth R; Fulbright, Robert K

    2008-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to investigate the impact of literacy skills in young adults on the distribution of cerebral activity during comprehension of sentences in spoken and printed form. The aim was to discover where speech and print streams merge, and whether their convergence is affected by the level of reading skill. The results from different analyses all point to the conclusion that neural integration of sentence processing across speech and print varies positively with the reader's skill. Further, they identify the inferior frontal region as the principal site of speech-print integration and a major focus of reading comprehension differences. The findings provide new evidence of the role of the inferior frontal region in supporting supramodal systems of linguistic representation.

  20. An eye-tracking paradigm for analyzing the processing time of sentences with different linguistic complexities.

    PubMed

    Wendt, Dorothea; Brand, Thomas; Kollmeier, Birger

    2014-01-01

    An eye-tracking paradigm was developed for use in audiology in order to enable online analysis of the speech comprehension process. This paradigm should be useful in assessing impediments in speech processing. In this paradigm, two scenes, a target picture and a competitor picture, were presented simultaneously with an aurally presented sentence that corresponded to the target picture. At the same time, eye fixations were recorded using an eye-tracking device. The effect of linguistic complexity on language processing time was assessed from eye fixation information by systematically varying linguistic complexity. This was achieved with a sentence corpus containing seven German sentence structures. A novel data analysis method computed the average tendency to fixate the target picture as a function of time during sentence processing. This allowed identification of the point in time at which the participant understood the sentence, referred to as the decision moment. Systematic differences in processing time were observed as a function of linguistic complexity. These differences in processing time may be used to assess the efficiency of cognitive processes involved in resolving linguistic complexity. Thus, the proposed method enables a temporal analysis of the speech comprehension process and has potential applications in speech audiology and psychoacoustics.

  1. Processing the noun phrase versus sentence coordination ambiguity: thematic information does not completely eliminate processing difficulty.

    PubMed

    Hoeks, John C J; Hendriks, Petra; Vonk, Wietske; Brown, Colin M; Hagoort, Peter

    2006-09-01

    When faced with the noun phrase (NP) versus sentence (S) coordination ambiguity as in, for example, The thief shot the jeweller and the cop ..., readers prefer the reading with NP-coordination (e.g., "The thief shot the jeweller and the cop yesterday") over one with two conjoined sentences (e.g., "The thief shot the jeweller and the cop panicked"). A corpus study is presented showing that NP-coordinations are produced far more often than S-coordinations, which in frequency-based accounts of parsing might be taken to explain the NP-coordination preference. In addition, we describe an eye-tracking experiment investigating S-coordinated sentences such as Jasper sanded the board and the carpenter laughed, where the poor thematic fit between carpenter and sanded argues against NP-coordination. Our results indicate that information regarding poor thematic fit was used rapidly, but not without leaving some residual processing difficulty. This is compatible with claims that thematic information can reduce but not completely eliminate garden-path effects.

  2. ERP responses to processing prosodic phrasing of sentences in amplitude modulated noise.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Rebecca; Ruigendijk, Esther

    2016-02-01

    Intonation phrase boundaries (IPBs) were hypothesized to be especially difficult to process in the presence of an amplitude modulated noise masker because of a potential rhythmic competition. In an event-related potential study, IPBs were presented in silence, stationary, and amplitude modulated noise. We elicited centro-parietal Closure Positive Shifts (CPS) in 23 young adults with normal hearing at IPBs in all acoustic conditions, albeit with some differences. CPS peak amplitudes were highest in stationary noise, followed by modulated noise, and lowest in silence. Both noise types elicited CPS delays, slightly more so in stationary compared to amplitude modulated noise. These data suggest that amplitude modulation is not tantamount to a rhythmic competitor for prosodic phrasing but rather supports an assumed speech perception benefit due to local release from masking. The duration of CPS time windows was, however, not only longer in noise compared to silence, but also longer for amplitude modulated compared to stationary noise. This is interpreted as support for additional processing load associated with amplitude modulation for the CPS component. Taken together, processing prosodic phrasing of sentences in amplitude modulated noise seems to involve the same issues that have been observed for the perception and processing of segmental information that are related to lexical items presented in noise: a benefit from local release from masking, even for prosodic cues, and a detrimental additional processing load that is associated with either stream segregation or signal reconstruction. PMID:26776233

  3. The Band-Importance Function for the Korean Standard Sentence Lists for Adults

    PubMed Central

    Jin, In-Ki; Lee, Kyoungwon; Kim, Jinsook; Kim, Dongwook; Sohn, Junil; Lee, Kyung-Ju

    2016-01-01

    Background and Objectives The band-importance function (BIF) refers to a value characterizing the relative importance of different frequencies to speech intelligibility. The purpose of this study was to derive the BIF for the Korean standard sentence lists for adults (KS-SL-A). Subjects and Methods In this study, sentences from the KS-SL-A were used as the speech material. Twenty-six normal-hearing Korean listeners participated and intelligibility scores in 8 filters with 3 signal-to-noise ratio conditions were obtained. Based on the intelligibility score percentages, the BIF for the KS-SL-A was derived by using an established protocol. Results Band-importance weights varied across frequency bands. The most important frequency region was around 316 Hz (20.0%), and the importance of the frequency bands below the center frequency (CF) of 1,778 Hz was 59.6%. Therefore, low frequencies below the CF of 1,778 Hz were more important than high frequencies above the CF of 1,778 Hz. Conclusions The BIF for KS-SL-A could be applied towards developing a hearing aid fitting formulae for Korean listeners.

  4. The Band-Importance Function for the Korean Standard Sentence Lists for Adults

    PubMed Central

    Jin, In-Ki; Lee, Kyoungwon; Kim, Jinsook; Kim, Dongwook; Sohn, Junil; Lee, Kyung-Ju

    2016-01-01

    Background and Objectives The band-importance function (BIF) refers to a value characterizing the relative importance of different frequencies to speech intelligibility. The purpose of this study was to derive the BIF for the Korean standard sentence lists for adults (KS-SL-A). Subjects and Methods In this study, sentences from the KS-SL-A were used as the speech material. Twenty-six normal-hearing Korean listeners participated and intelligibility scores in 8 filters with 3 signal-to-noise ratio conditions were obtained. Based on the intelligibility score percentages, the BIF for the KS-SL-A was derived by using an established protocol. Results Band-importance weights varied across frequency bands. The most important frequency region was around 316 Hz (20.0%), and the importance of the frequency bands below the center frequency (CF) of 1,778 Hz was 59.6%. Therefore, low frequencies below the CF of 1,778 Hz were more important than high frequencies above the CF of 1,778 Hz. Conclusions The BIF for KS-SL-A could be applied towards developing a hearing aid fitting formulae for Korean listeners. PMID:27626080

  5. Expectations from preceding prosody influence segmentation in online sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Brown, Meredith; Salverda, Anne Pier; Dilley, Laura C; Tanenhaus, Michael K

    2011-12-01

    Previous work examining prosodic cues in online spoken-word recognition has focused primarily on local cues to word identity. However, recent studies have suggested that utterance-level prosodic patterns can also influence the interpretation of subsequent sequences of lexically ambiguous syllables (Dilley, Mattys, & Vinke, Journal of Memory and Language, 63:274-294, 2010; Dilley & McAuley, Journal of Memory and Language, 59:294-311, 2008). To test the hypothesis that these distal prosody effects are based on expectations about the organization of upcoming material, we conducted a visual-world experiment. We examined fixations to competing alternatives such as pan and panda upon hearing the target word panda in utterances in which the acoustic properties of the preceding sentence material had been manipulated. The proportions of fixations to the monosyllabic competitor were higher beginning 200 ms after target word onset when the preceding prosody supported a prosodic constituent boundary following pan-, rather than following panda. These findings support the hypothesis that expectations based on perceived prosodic patterns in the distal context influence lexical segmentation and word recognition.

  6. Expectations from preceding prosody influence segmentation in online sentence processing

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Meredith; Salverda, Anne Pier; Dilley, Laura C.; Tanenhaus, Michael K.

    2013-01-01

    Previous work examining prosodic cues in online spoken-word recognition has focused primarily on local cues to word identity. However, recent studies have suggested that utterance-level prosodic patterns can also influence the interpretation of subsequent sequences of lexically ambiguous syllables (Dilley, Mattys, & Vinke, Journal of Memory and Language, 63:274–294, 2010; Dilley & McAuley, Journal of Memory and Language, 59:294–311, 2008). To test the hypothesis that these distal prosody effects are based on expectations about the organization of upcoming material, we conducted a visual-world experiment. We examined fixations to competing alternatives such as pan and panda upon hearing the target word panda in utterances in which the acoustic properties of the preceding sentence material had been manipulated. The proportions of fixations to the monosyllabic competitor were higher beginning 200 ms after target word onset when the preceding prosody supported a prosodic constituent boundary following pan-, rather than following panda. These findings support the hypothesis that expectations based on perceived prosodic patterns in the distal context influence lexical segmentation and word recognition. PMID:21968925

  7. An inverse relation between event-related and time-frequency violation responses in sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Davidson, D J; Indefrey, P

    2007-07-16

    The relationship between semantic and grammatical processing in sentence comprehension was investigated by examining event-related potential (ERP) and event-related power changes in response to semantic and grammatical violations. Sentences with semantic, phrase structure, or number violations and matched controls were presented serially (1.25 words/s) to 20 participants while EEG was recorded. Semantic violations were associated with an N400 effect and a theta band increase in power, while grammatical violations were associated with a P600 effect and an alpha/beta band decrease in power. A quartile analysis showed that for both types of violations, larger average violation effects were associated with lower relative amplitudes of oscillatory activity, implying an inverse relation between ERP amplitude and event-related power magnitude change in sentence processing.

  8. Insensitivity of the human sentence-processing system to hierarchical structure.

    PubMed

    Frank, Stefan L; Bod, Rens

    2011-06-01

    Although it is generally accepted that hierarchical phrase structures are instrumental in describing human language, their role in cognitive processing is still debated. We investigated the role of hierarchical structure in sentence processing by implementing a range of probabilistic language models, some of which depended on hierarchical structure, and others of which relied on sequential structure only. All models estimated the occurrence probabilities of syntactic categories in sentences for which reading-time data were available. Relating the models' probability estimates to the data showed that the hierarchical-structure models did not account for variance in reading times over and above the amount of variance accounted for by all of the sequential-structure models. This suggests that a sentence's hierarchical structure, unlike many other sources of information, does not noticeably affect the generation of expectations about upcoming words.

  9. The relation between thematic role computing and semantic relatedness processing during on-line sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaoqing; Zhao, Haiyan; Lu, Yong

    2014-01-01

    Sentence comprehension involves timely computing different types of relations between its verbs and noun arguments, such as morphosyntactic, semantic, and thematic relations. Here, we used EEG technique to investigate the potential differences in thematic role computing and lexical-semantic relatedness processing during on-line sentence comprehension, and the interaction between these two types of processes. Mandarin Chinese sentences were used as materials. The basic structure of those sentences is "Noun+Verb+'le'+a two-character word", with the Noun being the initial argument. The verb disambiguates the initial argument as an agent or a patient. Meanwhile, the initial argument and the verb are highly or lowly semantically related. The ERPs at the verbs revealed that: relative to the agent condition, the patient condition evoked a larger N400 only when the argument and verb were lowly semantically related; however, relative to the high-relatedness condition, the low-relatedness condition elicited a larger N400 regardless of the thematic relation; although both thematic role variation and semantic relatedness variation elicited N400 effects, the N400 effect elicited by the former was broadly distributed and reached maximum over the frontal electrodes, and the N400 effect elicited by the latter had a posterior distribution. In addition, the brain oscillations results showed that, although thematic role variation (patient vs. agent) induced power decreases around the beta frequency band (15-30 Hz), semantic relatedness variation (low-relatedness vs. high-relatedness) induced power increases in the theta frequency band (4-7 Hz). These results suggested that, in the sentence context, thematic role computing is modulated by the semantic relatedness between the verb and its argument; semantic relatedness processing, however, is in some degree independent from the thematic relations. Moreover, our results indicated that, during on-line sentence comprehension, thematic

  10. Verb-argument structure processing in complex sentences in Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, L P; Gordon, B; Hack, N; Killackey, J

    1993-10-01

    We describe three experiments that explore the real-time access of verb-argument structures in a group of normal control subjects, a group of Broca's aphasic patients, and a group of Wernicke's aphasic patients. Specifically, we examine whether our subjects exhaustively access the thematic representations of verbs in active, passive, cleft-subject, and cleft-object sentences. We find that our normal control subjects and Broca's aphasic patients are sensitive to the thematic properties of verbs, regardless of sentence type. Our Wernicke's aphasic patients do not show on-line sensitivity to this lexical property. We discuss these results in terms of multiple resources dedicated to specific sentence processing devices, a possible semantic deficit in Wernicke's aphasia, and a double-dissociation between the operation of accessing a verb's thematic properties and the operation of computing the trace-antecedent relation.

  11. Automatic metaphor processing in adults with Asperger syndrome: a metaphor interference effect task.

    PubMed

    Hermann, Ismene; Haser, Verena; van Elst, Ludger Tebartz; Ebert, Dieter; Müller-Feldmeth, Daniel; Riedel, Andreas; Konieczny, Lars

    2013-11-01

    This paper investigates automatic processing of novel metaphors in adults with Asperger Syndrome (AS) and typically developing controls. We present an experiment combining a semantic judgment task and a recognition task. Four types of sentences were compared: Literally true high-typical sentences, literally true low-typical sentences, apt metaphors, and scrambled metaphors (literally false sentences which are not readily interpretable as metaphors). Participants were asked to make rapid decisions about the literal truth of such sentences. The results revealed that AS and control participants showed significantly slower RTs for metaphors than for scrambled metaphors and made more mistakes in apt metaphoric sentences than in scrambled metaphors. At the same time, there was higher recognition of apt metaphors compared with scrambled metaphors. The findings indicate intact automatic metaphor processing in AS and replicate previous findings on automatic metaphor processing in typically developing individuals.

  12. Syntactic and semantic processing of Chinese middle sentences: evidence from event-related potentials.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Tao; Mao, Wen; Lu, Qing

    2016-05-25

    Scalp-recorded event-related potentials are known to be sensitive to particular aspects of sentence processing. The N400 component is widely recognized as an effect closely related to lexical-semantic processing. The absence of an N400 effect in participants performing tasks in Indo-European languages has been considered evidence that failed syntactic category processing appears to block lexical-semantic integration and that syntactic structure building is a prerequisite of semantic analysis. An event-related potential experiment was designed to investigate whether such syntactic primacy can be considered to apply equally to Chinese sentence processing. Besides correct middles, sentences with either single semantic or single syntactic violation as well as double syntactic and semantic anomaly were used in the present research. Results showed that both purely semantic and combined violation induced a broad negativity in the time window 300-500 ms, indicating the independence of lexical-semantic integration. These findings provided solid evidence that lexical-semantic parsing plays a crucial role in Chinese sentence comprehension.

  13. Local and Topological Processing in Sentence Comprehension by French and Spanish Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kail, Michele; Charvillat, Agnes

    1988-01-01

    Cross-linguistic investigation of the importance of syntactic cues and cue processing cost in French and Spanish four through six-year-olds' sentence comprehension revealed that topological cues helped French subjects most, while local cues helped Spanish subjects most. (Author/CB)

  14. Automatic and Controlled Processing in Sentence Recall: The Role of Long-Term and Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jefferies, E.; Lambon Ralph, M.A.; Baddeley, A.D.

    2004-01-01

    Immediate serial recall is better for sentences than word lists presumably because of the additional support that meaningful material receives from long-term memory. This may occur automatically, without the involvement of attention, or may require additional attentionally demanding processing. For example, the episodic buffer model (Baddeley,…

  15. Semantic processing of English sentences using statistical computation based on neurophysiological models.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Marcia T

    2015-01-01

    Computer programs that can accurately interpret natural human language and carry out instructions would improve the lives of people with language processing deficits and greatly benefit society in general. von Neumann in theorized that the human brain utilizes its own unique statistical neuronal computation to decode language and that this produces specific patterns of neuronal activity. This paper extends von Neumann's theory to the processing of partial semantics of declarative sentences. I developed semantic neuronal network models that emulate key features of cortical language processing and accurately compute partial semantics of English sentences. The method of computation implements the MAYA Semantic Technique, a mathematical technique I previously developed to determine partial semantics of sentences within a natural language processing program. Here I further simplified the technique by grouping repeating patterns into fewer categories. Unlike other natural language programs, my approach computes three partial semantics. The results of this research show that the computation of partial semantics of a sentence uses both feedforward and feedback projection which suggest that the partial semantic presented in this research might be a conscious activity within the human brain. PMID:26106331

  16. Semantic processing of English sentences using statistical computation based on neurophysiological models

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Marcia T.

    2015-01-01

    Computer programs that can accurately interpret natural human language and carry out instructions would improve the lives of people with language processing deficits and greatly benefit society in general. von Neumann in theorized that the human brain utilizes its own unique statistical neuronal computation to decode language and that this produces specific patterns of neuronal activity. This paper extends von Neumann's theory to the processing of partial semantics of declarative sentences. I developed semantic neuronal network models that emulate key features of cortical language processing and accurately compute partial semantics of English sentences. The method of computation implements the MAYA Semantic Technique, a mathematical technique I previously developed to determine partial semantics of sentences within a natural language processing program. Here I further simplified the technique by grouping repeating patterns into fewer categories. Unlike other natural language programs, my approach computes three partial semantics. The results of this research show that the computation of partial semantics of a sentence uses both feedforward and feedback projection which suggest that the partial semantic presented in this research might be a conscious activity within the human brain. PMID:26106331

  17. Respecting Relations: Memory Access and Antecedent Retrieval in Incremental Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kush, Dave W.

    2013-01-01

    This dissertation uses the processing of anaphoric relations to probe how linguistic information is encoded in and retrieved from memory during real-time sentence comprehension. More specifically, the dissertation attempts to resolve a tension between the demands of a linguistic processor implemented in a general-purpose cognitive architecture and…

  18. Integrated Multi-Strategic Web Document Pre-Processing for Sentence and Word Boundary Detection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shim, Junhyeok; Kim, Dongseok; Cha, Jeongwon; Lee, Gary Geunbae; Seo, Jungyun

    2002-01-01

    Discussion of natural language processing focuses on a multi-strategic integrated text preprocessing method for difficult problems of sentence boundary disambiguation and word boundary disambiguation of Web texts. Describes an evaluation of the method using Korean Web document collections. (Author/LRW)

  19. The Influence of Emotional Words on Sentence Processing: Electrophysiological and Behavioral Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin-Loeches, Manuel; Fernandez, Anabel; Schacht, Annekathrin; Sommer, Werner; Casado, Pilar; Jimenez-Ortega, Laura; Fondevila, Sabela

    2012-01-01

    Whereas most previous studies on emotion in language have focussed on single words, we investigated the influence of the emotional valence of a word on the syntactic and semantic processes unfolding during sentence comprehension, by means of event-related brain potentials (ERP). Experiment 1 assessed how positive, negative, and neutral adjectives…

  20. The role of the striatum in sentence processing: disentangling syntax from working memory in Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Sambin, Sara; Teichmann, Marc; de Diego Balaguer, Ruth; Giavazzi, Maria; Sportiche, Dominique; Schlenker, Philippe; Bachoud-Lévi, Anne-Catherine

    2012-09-01

    The role of sub-cortical structures in language processing remains controversial. In particular, it is unclear whether the striatum subserves language-specific processes such as syntax or whether it solely affects language performance via its significant role in executive functioning and/or working memory. Here, in order to address this issue, we attempted to equalize working memory constraints while varying syntactic complexity, to study sentence comprehension in 15 patients with striatal damage, namely Huntington's disease at early stage, and in 15 healthy controls. More particularly, we manipulated the syntactic relation between a name and a pronoun while holding the distance between them constant. We exploited a formal principle of syntactic theory called Principle C. This principle states that whereas in a sentence such as "Paul smiled when he entered" Paul and he can be a single person, this interpretation is blocked in sentences such as "He smiled when Paul entered". In a second experiment we varied working memory load using noun-adjective gender agreement in center-embedded and right-branching relatives (e.g., "the girl who watches the dog is green" vs. "the girl watches the dog which is green"). The results show that HD patients correctly establish name-pronoun co-reference but they fail to block it when Principle C should apply. Furthermore, they have good performance with both center-embedded and right-branching relatives, suggesting that their difficulties in sentence comprehension do not arise from memory load impairment during sentence processing. Taken together, our findings indicate that the striatum holds a genuine role in syntactic processing, which cannot be reduced to its involvement in working memory. However, it only impacts on particular aspects of syntax that may relate to complex computations whereas other operations appear to be preserved. Hypotheses about the role of the striatum in syntactic processing are discussed.

  1. Processing Rhythmic Pattern during Chinese Sentence Reading: An Eye Movement Study.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yingyi; Duan, Yunyan; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2015-01-01

    Prosodic constraints play a fundamental role during both spoken sentence comprehension and silent reading. In Chinese, the rhythmic pattern of the verb-object (V-O) combination has been found to rapidly affect the semantic access/integration process during sentence reading (Luo and Zhou, 2010). Rhythmic pattern refers to the combination of words with different syllabic lengths, with certain combinations disallowed (e.g., [2 + 1]; numbers standing for the number of syllables of the verb and the noun respectively) and certain combinations preferred (e.g., [1 + 1] or [2 + 2]). This constraint extends to the situation in which the combination is used to modify other words. A V-O phrase could modify a noun by simply preceding it, forming a V-O-N compound; when the verb is disyllabic, however, the word order has to be O-V-N and the object is preferred to be disyllabic. In this study, we investigated how the reader processes the rhythmic pattern and word order information by recording the reader's eye-movements. We created four types of sentences by crossing rhythmic pattern and word order in compounding. The compound, embedding a disyllabic verb, could be in the correct O-V-N or the incorrect V-O-N order; the object could be disyllabic or monosyllabic. We found that the reader spent more time and made more regressions on and after the compounds when either type of anomaly was detected during the first pass reading. However, during re-reading (after all the words in the sentence have been viewed), less regressive eye movements were found for the anomalous rhythmic pattern, relative to the correct pattern; moreover, only the abnormal rhythmic pattern, not the violated word order, influenced the regressive eye movements. These results suggest that while the processing of rhythmic pattern and word order information occurs rapidly during the initial reading of the sentence, the process of recovering from the rhythmic pattern anomaly may ease the reanalysis processing at the

  2. Processing Rhythmic Pattern during Chinese Sentence Reading: An Eye Movement Study

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Yingyi; Duan, Yunyan; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2015-01-01

    Prosodic constraints play a fundamental role during both spoken sentence comprehension and silent reading. In Chinese, the rhythmic pattern of the verb-object (V-O) combination has been found to rapidly affect the semantic access/integration process during sentence reading (Luo and Zhou, 2010). Rhythmic pattern refers to the combination of words with different syllabic lengths, with certain combinations disallowed (e.g., [2 + 1]; numbers standing for the number of syllables of the verb and the noun respectively) and certain combinations preferred (e.g., [1 + 1] or [2 + 2]). This constraint extends to the situation in which the combination is used to modify other words. A V-O phrase could modify a noun by simply preceding it, forming a V-O-N compound; when the verb is disyllabic, however, the word order has to be O-V-N and the object is preferred to be disyllabic. In this study, we investigated how the reader processes the rhythmic pattern and word order information by recording the reader's eye-movements. We created four types of sentences by crossing rhythmic pattern and word order in compounding. The compound, embedding a disyllabic verb, could be in the correct O-V-N or the incorrect V-O-N order; the object could be disyllabic or monosyllabic. We found that the reader spent more time and made more regressions on and after the compounds when either type of anomaly was detected during the first pass reading. However, during re-reading (after all the words in the sentence have been viewed), less regressive eye movements were found for the anomalous rhythmic pattern, relative to the correct pattern; moreover, only the abnormal rhythmic pattern, not the violated word order, influenced the regressive eye movements. These results suggest that while the processing of rhythmic pattern and word order information occurs rapidly during the initial reading of the sentence, the process of recovering from the rhythmic pattern anomaly may ease the reanalysis processing at the

  3. Processing Rhythmic Pattern during Chinese Sentence Reading: An Eye Movement Study.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yingyi; Duan, Yunyan; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2015-01-01

    Prosodic constraints play a fundamental role during both spoken sentence comprehension and silent reading. In Chinese, the rhythmic pattern of the verb-object (V-O) combination has been found to rapidly affect the semantic access/integration process during sentence reading (Luo and Zhou, 2010). Rhythmic pattern refers to the combination of words with different syllabic lengths, with certain combinations disallowed (e.g., [2 + 1]; numbers standing for the number of syllables of the verb and the noun respectively) and certain combinations preferred (e.g., [1 + 1] or [2 + 2]). This constraint extends to the situation in which the combination is used to modify other words. A V-O phrase could modify a noun by simply preceding it, forming a V-O-N compound; when the verb is disyllabic, however, the word order has to be O-V-N and the object is preferred to be disyllabic. In this study, we investigated how the reader processes the rhythmic pattern and word order information by recording the reader's eye-movements. We created four types of sentences by crossing rhythmic pattern and word order in compounding. The compound, embedding a disyllabic verb, could be in the correct O-V-N or the incorrect V-O-N order; the object could be disyllabic or monosyllabic. We found that the reader spent more time and made more regressions on and after the compounds when either type of anomaly was detected during the first pass reading. However, during re-reading (after all the words in the sentence have been viewed), less regressive eye movements were found for the anomalous rhythmic pattern, relative to the correct pattern; moreover, only the abnormal rhythmic pattern, not the violated word order, influenced the regressive eye movements. These results suggest that while the processing of rhythmic pattern and word order information occurs rapidly during the initial reading of the sentence, the process of recovering from the rhythmic pattern anomaly may ease the reanalysis processing at the

  4. Conflict and Cognitive Control during Sentence Comprehension: Recruitment of a Frontal Network during the Processing of Spanish Object-First Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    del Rio, David; Maestu, Fernando; Lopez-Higes, Ramon; Moratti, Stephan; Gutierrez, Ricardo; Maestu, Ceferino; del-Pozo, Francisco

    2011-01-01

    During sentence processing there is a preference to treat the first noun phrase found as the subject and agent, unless marked the other way. This preference would lead to a conflict in thematic role assignment when the syntactic structure conforms to a non-canonical object-before-subject pattern. Left perisylvian and fronto-parietal brain networks…

  5. Background Speech Effects on Sentence Processing during Reading: An Eye Movement Study.

    PubMed

    Hyönä, Jukka; Ekholm, Miia

    2016-01-01

    Effects of background speech on reading were examined by playing aloud different types of background speech, while participants read long, syntactically complex and less complex sentences embedded in text. Readers' eye movement patterns were used to study online sentence comprehension. Effects of background speech were primarily seen in rereading time. In Experiment 1, foreign-language background speech did not disrupt sentence processing. Experiment 2 demonstrated robust disruption in reading as a result of semantically and syntactically anomalous scrambled background speech preserving normal sentence-like intonation. Scrambled speech that was constructed from the text to-be read did not disrupt reading more than scrambled speech constructed from a different, semantically unrelated text. Experiment 3 showed that scrambled speech exacerbated the syntactic complexity effect more than coherent background speech, which also interfered with reading. Experiment 4 demonstrated that both semantically and syntactically anomalous speech produced no more disruption in reading than semantically anomalous but syntactically correct background speech. The pattern of results is best explained by a semantic account that stresses the importance of similarity in semantic processing, but not similarity in semantic content, between the reading task and background speech.

  6. Background Speech Effects on Sentence Processing during Reading: An Eye Movement Study

    PubMed Central

    Hyönä, Jukka; Ekholm, Miia

    2016-01-01

    Effects of background speech on reading were examined by playing aloud different types of background speech, while participants read long, syntactically complex and less complex sentences embedded in text. Readers’ eye movement patterns were used to study online sentence comprehension. Effects of background speech were primarily seen in rereading time. In Experiment 1, foreign-language background speech did not disrupt sentence processing. Experiment 2 demonstrated robust disruption in reading as a result of semantically and syntactically anomalous scrambled background speech preserving normal sentence-like intonation. Scrambled speech that was constructed from the text to-be read did not disrupt reading more than scrambled speech constructed from a different, semantically unrelated text. Experiment 3 showed that scrambled speech exacerbated the syntactic complexity effect more than coherent background speech, which also interfered with reading. Experiment 4 demonstrated that both semantically and syntactically anomalous speech produced no more disruption in reading than semantically anomalous but syntactically correct background speech. The pattern of results is best explained by a semantic account that stresses the importance of similarity in semantic processing, but not similarity in semantic content, between the reading task and background speech. PMID:27003410

  7. Background Speech Effects on Sentence Processing during Reading: An Eye Movement Study.

    PubMed

    Hyönä, Jukka; Ekholm, Miia

    2016-01-01

    Effects of background speech on reading were examined by playing aloud different types of background speech, while participants read long, syntactically complex and less complex sentences embedded in text. Readers' eye movement patterns were used to study online sentence comprehension. Effects of background speech were primarily seen in rereading time. In Experiment 1, foreign-language background speech did not disrupt sentence processing. Experiment 2 demonstrated robust disruption in reading as a result of semantically and syntactically anomalous scrambled background speech preserving normal sentence-like intonation. Scrambled speech that was constructed from the text to-be read did not disrupt reading more than scrambled speech constructed from a different, semantically unrelated text. Experiment 3 showed that scrambled speech exacerbated the syntactic complexity effect more than coherent background speech, which also interfered with reading. Experiment 4 demonstrated that both semantically and syntactically anomalous speech produced no more disruption in reading than semantically anomalous but syntactically correct background speech. The pattern of results is best explained by a semantic account that stresses the importance of similarity in semantic processing, but not similarity in semantic content, between the reading task and background speech. PMID:27003410

  8. An fMRI study of sentence-embedded lexical-semantic decision in children and adults

    PubMed Central

    Moore-Parks, Erin Nicole; Burns, Erin L.; Bazzill, Rebecca; Levy, Sarah; Posada, Valerie; Müller, Ralph-Axel

    2010-01-01

    Lexical-semantic knowledge is a core language component that undergoes prolonged development throughout childhood and is therefore highly amenable to developmental studies. Most previous lexical-semantic functional MRI (fMRI) studies have been limited to single-word or word-pair tasks, outside a sentence context. Our objective was to investigate the development of lexical-semantic language networks in typically developing children using a more ecological sentence-embedded semantic task that permitted performance monitoring while minimizing head movement by avoiding overt speech. Sixteen adults and 23 children completed two fMRI runs of an auditory lexical-semantic decision task with a button-press response, using reverse speech as control condition. Children and adults showed similar activation in bilateral temporal and left inferior frontal regions. Greater activation in adults than in children was seen in left inferior parietal, premotor, and inferior frontal regions, and in bilateral supplementary motor area (SMA). Specifically for semantically incongruous sentences, adults also showed greater activation than children in left inferior frontal cortex, possibly related to enhanced top-down control. Age-dependent activation increases in motor-related regions were shown to be unrelated to overt motor responses, but could be associated with covert speech accompanying semantic decision. Unlike previous studies, age-dependent differences were not detected in posterior sensory cortices (such as extrastriate cortex), nor in middle temporal gyrus. PMID:20627366

  9. Is Broca's Area Involved in the Processing of Passive Sentences? An Event-Related fMRI Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yokoyama, Satoru; Watanabe, Jobu; Iwata, Kazuki; Ikuta, Naho; Haji, Tomoki; Usui, Nobuo; Taira, Masato; Miyamoto, Tadao; Nakamura, Wataru; Sato, Shigeru; Horie, Kaoru; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2007-01-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate whether activation in Broca's area is greater during the processing of passive versus active sentences in the brains of healthy subjects. Twenty Japanese native speakers performed a visual sentence comprehension task in which they were asked to read a visually presented sentence…

  10. Sentence Processing: Psycholinguistic Studies Presented to Merrill Garrett.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, William E., Ed.; Walker, Edward C. T., Ed.

    The chapters in this volume represent a type of current psycholinguistic research that focuses both on the nature of human information processing and the coding of linguistic structure. The chapters and authors are as follows: (1) "The Wherefores and Therefores of the Competence-Performance Distinction," by V. Valian; (2) "Levels of Processing and…

  11. Cortical dynamics of semantic processing during sentence comprehension: evidence from event-related optical signals.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jian; Wang, Suiping; Jia, Shiwei; Mo, Deyuan; Chen, Hsuan-Chih

    2013-01-01

    Using the event-related optical signal (EROS) technique, this study investigated the dynamics of semantic brain activation during sentence comprehension. Participants read sentences constituent-by-constituent and made a semantic judgment at the end of each sentence. The EROSs were recorded simultaneously with ERPs and time-locked to expected or unexpected sentence-final target words. The unexpected words evoked a larger N400 and a late positivity than the expected ones. Critically, the EROS results revealed activations first in the left posterior middle temporal gyrus (LpMTG) between 128 and 192 ms, then in the left anterior inferior frontal gyrus (LaIFG), the left middle frontal gyrus (LMFG), and the LpMTG in the N400 time window, and finally in the left posterior inferior frontal gyrus (LpIFG) between 832 and 864 ms. Also, expected words elicited greater activation than unexpected words in the left anterior temporal lobe (LATL) between 192 and 256 ms. These results suggest that the early lexical-semantic retrieval reflected by the LpMTG activation is followed by two different semantic integration processes: a relatively rapid and transient integration in the LATL and a relatively slow but enduring integration in the LaIFG/LMFG and the LpMTG. The late activation in the LpIFG, however, may reflect cognitive control.

  12. Interference Effects from Grammatically Unavailable Constituents during Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Dyke, Julie A.

    2007-01-01

    Evidence from 3 experiments reveals interference effects from structural relationships that are inconsistent with any grammatical parse of the perceived input. Processing disruption was observed when items occurring between a head and a dependent overlapped with either (or both) syntactic or semantic features of the dependent. Effects of syntactic…

  13. A sentence to remember: instructed language switching in sentence production.

    PubMed

    Declerck, Mathieu; Philipp, Andrea M

    2015-04-01

    In the current study, we set out to investigate the influence of a sentence context on language switching. The task required German-English bilinguals to produce responses based on an alternating language sequence (L1-L1-L2-L2- …) and concepts in a specific sequential order. The concept sequence was either a sentence which was syntactically correct in both languages (language-unspecific sentence), a sentence which was correct in just one language (language-specific sentence) or a sentence which was syntactically incorrect in both languages (scrambled sentence). No switch costs were observed in language-unspecific sentences. Consequently, switch costs were smaller in those sentences than in the language-specific or scrambled sentences. The language-specific and scrambled sentence did not differ with respect to switch costs. These results demonstrate an important role of sentence context for language switch costs and were interpreted in terms of language interference and preparation processes.

  14. Sentence processing in anterior superior temporal cortex shows a social-emotional bias.

    PubMed

    Mellem, Monika S; Jasmin, Kyle M; Peng, Cynthia; Martin, Alex

    2016-08-01

    The anterior region of the left superior temporal gyrus/superior temporal sulcus (aSTG/STS) has been implicated in two very different cognitive functions: sentence processing and social-emotional processing. However, the vast majority of the sentence stimuli in previous reports have been of a social or social-emotional nature suggesting that sentence processing may be confounded with semantic content. To evaluate this possibility we had subjects read word lists that differed in phrase/constituent size (single words, 3-word phrases, 6-word sentences) and semantic content (social-emotional, social, and inanimate objects) while scanned in a 7T environment. This allowed us to investigate if the aSTG/STS responded to increasing constituent structure (with increased activity as a function of constituent size) with or without regard to a specific domain of concepts, i.e., social and/or social-emotional content. Activity in the left aSTG/STS was found to increase with constituent size. This region was also modulated by content, however, such that social-emotional concepts were preferred over social and object stimuli. Reading also induced content type effects in domain-specific semantic regions. Those preferring social-emotional content included aSTG/STS, inferior frontal gyrus, posterior STS, lateral fusiform, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and amygdala, regions included in the "social brain", while those preferring object content included parahippocampal gyrus, retrosplenial cortex, and caudate, regions involved in object processing. These results suggest that semantic content affects higher-level linguistic processing and should be taken into account in future studies. PMID:27329686

  15. Semantic Processing Persists despite Anomalous Syntactic Category: ERP Evidence from Chinese Passive Sentences

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yang; Wu, Fuyun; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2015-01-01

    The syntax-first model and the parallel/interactive models make different predictions regarding whether syntactic category processing has a temporal and functional primacy over semantic processing. To further resolve this issue, an event-related potential experiment was conducted on 24 Chinese speakers reading Chinese passive sentences with the passive marker BEI (NP1 + BEI + NP2 + Verb). This construction was selected because it is the most-commonly used Chinese passive and very much resembles German passives, upon which the syntax-first hypothesis was primarily based. We manipulated semantic consistency (consistent vs. inconsistent) and syntactic category (noun vs. verb) of the critical verb, yielding four conditions: CORRECT (correct sentences), SEMANTIC (semantic anomaly), SYNTACTIC (syntactic category anomaly), and COMBINED (combined anomalies). Results showed both N400 and P600 effects for sentences with semantic anomaly, with syntactic category anomaly, or with combined anomalies. Converging with recent findings of Chinese ERP studies on various constructions, our study provides further evidence that syntactic category processing does not precede semantic processing in reading Chinese. PMID:26125621

  16. Event-related brain potential evidence for animacy processing asymmetries during sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Nieuwland, Mante S; Martin, Andrea E; Carreiras, Manuel

    2013-08-01

    The animacy distinction is deeply rooted in the language faculty. A key example is differential object marking, the phenomenon where animate sentential objects receive specific marking. We used event-related potentials to examine the neural processing consequences of case-marking violations on animate and inanimate direct objects in Spanish. Inanimate objects with incorrect prepositional case marker 'a' ('al suelo') elicited a P600 effect compared to unmarked objects, consistent with previous literature. However, animate objects without the required prepositional case marker ('el obispo') only elicited an N400 effect compared to marked objects. This novel finding, an exclusive N400 modulation by a straightforward grammatical rule violation, does not follow from extant neurocognitive models of sentence processing, and mirrors unexpected "semantic P600" effects for thematically problematic sentences. These results may reflect animacy asymmetry in competition for argument prominence: following the article, thematic interpretation difficulties are elicited only by unexpectedly animate objects.

  17. Zooming into L2: global language context and adjustment affect processing of interlingual homographs in sentences.

    PubMed

    Elston-Güttler, Kerrie E; Gunter, Thomas C; Kotz, Sonja A

    2005-09-01

    In a semantic priming study, we investigated the processing of German-English homographs such as gift (German = "poison", English = "present") in sentence contexts using a joint reaction time (RT)/event-related brain potential (ERP) measure. Native German speakers with intermediate or advanced knowledge of English (N = 48) performed an all-L2 (English) experiment where sentences such as "The woman gave her friend an expensive gift" (control prime: item) were presented, followed by targets (i.e., boss) for lexical decision. To test the role of global task effects during sentence processing, we presented half the participants (N = 24) with a 20-min silent film narrated in German and half (N = 24) with the film in English before the experiment. To address the development of task effects over time, we analyzed the first and second blocks of the experiment. The results showed a significant interaction between semantic priming, movie version, and block in both the RTs and ERPs: there was significant semantic priming in the RTs and modulations in the N200 and N400 components only for participants who viewed the German movie, and only during the first block. Results suggest that in an all-L2 sentence task with L2 pre-task priming (English film), decision thresholds are raised high enough to eliminate measurable influence of the L1 on the L2. Despite identical material, participants who viewed the German film had to adjust, or zoom in, to the all-L2 task. Implications of this zooming in process in are discussed in terms of the recent Bilingual Interactive Activation (BIA+) model of bilingual word recognition [T. Dijkstra, W.J.B. Van Heuven, The architecture of the bilingual word recognition system: from identification to decision, Bilingualism: Lang. Cogn. 5 (2002) 175-197].

  18. Processing consequences of superfluous and missing prosodic breaks in auditory sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Bögels, Sara; Schriefers, Herbert; Vonk, Wietske; Chwilla, Dorothee J; Kerkhofs, Roel

    2013-11-01

    This ERP study investigates whether a superfluous prosodic break (i.e., a prosodic break that does not coincide with a syntactic break) has more severe processing consequences during auditory sentence comprehension than a missing prosodic break (i.e., the absence of a prosodic break at the position of a syntactic break). Participants listened to temporarily ambiguous sentences involving a prosody-syntax match or mismatch. The disambiguation of these sentences was always lexical in nature in the present experiment. This contrasts with a related study by Pauker, Itzhak, Baum, and Steinhauer (2011), where the disambiguation was of a lexical type for missing PBs and of a prosodic type for superfluous PBs. Our results converge with those of Pauker et al. (2011): superfluous prosodic breaks lead to more severe processing problems than missing prosodic breaks. Importantly, the present results extend those of Pauker et al. (2011) showing that this holds when the disambiguation is always lexical in nature. Furthermore, our results show that the way listeners use prosody can change over the course of the experiment which bears consequences for future studies.

  19. ERP evidence for telicity effects on syntactic processing in garden-path sentences

    PubMed Central

    Malaia, Evguenia; Wilbur, Ronnie B.; Weber-Fox, Christine

    2009-01-01

    Verbs contain multifaceted information about both the semantics of an action, and potential argument structures. Linguistic theory classifies verbs according to whether the denoted action has an inherent (telic) end-point (fall, awaken), or whether it is considered homogenous, or atelic (read, worship). The aim of our study was to examine how this distinction influences online sentence processing, investigating the effects of verbal telicity on the ease of syntactic re-analysis of Object reduced relative clauses. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 22 English speakers as they read sentences in which the main verb was either telic or atelic, e.g., “The actress awakened/worshippedby the writer left in a hurry”. ERPs elicited by telic and atelic verbs, the preposition “by” introducing the second argument (Agent), and the second argument itself, e.g., “writer”, were compared. Additionally, participants were grouped according to receptive syntactic proficiency: normal (NP) or high (HP). ERPs from the NP group first diverged at the second argument, with the atelic condition eliciting larger amplitude negativity at the N100, and continuing to the P200 interval. In contrast, ERPs from the HP group first diverged earlier in the sentence, on the word “by”. ERPs elicited by “by” in the atelic condition were also characterized by increased negativity, in this case significant at P200 and Anterior Negativity between 320-500ms post stimulus onset. Our results support the postulated conceptual/semantic distinction underlying the two verb categories, and demonstrate that world-knowledge about actions designated by verbs and syntactic proficiency are reflected in on-line processing of sentence structure. PMID:18945484

  20. Is the comprehension of idiomatic sentences indeed impaired in paranoid Schizophrenia? A window into semantic processing deficits

    PubMed Central

    Pesciarelli, Francesca; Gamberoni, Tania; Ferlazzo, Fabio; Lo Russo, Leo; Pedrazzi, Francesca; Melati, Ermanno; Cacciari, Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Schizophrenia patients have been reported to be more impaired in comprehending non-literal than literal language since early studies on proverbs. Preference for literal rather than figurative interpretations continues to be documented. The main aim of this study was to establish whether patients are indeed able to use combinatorial semantic processing to comprehend literal sentences and both combinatorial analysis, and retrieval of pre-stored meanings to comprehend idiomatic sentences. The study employed a sentence continuation task in which subjects were asked to decide whether a target word was a sensible continuation of a previous sentence fragment to investigate idiomatic and literal sentence comprehension in patients with paranoid schizophrenia. Patients and healthy controls were faster in accepting sensible continuations than in rejecting non-sensible ones in both literal and idiomatic sentences. Patients were as accurate as controls in comprehending literal and idiomatic sentences, but they were overall slower than controls in all conditions. Once the contribution of cognitive covariates was partialled out, the response times (RTs) to sensible idiomatic continuations of patients did not significantly differ from those of controls. This suggests that the state of residual schizophrenia did not contribute to slower processing of sensible idioms above and beyond the cognitive deficits that are typically associated with schizophrenia. PMID:25346676

  1. Is the comprehension of idiomatic sentences indeed impaired in paranoid Schizophrenia? A window into semantic processing deficits.

    PubMed

    Pesciarelli, Francesca; Gamberoni, Tania; Ferlazzo, Fabio; Lo Russo, Leo; Pedrazzi, Francesca; Melati, Ermanno; Cacciari, Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Schizophrenia patients have been reported to be more impaired in comprehending non-literal than literal language since early studies on proverbs. Preference for literal rather than figurative interpretations continues to be documented. The main aim of this study was to establish whether patients are indeed able to use combinatorial semantic processing to comprehend literal sentences and both combinatorial analysis, and retrieval of pre-stored meanings to comprehend idiomatic sentences. The study employed a sentence continuation task in which subjects were asked to decide whether a target word was a sensible continuation of a previous sentence fragment to investigate idiomatic and literal sentence comprehension in patients with paranoid schizophrenia. Patients and healthy controls were faster in accepting sensible continuations than in rejecting non-sensible ones in both literal and idiomatic sentences. Patients were as accurate as controls in comprehending literal and idiomatic sentences, but they were overall slower than controls in all conditions. Once the contribution of cognitive covariates was partialled out, the response times (RTs) to sensible idiomatic continuations of patients did not significantly differ from those of controls. This suggests that the state of residual schizophrenia did not contribute to slower processing of sensible idioms above and beyond the cognitive deficits that are typically associated with schizophrenia.

  2. Attention and sentence processing deficits in Parkinson's disease: the role of anterior cingulate cortex.

    PubMed

    Grossman, M; Crino, P; Reivich, M; Stern, M B; Hurtig, H I

    1992-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a complex neurodegenerative condition involving a motor disorder that is related to reduced dopaminergic input to the striatum. Intellectual deficits are also seen in PD, but the pathophysiology of these difficulties is poorly understood. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was studied in neurologically intact subjects during the performance of attention-demanding, sentence processing tasks using positron emission tomography (PET). The results demonstrated significantly increased rCBF in a distributed set of cerebral regions during the detection of an adjective or a particular agent in a sentence, including anterior cingulate cortex, left inferior and middle frontal cortex, left inferior temporo-occipital cortex, posterolateral temporal cortex, left caudate, and left thalamus. We identified defects in this cerebral network by studying PD patients with two PET techniques. Resting PET studies revealed a significant correlation between regional cerebral glucose metabolism in anterior cingulate cortex and deficits in attending to subtle grammatical aspects of sentences. Studies of PD patients with the PET activation technique revealed little change in anterior cingulate and left frontal CBF during performance of the adjective detection or agent detection tasks. These data suggest that a defect in anterior cingulate cortex contributes to the cognitive impairments observed in PD.

  3. Influence of Second Language Proficiency and Syntactic Structure Similarities on the Sensitivity and Processing of English Passive Sentence in Late Chinese-English Bilinguists: An ERP Study.

    PubMed

    Chang, Xin; Wang, Pei

    2016-02-01

    To investigate the influence of L2 proficiency and syntactic similarity on English passive sentence processing, the present ERP study asked 40 late Chinese-English bilinguals (27 females and 13 males, mean age = 23.88) with high or intermediate L2 proficiency to read the sentences carefully and to indicate for each sentence whether or not it was correct. Sentences were classified into literal translation sentences with the similar structure between the two languages and free translation sentences with the different structure. Behavioral data showed: shorter reaction times and higher accuracy rates occurred in the high-proficient group than those in the intermediate-proficient group; shorter reaction times and higher accuracy rates were observed in literal translation sentences than those in free translation sentences. ERP results showed literal translation sentences elicited an enhanced P200 and P600 while free translation sentences elicited a larger N400. The high-proficient group showed a larger P600 in syntactic violations and double violations while the intermediate-proficient group evoked an enhanced N400 in semantic violations and double violations. Literal translation sentences caused a larger P200 while free translation sentences elicited more negative-going N400. Behavioral and ERP data revealed the influence of L2 proficiency and syntactic similarity on L2 sentence processing, and L2 proficiency played a predominate role.

  4. Influence of Second Language Proficiency and Syntactic Structure Similarities on the Sensitivity and Processing of English Passive Sentence in Late Chinese-English Bilinguists: An ERP Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, Xin; Wang, Pei

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the influence of L2 proficiency and syntactic similarity on English passive sentence processing, the present ERP study asked 40 late Chinese-English bilinguals (27 females and 13 males, mean age = 23.88) with high or intermediate L2 proficiency to read the sentences carefully and to indicate for each sentence whether or not it was…

  5. Semantic Processing in Children and Adults: Incongruity and the N400

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benau, Erik M.; Morris, Joanna; Couperus, J. W.

    2011-01-01

    Semantic processing in 10-year-old children and adults was examined using event related potentials (ERPs). The N400 component, an index of semantic processing, was studied in relation to sentences that ended with congruent, moderately incongruent, or strongly incongruent words. N400 amplitude in adults corresponded to levels of semantic…

  6. The Shallow Structure Hypothesis of Second Language Sentence Processing: What Is Restricted and Why?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dowens, Margaret Gillon; Carreiras, Manuel

    2006-01-01

    Clahsen and Felser (CF) analyze the performance of monolingual children and adult second language (L2) learners in off-line and on-line tasks and compare their performance with that of adult monolinguals. They conclude that child first language (L1) processing is basically the same as adult L1 processing (the contiguity assumption), with…

  7. Semantic Encoding of Spoken Sentences: Adult Aging and the Preservation of Conceptual Short-Term Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Little, Deborah M.; McGrath, Lauren M.; Prentice, Kristen J.; Wingfield, Arthur

    2006-01-01

    Traditional models of human memory have postulated the need for a brief phonological or verbatim representation of verbal input as a necessary gateway to a higher level conceptual representation of the input. Potter has argued that meaningful sentences may be encoded directly in a conceptual short-term memory (CSTM) running parallel in time to…

  8. Individual differences in executive control relate to metaphor processing: an eye movement study of sentence reading

    PubMed Central

    Columbus, Georgie; Sheikh, Naveed A.; Côté-Lecaldare, Marilena; Häuser, Katja; Baum, Shari R.; Titone, Debra

    2015-01-01

    Metaphors are common elements of language that allow us to creatively stretch the limits of word meaning. However, metaphors vary in their degree of novelty, which determines whether people must create new meanings on-line or retrieve previously known metaphorical meanings from memory. Such variations affect the degree to which general cognitive capacities such as executive control are required for successful comprehension. We investigated whether individual differences in executive control relate to metaphor processing using eye movement measures of reading. Thirty-nine participants read sentences including metaphors or idioms, another form of figurative language that is more likely to rely on meaning retrieval. They also completed the AX-CPT, a domain-general executive control task. In Experiment 1, we examined sentences containing metaphorical or literal uses of verbs, presented with or without prior context. In Experiment 2, we examined sentences containing idioms or literal phrases for the same participants to determine whether the link to executive control was qualitatively similar or different to Experiment 1. When metaphors were low familiar, all people read verbs used as metaphors more slowly than verbs used literally (this difference was smaller for high familiar metaphors). Executive control capacity modulated this pattern in that high executive control readers spent more time reading verbs when a prior context forced a particular interpretation (metaphorical or literal), and they had faster total metaphor reading times when there was a prior context. Interestingly, executive control did not relate to idiom processing for the same readers. Here, all readers had faster total reading times for high familiar idioms than literal phrases. Thus, executive control relates to metaphor but not idiom processing for these readers, and for the particular metaphor and idiom reading manipulations presented. PMID:25628557

  9. Individual differences in executive control relate to metaphor processing: an eye movement study of sentence reading.

    PubMed

    Columbus, Georgie; Sheikh, Naveed A; Côté-Lecaldare, Marilena; Häuser, Katja; Baum, Shari R; Titone, Debra

    2014-01-01

    Metaphors are common elements of language that allow us to creatively stretch the limits of word meaning. However, metaphors vary in their degree of novelty, which determines whether people must create new meanings on-line or retrieve previously known metaphorical meanings from memory. Such variations affect the degree to which general cognitive capacities such as executive control are required for successful comprehension. We investigated whether individual differences in executive control relate to metaphor processing using eye movement measures of reading. Thirty-nine participants read sentences including metaphors or idioms, another form of figurative language that is more likely to rely on meaning retrieval. They also completed the AX-CPT, a domain-general executive control task. In Experiment 1, we examined sentences containing metaphorical or literal uses of verbs, presented with or without prior context. In Experiment 2, we examined sentences containing idioms or literal phrases for the same participants to determine whether the link to executive control was qualitatively similar or different to Experiment 1. When metaphors were low familiar, all people read verbs used as metaphors more slowly than verbs used literally (this difference was smaller for high familiar metaphors). Executive control capacity modulated this pattern in that high executive control readers spent more time reading verbs when a prior context forced a particular interpretation (metaphorical or literal), and they had faster total metaphor reading times when there was a prior context. Interestingly, executive control did not relate to idiom processing for the same readers. Here, all readers had faster total reading times for high familiar idioms than literal phrases. Thus, executive control relates to metaphor but not idiom processing for these readers, and for the particular metaphor and idiom reading manipulations presented.

  10. Phonological Substitution Errors in L2 ASL Sentence Processing by Hearing M2L2 Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Joshua; Newman, Sharlene

    2016-01-01

    In the present study we aimed to investigate phonological substitution errors made by hearing second language (M2L2) learners of American Sign Language (ASL) during a sentence translation task. Learners saw sentences in ASL that were signed by either a native signer or a M2L2 learner. Learners were to simply translate the sentence from ASL to…

  11. Sentence-processing in echo state networks: a qualitative analysis by finite state machine extraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank, Stefan L.; Jacobsson, Henrik

    2010-06-01

    It has been shown that the ability of echo state networks (ESNs) to generalise in a sentence-processing task can be increased by adjusting their input connection weights to the training data. We present a qualitative analysis of the effect of such weight adjustment on an ESN that is trained to perform the next-word prediction task. Our analysis makes use of CrySSMEx, an algorithm for extracting finite state machines (FSMs) from the data about the inputs, internal states, and outputs of recurrent neural networks that process symbol sequences. We find that the ESN with adjusted input weights yields a concise and comprehensible FSM. In contrast, the standard ESN, which shows poor generalisation, results in a massive and complex FSM. The extracted FSMs show how the two networks differ behaviourally. Moreover, poor generalisation is shown to correspond to a highly fragmented quantisation of the network's state space. Such findings indicate that CrySSMEx can be a useful tool for analysing ESN sentence processing.

  12. Delta, theta, beta, and gamma brain oscillations index levels of auditory sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Mai, Guangting; Minett, James W; Wang, William S-Y

    2016-06-01

    A growing number of studies indicate that multiple ranges of brain oscillations, especially the delta (δ, <4Hz), theta (θ, 4-8Hz), beta (β, 13-30Hz), and gamma (γ, 30-50Hz) bands, are engaged in speech and language processing. It is not clear, however, how these oscillations relate to functional processing at different linguistic hierarchical levels. Using scalp electroencephalography (EEG), the current study tested the hypothesis that phonological and the higher-level linguistic (semantic/syntactic) organizations during auditory sentence processing are indexed by distinct EEG signatures derived from the δ, θ, β, and γ oscillations. We analyzed specific EEG signatures while subjects listened to Mandarin speech stimuli in three different conditions in order to dissociate phonological and semantic/syntactic processing: (1) sentences comprising valid disyllabic words assembled in a valid syntactic structure (real-word condition); (2) utterances with morphologically valid syllables, but not constituting valid disyllabic words (pseudo-word condition); and (3) backward versions of the real-word and pseudo-word conditions. We tested four signatures: band power, EEG-acoustic entrainment (EAE), cross-frequency coupling (CFC), and inter-electrode renormalized partial directed coherence (rPDC). The results show significant effects of band power and EAE of δ and θ oscillations for phonological, rather than semantic/syntactic processing, indicating the importance of tracking δ- and θ-rate phonetic patterns during phonological analysis. We also found significant β-related effects, suggesting tracking of EEG to the acoustic stimulus (high-β EAE), memory processing (θ-low-β CFC), and auditory-motor interactions (20-Hz rPDC) during phonological analysis. For semantic/syntactic processing, we obtained a significant effect of γ power, suggesting lexical memory retrieval or processing grammatical word categories. Based on these findings, we confirm that scalp EEG

  13. ERPs reveal comparable syntactic sentence processing in native and non-native readers of English

    PubMed Central

    Kotz, Sonja A.; Holcomb, Phillip J.; Osterhout, Lee

    2009-01-01

    L2 syntactic processing has been primarily investigated in the context of syntactic anomaly detection, but only sparsely with syntactic ambiguity. In the field of event-related potentials (ERPs) syntactic anomaly detection and syntactic ambiguity resolution is linked to the P600. The current ERP experiment examined L2 syntactic processing in highly proficient L1 Spanish-L2 English readers who had acquired English informally around the age of 5 years. Temporary syntactic ambiguity (induced by verb subcategorization information) was tested as a language-specific phenomenon of L2, while syntactic anomaly resulted from phrase structure constraints that are similar in L1 and L2. Participants judged whether a sentence was syntactically acceptable or not. Native readers of English showed a P600 in the temporary syntactically ambiguous and syntactically anomalous sentences. A comparable picture emerged in the non-native readers of English. Both critical syntactic conditions elicited a P600, however, the distribution and latency of the P600 varied in the syntactic anomaly condition. The results clearly show that early acquisition of L2 syntactic knowledge leads to comparable online sensitivity towards temporal syntactic ambiguity and syntactic anomaly in early and highly proficient non-native readers of English and native readers of English. PMID:18061129

  14. Use of Referential Discourse Contexts in L2 Offline and Online Sentence Processing.

    PubMed

    Yang, Pi-Lan

    2016-10-01

    The present study aimed to investigate (a) the extent to which Chinese-speaking learners of English in Taiwan use referential noun phrase (NP) information contained in discourse contexts to complete ambiguous noun/verb fragments in a sentence completion task, and (b) whether and when they use the contexts to disambiguate main verb versus reduced relative clause (MV/RRC) ambiguities in real time. Results showed that unlike native English speakers, English learners did not create a marked increase in RRC completions in biasing two-NP-referent discourse contexts except for advanced learners. Nevertheless, like native speakers, the learners at elementary, intermediate, and advanced English proficiency levels all used the information in a later stage of resolving the MV/RRC ambiguities in real time. The delayed effect of referential context information observed suggests that L2 learners, like native speakers, are able to construct syntax-to-discourse mappings in real time. It also suggests that processing of syntactic information takes precedence over integration of syntactic information with discourse information during L1 and L2 online sentence processing.

  15. ERPs reveal comparable syntactic sentence processing in native and non-native readers of English.

    PubMed

    Kotz, Sonja A; Holcomb, Phillip J; Osterhout, Lee

    2008-07-01

    L2 syntactic processing has been primarily investigated in the context of syntactic anomaly detection, but only sparsely with syntactic ambiguity. In the field of event-related potentials (ERPs) syntactic anomaly detection and syntactic ambiguity resolution is linked to the P600. The current ERP experiment examined L2 syntactic processing in highly proficient L1 Spanish-L2 English readers who had acquired English informally around the age of 5 years. Temporary syntactic ambiguity (induced by verb subcategorization information) was tested as a language-specific phenomenon of L2, while syntactic anomaly resulted from phrase structure constraints that are similar in L1 and L2. Participants judged whether a sentence was syntactically acceptable or not. Native readers of English showed a P600 in the temporary syntactically ambiguous and syntactically anomalous sentences. A comparable picture emerged in the non-native readers of English. Both critical syntactic conditions elicited a P600, however, the distribution and latency of the P600 varied in the syntactic anomaly condition. The results clearly show that early acquisition of L2 syntactic knowledge leads to comparable online sensitivity towards temporal syntactic ambiguity and syntactic anomaly in early and highly proficient non-native readers of English and native readers of English.

  16. Pre-processing in sentence comprehension: Sensitivity to likely upcoming meaning and structure

    PubMed Central

    DeLong, Katherine A.; Troyer, Melissa; Kutas, Marta

    2016-01-01

    For more than a decade, views of sentence comprehension have been shifting toward wider acceptance of a role for linguistic pre-processing—that is, anticipation, expectancy, (neural) pre-activation, or prediction—of upcoming semantic content and syntactic structure. In this survey, we begin by examining the implications of each of these “brands” of predictive comprehension, including the issue of potential costs and consequences to not encountering highly constrained sentence input. We then describe a number of studies (many using online methodologies) that provide results consistent with prospective sensitivity to various grains and levels of semantic and syntactic information, acknowledging that such pre-processing is likely to occur in other linguistic and extralinguistic domains, as well. This review of anticipatory findings also includes some discussion on the relationship of priming to prediction. We conclude with a brief examination of some possible limits to prediction, and with a suggestion for future work to probe whether and how various strands of prediction may integrate during real-time comprehension. PMID:27525035

  17. Co-Localization of Stroop and Syntactic Ambiguity Resolution in Broca's Area: Implications for the Neural Basis of Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    January, David; Trueswell, John C.; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L.

    2009-01-01

    For over a century, a link between left prefrontal cortex and language processing has been accepted, yet the precise characterization of this link remains elusive. Recent advances in both the study of sentence processing and the neuroscientific study of frontal lobe function suggest an intriguing possibility: The demands to resolve competition…

  18. "The Drawer Is Still Closed": Simulating Past and Future Actions when Processing Sentences that Describe a State

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaup, Barbara; Ludtke, Jana; Maienborn, Claudia

    2010-01-01

    In two experiments using the action-sentence-compatibility paradigm we investigated the simulation processes that readers undertake when processing state descriptions with adjectives (e.g., "Die Schublade ist offen/zu". ["The drawer is open/shut"]) or adjectival passives (e.g., "Die Schublade ist geoffnet/geschlossen". ["The drawer is…

  19. Is Semantic Processing During Sentence Reading Autonomous or Controlled? Evidence from the N400 Component in a Dual Task Paradigm

    PubMed Central

    Hohlfeld, Annette; Martín-Loeches, Manuel; Sommer, Werner

    2015-01-01

    The present study contributes to the discussion on the automaticity of semantic processing. Whereas most previous research investigated semantic processing at word level, the present study addressed semantic processing during sentence reading. A dual task paradigm was combined with the recording of event-related brain potentials. Previous research at word level processing reported different patterns of interference with the N400 by additional tasks: attenuation of amplitude or delay of latency. In the present study, we presented Spanish sentences that were semantically correct or contained a semantic violation in a critical word. At different intervals preceding the critical word a tone was presented that required a high-priority choice response. At short intervals/high temporal overlap between the tasks mean amplitude of the N400 was reduced relative to long intervals/low temporal overlap, but there were no shifts of peak latency. We propose that processing at sentence level exerts a protective effect against the additional task. This is in accord with the attentional sensitization model (Kiefer & Martens, 2010), which suggests that semantic processing is an automatic process that can be enhanced by the currently activated task set. The present experimental sentences also induced a P600, which is taken as an index of integrative processing. Additional task effects are comparable to those in the N400 time window and are briefly discussed. PMID:26203312

  20. Situated sentence processing: the coordinated interplay account and a neurobehavioral model.

    PubMed

    Crocker, Matthew W; Knoeferle, Pia; Mayberry, Marshall R

    2010-03-01

    Empirical evidence demonstrating that sentence meaning is rapidly reconciled with the visual environment has been broadly construed as supporting the seamless interaction of visual and linguistic representations during situated comprehension. Based on recent behavioral and neuroscientific findings, however, we argue for the more deeply rooted coordination of the mechanisms underlying visual and linguistic processing, and for jointly considering the behavioral and neural correlates of scene-sentence reconciliation during situated comprehension. The Coordinated Interplay Account (CIA; Knoeferle, P., & Crocker, M. W. (2007). The influence of recent scene events on spoken comprehension: Evidence from eye movements. Journal of Memory and Language, 57(4), 519-543) asserts that incremental linguistic interpretation actively directs attention in the visual environment, thereby increasing the salience of attended scene information for comprehension. We review behavioral and neuroscientific findings in support of the CIA's three processing stages: (i) incremental sentence interpretation, (ii) language-mediated visual attention, and (iii) the on-line influence of non-linguistic visual context. We then describe a recently developed connectionist model which both embodies the central CIA proposals and has been successfully applied in modeling a range of behavioral findings from the visual world paradigm (Mayberry, M. R., Crocker, M. W., & Knoeferle, P. (2009). Learning to attend: A connectionist model of situated language comprehension. Cognitive Science). Results from a new simulation suggest the model also correlates with event-related brain potentials elicited by the immediate use of visual context for linguistic disambiguation (Knoeferle, P., Habets, B., Crocker, M. W., & Münte, T. F. (2008). Visual scenes trigger immediate syntactic reanalysis: Evidence from ERPs during situated spoken comprehension. Cerebral Cortex, 18(4), 789-795). Finally, we argue that the mechanisms

  1. Text exposure predicts spoken production of complex sentences in eight and twelve year old children and adults

    PubMed Central

    Montag, Jessica L.; MacDonald, Maryellen C.

    2015-01-01

    There is still much debate about the nature of the experiential and maturational changes that take place during childhood to bring about the sophisticated language abilities of an adult. The present study investigated text exposure as a possible source of linguistic experience that plays a role in the development of adult-like language abilities. Corpus analyses of object and passive relative clauses (Object: The book that the woman carried; Passive: The book that was carried by the woman) established the frequencies of these sentence types in child-directed speech and children's literature. We found that relative clauses of either type were more frequent in the written corpus, and that the ratio of passive to object relatives was much higher in the written corpus as well. This analysis suggests that passive relative clauses are much more frequent in a child's linguistic environment if they have high rates of text exposure. We then elicited object and passive relative clauses using a picture-description production task with eight and twelve year old children and adults. Both group and individual differences were consistent with the corpus analyses, such that older individuals and individuals with more text exposure produced more passive relative clauses. These findings suggest that the qualitatively different patterns of text versus speech may be an important source of linguistic experience for the development of adult-like language behavior. PMID:25844625

  2. Text exposure predicts spoken production of complex sentences in 8- and 12-year-old children and adults.

    PubMed

    Montag, Jessica L; MacDonald, Maryellen C

    2015-04-01

    There is still much debate about the nature of the experiential and maturational changes that take place during childhood to bring about the sophisticated language abilities of an adult. The present study investigated text exposure as a possible source of linguistic experience that plays a role in the development of adult-like language abilities. Corpus analyses of object and passive relative clauses (Object: The book that the woman carried; Passive: The book that was carried by the woman) established the frequencies of these sentence types in child-directed speech and children's literature. We found that relative clauses of either type were more frequent in the written corpus, and that the ratio of passive to object relatives was much higher in the written corpus as well. This analysis suggests that passive relative clauses are much more frequent in a child's linguistic environment if they have high rates of text exposure. We then elicited object and passive relative clauses using a picture-description production task with 8- and 12-year-old children and adults. Both group and individual differences were consistent with the corpus analyses, such that older individuals and individuals with more text exposure produced more passive relative clauses. These findings suggest that the qualitatively different patterns of text versus speech may be an important source of linguistic experience for the development of adult-like language behavior.

  3. The interplay between prosody and syntax in sentence processing: the case of subject- and object-control verbs.

    PubMed

    Bögels, Sara; Schriefers, Herbert; Vonk, Wietske; Chwilla, Dorothee J; Kerkhofs, Roel

    2010-05-01

    This study addresses the question whether prosodic information can affect the choice for a syntactic analysis in auditory sentence processing. We manipulated the prosody (in the form of a prosodic break; PB) of locally ambiguous Dutch sentences to favor one of two interpretations. The experimental items contained two different types of so-called control verbs (subject and object control) in the matrix clause and were syntactically disambiguated by a transitive or by an intransitive verb. In Experiment 1, we established the default off-line preference of the items for a transitive or an intransitive disambiguating verb with a visual and an auditory fragment completion test. The results suggested that subject- and object-control verbs differently affect the syntactic structure that listeners expect. In Experiment 2, we investigated these two types of verbs separately in an on-line ERP study. Consistent with the literature, the PB elicited a closure positive shift. Furthermore, in subject-control items, an N400 effect for intransitive relative to transitive disambiguating verbs was found, both for sentences with and for sentences without a PB. This result suggests that the default preference for subject-control verbs goes in the same direction as the effect of the PB. In object-control items, an N400 effect for intransitive relative to transitive disambiguating verbs was found for sentences with a PB but no effect in the absence of a PB. This indicates that a PB can affect the syntactic analysis that listeners pursue.

  4. A Closer Look at Phonology as a Predictor of Spoken Sentence Processing and Word Reading

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Myers, Suzanne; Robertson, Erin K.

    2015-01-01

    The goal of this study was to tease apart the roles of phonological awareness (pA) and phonological short-term memory (pSTM) in sentence comprehension, sentence production, and word reading. Children 6- to 10-years of age (N = 377) completed standardized tests of pA ("Elision") and pSTM ("Nonword Repetition") from the…

  5. Sentence Processing in an Artificial Language: Learning and Using Combinatorial Constraints

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Amato, Michael S.; MacDonald, Maryellen C.

    2010-01-01

    A study combining artificial grammar and sentence comprehension methods investigated the learning and online use of probabilistic, nonadjacent combinatorial constraints. Participants learned a small artificial language describing cartoon monsters acting on objects. Self-paced reading of sentences in the artificial language revealed comprehenders'…

  6. EEG Theta and Gamma Responses to Semantic Violations in Online Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hald, Lea A.; Bastiaansen, Marcel C. M.; Hagoort, Peter

    2006-01-01

    We explore the nature of the oscillatory dynamics in the EEG of subjects reading sentences that contain a semantic violation. More specifically, we examine whether increases in theta ([Approximately]3-7 Hz) and gamma (around 40 Hz) band power occur in response to sentences that were either semantically correct or contained a semantically…

  7. Action verbs are processed differently in metaphorical and literal sentences depending on the semantic match of visual primes

    PubMed Central

    Troyer, Melissa; Curley, Lauren B.; Miller, Luke E.; Saygin, Ayse P.; Bergen, Benjamin K.

    2014-01-01

    Language comprehension requires rapid and flexible access to information stored in long-term memory, likely influenced by activation of rich world knowledge and by brain systems that support the processing of sensorimotor content. We hypothesized that while literal language about biological motion might rely on neurocognitive representations of biological motion specific to the details of the actions described, metaphors rely on more generic representations of motion. In a priming and self-paced reading paradigm, participants saw video clips or images of (a) an intact point-light walker or (b) a scrambled control and read sentences containing literal or metaphoric uses of biological motion verbs either closely or distantly related to the depicted action (walking). We predicted that reading times for literal and metaphorical sentences would show differential sensitivity to the match between the verb and the visual prime. In Experiment 1, we observed interactions between the prime type (walker or scrambled video) and the verb type (close or distant match) for both literal and metaphorical sentences, but with strikingly different patterns. We found no difference in the verb region of literal sentences for Close-Match verbs after walker or scrambled motion primes, but Distant-Match verbs were read more quickly following walker primes. For metaphorical sentences, the results were roughly reversed, with Distant-Match verbs being read more slowly following a walker compared to scrambled motion. In Experiment 2, we observed a similar pattern following still image primes, though critical interactions emerged later in the sentence. We interpret these findings as evidence for shared recruitment of cognitive and neural mechanisms for processing visual and verbal biological motion information. Metaphoric language using biological motion verbs may recruit neurocognitive mechanisms similar to those used in processing literal language but be represented in a less-specific way

  8. The N400 and Late Positive Complex (LPC) Effects Reflect Controlled Rather than Automatic Mechanisms of Sentence Processing

    PubMed Central

    Daltrozzo, Jérôme; Wioland, Norma; Kotchoubey, Boris

    2012-01-01

    This study compared automatic and controlled cognitive processes that underlie event-related potentials (ERPs) effects during speech perception. Sentences were presented to French native speakers, and the final word could be congruent or incongruent, and presented at one of four levels of degradation (using a modulation with pink noise): no degradation, mild degradation (2 levels), or strong degradation. We assumed that degradation impairs controlled more than automatic processes. The N400 and Late Positive Complex (LPC) effects were defined as the differences between the corresponding wave amplitudes to incongruent words minus congruent words. Under mild degradation, where controlled sentence-level processing could still occur (as indicated by behavioral data), both N400 and LPC effects were delayed and the latter effect was reduced. Under strong degradation, where sentence processing was rather automatic (as indicated by behavioral data), no ERP effect remained. These results suggest that ERP effects elicited in complex contexts, such as sentences, reflect controlled rather than automatic mechanisms of speech processing. These results differ from the results of experiments that used word-pair or word-list paradigms. PMID:24961195

  9. Neuronal Activation for Semantically Reversible Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, Fiona M.; Thomas, Michael S. C.; Price, Cathy J.

    2010-01-01

    Semantically reversible sentences are prone to misinterpretation and take longer for typically developing children and adults to comprehend; they are also particularly problematic for those with language difficulties such as aphasia or Specific Language Impairment. In our study, we used fMRI to compare the processing of semantically reversible and…

  10. Effects of Animacy and Noun-Phrase Relatedness on the Processing of Complex Sentences

    PubMed Central

    Lowder, Matthew W.; Gordon, Peter C.

    2014-01-01

    Previous work has suggested that syntactically complex object-extracted relative clauses are easier to process when the head noun phrase (NP1) is inanimate and the embedded noun phrase (NP2) is animate compared to the reverse animacy configuration, with differences in processing difficulty beginning as early as NP2 (e.g., The article that the senator… versus The senator that the article…). Two eye-tracking-while-reading experiments were conducted to better understand the source of this effect. Experiment 1 showed that having an inanimate NP1 facilitated processing even when NP2 was held constant. Experiment 2 manipulated both animacy of NP1 and the degree of semantic relatedness between the critical NPs. When NP1 and NP2 were paired arbitrarily, the early animacy effect emerged at NP2. When NP1 and NP2 were semantically related, this effect disappeared, with effects of NP1 animacy emerging in later processing stages for both the Related and Arbitrary conditions. The results indicate that differences in the animacy of NP1 influence early processing of complex sentences only when the critical NPs share no meaningful relationship. PMID:24452417

  11. Lexical Interference Effects in Sentence Processing: Evidence from the Visual World Paradigm and Self-Organizing Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kukona, Anuenue; Cho, Pyeong Whan; Magnuson, James S.; Tabor, Whitney

    2014-01-01

    Psycholinguistic research spanning a number of decades has produced diverging results with regard to the nature of constraint integration in online sentence processing. For example, evidence that language users anticipatorily fixate likely upcoming referents in advance of evidence in the speech signal supports rapid context integration. By…

  12. Effects of visual span on reading speed and parafoveal processing in eye movements during sentence reading.

    PubMed

    Risse, Sarah

    2014-07-15

    The visual span (or ‘‘uncrowded window’’), which limits the sensory information on each fixation, has been shown to determine reading speed in tasks involving rapid serial visual presentation of single words. The present study investigated whether this is also true for fixation durations during sentence reading when all words are presented at the same time and parafoveal preview of words prior to fixation typically reduces later word-recognition times. If so, a larger visual span may allow more efficient parafoveal processing and thus faster reading. In order to test this hypothesis, visual span profiles (VSPs) were collected from 60 participants and related to data from an eye-tracking reading experiment. The results confirmed a positive relationship between the readers’ VSPs and fixation-based reading speed. However, this relationship was not determined by parafoveal processing. There was no evidence that individual differences in VSPs predicted differences in parafoveal preview benefit. Nevertheless, preview benefit correlated with reading speed, suggesting an independent effect on oculomotor control during reading. In summary, the present results indicate a more complex relationship between the visual span, parafoveal processing, and reading speed than initially assumed.

  13. Effects of visual span on reading speed and parafoveal processing in eye movements during sentence reading.

    PubMed

    Risse, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    The visual span (or ‘‘uncrowded window’’), which limits the sensory information on each fixation, has been shown to determine reading speed in tasks involving rapid serial visual presentation of single words. The present study investigated whether this is also true for fixation durations during sentence reading when all words are presented at the same time and parafoveal preview of words prior to fixation typically reduces later word-recognition times. If so, a larger visual span may allow more efficient parafoveal processing and thus faster reading. In order to test this hypothesis, visual span profiles (VSPs) were collected from 60 participants and related to data from an eye-tracking reading experiment. The results confirmed a positive relationship between the readers’ VSPs and fixation-based reading speed. However, this relationship was not determined by parafoveal processing. There was no evidence that individual differences in VSPs predicted differences in parafoveal preview benefit. Nevertheless, preview benefit correlated with reading speed, suggesting an independent effect on oculomotor control during reading. In summary, the present results indicate a more complex relationship between the visual span, parafoveal processing, and reading speed than initially assumed. PMID:25027163

  14. Common and distinct neural substrates for pragmatic, semantic, and syntactic processing of spoken sentences: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Kuperberg, G R; McGuire, P K; Bullmore, E T; Brammer, M J; Rabe-Hesketh, S; Wright, I C; Lythgoe, D J; Williams, S C; David, A S

    2000-03-01

    Extracting meaning from speech requires the use of pragmatic, semantic, and syntactic information. A central question is: Does the processing of these different types of linguistic information have common or distinct neuroanatomical substrates? We addressed this issue using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure neural activity when subjects listened to spoken normal sentences contrasted with sentences that had either (A) pragmatical, (B) semantic (selection restriction), or (C) syntactic (subcategorical) violations sentences. All three contrasts revealed robust activation of the left-inferior-temporal/fusiform gyrus. Activity in this area was also observed in a combined analysis of all three experiments, suggesting that it was modulated by all three types of linguistic violation. Planned statistical comparisons between the three experiments revealed (1) a greater difference between conditions in activation of the left-superior-temporal gyrus for the pragmatic experiment than the semantic/syntactic experiments; (2) a greater difference between conditions in activation of the right-superior and middle-temporal gyrus in the semantic experiment than in the syntactic experiment; and (3) no regions activated to a greater degree in the syntactic experiment than in the semantic experiment. These data show that, while left- and right-superior-temporal regions may be differentially involved in processing pragmatic and lexico-semantic information within sentences, the left-inferior-temporal/fusiform gyrus is involved in processing all three types of linguistic information. We suggest that this region may play a key role in using pragmatic, semantic (selection restriction), and subcategorical information to construct a higher representation of meaning of sentences. PMID:10771415

  15. Processing Interrogative Sentence Mood at the Semantic-Syntactic Interface: An Electrophysiological Research in Chinese, German, and Polish

    PubMed Central

    Kao, Chung-Shan; Dietrich, Rainer; Sommer, Werner

    2010-01-01

    Background Languages differ in the marking of the sentence mood of a polar interrogative (yes/no question). For instance, the interrogative mood is marked at the beginning of the surface structure in Polish, whereas the marker appears at the end in Chinese. In order to generate the corresponding sentence frame, the syntactic specification of the interrogative mood is early in Polish and late in Chinese. In this respect, German belongs to an interesting intermediate class. The yes/no question is expressed by a shift of the finite verb from its final position in the underlying structure into the utterance initial position, a move affecting, hence, both the sentence's final and the sentence's initial constituents. The present study aimed to investigate whether during generation of the semantic structure of a polar interrogative, i.e., the processing preceding the grammatical formulation, the interrogative mood is encoded according to its position in the syntactic structure at distinctive time points in Chinese, German, and Polish. Methodology/Principal Findings In a two-choice go/nogo experimental design, native speakers of the three languages responded to pictures by pressing buttons and producing utterances in their native language while their brain potentials were recorded. The emergence and latency of lateralized readiness potentials (LRP) in nogo conditions, in which speakers asked a yes/no question, should indicate the time point of processing the interrogative mood. The results revealed that Chinese, German, and Polish native speakers did not differ from each other in the electrophysiological indicator. Conclusions/Significance The findings suggest that the semantic encoding of the interrogative mood is temporally consistent across languages despite its disparate syntactic specification. The consistent encoding may be ascribed to economic processing of interrogative moods at various sentential positions of the syntactic structures in languages or, more

  16. Automatic perceptual simulation of first language meanings during second language sentence processing in bilinguals.

    PubMed

    Vukovic, Nikola; Williams, John N

    2014-01-01

    Research supports the claim that, when understanding language, people perform mental simulation using those parts of the brain which support sensation, action, and emotion. A major criticism of the findings quoted as evidence for embodied simulation, however, is that they could be a result of conscious image generation strategies. Here we exploit the well-known fact that bilinguals routinely and automatically activate both their languages during comprehension to test whether this automatic process is, in turn, modulated by embodied simulatory processes. Dutch participants heard English sentences containing interlingual homophones and implying specific distance relations, and had to subsequently respond to pictures of objects matching or mismatching this implied distance. Participants were significantly slower to reject critical items when their perceptual features matched said distance relationship. These results suggest that bilinguals not only activate task-irrelevant meanings of interlingual homophones, but also automatically simulate these meanings in a detailed perceptual fashion. Our study supports the claim that embodied simulation is not due to participants' conscious strategies, but is an automatic component of meaning construction.

  17. We Could Have Loved and Lost. Or We Never Could Have Love at All: Syntactic Misanalysis in L2 Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conroy, Mark A.; Cupples, Linda

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated sentence-processing strategies adopted by advanced nonnative speakers (NNSs) and native speakers (NSs) of English in the context of an English structure with which NNSs reportedly have an acquisition difficulty (e.g., Swan & Smith, 2001)--namely, modal perfect (MP). Participants read MP sentences such as "He could have…

  18. On the construction of a Finnish audiometric sentence test.

    PubMed

    Määttä, T K; Sorri, M J; Huttunen, K H; Välimaa, T T; Muhli, A A

    2001-01-01

    To respond to the demands of clinical practice and the needs of rehabilitation, a Finnish audiometric sentence test is being developed. The test consists of 10 sets of 10 sentences, each set serving as an independent test. The test is scored by words (50 per set). Homogeneity between the sets was guaranteed by a number of linguistic and phonetic criteria, controlled by using the Virko Sentence Analyzer, a programme especially constructed for the purpose. Recognition tests for the validation of the sentence sets were made with young normally hearing adults (n = 70; age group 18-25 years). Psychometric recognition properties of the test are described. The selection process of the final 10 sentence sets is illustrated.

  19. Resolving sentence ambiguity with planning and working memory resources: Evidence from fMRI.

    PubMed

    Novais-Santos, Susana; Gee, James; Shah, Maliha; Troiani, Vanessa; Work, Melissa; Grossman, Murray

    2007-08-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to test competing claims about the role of executive resources during the disambiguation of a sentence featuring a temporary structural ambiguity. Written sentences with a direct object (DO) structure or a sentential complement (SC) structure were shown to 19 healthy, right-handed, young adults in a phrase-by-phrase manner. These sentences contained a main verb that is statistically more likely to be associated with a DO structure or an SC structure. Half of each type of sentence also contained an extra phrase strategically located to stress working memory prior to disambiguating the sentence. We found that sentences featuring a less consistent verb-structure mapping recruit greater dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) activation than sentences with a more consistent verb-structure mapping, implicating strategic on-line planning during resolution of a temporary structural ambiguity. By comparison, we observed left inferior parietal cortex (IPC) activation in sentences with an increased working memory demand compared to sentences with a low working memory load. These findings are consistent with a large-scale neural network for sentence processing that recruits distinct planning and working memory processing resources as needed to support the comprehension of sentences.

  20. Switching Modalities in A Sentence Verification Task: ERP Evidence for Embodied Language Processing.

    PubMed

    Hald, Lea A; Marshall, Julie-Ann; Janssen, Dirk P; Garnham, Alan

    2011-01-01

    In an event related potential (ERP) experiment using written language materials only, we investigated a potential modulation of the N400 by the modality switch effect. The modality switch effect occurs when a first sentence, describing a fact grounded in one modality, is followed by a second sentence describing a second fact grounded in a different modality. For example, "A cellar is dark" (visual), was preceded by either another visual property "Ham is pink" or by a tactile property "A mitten is soft." We also investigated whether the modality switch effect occurs for false sentences ("A cellar is light"). We found that, for true sentences, the ERP at the critical word "dark" elicited a significantly greater frontal, early N400-like effect (270-370 ms) when there was a modality mismatch than when there was a modality-match. This pattern was not found for the critical word "light" in false sentences. Results similar to the frontal negativity were obtained in a late time window (500-700 ms). The obtained ERP effect is similar to one previously obtained for pictures. We conclude that in this paradigm we obtained fast access to conceptual properties for modality-matched pairs, which leads to embodiment effects similar to those previously obtained with pictorial stimuli. PMID:21779254

  1. Unification of sentence processing via ear and eye: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Braze, David; Mencl, W Einar; Tabor, Whitney; Pugh, Kenneth R; Constable, R Todd; Fulbright, Robert K; Magnuson, James S; Van Dyke, Julie A; Shankweiler, Donald P

    2011-04-01

    We present new evidence based on fMRI for the existence and neural architecture of an abstract supramodal language system that can integrate linguistic inputs arising from different modalities such that speech and print each activate a common code. Working with sentence material, our aim was to find out where the putative supramodal system is located and how it responds to comprehension challenges. To probe these questions we examined BOLD activity in experienced readers while they performed a semantic categorization task with matched written or spoken sentences that were either well-formed or contained anomalies of syntactic form or pragmatic content. On whole-brain scans, both anomalies increased net activity over non-anomalous baseline sentences, chiefly at left frontal and temporal regions of heteromodal cortex. The anomaly-sensitive sites correspond approximately to those that previous studies (Michael et al., 2001; Constable et al., 2004) have found to be sensitive to other differences in sentence complexity (object relative minus subject relative). Regions of interest (ROIs) were defined by peak response to anomaly averaging over modality conditions. Each anomaly-sensitive ROI showed the same pattern of response across sentence types in each modality. Voxel-by-voxel exploration over the whole brain based on a cosine similarity measure of common function confirmed the specificity of supramodal zones.

  2. Switching Modalities in A Sentence Verification Task: ERP Evidence for Embodied Language Processing.

    PubMed

    Hald, Lea A; Marshall, Julie-Ann; Janssen, Dirk P; Garnham, Alan

    2011-01-01

    In an event related potential (ERP) experiment using written language materials only, we investigated a potential modulation of the N400 by the modality switch effect. The modality switch effect occurs when a first sentence, describing a fact grounded in one modality, is followed by a second sentence describing a second fact grounded in a different modality. For example, "A cellar is dark" (visual), was preceded by either another visual property "Ham is pink" or by a tactile property "A mitten is soft." We also investigated whether the modality switch effect occurs for false sentences ("A cellar is light"). We found that, for true sentences, the ERP at the critical word "dark" elicited a significantly greater frontal, early N400-like effect (270-370 ms) when there was a modality mismatch than when there was a modality-match. This pattern was not found for the critical word "light" in false sentences. Results similar to the frontal negativity were obtained in a late time window (500-700 ms). The obtained ERP effect is similar to one previously obtained for pictures. We conclude that in this paradigm we obtained fast access to conceptual properties for modality-matched pairs, which leads to embodiment effects similar to those previously obtained with pictorial stimuli.

  3. Same Same, but Different: Word and Sentence Reading in German and English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rau, Anne K.; Moll, Kristina; Moeller, Korbinian; Huber, Stefan; Snowling, Margaret J.; Landerl, Karin

    2016-01-01

    The current study compared eye fixation patterns during word and sentence processing in a consistent and an inconsistent alphabetic orthography. German and English children as well as adults matched on word reading ability read matched sentences while their eye fixation behavior was recorded. Results indicated that German children read in a more…

  4. Sentence Processing in High Proficient Kannada--English Bilinguals: A Reaction Time Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ravi, Sunil Kumar; Chengappa, Shyamala K.

    2015-01-01

    The present study aimed at exploring the semantic and syntactic processing differences between native and second languages in 20 early high proficient Kannada--English bilingual adults through accuracy and reaction time (RT) measurements. Subjects participated in a semantic judgement task (using 50 semantically correct and 50 semantically…

  5. Effectiveness of a loudness model for time-varying sounds in equating the loudness of sentences subjected to different forms of signal processing.

    PubMed

    Zorilă, Tudor-Cătălin; Stylianou, Yannis; Flanagan, Sheila; Moore, Brian C J

    2016-07-01

    A model for the loudness of time-varying sounds [Glasberg and Moore (2012). J. Audio. Eng. Soc. 50, 331-342] was assessed for its ability to predict the loudness of sentences that were processed to either decrease or increase their dynamic fluctuations. In a paired-comparison task, subjects compared the loudness of unprocessed and processed sentences that had been equalized in (1) root-mean square (RMS) level; (2) the peak long-term loudness predicted by the model; (3) the mean long-term loudness predicted by the model. Method 2 was most effective in equating the loudness of the original and processed sentences. PMID:27475164

  6. Effectiveness of a loudness model for time-varying sounds in equating the loudness of sentences subjected to different forms of signal processing.

    PubMed

    Zorilă, Tudor-Cătălin; Stylianou, Yannis; Flanagan, Sheila; Moore, Brian C J

    2016-07-01

    A model for the loudness of time-varying sounds [Glasberg and Moore (2012). J. Audio. Eng. Soc. 50, 331-342] was assessed for its ability to predict the loudness of sentences that were processed to either decrease or increase their dynamic fluctuations. In a paired-comparison task, subjects compared the loudness of unprocessed and processed sentences that had been equalized in (1) root-mean square (RMS) level; (2) the peak long-term loudness predicted by the model; (3) the mean long-term loudness predicted by the model. Method 2 was most effective in equating the loudness of the original and processed sentences.

  7. Sentence imposed.

    PubMed

    1999-04-30

    The New York Supreme Court sentenced [name removed] to 4 to 12 years in prison on charges of exposing a woman to HIV through unprotected sex. [Name removed] pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless endangerment in the first degree, and to another count of statutory rape for having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Public health officials say [name removed] has exposed at least 48 women and girls to HIV, infecting 13 of them. He was sentenced 3 days later, to 2 to 6 years for having unprotected sex with a 15-year-old in the Bronx. The sentences will run concurrently. PMID:11366531

  8. Event processing in the visual world: Projected motion paths during spoken sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Kamide, Yuki; Lindsay, Shane; Scheepers, Christoph; Kukona, Anuenue

    2016-05-01

    Motion events in language describe the movement of an entity to another location along a path. In 2 eye-tracking experiments, we found that comprehension of motion events involves the online construction of a spatial mental model that integrates language with the visual world. In Experiment 1, participants listened to sentences describing the movement of an agent to a goal while viewing visual scenes depicting the agent, goal, and empty space in between. Crucially, verbs suggested either upward (e.g., jump) or downward (e.g., crawl) paths. We found that in the rare event of fixating the empty space between the agent and goal, visual attention was biased upward or downward in line with the verb. In Experiment 2, visual scenes depicted a central obstruction, which imposed further constraints on the paths and increased the likelihood of fixating the empty space between the agent and goal. The results from this experiment corroborated and refined the previous findings. Specifically, eye-movement effects started immediately after hearing the verb and were in line with data from an additional mouse-tracking task that encouraged a more explicit spatial reenactment of the motion event. In revealing how event comprehension operates in the visual world, these findings suggest a mental simulation process whereby spatial details of motion events are mapped onto the world through visual attention. The strength and detectability of such effects in overt eye-movements is constrained by the visual world and the fact that perceivers rarely fixate regions of empty space. (PsycINFO Database Record

  9. Word skipping during sentence reading: effects of lexicality on parafoveal processing.

    PubMed

    Choi, Wonil; Gordon, Peter C

    2014-01-01

    Two experiments examined how lexical status affects the targeting of saccades during reading by using the boundary technique to vary independently the content of a letter string when seen in parafoveal preview and when directly fixated. Experiment 1 measured the skipping rate for a target word embedded in a sentence under three parafoveal preview conditions: full preview (e.g., brain-brain), pseudohomophone preview (e.g., brane-brain), and orthographic nonword control preview (e.g., brant-brain); in the first condition, the preview string was always an English word, while in the second and third conditions, it was always a nonword. Experiment 2 investigated three conditions where the preview string was always a word: full preview (e.g., beach-beach), homophone preview (e.g., beech-beach), and orthographic control preview (e.g., bench-beach). None of the letter string manipulations used to create the preview conditions in the experiments disrupted sublexical orthographic or phonological patterns. In Experiment 1, higher skipping rates were observed for the full (lexical) preview condition, which consisted of a word, than for the nonword preview conditions (pseudohomophone and orthographic control). In contrast, Experiment 2 showed no difference in skipping rates across the three types of lexical preview conditions (full, homophone, and orthographic control), although preview type did influence reading times. This pattern indicates that skipping not only depends on the presence of disrupted sublexical patterns of orthography or phonology, but also is critically dependent on processes that are sensitive to the lexical status of letter strings in the parafovea.

  10. Semantic Short-Term Memory and Its Role in Sentence Processing: A Replication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Randi C.; He, Tao

    2004-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that an aphasic patient (AB) with a semantic short-term memory deficit (STM) had difficulties comprehending and producing sentences with structures that demanded the simultaneous retention of several individual word meanings (Martin & Freedman, 2001a, 2001b; Martin & Romani, 1994; Martin, Shelton, & Yaffee, 1994). The…

  11. Phonological Involvement in the Processing of Japanese at the Lexical and Sentence Levels.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morita, Aiko; Tamaoka, Katsuo

    2002-01-01

    Presents 3 experiments that examine whether Japanese readers activate phonological information when reading kanji compound words and sentences and if so, how they do it. Suggests that readers activate phonological information of two-kanji compound words when reading for comprehension but not for simple proofreading. (SG)

  12. Event Processing in the Visual World: Projected Motion Paths during Spoken Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kamide, Yuki; Lindsay, Shane; Scheepers, Christoph; Kukona, Anuenue

    2016-01-01

    Motion events in language describe the movement of an entity to another location along a path. In 2 eye-tracking experiments, we found that comprehension of motion events involves the online construction of a spatial mental model that integrates language with the visual world. In Experiment 1, participants listened to sentences describing the…

  13. Situated Sentence Processing: The Coordinated Interplay Account and a Neurobehavioral Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crocker, Matthew W.; Knoeferle, Pia; Mayberry, Marshall R.

    2010-01-01

    Empirical evidence demonstrating that sentence meaning is rapidly reconciled with the visual environment has been broadly construed as supporting the seamless interaction of visual and linguistic representations during situated comprehension. Based on recent behavioral and neuroscientific findings, however, we argue for the more deeply rooted…

  14. Yurok Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bennett, Ruth, Ed.; And Others

    A handlettered collection of approximately 220 commonly-used expressions and sentences in the language of the Yurok Indians of northwestern California includes common English equivalents as well as word-for-word translations. (LFL)

  15. Exploring a Phonological Process Approach to Adult Pronunciation Training

    PubMed Central

    McDaniel, Lana

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The production of speech sound classes in adult language learners is affected by (a) interference between the native language and the target language and (b) speaker variables such as time speaking English. In this article, we demonstrate how phonological process analysis, an approach typically used in child speech, can be used to characterize adult target language phonological learning. Method Sentences produced by 2 adult Japanese English language learners were transcribed and coded for phoneme accuracy and analyzed according to the percent occurrence of phonological processes. The results were interpreted relative to a contrastive analysis between Japanese and English phonetic inventories and developmental norms for monolingual English children. Results In this pilot study, common consonant processes included vocalization, final consonant devoicing, and cluster reduction. These are processes commonly observed in the speech of children who are typically developing. Conclusions The process analysis can inform clinical approaches to pronunciation training in adult English language learners. For example, the cycles approach (Hodson & Paden, 1981) may provide more clinical efficacy than an articulatory approach in which phonemes are targeted individually. In addition, a process analysis can enable clinicians to examine the principles of within-class and across-class generalization in adult pronunciation instruction. PMID:27151825

  16. Lexical interference effects in sentence processing: Evidence from the visual world paradigm and self-organizing models

    PubMed Central

    Kukona, Anuenue; Cho, Pyeong Whan; Magnuson, James S.; Tabor, Whitney

    2014-01-01

    Psycholinguistic research spanning a number of decades has produced diverging results with regard to the nature of constraint integration in online sentence processing. For example, evidence that language users anticipatorily fixate likely upcoming referents in advance of evidence in the speech signal supports rapid context integration. By contrast, evidence that language users activate representations that conflict with contextual constraints, or only indirectly satisfy them, supports non-integration or late integration. Here, we report on a self-organizing neural network framework that addresses one aspect of constraint integration: the integration of incoming lexical information (i.e., an incoming word) with sentence context information (i.e., from preceding words in an unfolding utterance). In two simulations, we show that the framework predicts both classic results concerned with lexical ambiguity resolution (Swinney, 1979; Tanenhaus, Leiman, & Seidenberg, 1979), which suggest late context integration, and results demonstrating anticipatory eye movements (e.g., Altmann & Kamide, 1999), which support rapid context integration. We also report two experiments using the visual world paradigm that confirm a new prediction of the framework. Listeners heard sentences like “The boy will eat the white…,” while viewing visual displays with objects like a white cake (i.e., a predictable direct object of “eat”), white car (i.e., an object not predicted by “eat,” but consistent with “white”), and distractors. Consistent with our simulation predictions, we found that while listeners fixated white cake most, they also fixated white car more than unrelated distractors in this highly constraining sentence (and visual) context. PMID:24245535

  17. Strong systematicity through sensorimotor conceptual grounding: an unsupervised, developmental approach to connectionist sentence processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jansen, Peter A.; Watter, Scott

    2012-03-01

    Connectionist language modelling typically has difficulty with syntactic systematicity, or the ability to generalise language learning to untrained sentences. This work develops an unsupervised connectionist model of infant grammar learning. Following the semantic boostrapping hypothesis, the network distils word category using a developmentally plausible infant-scale database of grounded sensorimotor conceptual representations, as well as a biologically plausible semantic co-occurrence activation function. The network then uses this knowledge to acquire an early benchmark clausal grammar using correlational learning, and further acquires separate conceptual and grammatical category representations. The network displays strongly systematic behaviour indicative of the general acquisition of the combinatorial systematicity present in the grounded infant-scale language stream, outperforms previous contemporary models that contain primarily noun and verb word categories, and successfully generalises broadly to novel untrained sensorimotor grounded sentences composed of unfamiliar nouns and verbs. Limitations as well as implications to later grammar learning are discussed.

  18. Psychiatric Disorders Among Detained Youths: A Comparison of Youths Processed in Juvenile Court and Adult Criminal Court

    PubMed Central

    Washburn, Jason; Teplin, Linda; Voss, Laurie; Simon, Clarissa; Abram, Karen; McClelland, Gary

    2009-01-01

    Objective To compare the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in youths processed in adult criminal court with youths processed in the juvenile court. Methods Participants were a stratified random sample of 1829 youths (10–18 years of age) arrested and detained in Chicago, IL. Data on 1715 youths (13–18 years of age) from version 2.3 of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children are presented, including 1440 youths processed in juvenile court and 275 youths processed in adult criminal court. Results Among youths processed in the adult criminal court, 66% had at least one psychiatric disorder and 43% had two or more types of disorders. Prevalence rates and the number of comorbid types of disorders were not significantly different between youths processed in adult criminal court and those processed in the juvenile court. Among youths processed in adult criminal court, those sentenced to prison had significantly greater odds of having disruptive behavior, substance use, or comorbid affective and anxiety disorders than those receiving a less severe sentence. Males, African Americans, Hispanics, and older youths had greater odds of being processed in adult criminal court than females, non-Hispanic whites, and younger youths, even after controlling for felony-level violent crime. Conclusions Community and correctional systems must be prepared to provide psychiatric services to youths transferred to adult criminal court, and especially to youths sentenced to prison. Psychiatric service providers must also consider the disproportionate representation of racial/ethnic minorities in the transfer process when developing and implementing services. PMID:18757588

  19. Children’s Processing and Comprehension of Complex Sentences Containing Temporal Connectives: The Influence of Memory on the Time Course of Accurate Responses

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    In a touch-screen paradigm, we recorded 3- to 7-year-olds’ (N = 108) accuracy and response times (RTs) to assess their comprehension of 2-clause sentences containing before and after. Children were influenced by order: performance was most accurate when the presentation order of the 2 clauses matched the chronological order of events: “She drank the juice, before she walked in the park” (chronological order) versus “Before she walked in the park, she drank the juice” (reverse order). Differences in RTs for correct responses varied by sentence type: accurate responses were made more speedily for sentences that afforded an incremental processing of meaning. An independent measure of memory predicted this pattern of performance. We discuss these findings in relation to children’s knowledge of connective meaning and the processing requirements of sentences containing temporal connectives. PMID:27690492

  20. The effectiveness of imagery and sentence strategy instructions as a function of visual and auditory processing in young school-age children.

    PubMed

    Weed, K; Ryan, E B

    1985-12-01

    The relationship between auditory and visual processing modality and strategy instructions was examined in first- and second-grade children. A Pictograph Sentence Memory Test was used to determine dominant processing modality as well as to assess instructional effects. The pictograph task was given first followed by auditory or visual interference. Children who were disrupted more by visual interference were classed as visual processors and those more disrupted by auditory interference were classed as auditory processors. Auditory and visual processors were then assigned to one of three conditions: interactive imagery strategy, sentence strategy, or a control group. Children in the imagery and sentence strategy groups were briefly taught to integrate the pictographs in order to remember them better. The sentence strategy was found to be effective for both auditory and visual processors, whereas the interactive imagery strategy was effective only for auditory processors.

  1. Effects of orthographic consistency on eye movement behavior: German and English children and adults process the same words differently.

    PubMed

    Rau, Anne K; Moll, Kristina; Snowling, Margaret J; Landerl, Karin

    2015-02-01

    The current study investigated the time course of cross-linguistic differences in word recognition. We recorded eye movements of German and English children and adults while reading closely matched sentences, each including a target word manipulated for length and frequency. Results showed differential word recognition processes for both developing and skilled readers. Children of the two orthographies did not differ in terms of total word processing time, but this equal outcome was achieved quite differently. Whereas German children relied on small-unit processing early in word recognition, English children applied small-unit decoding only upon rereading-possibly when experiencing difficulties in integrating an unfamiliar word into the sentence context. Rather unexpectedly, cross-linguistic differences were also found in adults in that English adults showed longer processing times than German adults for nonwords. Thus, although orthographic consistency does play a major role in reading development, cross-linguistic differences are detectable even in skilled adult readers. PMID:25462034

  2. Effects of orthographic consistency on eye movement behavior: German and English children and adults process the same words differently.

    PubMed

    Rau, Anne K; Moll, Kristina; Snowling, Margaret J; Landerl, Karin

    2015-02-01

    The current study investigated the time course of cross-linguistic differences in word recognition. We recorded eye movements of German and English children and adults while reading closely matched sentences, each including a target word manipulated for length and frequency. Results showed differential word recognition processes for both developing and skilled readers. Children of the two orthographies did not differ in terms of total word processing time, but this equal outcome was achieved quite differently. Whereas German children relied on small-unit processing early in word recognition, English children applied small-unit decoding only upon rereading-possibly when experiencing difficulties in integrating an unfamiliar word into the sentence context. Rather unexpectedly, cross-linguistic differences were also found in adults in that English adults showed longer processing times than German adults for nonwords. Thus, although orthographic consistency does play a major role in reading development, cross-linguistic differences are detectable even in skilled adult readers.

  3. Morphological Processing in Adult Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leikin, Mark; Hagit, Even Zur

    2006-01-01

    This study employed the masked-priming paradigm [Forster and Davis (J Exp Psychol bearn Mem Cogn 10: 680-698, 1984).], along with traditional methods of evaluation of morphological awareness and phonological processing, to obtain a finer-grained picture of the relationship between morphological abilities and reading in adult dyslexic readers.…

  4. The role of temporal cues in word identification by younger and older adults: Effects of sentence context

    PubMed Central

    Gordon-Salant, Sandra; Yeni-Komshian, Grace; Fitzgibbons, Peter

    2008-01-01

    Prior investigations, using isolated words as stimuli, have shown that older listeners tend to require longer temporal cues than younger listeners to switch their percept from one word to its phonetically contrasting counterpart. The extent to which this age effect occurs in sentence contexts is investigated in the present study. The hypothesis was that perception of temporal cues differs for words presented in isolation and a sentence context and that this effect may vary between younger and older listeners. Younger and older listeners with normal-hearing and older listeners with hearing loss identified phonetically contrasting word pairs in natural speech continua that varied by a single temporal cue: voice-onset time, vowel duration, transition duration, and silent interval duration. The words were presented in isolation and in sentences. A context effect was shown for most continua, in which listeners required longer temporal cues in sentences than in isolated words. Additionally, older listeners required longer cues at the crossover points than younger listeners for most but not all continua. In general, the findings support the conclusion that older listeners tend to require longer target temporal cues than younger normal-hearing listeners in identifying phonetically contrasting word pairs in isolation and sentence contexts. PMID:19045808

  5. Pre- and Post-Head Processing for Single- and Double-Scrambled Sentences of a Head-Final Language as Measured by the Eye Tracking Method

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tamaoka, Katsuo; Asano, Michiko; Miyaoka, Yayoi; Yokosawa, Kazuhiko

    2014-01-01

    Using the eye-tracking method, the present study depicted pre- and post-head processing for simple scrambled sentences of head-final languages. Three versions of simple Japanese active sentences with ditransitive verbs were used: namely, (1) SO[subscript 1]O[subscript 2]V canonical, (2) SO[subscript 2]O[subscript 1]V single-scrambled, and (3)…

  6. Processing Narratives for Verbatim and Gist Information by Adults with Language Learning Disabilities: A Functional Neuroimaging Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plante, Elena; Ramage, Amy E.; Magloire, Joel

    2006-01-01

    How verbal information is processed and recalled appears to be influenced by the structure of the information presented (e.g., unrelated sentences vs. narratives) and the processes the listener uses to encode the information (e.g., verbatim encoding vs. gist extraction). Twenty adults, half with a history of learning disabilities (HLD) and half…

  7. It’s Hard to Offend the College: Effects of Sentence Structure on Figurative-Language Processing

    PubMed Central

    Lowder, Matthew W.; Gordon, Peter C.

    2013-01-01

    Previous research has given inconsistent evidence about whether familiar metonyms are more difficult to process than literal expressions. In two eye-tracking while reading experiments, we tested the hypothesis that the difficulty associated with processing metonyms would depend on sentence structure. Experiment 1 examined comprehension of familiar place-for-institution metonyms (e.g., college) when they were an argument of the main verb and showed that they are more difficult to process in a figurative context (e.g., offended the college) than in a literal context (e.g., photographed the college). Experiment 2 demonstrated that when they are arguments of the main verb, familiar metonyms are more difficult to process than frequency-and-length-matched nouns that refer to people (e.g., offended the leader), but that this difficulty was reduced when the metonym appeared as part of an adjunct phrase (e.g., offended the honor of the college). The results support the view that figurative-language processing is moderated by sentence structure. When the metonym was an argument of the verb, the results were consistent with the pattern predicted by the indirect-access model of figurative-language comprehension. In contrast, when the metonym was part of an adjunct phrase, the results were consistent with the pattern predicted by the direct-access model. PMID:23421507

  8. fMRI investigation of sentence comprehension by eye and by ear: modality fingerprints on cognitive processes.

    PubMed

    Michael, E B; Keller, T A; Carpenter, P A; Just, M A

    2001-08-01

    The neural substrate underlying reading vs. listening comprehension of sentences was compared using fMRI. One way in which this issue was addressed was by comparing the patterns of activation particularly in cortical association areas that classically are implicated in language processing. The precise locations of the activation differed between the two modalities. In the left inferior frontal gyrus (Broca's area), the activation associated with listening was more anterior and inferior than the activation associated with reading, suggesting more semantic processing during listening comprehension. In the left posterior superior and middle temporal region (roughly, Wernicke's area), the activation for listening was closer to primary auditory cortex (more anterior and somewhat more lateral) than the activation for reading. In several regions, the activation was much more left lateralized for reading than for listening. In addition to differences in the location of the activation, there were also differences in the total amount of activation in the two modalities in several regions. A second way in which the modality comparison was addressed was by examining how the neural systems responded to comprehension workload in the two modalities by systematically varying the structural complexity of the sentences to be processed. Here, the distribution of the workload increase associated with the processing of additional structural complexity was very similar across the two input modalities. The results suggest a number of subtle differences in the cognitive processing underlying listening vs. reading comprehension.

  9. The Role of Prosodic Breaks and Pitch Accents in Grouping Words during On-Line Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bogels, Sara; Schriefers, Herbert; Vonk, Wietske; Chwilla, Dorothee J.

    2011-01-01

    The present study addresses the question whether accentuation and prosodic phrasing can have a similar function, namely, to group words in a sentence together. Participants listened to locally ambiguous sentences containing object- and subject-control verbs while ERPs were measured. In Experiment 1, these sentences contained a prosodic break,…

  10. A Bilingual Advantage in Controlling Language Interference during Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Filippi, Roberto; Leech, Robert; Thomas, Michael S. C.; Green, David W.; Dick, Frederic

    2012-01-01

    This study compared the comprehension of syntactically simple with more complex sentences in Italian-English adult bilinguals and monolingual controls in the presence or absence of sentence-level interference. The task was to identify the agent of the sentence and we primarily examined the accuracy of response. The target sentence was signalled by…

  11. An fMRI Study of Sentence-Embedded Lexical-Semantic Decision in Children and Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore-Parks, Erin Nicole; Burns, Erin L.; Bazzill, Rebecca; Levy, Sarah; Posada, Valerie; Muller, Ralph-Axel

    2010-01-01

    Lexical-semantic knowledge is a core language component that undergoes prolonged development throughout childhood and is therefore highly amenable to developmental studies. Most previous lexical-semantic functional MRI (fMRI) studies have been limited to single-word or word-pair tasks, outside a sentence context. Our objective was to investigate…

  12. Grammatical Morpheme Effects on Sentence Processing by School-Aged Adolescents with Specific Language Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Leonard, Laurence B.; Miller, Carol A.; Finneran, Denise A.

    2009-01-01

    Sixteen-year-olds with specific language impairment (SLI), nonspecific language impairment (NLI), and those showing typical language development (TD) responded to target words in sentences that were either grammatical or contained a grammatical error immediately before the target word. The TD participants showed the expected slower response times (RTs) when errors preceded the target word, regardless of error type. The SLI and NLI groups also showed the expected slowing, except when the error type involved the omission of a tense/agreement inflection. This response pattern mirrored an early developmental period of alternating between using and omitting tense/agreement inflections that is characteristic of SLI and NLI. The findings could not be readily attributed to factors such as insensitivity to omissions in general or insensitivity to the particular phonetic forms used to mark tense/agreement. The observed response pattern may represent continued difficulty with tense/agreement morphology that persists in subtle form into adolescence. PMID:19690626

  13. Tracking Passive Sentence Comprehension in Agrammatic Aphasia

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Aaron M.; Mack, Jennifer E.; Thompson, Cynthia K.

    2011-01-01

    People with agrammatic aphasia often experience greater difficulty comprehending passive compared to active sentences. The Trace Deletion Hypothesis (TDH; Grodzinsky, 2000) proposes that aphasic individuals cannot generate accurate syntactic representations of passive sentences and, hence, use an agent-first processing strategy which leads to at-chance performance. We tested this claim using the eyetracking-while-listening paradigm in order to reveal online processing routines. Ten agrammatic aphasic participants and 10 age-matched controls listened to passive and active sentences and performed a sentence-picture matching task (i.e., selecting between two pictures with reversed thematic roles), while their eye movements were monitored. Control participants’ performance was at ceiling, whereas accuracy for the aphasic participants was above chance for active sentences and at chance for passive sentences. Further, for the control participants, the eye movement data showed an initial agent-first processing bias, followed by fixation on the correct picture in the vicinity of the verb in both active and passive sentences. However, the aphasic participants showed no evidence of agent-first processing, counter the predictions of the TDH. In addition, in active sentences, they reliably fixated the correct picture only at sentence offset, reflecting slowed processing. During passive sentence processing, fixations were at chance throughout the sentence, but different patterns were noted for correct and incorrect trials. These results are consistent with the proposal that agrammatic sentence comprehension failure involves lexical processing and/or lexical integration deficits. PMID:22043134

  14. Reproducing American Sign Language sentences: cognitive scaffolding in working memory.

    PubMed

    Supalla, Ted; Hauser, Peter C; Bavelier, Daphne

    2014-01-01

    The American Sign Language Sentence Reproduction Test (ASL-SRT) requires the precise reproduction of a series of ASL sentences increasing in complexity and length. Error analyses of such tasks provides insight into working memory and scaffolding processes. Data was collected from three groups expected to differ in fluency: deaf children, deaf adults and hearing adults, all users of ASL. Quantitative (correct/incorrect recall) and qualitative error analyses were performed. Percent correct on the reproduction task supports its sensitivity to fluency as test performance clearly differed across the three groups studied. A linguistic analysis of errors further documented differing strategies and bias across groups. Subjects' recall projected the affordance and constraints of deep linguistic representations to differing degrees, with subjects resorting to alternate processing strategies when they failed to recall the sentence correctly. A qualitative error analysis allows us to capture generalizations about the relationship between error pattern and the cognitive scaffolding, which governs the sentence reproduction process. Highly fluent signers and less-fluent signers share common chokepoints on particular words in sentences. However, they diverge in heuristic strategy. Fluent signers, when they make an error, tend to preserve semantic details while altering morpho-syntactic domains. They produce syntactically correct sentences with equivalent meaning to the to-be-reproduced one, but these are not verbatim reproductions of the original sentence. In contrast, less-fluent signers tend to use a more linear strategy, preserving lexical status and word ordering while omitting local inflections, and occasionally resorting to visuo-motoric imitation. Thus, whereas fluent signers readily use top-down scaffolding in their working memory, less fluent signers fail to do so. Implications for current models of working memory across spoken and signed modalities are considered. PMID

  15. Revisiting the Scrambling Complexity Hypothesis in Sentence Processing: A Self-Paced Reading Study on Anomaly Detection and Scrambling in Hindi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mishra, Ramesh K.; Pandey, Aparna; Srinivasan, Narayanan

    2011-01-01

    The scrambling complexity hypothesis based on working memory or locality accounts as well as syntactic accounts have proposed that processing a scrambled structure is difficult. However, the locus of this difficulty in sentence processing remains debatable. Several studies on multiple languages have explored the effect of scrambling on sentence…

  16. Sergeant sentenced.

    PubMed

    2000-01-21

    Sgt. [Name removed] was sentenced to two years in prison for forcible sodomy and other charges. [Name removed], who is HIV-positive, sexually assaulted another male sergeant at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. [Name removed] was also convicted of breaking and entering, and disobeying an order by his commander to refrain from sexual contact unless he informed his partner of his HIV status first. He will receive a dishonorable discharge, be demoted, and lose pay. A court martial acquitted him of aggravated assault likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm. PMID:11367220

  17. When Is Input Salient? An Exploratory Study of Sentence Location and Word Length Effects on Input Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carroll, Susanne E.

    2012-01-01

    Sentence position and word length have been claimed to contribute to the perceptual salience of words. The perceptual salience of words in turn is said to predict L2 developmental sequences. Data for such claims come from sentence repetition tasks that required perceptual re-encoding of input and that did not control for focal accent. We used a…

  18. Syntactic Priming during Sentence Comprehension: Evidence for the Lexical Boost

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Traxler, Matthew J.; Tooley, Kristen M.; Pickering, Martin J.

    2014-01-01

    Syntactic priming occurs when structural information from one sentence influences processing of a subsequently encountered sentence (Bock, 1986; Ledoux et al., 2007). This article reports 2 eye-tracking experiments investigating the effects of a prime sentence on the processing of a target sentence that shared aspects of syntactic form. The…

  19. Processing Sentences with Literal versus Figurative Use of Verbs: An ERP Study with Children with Language Impairments, Nonverbal Impairments, and Typical Development.

    PubMed

    Lorusso, Maria Luisa; Burigo, Michele; Borsa, Virginia; Molteni, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Forty native Italian children (age 6-15) performed a sentence plausibility judgment task. ERP recordings were available for 12 children with specific language impairment (SLI), 11 children with nonverbal learning disabilities (NVLD), and 13 control children. Participants listened to verb-object combinations and judged them as acceptable or unacceptable. Stimuli belonged to four conditions, where concreteness and congruency were manipulated. All groups made more errors responding to abstract and to congruent sentences. Moreover, SLI participants performed worse than NVLD participants with abstract sentences. ERPs were analyzed in the time window 300-500 ms. SLI children show atypical, reversed effects of concreteness and congruence as compared to control and NVLD children, respectively. The results suggest that linguistic impairments disrupt abstract language processing more than visual-motor impairments. Moreover, ROI and SPM analyses of ERPs point to a predominant involvement of the left rather than the right hemisphere in the comprehension of figurative expressions.

  20. Processing Sentences with Literal versus Figurative Use of Verbs: An ERP Study with Children with Language Impairments, Nonverbal Impairments, and Typical Development

    PubMed Central

    Lorusso, Maria Luisa; Burigo, Michele; Borsa, Virginia; Molteni, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Forty native Italian children (age 6–15) performed a sentence plausibility judgment task. ERP recordings were available for 12 children with specific language impairment (SLI), 11 children with nonverbal learning disabilities (NVLD), and 13 control children. Participants listened to verb-object combinations and judged them as acceptable or unacceptable. Stimuli belonged to four conditions, where concreteness and congruency were manipulated. All groups made more errors responding to abstract and to congruent sentences. Moreover, SLI participants performed worse than NVLD participants with abstract sentences. ERPs were analyzed in the time window 300–500 ms. SLI children show atypical, reversed effects of concreteness and congruence as compared to control and NVLD children, respectively. The results suggest that linguistic impairments disrupt abstract language processing more than visual-motor impairments. Moreover, ROI and SPM analyses of ERPs point to a predominant involvement of the left rather than the right hemisphere in the comprehension of figurative expressions. PMID:26246693

  1. Processing Sentences with Literal versus Figurative Use of Verbs: An ERP Study with Children with Language Impairments, Nonverbal Impairments, and Typical Development.

    PubMed

    Lorusso, Maria Luisa; Burigo, Michele; Borsa, Virginia; Molteni, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Forty native Italian children (age 6-15) performed a sentence plausibility judgment task. ERP recordings were available for 12 children with specific language impairment (SLI), 11 children with nonverbal learning disabilities (NVLD), and 13 control children. Participants listened to verb-object combinations and judged them as acceptable or unacceptable. Stimuli belonged to four conditions, where concreteness and congruency were manipulated. All groups made more errors responding to abstract and to congruent sentences. Moreover, SLI participants performed worse than NVLD participants with abstract sentences. ERPs were analyzed in the time window 300-500 ms. SLI children show atypical, reversed effects of concreteness and congruence as compared to control and NVLD children, respectively. The results suggest that linguistic impairments disrupt abstract language processing more than visual-motor impairments. Moreover, ROI and SPM analyses of ERPs point to a predominant involvement of the left rather than the right hemisphere in the comprehension of figurative expressions. PMID:26246693

  2. Real-Time Sentence Processing in Children with Specific Language Impairment: The Contribution of Lexicosemantic, Syntactic, and World-Knowledge Information

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pizzioli, Fabrizio; Schelstraete, Marie-Anne

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigated how lexicosemantic information, syntactic information, and world knowledge are integrated in the course of oral sentence processing in children with specific language impairment (SLI) as compared to children with typical language development. A primed lexical-decision task was used where participants had to make a…

  3. Neural Network Processing of Natural Language: II. Towards a Unified Model of Corticostriatal Function in Learning Sentence Comprehension and Non-Linguistic Sequencing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dominey, Peter Ford; Inui, Toshio; Hoen, Michel

    2009-01-01

    A central issue in cognitive neuroscience today concerns how distributed neural networks in the brain that are used in language learning and processing can be involved in non-linguistic cognitive sequence learning. This issue is informed by a wealth of functional neurophysiology studies of sentence comprehension, along with a number of recent…

  4. Applying semantic-based probabilistic context-free grammar to medical language processing--a preliminary study on parsing medication sentences.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hua; AbdelRahman, Samir; Lu, Yanxin; Denny, Joshua C; Doan, Son

    2011-12-01

    Semantic-based sublanguage grammars have been shown to be an efficient method for medical language processing. However, given the complexity of the medical domain, parsers using such grammars inevitably encounter ambiguous sentences, which could be interpreted by different groups of production rules and consequently result in two or more parse trees. One possible solution, which has not been extensively explored previously, is to augment productions in medical sublanguage grammars with probabilities to resolve the ambiguity. In this study, we associated probabilities with production rules in a semantic-based grammar for medication findings and evaluated its performance on reducing parsing ambiguity. Using the existing data set from 2009 i2b2 NLP (Natural Language Processing) challenge for medication extraction, we developed a semantic-based CFG (Context Free Grammar) for parsing medication sentences and manually created a Treebank of 4564 medication sentences from discharge summaries. Using the Treebank, we derived a semantic-based PCFG (Probabilistic Context Free Grammar) for parsing medication sentences. Our evaluation using a 10-fold cross validation showed that the PCFG parser dramatically improved parsing performance when compared to the CFG parser.

  5. Applying semantic-based probabilistic context-free grammar to medical language processing--a preliminary study on parsing medication sentences.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hua; AbdelRahman, Samir; Lu, Yanxin; Denny, Joshua C; Doan, Son

    2011-12-01

    Semantic-based sublanguage grammars have been shown to be an efficient method for medical language processing. However, given the complexity of the medical domain, parsers using such grammars inevitably encounter ambiguous sentences, which could be interpreted by different groups of production rules and consequently result in two or more parse trees. One possible solution, which has not been extensively explored previously, is to augment productions in medical sublanguage grammars with probabilities to resolve the ambiguity. In this study, we associated probabilities with production rules in a semantic-based grammar for medication findings and evaluated its performance on reducing parsing ambiguity. Using the existing data set from 2009 i2b2 NLP (Natural Language Processing) challenge for medication extraction, we developed a semantic-based CFG (Context Free Grammar) for parsing medication sentences and manually created a Treebank of 4564 medication sentences from discharge summaries. Using the Treebank, we derived a semantic-based PCFG (Probabilistic Context Free Grammar) for parsing medication sentences. Our evaluation using a 10-fold cross validation showed that the PCFG parser dramatically improved parsing performance when compared to the CFG parser. PMID:21856440

  6. The Sounds of Sentences: Differentiating the Influence of Physical Sound, Sound Imagery, and Linguistically Implied Sounds on Physical Sound Processing.

    PubMed

    Dudschig, Carolin; Mackenzie, Ian Grant; Strozyk, Jessica; Kaup, Barbara; Leuthold, Hartmut

    2016-10-01

    Both the imagery literature and grounded models of language comprehension emphasize the tight coupling of high-level cognitive processes, such as forming a mental image of something or language understanding, and low-level sensorimotor processes in the brain. In an electrophysiological study, imagery and language processes were directly compared and the sensory associations of processing linguistically implied sounds or imagined sounds were investigated. Participants read sentences describing auditory events (e.g., "The dog barks"), heard a physical (environmental) sound, or had to imagine such a sound. We examined the influence of the 3 sound conditions (linguistic, physical, imagery) on subsequent physical sound processing. Event-related potential (ERP) difference waveforms indicated that in all 3 conditions, prime compatibility influenced physical sound processing. The earliest compatibility effect was observed in the physical condition, starting in the 80-110 ms time interval with a negative maximum over occipital electrode sites. In contrast, the linguistic and the imagery condition elicited compatibility effects starting in the 180-220 ms time window with a maximum over central electrode sites. In line with the ERPs, the analysis of the oscillatory activity showed that compatibility influenced early theta and alpha band power changes in the physical, but not in the linguistic and imagery, condition. These dissociations were further confirmed by dipole localization results showing a clear separation between the source of the compatibility effect in the physical sound condition (superior temporal area) and the source of the compatibility effect triggered by the linguistically implied sounds or the imagined sounds (inferior temporal area). Implications for grounded models of language understanding are discussed. PMID:27473463

  7. The Sounds of Sentences: Differentiating the Influence of Physical Sound, Sound Imagery, and Linguistically Implied Sounds on Physical Sound Processing.

    PubMed

    Dudschig, Carolin; Mackenzie, Ian Grant; Strozyk, Jessica; Kaup, Barbara; Leuthold, Hartmut

    2016-10-01

    Both the imagery literature and grounded models of language comprehension emphasize the tight coupling of high-level cognitive processes, such as forming a mental image of something or language understanding, and low-level sensorimotor processes in the brain. In an electrophysiological study, imagery and language processes were directly compared and the sensory associations of processing linguistically implied sounds or imagined sounds were investigated. Participants read sentences describing auditory events (e.g., "The dog barks"), heard a physical (environmental) sound, or had to imagine such a sound. We examined the influence of the 3 sound conditions (linguistic, physical, imagery) on subsequent physical sound processing. Event-related potential (ERP) difference waveforms indicated that in all 3 conditions, prime compatibility influenced physical sound processing. The earliest compatibility effect was observed in the physical condition, starting in the 80-110 ms time interval with a negative maximum over occipital electrode sites. In contrast, the linguistic and the imagery condition elicited compatibility effects starting in the 180-220 ms time window with a maximum over central electrode sites. In line with the ERPs, the analysis of the oscillatory activity showed that compatibility influenced early theta and alpha band power changes in the physical, but not in the linguistic and imagery, condition. These dissociations were further confirmed by dipole localization results showing a clear separation between the source of the compatibility effect in the physical sound condition (superior temporal area) and the source of the compatibility effect triggered by the linguistically implied sounds or the imagined sounds (inferior temporal area). Implications for grounded models of language understanding are discussed.

  8. Sentence-Combining Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akin, Judy O'Neal

    1978-01-01

    Sample sentence-combining lessons developed to accompany the first-year A-LM German textbook are presented. The exercises are designed for language manipulation practice; they involve breaking down more complex sentences into simpler sentences and the subsequent recombination into complex sentences. All language skills, and particularly writing,…

  9. Effects of Age, Animacy and Activation Order on Sentence Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Altmann, Lori J. P.; Kemper, Susan

    2006-01-01

    The current study examines whether young and older adults have similar preferences for animate-subject and active sentences, and for using the order of activation of a verb's arguments to determine sentence structure. Ninety-six participants produced sentences in response to three-word stimuli that included a verb and two nouns differing in…

  10. Scan Patterns Predict Sentence Production in the Cross-Modal Processing of Visual Scenes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coco, Moreno I.; Keller, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Most everyday tasks involve multiple modalities, which raises the question of how the processing of these modalities is coordinated by the cognitive system. In this paper, we focus on the coordination of visual attention and linguistic processing during speaking. Previous research has shown that objects in a visual scene are fixated before they…

  11. Proficiency and Working Memory Based Explanations for Nonnative Speakers' Sensitivity to Agreement in Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coughlin, Caitlin E.; Tremblay, Annie

    2013-01-01

    This study examines the roles of proficiency and working memory (WM) capacity in second-/foreign-language (L2) learners' processing of agreement morphology. It investigates the processing of grammatical and ungrammatical short- and long-distance number agreement dependencies by native English speakers at two proficiencies in French, and the…

  12. The Two Sides of Sensory-Cognitive Interactions: Effects of Age, Hearing Acuity, and Working Memory Span on Sentence Comprehension.

    PubMed

    DeCaro, Renee; Peelle, Jonathan E; Grossman, Murray; Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    Reduced hearing acuity is among the most prevalent of chronic medical conditions among older adults. An experiment is reported in which comprehension of spoken sentences was tested for older adults with good hearing acuity or with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss, and young adults with age-normal hearing. Comprehension was measured by participants' ability to determine the agent of an action in sentences that expressed this relation with a syntactically less complex subject-relative construction or a syntactically more complex object-relative construction. Agency determination was further challenged by inserting a prepositional phrase into sentences between the person performing an action and the action being performed. As a control, prepositional phrases of equivalent length were also inserted into sentences in a non-disruptive position. Effects on sentence comprehension of age, hearing acuity, prepositional phrase placement and sound level of stimulus presentations appeared only for comprehension of sentences with the more syntactically complex object-relative structures. Working memory as tested by reading span scores accounted for a significant amount of the variance in comprehension accuracy. Once working memory capacity and hearing acuity were taken into account, chronological age among the older adults contributed no further variance to comprehension accuracy. Results are discussed in terms of the positive and negative effects of sensory-cognitive interactions in comprehension of spoken sentences and lend support to a framework in which domain-general executive resources, notably verbal working memory, play a role in both linguistic and perceptual processing. PMID:26973557

  13. The Two Sides of Sensory-Cognitive Interactions: Effects of Age, Hearing Acuity, and Working Memory Span on Sentence Comprehension.

    PubMed

    DeCaro, Renee; Peelle, Jonathan E; Grossman, Murray; Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    Reduced hearing acuity is among the most prevalent of chronic medical conditions among older adults. An experiment is reported in which comprehension of spoken sentences was tested for older adults with good hearing acuity or with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss, and young adults with age-normal hearing. Comprehension was measured by participants' ability to determine the agent of an action in sentences that expressed this relation with a syntactically less complex subject-relative construction or a syntactically more complex object-relative construction. Agency determination was further challenged by inserting a prepositional phrase into sentences between the person performing an action and the action being performed. As a control, prepositional phrases of equivalent length were also inserted into sentences in a non-disruptive position. Effects on sentence comprehension of age, hearing acuity, prepositional phrase placement and sound level of stimulus presentations appeared only for comprehension of sentences with the more syntactically complex object-relative structures. Working memory as tested by reading span scores accounted for a significant amount of the variance in comprehension accuracy. Once working memory capacity and hearing acuity were taken into account, chronological age among the older adults contributed no further variance to comprehension accuracy. Results are discussed in terms of the positive and negative effects of sensory-cognitive interactions in comprehension of spoken sentences and lend support to a framework in which domain-general executive resources, notably verbal working memory, play a role in both linguistic and perceptual processing.

  14. The Two Sides of Sensory–Cognitive Interactions: Effects of Age, Hearing Acuity, and Working Memory Span on Sentence Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    DeCaro, Renee; Peelle, Jonathan E.; Grossman, Murray; Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    Reduced hearing acuity is among the most prevalent of chronic medical conditions among older adults. An experiment is reported in which comprehension of spoken sentences was tested for older adults with good hearing acuity or with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss, and young adults with age-normal hearing. Comprehension was measured by participants’ ability to determine the agent of an action in sentences that expressed this relation with a syntactically less complex subject-relative construction or a syntactically more complex object-relative construction. Agency determination was further challenged by inserting a prepositional phrase into sentences between the person performing an action and the action being performed. As a control, prepositional phrases of equivalent length were also inserted into sentences in a non-disruptive position. Effects on sentence comprehension of age, hearing acuity, prepositional phrase placement and sound level of stimulus presentations appeared only for comprehension of sentences with the more syntactically complex object-relative structures. Working memory as tested by reading span scores accounted for a significant amount of the variance in comprehension accuracy. Once working memory capacity and hearing acuity were taken into account, chronological age among the older adults contributed no further variance to comprehension accuracy. Results are discussed in terms of the positive and negative effects of sensory–cognitive interactions in comprehension of spoken sentences and lend support to a framework in which domain-general executive resources, notably verbal working memory, play a role in both linguistic and perceptual processing. PMID:26973557

  15. What is right-hemisphere contribution to phonological, lexico-semantic, and sentence processing? Insights from a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Vigneau, M; Beaucousin, V; Hervé, Pierre-Yves; Jobard, Gael; Petit, Laurent; Crivello, Fabrice; Mellet, Emmanuel; Zago, Laure; Mazoyer, B; Tzourio-Mazoyer, N

    2011-01-01

    To evaluate the relative role of left and right hemispheres (RH) and describe the functional anatomy of RH during ortholinguistic tasks, we re-analyzed the 128 papers of a former left-hemisphere (LH) meta-analysis (Vigneau et al., 2006). Of these, 59 articles reported RH participation, providing 105 RH language contrasts including 218 peaks compared to 728 on the left, a proportion reflecting the LH language dominance. To describe inter-hemispheric interactions, in each of the language contrasts involving both hemispheres, we distinguished between unilateral and bilateral peaks, i.e. having homotopic activation in the LH in the same contrast. We also calculated the proportion of bilateral peaks in the LH. While the majority of LH peaks were unilateral (79%), a reversed pattern was observed in the RH; this demonstrates that, in contrast to the LH, the RH works in an inter-hemispheric manner. To analyze the regional pattern of RH participation, these unilateral and bilateral peaks were spatially clustered for each language component. Most RH phonological clusters corresponded to bilateral recruitment of auditory and motor cortices. Notably, the motor representation of the mouth and phonological working memory areas were exclusively left-lateralized, supporting the idea that the RH does not host phonological representations. Right frontal participation was not specific for the language component involved and appeared related to the recruitment of attentional and working memory areas. The fact that RH participation during lexico-semantic tasks was limited to these executive activations is compatible with the hypothesis that active inhibition is exerted from the LH during the processing of meaning. Only during sentence/text processing tasks a specific unilateral RH-temporal involvement was noted, likely related to context processing. These results are consistent with split-brain studies that found that the RH has a limited lexicon, with no phonological abilities but

  16. Effects of Local and Global Context on Processing Sentences with Subject and Object Relative Clauses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Fang; Mo, Lun; Louwerse, Max M.

    2013-01-01

    An eye tracking study investigated the effects of local and global discourse context on the processing of subject and object relative clauses, whereby the contexts favored either a subject relative clause interpretation or an object relative clause interpretation. The fixation data replicated previous studies showing that object relative clause…

  17. Online Processing of Sentences Containing Noun Modification in Young Children with High-Functioning Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bavin, Edith L.; Prendergast, Luke A.; Kidd, Evan; Baker, Emma; Dissanayake, Cheryl

    2016-01-01

    Background: There is variability in the language of children with autism, even those who are high functioning. However, little is known about how they process language structures in real time, including how they handle potential ambiguity, and whether they follow referential constraints. Previous research with older autism spectrum disorder (ASD)…

  18. The effects of an action's "age-of-acquisition" on action-sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Gilead, Michael; Liberman, Nira; Maril, Anat

    2016-11-01

    How does our brain allow us comprehend abstract/symbolic descriptions of human action? Whereas past research suggested that processing action language relies on sensorimotor brain regions, recent work suggests that sensorimotor activation depends on participants' task goals, such that focusing on abstract (vs. concrete) aspects of an action activates "default mode network" (rather than sensorimotor) regions. Following a Piagetian framework, we hypothesized that for actions acquired at an age wherein abstract/symbolic cognition is fully-developed, even when participants focus on the concrete aspects of an action, they should retrieve abstract-symbolic mental representations. In two studies, participants processed the concrete (i.e., "how") and abstract (i.e., "why") aspects of late-acquired and early-acquired actions. Consistent with previous research, focusing on the abstract (vs. concrete) aspects of an action resulted in greater activation in the "default mode network". Importantly, the activation in these regions was higher when processing later-acquired (vs. earlier acquired) actions-also when participants' goal was to focus on the concrete aspects of the action. We discuss the implications of the current findings to research on the involvement of concrete representations in abstract cognition. PMID:27431759

  19. Priming sentence planning.

    PubMed

    Konopka, Agnieszka E; Meyer, Antje S

    2014-09-01

    Sentence production requires mapping preverbal messages onto linguistic structures. Because sentences are normally built incrementally, the information encoded in a sentence-initial increment is critical for explaining how the mapping process starts and for predicting its timecourse. Two experiments tested whether and when speakers prioritize encoding of different types of information at the outset of formulation by comparing production of descriptions of transitive events (e.g., A dog is chasing the mailman) that differed on two dimensions: the ease of naming individual characters and the ease of apprehending the event gist (i.e., encoding the relational structure of the event). To additionally manipulate ease of encoding, speakers described the target events after receiving lexical primes (facilitating naming; Experiment 1) or structural primes (facilitating generation of a linguistic structure; Experiment 2). Both properties of the pictured events and both types of primes influenced the form of target descriptions and the timecourse of formulation: character-specific variables increased the probability of speakers encoding one character with priority at the outset of formulation, while the ease of encoding event gist and of generating a syntactic structure increased the likelihood of early encoding of information about both characters. The results show that formulation is flexible and highlight some of the conditions under which speakers might employ different planning strategies.

  20. The Neostriatum and Response Selection in Overt Sentence Production: an fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Argyropoulos, Georgios P.; Tremblay, Pascale; Small, Steven L.

    2013-01-01

    A number of premotor and prefrontal brain areas have been recently shown to play a significant role in response selection in overt sentence production. These areas are anatomically connected to the basal ganglia, a set of subcortical structures that has been traditionally involved in response selection across behavioral domains. The putamen and the caudate, the two major inputs to the basal ganglia, have been shown to undertake motor- as well as non-motor-related selection operations in language processing. Here we investigate the role of these basal ganglia structures in sentence repetition and generation in healthy adults. Although sentence generation is known to activate prefrontal and premotor cortical areas that reciprocally connect with these two neostriatal structures, their specific contributions are not known. We present evidence suggesting that that the putamen undertakes articulation-related aspects across tasks, while the caudate selectively supports selection processes in sentence generation. PMID:23721723

  1. Dialect Variation Influences the Phonological and Lexical-Semantic Word Processing in Sentences. Electrophysiological Evidence from a Cross-Dialectal Comprehension Study

    PubMed Central

    Lanwermeyer, Manuela; Henrich, Karen; Rocholl, Marie J.; Schnell, Hanni T.; Werth, Alexander; Herrgen, Joachim; Schmidt, Jürgen E.

    2016-01-01

    This event-related potential (ERP) study examines the influence of dialectal competence differences (merged vs. unmerged dialect group) on cross-dialectal comprehension between Southern German dialects. It focuses on the question as to whether certain dialect phonemes (/oa⌢/, /oƱ⌢/), which are attributed to different lexemes in two dialect areas (Central Bavarian, Bavarian-Alemannic transition zone) evoke increased neural costs during sentence processing. In this context, the phonological and semantic processing of lexemes is compared in three types of potentially problematic communication settings (misunderstanding, incomprehension, allophonic variation = potential comprehension). For this purpose, an oddball design including whole sentences was combined with a semantic rating task. Listeners from the unmerged Central Bavarian dialect area heard sentences including either native or non-native lexemes from the merged neighboring dialect. These had to be evaluated with regard to their context acceptability. The main difference between the lexemes can be attributed to the fact that they have different meanings in the respective dialect areas or are non-existent in the linguistic competence of the Central Bavarians. The results provide evidence for the fact that non-native lexemes containing the /oa⌢/-diphthong lead to enhanced neural costs during sentence processing. The ERP results show a biphasic pattern (N2b/N400, LPC) for non-existent lexemes (incomprehension) as well as for semantically incongruous lexemes (misunderstanding), reflecting an early error detection mechanism and enhanced costs for semantic integration and evaluation. In contrast, allophonic /oƱ⌢/ deviations show reduced negativities and no LPC, indexing an unproblematic categorization and evaluation process. In the light of these results, an observed change of /oa⌢/ to /oƱ⌢/ in the Bavarian-Alemannic transition zone can be interpreted as a facilitation strategy of cross

  2. Dialect Variation Influences the Phonological and Lexical-Semantic Word Processing in Sentences. Electrophysiological Evidence from a Cross-Dialectal Comprehension Study.

    PubMed

    Lanwermeyer, Manuela; Henrich, Karen; Rocholl, Marie J; Schnell, Hanni T; Werth, Alexander; Herrgen, Joachim; Schmidt, Jürgen E

    2016-01-01

    This event-related potential (ERP) study examines the influence of dialectal competence differences (merged vs. unmerged dialect group) on cross-dialectal comprehension between Southern German dialects. It focuses on the question as to whether certain dialect phonemes (/[Formula: see text]/, /[Formula: see text]/), which are attributed to different lexemes in two dialect areas (Central Bavarian, Bavarian-Alemannic transition zone) evoke increased neural costs during sentence processing. In this context, the phonological and semantic processing of lexemes is compared in three types of potentially problematic communication settings (misunderstanding, incomprehension, allophonic variation = potential comprehension). For this purpose, an oddball design including whole sentences was combined with a semantic rating task. Listeners from the unmerged Central Bavarian dialect area heard sentences including either native or non-native lexemes from the merged neighboring dialect. These had to be evaluated with regard to their context acceptability. The main difference between the lexemes can be attributed to the fact that they have different meanings in the respective dialect areas or are non-existent in the linguistic competence of the Central Bavarians. The results provide evidence for the fact that non-native lexemes containing the /[Formula: see text]/-diphthong lead to enhanced neural costs during sentence processing. The ERP results show a biphasic pattern (N2b/N400, LPC) for non-existent lexemes (incomprehension) as well as for semantically incongruous lexemes (misunderstanding), reflecting an early error detection mechanism and enhanced costs for semantic integration and evaluation. In contrast, allophonic /[Formula: see text]/ deviations show reduced negativities and no LPC, indexing an unproblematic categorization and evaluation process. In the light of these results, an observed change of /[Formula: see text]/ to /[Formula: see text]/ in the Bavarian

  3. Hierarchical Forms Processing in Adults and Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harrison, Tamara B.; Stiles, Joan

    2009-01-01

    Two experiments examined child and adult processing of hierarchical stimuli composed of geometric forms. Adults (ages 18-23 years) and children (ages 7-10 years) performed a forced-choice task gauging similarity between visual stimuli consisting of large geometric objects (global level) composed of small geometric objects (local level). The…

  4. Long-range neural synchronization supports fast and efficient reading: EEG correlates of processing expected words in sentences

    PubMed Central

    Molinaro, Nicola; Barraza, Paulo; Carreiras, Manuel

    2013-01-01

    Word reading is heavily influenced by the information provided by previous context. In this study, we analyzed the neurophysiological bases of sentence reading through the EEG activity elicited during reading the same word embedded in differently constraining contexts: a) a low-constraining context; b) a high-constraining semantic compositional context; c) a high-constraining collocational context in which the item was in final position of a multi-word fixed-order expression. Cloze-probability of the two high-constraining contexts was equated. Before reading the target word we observed increased EEG gamma phase synchronization for the high-constraining compositional context and increased EEG theta synchronization for the collocational context (both compared to the low-constraining condition). After reading the target word we observed increased frontal positive EEG evoked activity (~220 ms) for the high-constraining compositional context but an even earlier (~120 ms) effect for the high-constraining collocational condition that was distributed over the scalp. A positive correlation was found only between the increased theta synchronization and the early EEG effect for the high-constraining collocational condition. Results indicate that long-range frontal-occipital interactions in the theta band - indexing working memory operations - support early visual-orthographic analysis of an incoming stimulus (such as the expected word); gamma-phase synchronization better represents binding operations between feed-forward activation and matching feedback. These data suggest that internal linguistic knowledge stored in long-term memory - if unambiguously pre-activated - supports the low-level perceptual processes involved in reading. PMID:23357072

  5. Long-range neural synchronization supports fast and efficient reading: EEG correlates of processing expected words in sentences.

    PubMed

    Molinaro, Nicola; Barraza, Paulo; Carreiras, Manuel

    2013-05-15

    Word reading is heavily influenced by the information provided by previous context. In this study, we analyzed the neurophysiological bases of sentence reading through the EEG activity elicited during reading the same word embedded in differently constraining contexts: a) a low-constraining context; b) a high-constraining semantic compositional context; c) a high-constraining collocational context in which the item was in final position of a multi-word fixed-order expression. Cloze-probability of the two high-constraining contexts was equated. Before reading the target word we observed increased EEG gamma phase synchronization for the high-constraining compositional context and increased EEG theta synchronization for the collocational context (both compared to the low-constraining condition). After reading the target word we observed increased frontal positive EEG evoked activity (~220ms) for the high-constraining compositional context but an even earlier (~120ms) effect for the high-constraining collocational condition that was distributed over the scalp. A positive correlation was found only between the increased theta synchronization and the early EEG effect for the high-constraining collocational condition. Results indicate that long-range frontal-occipital interactions in the theta band - indexing working memory operations - support early visual-orthographic analysis of an incoming stimulus (such as the expected word); gamma-phase synchronization better represents binding operations between feed-forward activation and matching feedback. These data suggest that internal linguistic knowledge stored in long-term memory - if unambiguously pre-activated - supports the low-level perceptual processes involved in reading.

  6. Accounting for Regressive Eye-Movements in Models of Sentence Processing: A Reappraisal of the Selective Reanalysis Hypothesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, Don C.; Shen, Xingjia; Green, Matthew J.; Hodgson, Timothy L.

    2008-01-01

    When people read temporarily ambiguous sentences, there is often an increased prevalence of regressive eye-movements launched from the word that resolves the ambiguity. Traditionally, such regressions have been interpreted at least in part as reflecting readers' efforts to re-read and reconfigure earlier material, as exemplified by the Selective…

  7. Sentence Production in Parkinson Disease: Effects of Conceptual and Task Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Troche, Michelle S.; Altmann, Lori J. P.

    2012-01-01

    Experimental studies of sentence production in Parkinson disease (PD) are rare. This study examined the relationship between cognitive abilities and performance on two sentence production tasks, sentence repetition, and sentence generation, in which complexity was manipulated. Thirty-eight older adults aged 60 to 85, half with PD, completed the…

  8. Names in frames: infants interpret words in sentence frames faster than words in isolation

    PubMed Central

    Fernald, Anne; Hurtado, Nereyda

    2011-01-01

    In child-directed speech (CDS), adults often use utterances with very few words; many include short, frequently used sentence frames, while others consist of a single word in isolation. Do such features of CDS provide perceptual advantages for the child? Based on descriptive analyses of parental speech, some researchers argue that isolated words should help infants in word recognition by facilitating segmentation, while others predict no advantage. To address this question directly, we used online measures of speech processing in a looking-while-listening procedure. In two experiments, 18-month-olds were presented with familiar object names in isolation and in a sentence frame. Infants were 120 ms slower to interpret target words in isolation than when the same words were preceded by a familiar carrier phrase, suggesting that the sentence frame facilitated word recognition. Familiar frames may enable the infant to ‘listen ahead’ more efficiently for the focused word at the end of the sentence. PMID:16669790

  9. Sentencing to Community Service.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beha, James; And Others

    Sentencing selected offenders to perform services for the community is becoming an increasingly popular sentencing option for judges. Premised on the notion that a fine and/or jail term is not always in the best interest of society or the offender, many courts have embraced the concept of community service in lieu of the traditional sentences,…

  10. Is there a difference between stripy journeys and stripy ladybirds? The N400 response to semantic and world-knowledge violations during sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Dudschig, Carolin; Maienborn, Claudia; Kaup, Barbara

    2016-03-01

    The distinction between linguistic and non-linguistic knowledge is particularly relevant because it is related to the principle of compositionality during sentence comprehension. Hagoort, Hald, Bastiaansen, and Petersson (2004) challenged the distinction between linguistic and non-linguistic knowledge. Here, we investigate how linguistic and non-linguistic violations are processed in a setting adapted from Hagoort et al., whilst in contrast to Hagoort, keeping the critical word identical. In line with the findings by Hagoort et al., our results showed largest N400 amplitudes for semantic violations ('Journeys are stripy'), followed by non-linguistic world-knowledge violations ('Ladybirds are stripy') and contingent sentences ('Trousers are stripy'), and finally by correct sentences ('Zebras are stripy'). Traditional fractional area and relative criterion measures of peak and onset latencies showed no effect of violation type. Interestingly, the semantic violation condition crossed a fixed criterion earlier than the word-knowledge violation condition. In conclusion, our data suggests that the question regarding the distinction between linguistic- and non-linguistic knowledge in terms of language integration remains open. Implications for future studies addressing the difference between linguistic and non-linguistic knowledge are discussed.

  11. Is there a difference between stripy journeys and stripy ladybirds? The N400 response to semantic and world-knowledge violations during sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Dudschig, Carolin; Maienborn, Claudia; Kaup, Barbara

    2016-03-01

    The distinction between linguistic and non-linguistic knowledge is particularly relevant because it is related to the principle of compositionality during sentence comprehension. Hagoort, Hald, Bastiaansen, and Petersson (2004) challenged the distinction between linguistic and non-linguistic knowledge. Here, we investigate how linguistic and non-linguistic violations are processed in a setting adapted from Hagoort et al., whilst in contrast to Hagoort, keeping the critical word identical. In line with the findings by Hagoort et al., our results showed largest N400 amplitudes for semantic violations ('Journeys are stripy'), followed by non-linguistic world-knowledge violations ('Ladybirds are stripy') and contingent sentences ('Trousers are stripy'), and finally by correct sentences ('Zebras are stripy'). Traditional fractional area and relative criterion measures of peak and onset latencies showed no effect of violation type. Interestingly, the semantic violation condition crossed a fixed criterion earlier than the word-knowledge violation condition. In conclusion, our data suggests that the question regarding the distinction between linguistic- and non-linguistic knowledge in terms of language integration remains open. Implications for future studies addressing the difference between linguistic and non-linguistic knowledge are discussed. PMID:26812249

  12. The effect of the deliberation process and jurors' prior legal knowledge on the sentence: the role of psychological expertise and crime scene photo.

    PubMed

    Finkelstein, Rémi; Bastounis, Marina

    2010-01-01

    An experiment with simulated juries (N = 198) tested the impact of the deliberation process and two extra legal variables on the determination of sentence. Participants were either social science students without prior instruction in criminal law (prior legal knowledge: low-level group) or future professional magistrates completing their final year of training (high-level group). We manipulated the presence versus absence of (i) a non-diagnostic observation of the defendant by a psychology expert and (ii) a realistic crime scene photograph. After controlling for participants' gender and age, our results show that the high-level group was both less sensitive to the manipulated variables and more severe in their sentence than low-level jurors. We observed a post-deliberation increase in pre-deliberation bias such that the non-diagnostic psychological expertise had a stronger post-deliberation impact on the sentence. Finally, an unexpected effect showed that aggressive responses during the psychological observation tended to operate as exculpatory rather than accusatory evidence. Our results are discussed on the basis of previous research and proposals for future research are made.

  13. The Comprehension of Anomalous Sentences: Evidence from Structural Priming

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ivanova, Iva; Pickering, Martin J.; Branigan, Holly P.; McLean, Janet F.; Costa, Albert

    2012-01-01

    We report three experiments investigating how people process anomalous sentences, in particular those in which the anomaly is associated with the verb. We contrast two accounts for the processing of such anomalous sentences: a syntactic account, in which the representations constructed for anomalous sentences are similar in nature to the ones…

  14. Distinct neural correlates for pragmatic and semantic meaning processing: an event-related potential investigation of scalar implicature processing using picture-sentence verification.

    PubMed

    Politzer-Ahles, Stephen; Fiorentino, Robert; Jiang, Xiaoming; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2013-01-15

    The present study examines the brain-level representation and composition of meaning in scalar quantifiers (e.g., some), which have both a semantic meaning (at least one) and a pragmatic meaning (not all). We adopted a picture-sentence verification design to examine event-related potential (ERP) effects of reading infelicitous quantifiers for which the semantic meaning was correct with respect to the context but the pragmatic meaning was not, compared to quantifiers for which the semantic meaning was inconsistent with the context and no additional pragmatic meaning is available. In the first experiment, only pragmatically inconsistent quantifiers, not semantically inconsistent quantifiers, elicited a sustained posterior negative component. This late negativity contrasts with the N400 effect typically elicited by nouns that are incongruent with their context, suggesting that the recognition of scalar implicature errors elicits a qualitatively different ERP signature than the recognition of lexico-semantic errors. We hypothesize that the sustained negativity reflects cancellation of the pragmatic inference and retrieval of the semantic meaning. In our second experiment, we found that the process of re-interpreting the quantifier was independent from lexico-semantic processing: the N400 elicited by lexico-semantic violations was not modulated by the presence of a pragmatic inconsistency. These findings suggest that inferential pragmatic aspects of meaning are processed using different mechanisms than lexical or combinatorial semantic aspects of meaning, that inferential pragmatic meaning can be realized rapidly, and that the computation of meaning involves continuous negotiation between different aspects of meaning.

  15. Teacher's Guide to Effective Sentence Writing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saddler, Bruce

    2012-01-01

    This practical book provides explicit directions for teaching sentence-level skills to students who have difficulties in this area. The author explains the key role of sentence combining in the writing process and presents effective techniques for instruction and assessment. Numerous sample lessons, practice activities, planning tips, and…

  16. Computer Scoring of Sentence Completion Data.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veldman, Donald J.; And Others

    This paper outlines the development of techniques for computer-based personality assessment from sentence completions. The One-Word Sentence Completion (OWSC) instrument was designed to elicit data suitable for machine processing, while retaining most of the advantages of a free-response format. Two operative scoring systems are described. The…

  17. Working Memory and Binding in Sentence Recall

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baddeley, A. D.; Hitch, G. J.; Allen, R. J.

    2009-01-01

    A series of experiments explored whether chunking in short-term memory for verbal materials depends on attentionally limited executive processes. Secondary tasks were used to disrupt components of working memory and chunking was indexed by the sentence superiority effect, whereby immediate recall is better for sentences than word lists. To…

  18. Bilingual Lexical Activation in Sentence Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwartz, Ana I.; Kroll, Judith F.

    2006-01-01

    The present study investigated the cognitive nature of second language (L2) lexical processing in sentence context. We examined bilinguals' L2 word recognition performance for language-ambiguous words [cognates (e.g., "piano") and homographs (e.g., "pan")] in two sentence context experiments with highly proficient Spanish-English bilinguals living…

  19. Subject-verb agreement in children and adults: serial or hierarchical processing?

    PubMed

    Negro, Isabelle; Chanquoy, Lucile; Fayol, Michel; Louis-Sidney, Maryse

    2005-05-01

    Two processes, serial and hierarchical, are generally opposed to account for grammatical encoding in language production. In a developmental perspective, the question addressed here is whether the subject-verb agreement during writing is computed serially, once the words are linearly ordered in the sentence, or hierarchically, as soon as the number features are determined in a hierarchical frame. Adults and children from 3rd to 5th grades were requested to listen to sentences with built-in prepositional phrases or relative clauses and to transcribe them as quickly as possible. A serial hypothesis assumes that subject-verb agreement errors should be equally frequent with both preambles because each has the same length separating the subject head noun and the main verb. Conversely, according to a hierarchical view, errors should be more frequent with a prepositional phrase because the syntactic distance between the subject and the verb is greater than with a relative clause. The results revealed a main effect of the preamble manipulated in 5th graders and adults, but not in 3rd graders. These data were in favor of a hierarchical processing in older writers and a serial one in younger children. However, in 3rd grade, we assumed that the potential serial account was a result of the resource constraint on writing more than of a real serial processing of the agreement. PMID:16050444

  20. The Development of Sentence Interpretation: Effects of Perceptual, Attentional and Semantic Interference

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leech, Robert; Aydelott, Jennifer; Symons, Germaine; Carnevale, Julia; Dick, Frederic

    2007-01-01

    How does the development and consolidation of perceptual, attentional, and higher cognitive abilities interact with language acquisition and processing? We explored children's (ages 5-17) and adults' (ages 18-51) comprehension of morphosyntactically varied sentences under several competing speech conditions that varied in the degree of attentional…

  1. Error Detection Mechanism for Words and Sentences: A Comparison between Readers with Dyslexia and Skilled Readers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horowitz-Kraus, Tzipi; Breznitz, Zvia

    2011-01-01

    The activity level of the error monitoring system for processing isolated versus contextual words in Hebrew was studied in adults with dyslexia and skilled readers while committing reading errors. Behavioural measures and event-related potentials were measured during a lexical decision task using words in a list and sentences. Error-related…

  2. Brain Activity of Regular and Dyslexic Readers while Reading Hebrew as Compared to English Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Breznitz, Zvia; Oren, Revital; Shaul, Shelley

    2004-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine differences among "regular" and dyslexic adult bilingual readers when processing reading and reading related skills in their first (L1 Hebrew) and second (L2 English) languages. Brain activity during reading Hebrew and English unexpected sentence endings was also studied. Behavioral and…

  3. Processing Temporal Constraints and Some Implications for the Investigation of Second Language Sentence Processing and Acquisition. Commentary on Baggio

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Leah

    2008-01-01

    Baggio presents the results of an event-related potential (ERP) study in which he examines the processing consequences of reading tense violations such as *"Afgelopen zondag lakt Vincent de kozijnen van zijn landhuis" (*"Last Sunday Vincent paints the window-frames of his country house"). The violation is arguably caused by a mismatch between the…

  4. The Development of Sentence Planning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wijnen, Frank

    1990-01-01

    Examines speech samples of a boy 2;4 to 2;11 to determine the relationship between speech disturbances and language production process development. Disfluencies were randomly distributed during the first half of the observation period, then concentrated in function words and sentence initial words, reflecting an emerging speech component dedicated…

  5. Sentence-Level Rewriting Detection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Fan; Litman, Diane

    2014-01-01

    Writers usually need iterations of revisions and edits during their writings. To better understand the process of rewriting, we need to know what has changed be-tween the revisions. Prior work mainly focuses on detecting corrections within sentences, which is at the level of words or phrases. This paper proposes to detect revision changes at the…

  6. When novel sentences spoken or heard for the first time in the history of the universe are not enough: toward a dual-process model of language.

    PubMed

    Van Lancker Sidtis, Diana

    2004-01-01

    Although interest in the language sciences was previously focused on newly created sentences, more recently much attention has turned to the importance of formulaic expressions in normal and disordered communication. Also referred to as formulaic expressions and made up of speech formulas, idioms, expletives, serial and memorized speech, slang, sayings, clichés, and conventional expressions, non-propositional language forms a large proportion of every speaker's competence, and may be differentially disturbed in neurological disorders. This review aims to examine non-propositional speech with respect to linguistic descriptions, psycholinguistic experiments, sociolinguistic studies, child language development, clinical language disorders, and neurological studies. Evidence from numerous sources reveals differentiated and specialized roles for novel and formulaic verbal functions, and suggests that generation of novel sentences and management of prefabricated expressions represent two legitimate and separable processes in language behaviour. A preliminary model of language behaviour that encompasses unitary and compositional properties and their integration in everyday language use is proposed. Integration and synchronizing of two disparate processes in language behaviour, formulaic and novel, characterizes normal communicative function and contributes to creativity in language. This dichotomy is supported by studies arising from other disciplines in neurology and psychology. Further studies are necessary to determine in what ways the various categories of formulaic expressions are related, and how these categories are processed by the brain. Better understanding of how non-propositional categories of speech are stored and processed in the brain can lead to better informed treatment strategies in language disorders. PMID:14660185

  7. When novel sentences spoken or heard for the first time in the history of the universe are not enough: toward a dual-process model of language.

    PubMed

    Van Lancker Sidtis, Diana

    2004-01-01

    Although interest in the language sciences was previously focused on newly created sentences, more recently much attention has turned to the importance of formulaic expressions in normal and disordered communication. Also referred to as formulaic expressions and made up of speech formulas, idioms, expletives, serial and memorized speech, slang, sayings, clichés, and conventional expressions, non-propositional language forms a large proportion of every speaker's competence, and may be differentially disturbed in neurological disorders. This review aims to examine non-propositional speech with respect to linguistic descriptions, psycholinguistic experiments, sociolinguistic studies, child language development, clinical language disorders, and neurological studies. Evidence from numerous sources reveals differentiated and specialized roles for novel and formulaic verbal functions, and suggests that generation of novel sentences and management of prefabricated expressions represent two legitimate and separable processes in language behaviour. A preliminary model of language behaviour that encompasses unitary and compositional properties and their integration in everyday language use is proposed. Integration and synchronizing of two disparate processes in language behaviour, formulaic and novel, characterizes normal communicative function and contributes to creativity in language. This dichotomy is supported by studies arising from other disciplines in neurology and psychology. Further studies are necessary to determine in what ways the various categories of formulaic expressions are related, and how these categories are processed by the brain. Better understanding of how non-propositional categories of speech are stored and processed in the brain can lead to better informed treatment strategies in language disorders.

  8. Children's Comprehension of Sentences with Focus Particles and the Role of Cognitive Control: An Eye Tracking Study with German-Learning 4-Year-Olds.

    PubMed

    Höhle, Barbara; Fritzsche, Tom; Müller, Anja

    2016-01-01

    Children's interpretations of sentences containing focus particles do not seem adult-like until school age. This study investigates how German 4-year-old children comprehend sentences with the focus particle 'nur' (only) by using different tasks and controlling for the impact of general cognitive abilities on performance measures. Two sentence types with 'only' in either pre-subject or pre-object position were presented. Eye gaze data and verbal responses were collected via the visual world paradigm combined with a sentence-picture verification task. While the eye tracking data revealed an adult-like pattern of focus particle processing, the sentence-picture verification replicated previous findings of poor comprehension, especially for 'only' in pre-subject position. A second study focused on the impact of general cognitive abilities on the outcomes of the verification task. Working memory was related to children's performance in both sentence types whereas inhibitory control was selectively related to the number of errors for sentences with 'only' in pre-subject position. These results suggest that children at the age of 4 years have the linguistic competence to correctly interpret sentences with focus particles, which--depending on specific task demands--may be masked by immature general cognitive abilities. PMID:26930286

  9. Children’s Comprehension of Sentences with Focus Particles and the Role of Cognitive Control: An Eye Tracking Study with German-Learning 4-Year-Olds

    PubMed Central

    Höhle, Barbara; Fritzsche, Tom; Müller, Anja

    2016-01-01

    Children’s interpretations of sentences containing focus particles do not seem adult-like until school age. This study investigates how German 4-year-old children comprehend sentences with the focus particle ‘nur’ (only) by using different tasks and controlling for the impact of general cognitive abilities on performance measures. Two sentence types with ‘only’ in either pre-subject or pre-object position were presented. Eye gaze data and verbal responses were collected via the visual world paradigm combined with a sentence-picture verification task. While the eye tracking data revealed an adult-like pattern of focus particle processing, the sentence-picture verification replicated previous findings of poor comprehension, especially for ‘only’ in pre-subject position. A second study focused on the impact of general cognitive abilities on the outcomes of the verification task. Working memory was related to children’s performance in both sentence types whereas inhibitory control was selectively related to the number of errors for sentences with ‘only’ in pre-subject position. These results suggest that children at the age of 4 years have the linguistic competence to correctly interpret sentences with focus particles, which–depending on specific task demands–may be masked by immature general cognitive abilities. PMID:26930286

  10. Children's Comprehension of Sentences with Focus Particles and the Role of Cognitive Control: An Eye Tracking Study with German-Learning 4-Year-Olds.

    PubMed

    Höhle, Barbara; Fritzsche, Tom; Müller, Anja

    2016-01-01

    Children's interpretations of sentences containing focus particles do not seem adult-like until school age. This study investigates how German 4-year-old children comprehend sentences with the focus particle 'nur' (only) by using different tasks and controlling for the impact of general cognitive abilities on performance measures. Two sentence types with 'only' in either pre-subject or pre-object position were presented. Eye gaze data and verbal responses were collected via the visual world paradigm combined with a sentence-picture verification task. While the eye tracking data revealed an adult-like pattern of focus particle processing, the sentence-picture verification replicated previous findings of poor comprehension, especially for 'only' in pre-subject position. A second study focused on the impact of general cognitive abilities on the outcomes of the verification task. Working memory was related to children's performance in both sentence types whereas inhibitory control was selectively related to the number of errors for sentences with 'only' in pre-subject position. These results suggest that children at the age of 4 years have the linguistic competence to correctly interpret sentences with focus particles, which--depending on specific task demands--may be masked by immature general cognitive abilities.

  11. Overlap and Differences in Brain Networks Underlying the Processing of Complex Sentence Structures in Second Language Users Compared with Native Speakers.

    PubMed

    Weber, Kirsten; Luther, Lisa; Indefrey, Peter; Hagoort, Peter

    2016-05-01

    When we learn a second language later in life, do we integrate it with the established neural networks in place for the first language or is at least a partially new network recruited? While there is evidence that simple grammatical structures in a second language share a system with the native language, the story becomes more multifaceted for complex sentence structures. In this study, we investigated the underlying brain networks in native speakers compared with proficient second language users while processing complex sentences. As hypothesized, complex structures were processed by the same large-scale inferior frontal and middle temporal language networks of the brain in the second language, as seen in native speakers. These effects were seen both in activations and task-related connectivity patterns. Furthermore, the second language users showed increased task-related connectivity from inferior frontal to inferior parietal regions of the brain, regions related to attention and cognitive control, suggesting less automatic processing for these structures in a second language. PMID:26746708

  12. Overlap and Differences in Brain Networks Underlying the Processing of Complex Sentence Structures in Second Language Users Compared with Native Speakers.

    PubMed

    Weber, Kirsten; Luther, Lisa; Indefrey, Peter; Hagoort, Peter

    2016-05-01

    When we learn a second language later in life, do we integrate it with the established neural networks in place for the first language or is at least a partially new network recruited? While there is evidence that simple grammatical structures in a second language share a system with the native language, the story becomes more multifaceted for complex sentence structures. In this study, we investigated the underlying brain networks in native speakers compared with proficient second language users while processing complex sentences. As hypothesized, complex structures were processed by the same large-scale inferior frontal and middle temporal language networks of the brain in the second language, as seen in native speakers. These effects were seen both in activations and task-related connectivity patterns. Furthermore, the second language users showed increased task-related connectivity from inferior frontal to inferior parietal regions of the brain, regions related to attention and cognitive control, suggesting less automatic processing for these structures in a second language.

  13. What's in a sentence? The crucial role of lexical content in sentence production in nonfluent aphasia.

    PubMed

    Speer, Paula; Wilshire, Carolyn E

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated the effect of lexical content on sentence production in nonfluent aphasia. Five participants with nonfluent aphasia, four with fluent aphasia, and eight controls were asked to describe pictured events in subject-verb-object sentences. Experiment 1 manipulated speed of lexical retrieval by varying the frequency of sentence nouns. Nonfluent participants' accuracy was consistently higher for sentences commencing with a high- than with a low-frequency subject noun, even when errors on those nouns were themselves excluded. This was not the case for the fluent participants. Experiment 2 manipulated the semantic relationship between subject and object nouns. The nonfluent participants produced sentences less accurately when they contained related than when they contained unrelated lexical items. The fluent participants exhibited the opposite trend. We propose that individuals with nonfluent aphasia are disproportionately reliant on activated conceptual-lexical representations to drive the sentence generation process, an idea we call the content drives structure (COST) hypothesis. PMID:24512548

  14. Parafoveal preview during reading: Effects of sentence position

    PubMed Central

    White, Sarah J.; Warren, Tessa; Reichle, Erik D.

    2011-01-01

    Two experiments examined parafoveal preview for words located in the middle of sentences and at sentence boundaries. Parafoveal processing was shown to occur for words at sentence-initial, mid-sentence, and sentence-final positions. Both Experiments 1 and 2 showed reduced effects of preview on regressions out for sentence-initial words. In addition, Experiment 2 showed reduced preview effects on first-pass reading times for sentence-initial words. These effects of sentence position on preview could result from reduced parafoveal processing for sentence-initial words, or other processes specific to word reading at sentence boundaries. In addition to the effects of preview, the experiments also demonstrate variability in the effects of sentence wrap-up on different reading measures, indicating that the presence and time course of wrap-up effects may be modulated by text-specific factors. We also report simulations of Experiment 2 using version 10 of E-Z Reader (Reichle, Warren, & McConnell, 2009), designed to explore the possible mechanisms underlying parafoveal preview at sentence boundaries. PMID:21500948

  15. Distinct neural correlates for pragmatic and semantic meaning processing: an event-related potential investigation of scalar implicature processing using picture-sentence verification.

    PubMed

    Politzer-Ahles, Stephen; Fiorentino, Robert; Jiang, Xiaoming; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2013-01-15

    The present study examines the brain-level representation and composition of meaning in scalar quantifiers (e.g., some), which have both a semantic meaning (at least one) and a pragmatic meaning (not all). We adopted a picture-sentence verification design to examine event-related potential (ERP) effects of reading infelicitous quantifiers for which the semantic meaning was correct with respect to the context but the pragmatic meaning was not, compared to quantifiers for which the semantic meaning was inconsistent with the context and no additional pragmatic meaning is available. In the first experiment, only pragmatically inconsistent quantifiers, not semantically inconsistent quantifiers, elicited a sustained posterior negative component. This late negativity contrasts with the N400 effect typically elicited by nouns that are incongruent with their context, suggesting that the recognition of scalar implicature errors elicits a qualitatively different ERP signature than the recognition of lexico-semantic errors. We hypothesize that the sustained negativity reflects cancellation of the pragmatic inference and retrieval of the semantic meaning. In our second experiment, we found that the process of re-interpreting the quantifier was independent from lexico-semantic processing: the N400 elicited by lexico-semantic violations was not modulated by the presence of a pragmatic inconsistency. These findings suggest that inferential pragmatic aspects of meaning are processed using different mechanisms than lexical or combinatorial semantic aspects of meaning, that inferential pragmatic meaning can be realized rapidly, and that the computation of meaning involves continuous negotiation between different aspects of meaning. PMID:23103410

  16. Lexical ambiguity in sentence comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Mason, Robert A.; Just, Marcel Adam

    2009-01-01

    An event-related fMRI paradigm was used to investigate brain activity during the reading of sentences containing either a lexically ambiguous word or an unambiguous control word. Higher levels of activation occurred during the reading of sentences containing a lexical ambiguity. Furthermore, the activated cortical network differed, depending on: (1) whether the sentence contained a balanced (i.e., both meanings equally likely) or a biased (i.e., one meaning more likely than other meanings) ambiguous word; and, (2) the working memory capacity of the individual as assessed by reading span. The findings suggest that encountering a lexical ambiguity is dealt with by activating multiple meanings utilizing processes involving both hemispheres. When an early interpretation of a biased ambiguous word is later disambiguated to the subordinate meaning, the superior frontal cortex activates in response to the coherence break and the right inferior frontal gyrus and the insula activate, possibly to suppress the incorrect interpretation. Negative correlations between reading span scores and activation in the right hemisphere for both types of ambiguous words suggest that readers with lower spans are more likely to involve show right hemisphere involvement in the processing of the ambiguity. A positive correlation between reading span scores and insula activation appearing only for biased sentences disambiguated to the subordinate meaning indicates that individuals with higher spans were more likely to initially maintain both meanings and as a result had to suppress the unintended dominant meaning. PMID:17433891

  17. The Process of Adult Day Service Use*

    PubMed Central

    Gaugler, Joseph E.

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to examine why and how families and older adults utilize adult day services. The current study included three months of participant observation in one rural and one suburban adult day service program in an upper-Midwestern region of the United States as well as semi-structured interviews with 14 family members of clients and 12 staff members from these programs. Several key constructs emerged that organized the multiple sources of qualitative data including programmatic philosophy, positioning, and environment of ADS; clients’ and family members’ reasons for use; the process of ADS use by families and clients; and pathways to family/client psychosocial and client functional outcomes. A number of inter-related themes emerged within each construct. The constructs identified and their potential associations among each other were used to expand upon and refine prior conceptualizations of ADS to frame future clinical and research efforts. PMID:24239404

  18. Prisons and Sentencing Reform.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galvin, Jim

    1983-01-01

    Reviews current themes in sentencing and prison policy. The eight articles of this special issue discuss selective incapacitation, prison bed allocation models, computer-scored classification systems, race and gender relations, commutation, parole, and a historical review of sentencing reform. (JAC)

  19. Lognormality of the Distribution of Japanese Sentence Lengths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furuhashi, Sho; Hayakawa, Yoshinori

    2012-03-01

    The lengths of sentences in written texts have been reported to exhibit characteristic distributions that resemble lognormal distributions. However, the mechanism responsible for such lognormality is unclear. In this quantitative study, we analyze over 10,000 Japanese sentences from out-of-copyright Japanese texts stored on Aozora Bunko. We first confirm that sentence length distributions can be better represented by the lognormal function than by other functions (e.g., the gamma distribution). Next, under the assumption that each sentence is generated by a hierarchical branching process in terms of dependency trees, we test whether the composition of sentences can be explained by a simple multiplicative process by utilizing the Japanese dependency analyzer CaboCha. The results imply that the lognormality of sentence length distributions originates from the dependency tree depth and that a simple multiplicative model cannot accurately model the processes involved in generating sentences.

  20. Sentence Recognition Prediction for Hearing-impaired Listeners in Stationary and Fluctuation Noise With FADE: Empowering the Attenuation and Distortion Concept by Plomp With a Quantitative Processing Model.

    PubMed

    Kollmeier, Birger; Schädler, Marc René; Warzybok, Anna; Meyer, Bernd T; Brand, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    To characterize the individual patient's hearing impairment as obtained with the matrix sentence recognition test, a simulation Framework for Auditory Discrimination Experiments (FADE) is extended here using the Attenuation and Distortion (A+D) approach by Plomp as a blueprint for setting the individual processing parameters. FADE has been shown to predict the outcome of both speech recognition tests and psychoacoustic experiments based on simulations using an automatic speech recognition system requiring only few assumptions. It builds on the closed-set matrix sentence recognition test which is advantageous for testing individual speech recognition in a way comparable across languages. Individual predictions of speech recognition thresholds in stationary and in fluctuating noise were derived using the audiogram and an estimate of the internal level uncertainty for modeling the individual Plomp curves fitted to the data with the Attenuation (A-) and Distortion (D-) parameters of the Plomp approach. The "typical" audiogram shapes from Bisgaard et al with or without a "typical" level uncertainty and the individual data were used for individual predictions. As a result, the individualization of the level uncertainty was found to be more important than the exact shape of the individual audiogram to accurately model the outcome of the German Matrix test in stationary or fluctuating noise for listeners with hearing impairment. The prediction accuracy of the individualized approach also outperforms the (modified) Speech Intelligibility Index approach which is based on the individual threshold data only.

  1. Sentence Recognition Prediction for Hearing-impaired Listeners in Stationary and Fluctuation Noise With FADE: Empowering the Attenuation and Distortion Concept by Plomp With a Quantitative Processing Model.

    PubMed

    Kollmeier, Birger; Schädler, Marc René; Warzybok, Anna; Meyer, Bernd T; Brand, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    To characterize the individual patient's hearing impairment as obtained with the matrix sentence recognition test, a simulation Framework for Auditory Discrimination Experiments (FADE) is extended here using the Attenuation and Distortion (A+D) approach by Plomp as a blueprint for setting the individual processing parameters. FADE has been shown to predict the outcome of both speech recognition tests and psychoacoustic experiments based on simulations using an automatic speech recognition system requiring only few assumptions. It builds on the closed-set matrix sentence recognition test which is advantageous for testing individual speech recognition in a way comparable across languages. Individual predictions of speech recognition thresholds in stationary and in fluctuating noise were derived using the audiogram and an estimate of the internal level uncertainty for modeling the individual Plomp curves fitted to the data with the Attenuation (A-) and Distortion (D-) parameters of the Plomp approach. The "typical" audiogram shapes from Bisgaard et al with or without a "typical" level uncertainty and the individual data were used for individual predictions. As a result, the individualization of the level uncertainty was found to be more important than the exact shape of the individual audiogram to accurately model the outcome of the German Matrix test in stationary or fluctuating noise for listeners with hearing impairment. The prediction accuracy of the individualized approach also outperforms the (modified) Speech Intelligibility Index approach which is based on the individual threshold data only. PMID:27604782

  2. Negative Sentences in Children with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thornton, Rosalind; Rombough, Kelly; Martin, Jasmine; Orton, Linda

    2016-01-01

    This study used elicited production methodology to investigate the negative sentences that are produced by English-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI). Negative sentences were elicited in contexts in which adults use the negative auxiliary verb doesn't (e.g., "It doesn't fit"). This form was targeted to see how…

  3. Preschoolers' brains rely on semantic cues prior to the mastery of syntax during sentence comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Chiao-Yi; Vissiennon, Kodjo; Friederici, Angela D.; Brauer, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Sentence comprehension requires the integration of both syntactic and semantic information, the acquisition of which seems to have different trajectories in the developing brain. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined the neural correlates underlying syntactic and semantic processing during auditory sentence comprehension as well as its development in preschool children by manipulating case marking and animacy hierarchy cues, respectively. A functional segregation was observed within Broca's area in the left inferior frontal gyrus for adults, where the pars opercularis was involved in syntactic processing and the pars triangularis in semantic processing. By contrast, five-year-old children sensitive to animacy hierarchy cues showed diffuse activation for semantic processing in the left inferior frontal and posterior temporal cortices. While no main effect of case marking was found in the left fronto-temporal language network, children with better syntactic skills showed greater neural responses for syntactically complex sentences, most prominently in the posterior superior temporal cortex. The current study provides both behavioral and neural evidence that five-year-old children compared to adults rely more on semantic information than on syntactic cues during sentence comprehension, but with the development of syntactic abilities, their brain activation in the left fronto-temporal network increases for syntactic processing. PMID:26497266

  4. Preschoolers' brains rely on semantic cues prior to the mastery of syntax during sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chiao-Yi; Vissiennon, Kodjo; Friederici, Angela D; Brauer, Jens

    2016-02-01

    Sentence comprehension requires the integration of both syntactic and semantic information, the acquisition of which seems to have different trajectories in the developing brain. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined the neural correlates underlying syntactic and semantic processing during auditory sentence comprehension as well as its development in preschool children by manipulating case marking and animacy hierarchy cues, respectively. A functional segregation was observed within Broca's area in the left inferior frontal gyrus for adults, where the pars opercularis was involved in syntactic processing and the pars triangularis in semantic processing. By contrast, five-year-old children sensitive to animacy hierarchy cues showed diffuse activation for semantic processing in the left inferior frontal and posterior temporal cortices. While no main effect of case marking was found in the left fronto-temporal language network, children with better syntactic skills showed greater neural responses for syntactically complex sentences, most prominently in the posterior superior temporal cortex. The current study provides both behavioral and neural evidence that five-year-old children compared to adults rely more on semantic information than on syntactic cues during sentence comprehension, but with the development of syntactic abilities, their brain activation in the left fronto-temporal network increases for syntactic processing. PMID:26497266

  5. Conceptual Influences on Word Order and Voice in Sentence Production: Evidence from Japanese

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tanaka, Mikihiro N.; Branigan, Holly P.; McLean, Janet F.; Pickering, Martin J.

    2011-01-01

    Two experiments using a sentence recall task tested the effect of animacy on syntactic processing in Japanese sentence production. Experiment 1 and 2 showed that when Japanese native speakers recalled transitive sentences, they were more likely to assign animate entities earlier positions in the sentence than inanimate entities. In addition,…

  6. Event-Related Potential Indicators of Text Integration across Sentence Boundaries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Chin Lung; Perfetti, Charles A.; Schmalhofer, Franz

    2007-01-01

    An event-related potentials (ERPs) study examined word-to-text integration processes across sentence boundaries. In a two-sentence passage, the accessibility of a referent for the first content word of the second sentence (the target word) was varied by the wording of the first sentence in one of the following ways: lexically (explicitly using…

  7. Sentence Production in Students with Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Altmann, Lori J. P.; Lombardino, Linda J.; Puranik, Cynthia

    2008-01-01

    Background: While spoken language deficits have been identified in children with developmental dyslexia, microanalysis of sentence production proficiency in these children is a largely unexplored area. Aims: The current study examines proficiency of syntactic production in children and young adults with dyslexia and typically developing…

  8. Left prefrontal cortex activation during sentence comprehension covaries with grammatical knowledge in children.

    PubMed

    Knoll, L J; Obleser, J; Schipke, C S; Friederici, A D; Brauer, J

    2012-08-01

    Children's language skills develop rapidly with increasing age, and several studies indicate that they use language- and age-specific strategies to understand complex sentences. In the present experiment, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and behavioral measures were used to investigate the acquisition of case-marking cues for sentence interpretation in the developing brain of German preschool children with a mean age of 6 years. Short sentences were presented auditorily, consisting of a transitive verb and two case-marked arguments with canonical subject-initial or non canonical object-initial word order. Overall group results revealed mainly left hemispheric activation in the perisylvian cortex with increased activation in the inferior parietal cortex (IPC), and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) for object-initial compared to subject-initial sentences. However, single-subject analysis suggested two distinct activation patterns within the group which allowed a classification into two subgroups. One subgroup showed the predicted activation increase in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) for the more difficult object-initial compared to subject-initial sentences, while the other group showed the reverse effect. This activation in the left IFG can be taken to reflect the degree to which adult-like sentence processing strategies, necessary to integrate case-marking information, are applied. Additional behavioral data on language development tests show that these two subgroups differ in their grammatical knowledge. Together with these behavioral findings, the results indicate that the use of a particular processing strategy is not dependent on age as such, but rather on the child's individual grammatical knowledge and the ability to use specific language cues for successful sentence comprehension.

  9. Early Stages of Sensory Processing, but Not Semantic Integration, Are Altered in Dyslexic Adults

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Patrícia B.; Ueki, Karen; Oliveira, Darlene G.; Boggio, Paulo S.; Macedo, Elizeu C.

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to verify which stages of language processing are impaired in individuals with dyslexia. For this, a visual-auditory crossmodal task with semantic judgment was used. The P100 potentials were chosen, related to visual processing and initial integration, and N400 potentials related to semantic processing. Based on visual-auditory crossmodal studies, it is understood that dyslexic individuals present impairments in the integration of these two types of tasks and impairments in processing spoken and musical auditory information. The present study sought to investigate and compare the performance of 32 adult participants (14 individuals with dyslexia), in semantic processing tasks in two situations with auditory stimuli: sentences and music, with integrated visual stimuli (pictures). From the analysis of the accuracy, both the sentence and the music blocks showed significant effects on the congruency variable, with both groups having higher scores for the incongruent items than for the congruent ones. Furthermore, there was also a group effect when the priming was music, with the dyslexic group showing an inferior performance to the control group, demonstrating greater impairments in processing when the priming was music. Regarding the reaction time variable, a group effect in music and sentence priming was found, with the dyslexic group being slower than the control group. The N400 and P100 components were analyzed. In items with judgment and music priming, a group effect was observed for the amplitude of the P100, with higher means produced by individuals with dyslexia, corroborating the literature that individuals with dyslexia have difficulties in early information processing. A congruency effect was observed in the items with music priming, with greater P100 amplitudes found in incongruous situations. Analyses of the N400 component showed the congruency effect for amplitude in both types of priming, with the mean amplitude for incongruent

  10. Early Stages of Sensory Processing, but Not Semantic Integration, Are Altered in Dyslexic Adults.

    PubMed

    Silva, Patrícia B; Ueki, Karen; Oliveira, Darlene G; Boggio, Paulo S; Macedo, Elizeu C

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to verify which stages of language processing are impaired in individuals with dyslexia. For this, a visual-auditory crossmodal task with semantic judgment was used. The P100 potentials were chosen, related to visual processing and initial integration, and N400 potentials related to semantic processing. Based on visual-auditory crossmodal studies, it is understood that dyslexic individuals present impairments in the integration of these two types of tasks and impairments in processing spoken and musical auditory information. The present study sought to investigate and compare the performance of 32 adult participants (14 individuals with dyslexia), in semantic processing tasks in two situations with auditory stimuli: sentences and music, with integrated visual stimuli (pictures). From the analysis of the accuracy, both the sentence and the music blocks showed significant effects on the congruency variable, with both groups having higher scores for the incongruent items than for the congruent ones. Furthermore, there was also a group effect when the priming was music, with the dyslexic group showing an inferior performance to the control group, demonstrating greater impairments in processing when the priming was music. Regarding the reaction time variable, a group effect in music and sentence priming was found, with the dyslexic group being slower than the control group. The N400 and P100 components were analyzed. In items with judgment and music priming, a group effect was observed for the amplitude of the P100, with higher means produced by individuals with dyslexia, corroborating the literature that individuals with dyslexia have difficulties in early information processing. A congruency effect was observed in the items with music priming, with greater P100 amplitudes found in incongruous situations. Analyses of the N400 component showed the congruency effect for amplitude in both types of priming, with the mean amplitude for incongruent

  11. Parafoveal N400 effect during sentence reading.

    PubMed

    Barber, Horacio A; Doñamayor, Nuria; Kutas, Marta; Münte, Thomas

    2010-07-26

    Research has suggested that during reading, parafoveal information pertaining to the next word in a line might be, at least partially, processed. We used event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to examine this issue. Volunteers read sentences presented word-by-word at fixation with each word flanked bilaterally on its right by the next word in the sentence and on its left by the preceding word. Infrequently, the right flanker was replaced by a word that was semantically incongruous with the ongoing sentence context. N400 amplitudes to the critical triads were smaller when the right flanker was contextually congruent than incongruent, indicating that parafoveal information was extracted and quickly and incrementally integrated within the evolving sentence representation.

  12. Parafoveal N400 effect during sentence reading

    PubMed Central

    Barber, Horacio A.; Doñamayor, Nuria; Kutas, Marta; Münte, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Research has suggested that during reading, parafoveal information pertaining to the next word in a line might be, at least partially, processed. We used event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to examine this issue. Volunteers read sentences presented word-by-word at fixation with each word flanked bilaterally on its right by the next word in the sentence and on its left by the preceding word. Infrequently, the right flanker was replaced by a word that was semantically incongruous with the ongoing sentence context. N400 amplitudes to the critical triads were smaller when the right flanker was contextually congruent than incongruent, indicating that parafoveal information was extracted and quickly and incrementally integrated within the evolving sentence representation. PMID:20580772

  13. Working memory components in written sentence generation.

    PubMed

    Kellogg, Ronald T

    2004-01-01

    College students wrote either simple or complex sentences using 2 prompt nouns while components of working memory were distracted with a concurrent task. Loads on the visual and spatial components of working memory (retain a shape) and verbal component (retain 3 or 6 digits) were compared with a no-load control. Only the 6-digit load reliably reduced sentence length relative to the control, suggesting that unimpeded sentence generation requires verbal working memory. The sentence length effect may arise from a failure to retrieve and maintain lexical representations during grammatical encoding. Memory load had no effect on grammatical and spelling errors, implying that syntactic and orthographic processing were undisturbed. Other possibilities locate the difficulty in planning conceptual content or in phonological encoding, but some evidence speaks against them.

  14. Do Not Resonate with Actions: Sentence Polarity Modulates Cortico-Spinal Excitability during Action-Related Sentence Reading

    PubMed Central

    Liuzza, Marco Tullio; Candidi, Matteo; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria

    2011-01-01

    Background Theories of embodied language suggest that the motor system is differentially called into action when processing motor-related versus abstract content words or sentences. It has been recently shown that processing negative polarity action-related sentences modulates neural activity of premotor and motor cortices. Methods and Findings We sought to determine whether reading negative polarity sentences brought about differential modulation of cortico-spinal motor excitability depending on processing hand-action related or abstract sentences. Facilitatory paired-pulses Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (pp-TMS) was applied to the primary motor representation of the right-hand and the recorded amplitude of induced motor-evoked potentials (MEP) was used to index M1 activity during passive reading of either hand-action related or abstract content sentences presented in both negative and affirmative polarity. Results showed that the cortico-spinal excitability was affected by sentence polarity only in the hand-action related condition. Indeed, in keeping with previous TMS studies, reading positive polarity, hand action-related sentences suppressed cortico-spinal reactivity. This effect was absent when reading hand action-related negative polarity sentences. Moreover, no modulation of cortico-spinal reactivity was associated with either negative or positive polarity abstract sentences. Conclusions Our results indicate that grammatical cues prompting motor negation reduce the cortico-spinal suppression associated with affirmative action sentences reading and thus suggest that motor simulative processes underlying the embodiment may involve even syntactic features of language. PMID:21347305

  15. Pupillary dynamics reveal computational cost in sentence planning.

    PubMed

    Sevilla, Yamila; Maldonado, Mora; Shalóm, Diego E

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the computational cost associated with grammatical planning in sentence production. We measured people's pupillary responses as they produced spoken descriptions of depicted events. We manipulated the syntactic structure of the target by training subjects to use different types of sentences following a colour cue. The results showed higher increase in pupil size for the production of passive and object dislocated sentences than for active canonical subject-verb-object sentences, indicating that more cognitive effort is associated with more complex noncanonical thematic order. We also manipulated the time at which the cue that triggered structure-building processes was presented. Differential increase in pupil diameter for more complex sentences was shown to rise earlier as the colour cue was presented earlier, suggesting that the observed pupillary changes are due to differential demands in relatively independent structure-building processes during grammatical planning. Task-evoked pupillary responses provide a reliable measure to study the cognitive processes involved in sentence production.

  16. [Does action semantic knowledge influence mental simulation in sentence comprehension?].

    PubMed

    Mochizuki, Masaya; Naito, Katsuo

    2012-04-01

    This research investigated whether action semantic knowledge influences mental simulation during sentence comprehension. In Experiment 1, we confirmed that the words of face-related objects include the perceptual knowledge about the actions that bring the object to the face. In Experiment 2, we used an acceptability judgment task and a word-picture verification task to compare the perceptual information that is activated by the comprehension of sentences describing an action using face-related objects near the face (near-sentence) or far from the face (far-sentence). Results showed that participants took a longer time to judge the acceptability of the far-sentence than the near-sentence. Verification times were significantly faster when the actions in the pictures matched the action described in the sentences than when they were mismatched. These findings suggest that action semantic knowledge influences sentence processing, and that perceptual information corresponding to the content of the sentence is activated regardless of the action semantic knowledge at the end of the sentence processing.

  17. Altered Topology in Information Processing of a Narrated Story in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment.

    PubMed

    Yogev-Seligmann, Galit; Oren, Noga; Ash, Elissa L; Hendler, Talma; Giladi, Nir; Lerner, Yulia

    2016-05-01

    The ability to store, integrate, and manipulate information declines with aging. These changes occur earlier, faster, and to a greater degree as a result of neurodegeneration. One of the most common and early characteristics of cognitive decline is difficulty with comprehension of information. The neural mechanisms underlying this breakdown of information processing are poorly understood. Using functional MRI and natural stimuli (e.g., stories), we mapped the neural mechanisms by which the human brain accumulates and processes information with increasing duration and complexity in participants with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and healthy older adults. To explore the mechanisms of information processing, we measured the reliability of brain responses elicited by listening to different versions of a narrated story created by segmenting the story into words, sentences, and paragraphs and then scrambling the segments. Comparing healthy older adults and participants with aMCI revealed that in both groups, all types of stimuli similarly recruited primary auditory areas. However, prominent differences between groups were found at the level of processing long and complex stimuli. In healthy older adults, parietal and frontal regions demonstrated highly synchronized responses in both the paragraph and full story conditions, as has been previously reported in young adults. Participants with aMCI, however, exhibited a robust functional shift of long time scale processing to the pre- and post-central sulci. Our results suggest that participants with aMCI experienced a functional shift of higher order auditory information processing, possibly reflecting a functional response to concurrent or impending neuronal or synaptic loss. This observation might assist in understanding mechanisms of cognitive decline in aMCI.

  18. Healthy Aging and Compensation of Sentence Comprehension Auditory Deficits

    PubMed Central

    Silagi, Marcela Lima; Rabelo, Camila Maia; Schochat, Eliane; Mansur, Letícia Lessa

    2015-01-01

    Objectives. To analyze the effect of aging on sentence auditory comprehension and to study the relationship between this language skill and cognitive functions (attention, working memory, and executive functions). Methods. A total of 90 healthy subjects were divided into three groups: adults (50–59 years), young-old (60–69 years), and old-old (70–80 years). Subjects were assessed using the Revised Token Test. The measures used for performance analysis were number of correct answers (accuracy) and execution time of commands on the different subtests. Results. Regarding accuracy, groups showed similar performance on the first blocks, but the young-old and old-old performed worse than adults on blocks 9 and 10. With respect to execution time, groups differed from block 2 (i.e., the groups differed for all blocks, except for block 1), with the worst performance observed in the old-old group, followed by that of the young-old group. Therefore, the elderly required more time to attain performance similar to that of adults, showing that time measurements are more sensitive for detecting the effects of age. Sentence comprehension ability is correlated with cognitive test performance, especially for global cognition and working memory tests. Conclusions. Healthy aging is characterized by the ability to compensate for difficulties in linguistic processing, which allows the elderly to maintain functional communication. PMID:26605334

  19. Syntactic Priming During Sentence Comprehension: Evidence for the Lexical Boost

    PubMed Central

    Traxler, Matthew J.; Tooley, Kristen M.; Pickering, Martin J.

    2014-01-01

    Syntactic priming occurs when structural information from one sentence influences processing of a subsequently encountered sentence (Bock, 1986; Ledoux et al., 2007). This article reports two eye-tracking experiments investigating the effects of a prime sentence on the processing of a target sentence that shared aspects of syntactic form. The experiments were designed to determine the degree to which lexical overlap between prime and target sentences produced larger effects, comparable to the widely observed ‘lexical boost’ in production experiments (Pickering & Branigan, 1998; Pickering & Ferreira, 2008). The current experiments showed that priming effects during on-line comprehension were in fact larger when a verb was repeated across the prime and target sentences (see also Tooley et al., 2009). The finding of larger priming effects with lexical repetition supports accounts under which syntactic form representations are connected to individual lexical items (e.g., Vosse & Kempen, 2000, 2009; Tomasello, 2003). PMID:24707789

  20. Syntactic priming during sentence comprehension: evidence for the lexical boost.

    PubMed

    Traxler, Matthew J; Tooley, Kristen M; Pickering, Martin J

    2014-07-01

    Syntactic priming occurs when structural information from one sentence influences processing of a subsequently encountered sentence (Bock, 1986; Ledoux et al., 2007). This article reports 2 eye-tracking experiments investigating the effects of a prime sentence on the processing of a target sentence that shared aspects of syntactic form. The experiments were designed to determine the degree to which lexical overlap between prime and target sentences produced larger effects, comparable to the widely observed "lexical boost" in production experiments (Pickering & Branigan, 1998; Pickering & Ferreira, 2008). The current experiments showed that priming effects during online comprehension were in fact larger when a verb was repeated across the prime and target sentences (see also Tooley et al., 2009). The finding of larger priming effects with lexical repetition supports accounts under which syntactic form representations are connected to individual lexical items (e.g., Tomasello, 2003; Vosse & Kempen, 2000, 2009).

  1. Children's on-line processing of scrambling in Japanese.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Takaaki

    2013-04-01

    This study investigates the on-line processing of scrambled sentences in Japanese by preschool children and adults using a combination of self-paced listening and speeded picture selection tasks. The effects of a filler-gap dependency, reversibility, and case markers were examined. The results show that both children and adults had difficulty in comprehending scrambled sentences when they were provided as reversible sentences. The reversibility effect was significant for children, whereas the interaction of reversibility and a filler-gap dependency was significant for adults. However, this does not indicate that children's parsing is fundamentally different from that of adults. For those children who processed the nominative and accusative case markers equally fast, the reactivation of the dislocated constituent was observed in the gap position. These results suggest that children's processing is basically the same as adults' in that their sentence processing is incremental and they parse a gap to form a filler-gap dependency. PMID:22460686

  2. Multiple Influences of Semantic Memory on Sentence Processing: Distinct Effects of Semantic Relatedness on Violations of Real-World Event/State Knowledge and Animacy Selection Restrictions

    PubMed Central

    Paczynski, Martin; Kuperberg, Gina R.

    2012-01-01

    We aimed to determine whether semantic relatedness between an incoming word and its preceding context can override expectations based on two types of stored knowledge: real-world knowledge about the specific events and states conveyed by a verb, and the verb’s broader selection restrictions on the animacy of its argument. We recorded event-related potentials on post-verbal Agent arguments as participants read and made plausibility judgments about passive English sentences. The N400 evoked by incoming animate Agent arguments that violated expectations based on real-world event/state knowledge, was strongly attenuated when they were semantically related to the context. In contrast, semantic relatedness did not modulate the N400 evoked by inanimate Agent arguments that violated the preceding verb’s animacy selection restrictions. These findings suggest that, under these task and experimental conditions, semantic relatedness can facilitate processing of post-verbal animate arguments that violate specific expectations based on real-world event/state knowledge, but only when the semantic features of these arguments match the coarser-grained animacy restrictions of the verb. Animacy selection restriction violations also evoked a P600 effect, which was not modulated by semantic relatedness, suggesting that it was triggered by propositional impossibility. Together, these data indicate that the brain distinguishes between real-world event/state knowledge and animacy-based selection restrictions during online processing. PMID:23284226

  3. Repeating Words in Sentences: Effects of Sentence Structure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wheeldon, Linda R.; Smith, Mark C.; Apperly, Ian A.

    2011-01-01

    An online picture description methodology was used to investigate the interaction between lexical and syntactic information in spoken sentence production. In response to arrays of moving pictures, participants generated prepositional sentences, such as "The apple moves towards the dog," as well as coordinate noun phrase sentences, such as "The…

  4. Aging and Individual Differences in Binding During Sentence Understanding: Evidence from Temporary and Global Syntactic Attachment Ambiguities

    PubMed Central

    Payne, Brennan R.; Grison, Sarah; Gao, Xuefei; Christianson, Kiel; Morrow, Daniel G.; Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A. L.

    2013-01-01

    We report an investigation of aging and individual differences in binding information during sentence understanding. An age-continuous sample of adults (N = 91), ranging from 18 to 81 years of age, read sentences in which a relative clause could be attached high to a head noun NP1, attached low to its modifying prepositional phrase NP2 (e.g., The son of the princess who scratched himself / herself in public was humiliated), or in which the attachment site of the relative clause was ultimately indeterminate (e.g., The maid of the princess who scratched herself in public was humiliated). Word-by-word reading times and comprehension (e.g., who scratched?) were measured. A series of mixed-effects models were fit to the data, revealing: (1) that, on average, NP1-attached sentences were harder to process and comprehend than NP2-attached sentences; (2) that these average effects were independently moderated by verbal working memory capacity and reading experience, with effects that were most pronounced in the oldest participants and; (3) that readers on average did not allocate extra time to resolve global ambiguities, though older adults with higher working memory span did. Findings are discussed in relation to current models of lifespan cognitive development, working memory, language experience, and the role of prosodic segmentation strategies in reading. Collectively, these data suggest that aging brings differences in sentence understanding, and these differences may depend on independent influences of verbal working memory capacity and reading experience. PMID:24291806

  5. Aging and individual differences in binding during sentence understanding: evidence from temporary and global syntactic attachment ambiguities.

    PubMed

    Payne, Brennan R; Grison, Sarah; Gao, Xuefei; Christianson, Kiel; Morrow, Daniel G; Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A L

    2014-02-01

    We report an investigation of aging and individual differences in binding information during sentence understanding. An age-continuous sample of adults (N=91), ranging from 18 to 81 years of age, read sentences in which a relative clause could be attached high to a head noun NP1, attached low to its modifying prepositional phrase NP2 (e.g., The son of the princess who scratched himself/herself in public was humiliated), or in which the attachment site of the relative clause was ultimately indeterminate (e.g., The maid of the princess who scratched herself in public was humiliated). Word-by-word reading times and comprehension (e.g., who scratched?) were measured. A series of mixed-effects models were fit to the data, revealing: (1) that, on average, NP1-attached sentences were harder to process and comprehend than NP2-attached sentences; (2) that these average effects were independently moderated by verbal working memory capacity and reading experience, with effects that were most pronounced in the oldest participants and; (3) that readers on average did not allocate extra time to resolve global ambiguities, though older adults with higher working memory span did. Findings are discussed in relation to current models of lifespan cognitive development, working memory, language experience, and the role of prosodic segmentation strategies in reading. Collectively, these data suggest that aging brings differences in sentence understanding, and these differences may depend on independent influences of verbal working memory capacity and reading experience.

  6. The Role of Broca's Area in Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogalsky, Corianne; Hickok, Gregory

    2011-01-01

    The role of Broca's area in sentence processing has been debated for the last 30 years. A central and still unresolved issue is whether Broca's area plays a specific role in some aspect of syntactic processing (e.g., syntactic movement, hierarchical structure building) or whether it serves a more general function on which sentence processing…

  7. Children's Comprehension of Complex Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Richard J.

    1975-01-01

    Children, aged 4-12, performed four tasks designed to test their comprehension of complex sentences that contained main verbs taking underlying sentences as their complements. Tasks involved imperatives, semantic anomalies, truth questioning and short-term memory. (JMB)

  8. Proficiency and sentence constraint effects on second language word learning.

    PubMed

    Ma, Tengfei; Chen, Baoguo; Lu, Chunming; Dunlap, Susan

    2015-07-01

    This paper presents an experiment that investigated the effects of L2 proficiency and sentence constraint on semantic processing of unknown L2 words (pseudowords). All participants were Chinese native speakers who learned English as a second language. In the experiment, we used a whole sentence presentation paradigm with a delayed semantic relatedness judgment task. Both higher and lower-proficiency L2 learners could make use of the high-constraint sentence context to judge the meaning of novel pseudowords, and higher-proficiency L2 learners outperformed lower-proficiency L2 learners in all conditions. These results demonstrate that both L2 proficiency and sentence constraint affect subsequent word learning among second language learners. We extended L2 word learning into a sentence context, replicated the sentence constraint effects previously found among native speakers, and found proficiency effects in L2 word learning.

  9. Prototypicality in Sentence Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Onishi, Kristine H.; Murphy, Gregory L.; Bock, Kathryn

    2008-01-01

    Three cued-recall experiments examined the effect of category typicality on the ordering of words in sentence production. Past research has found that typical items tend to be mentioned before atypical items in a phrase--a pattern usually associated with lexical variables (like word frequency), and yet typicality is a conceptual variable.…

  10. Teaching a Sentence, Simply?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Honeman, Bob

    1994-01-01

    Criticizes content-area teachers for not knowing what they are talking about when they criticize English teachers. Suggests that students be given the same opportunity to understand the self-evident truths of written sentences as was given to teachers--by doing lots of writing. (RS)

  11. Sentence Combining: A Literature Review.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, Sylvia E.

    Sentence combining--a technique of putting strings of sentence kernels together in a variety of ways so that completed sentences possess greater syntactic maturity--is a method offering much promise in the teaching of writing and composition. The purpose of this document is to provide a literature review of this procedure. After defining the term…

  12. Semantic Focus and Sentence Comprehension.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cutler, Anne; Fodor, Jerry A.

    1979-01-01

    Reaction time to detect a phoneme target in a sentence was faster when the target-containing word formed part of the semantic focus of the sentence. Sentence understanding was facilitated by rapid identification of focused information. Active search for accented words can be interpreted as a search for semantic focus. (Author/RD)

  13. Sentence comprehension in Swahili-English bilingual agrammatic speakers.

    PubMed

    Abuom, Tom O; Shah, Emmah; Bastiaanse, Roelien

    2013-05-01

    For this study, sentence comprehension was tested in Swahili-English bilingual agrammatic speakers. The sentences were controlled for four factors: (1) order of the arguments (base vs. derived); (2) embedding (declarative vs. relative sentences); (3) overt use of the relative pronoun "who"; (4) language (English and Swahili). Two theories were tested: the Trace Deletion Hypothesis (TDH; [Grodzinsky, Y. (1995). A restrictive theory of agrammatic comprehension. Brain and Language, 50, 27-51]) that assumes a representational deficit in agrammatic aphasia and the Derived Order Problem Hypothesis (DOP-H; Bastiaanse & Van Zonneveld, 2005), which is a processing account. Both theories have the same predictions for sentences in derived order. The difference is that the TDH predicts chance level performance for sentences in which the arguments are not in base order, whereas the DOP-H predicts poorer performance when processing demands increase. The results show that word order influences performance, in that sentences in which the arguments are in derived order are harder to comprehend than sentences in which the arguments are in base order. However, there is a significant interaction with the factor "embedding": sentences with an embedding are harder to comprehend than simple declaratives and this influence is larger in derived order sentences. There is no effect of language nor of the use of a relative pronoun. These results are correctly accounted for by the DOP-H.

  14. Adult Metacomprehension: Judgment Processes and Accuracy Constraints

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhao, Qin; Linderholm, Tracy

    2008-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to review and synthesize two interrelated topics in the adult metacomprehension literature: the bases of metacomprehension judgment and the constraints on metacomprehension accuracy. Our review shows that adult readers base their metacomprehension judgments on different types of information, including experiences…

  15. Beyond Decoding: Phonological Processing during Silent Reading in Beginning Readers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blythe, Hazel I.; Pagán, Ascensión; Dodd, Megan

    2015-01-01

    In this experiment, the extent to which beginning readers process phonology during lexical identification in silent sentence reading was investigated. The eye movements of children aged seven to nine years and adults were recorded as they read sentences containing either a correctly spelled target word (e.g., girl), a pseudohomophone (e.g., gerl),…

  16. An Evaluation of Two Signal-Processing Hearing Aids.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dempsey, James J.; Linzalone, Tanya G.

    1991-01-01

    This study, involving 15 older adults with hearing impairments, investigated the relationship between sentence recognition ability and two types of signal processing in hearing aids. Results indicated a significant improvement in sentence recognition when employing an instrument with adaptive compression versus an instrument with an adaptive…

  17. The Role of the Striatum in Sentence Processing: Evidence from a Priming Study in Early Stages of Huntington's Disease

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Teichmann, Marc; Dupoux, Emmanuel; Cesaro, Pierre; Bachoud-Levi, Anne-Catherine

    2008-01-01

    The role of sub-cortical structures such as the striatum in language remains a controversial issue. Based on linguistic claims that language processing implies both recovery of lexical information and application of combinatorial rules it has been shown that striatal damaged patients have difficulties applying conjugation rules while lexical…

  18. Schematization and Sentence Processing by Foreign Language Learners: A Reading-Time Experiment and a Stimulated-Recall Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tode, Tomoko

    2012-01-01

    This article examines how learners of English as a foreign language process reduced relative clauses (RRCs) from the perspective of usage-based language learning, which posits that language knowledge forms a hierarchy from item-based knowledge consisting only of entrenched frequent exemplars to more advanced schematized knowledge. Twenty-eight…

  19. The Role of Animacy and Thematic Relationships in Processing Active English Sentences: Evidence from Event-Related Potentials

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuperberg, Gina R.; Kreher, Donna A.; Sitnikova, Tatiana; Caplan, David N.; Holcomb, Phillip J.

    2007-01-01

    Recent event-related potential studies report a P600 effect to incongruous verbs preceded by semantically associated inanimate noun-phrase (NP) arguments, e.g., "eat" in "At breakfast the eggs would eat...". This P600 effect may reflect the processing cost incurred when semantic-thematic relationships between critical verbs and their preceding NP…

  20. Do discourse global coherence and cumulated information impact on sentence syntactic processing? An event-related brain potentials study.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Gutiérrez, David; Jiménez-Ortega, Laura; Fondevila, Sabela; Casado, Pilar; Muñoz, Francisco; Martín-Loeches, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    The present study aimed at exploring how two main primarily semantic factors of discourse comprehension, namely global coherence and amount of information cumulated across a passage, may impact on the sentential syntactic processing. This was measured in two event-related brain potentials (ERP) to grammatical (morphosyntactic) violations: anterior negativities (LAN) and posterior positivities (P600). Global coherence did not yield any significant effects on either ERP component, although it appeared advantageous to the detection of morphosyntactic errors. Anterior negativities were also unaffected by the amount of cumulated information. Accordingly, it seems that first-pass syntactic processes are unaffected by these discourse variables. In contrast, the first portion of the P600 was significantly modulated (increased) by the latter factor. This probably reflects bigger efforts to combine sentential information during situations highly demanding for working memory. Our results would suggest that processes involved in global discourse coherence appear relatively independent of the on-line syntactic and combinatorial mechanisms reflected in the LAN and the P600 components of the ERPs.

  1. Do discourse global coherence and cumulated information impact on sentence syntactic processing? An event-related brain potentials study.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Gutiérrez, David; Jiménez-Ortega, Laura; Fondevila, Sabela; Casado, Pilar; Muñoz, Francisco; Martín-Loeches, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    The present study aimed at exploring how two main primarily semantic factors of discourse comprehension, namely global coherence and amount of information cumulated across a passage, may impact on the sentential syntactic processing. This was measured in two event-related brain potentials (ERP) to grammatical (morphosyntactic) violations: anterior negativities (LAN) and posterior positivities (P600). Global coherence did not yield any significant effects on either ERP component, although it appeared advantageous to the detection of morphosyntactic errors. Anterior negativities were also unaffected by the amount of cumulated information. Accordingly, it seems that first-pass syntactic processes are unaffected by these discourse variables. In contrast, the first portion of the P600 was significantly modulated (increased) by the latter factor. This probably reflects bigger efforts to combine sentential information during situations highly demanding for working memory. Our results would suggest that processes involved in global discourse coherence appear relatively independent of the on-line syntactic and combinatorial mechanisms reflected in the LAN and the P600 components of the ERPs. PMID:26569131

  2. Breathing and affective picture processing across the adult lifespan.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Patrick; Filippou, Dimitra; Pais, Bruno; von Gunten, Armin; Danuser, Brigitta

    2016-09-01

    The present study investigated differences between healthy younger, middle-aged, and older adults in their respiratory responses to pictures of different valence and arousal. Expiratory time shortened and end-tidal PCO2 decreased with increasing arousal in all age groups; yet, compared to younger adults, older adults' overall change from baseline was smaller for expiratory time and larger for end-tidal PCO2. Contrary to their younger counterparts, older adults' inspiratory time did not shorten with increasing arousal. Inspiratory duty cycle did not covary with affective ratings for younger adults, increased with unpleasantness for middle-aged adults, and increased with arousal for older adults. Thoracic breathing increased with increasing unpleasantness only among older adults. Age had no effects on mean inspiratory flow and minute ventilation, which both augmented as arousal increased. We discuss how age effects on respiratory response magnitude and pattern may depend on age-associated biological changes or reflect age-related differences in emotional processing.

  3. Automatic Selection of Suitable Sentences for Language Learning Exercises

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pilán, Ildikó; Volodina, Elena; Johansson, Richard

    2013-01-01

    In our study we investigated second and foreign language (L2) sentence readability, an area little explored so far in the case of several languages, including Swedish. The outcome of our research consists of two methods for sentence selection from native language corpora based on Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML)…

  4. A mouse with a roof? effects of phonological neighbors on processing of words in sentences in a non-native language.

    PubMed

    Rüschemeyer, Shirley-Ann; Nojack, Agnes; Limbach, Maxi

    2008-02-01

    The architecture of the language processing system for speakers of more than one language remains an intriguing topic of research. A common finding is that speakers of multiple languages are slower at responding to language stimuli in their non-native language (L2) than monolingual speakers. This may simply reflect participants' unfamiliarity with words in the L2, however it may also be the reflection of interference from competing lexical alternatives both across and within the participants' multiple languages. In the current studies (one behavioral, one electrophysiological) we investigate how interference from phonologically similar words within the L2 alone may account for problems in auditory language comprehension in non-native speakers. To this end a cross modal lexical priming (CMLP) paradigm was implemented, which allowed us to look for effects of spoken word primes embedded in sentences on the recognition of target stimuli. Specifically, we investigated whether a word such as mouse, which has a close phonological neighbor, house, would show a modulating effect on recognition of a word semantically related to house but not to mouse (i.e., roof). We hypothesized that L2 speakers, less efficient at categorizing phonemes in their L2 would show a difference in the processing of roof preceded by mouse as compared to roof preceded by another unrelated word, such as lamp, due to a residual co-activation of the phonological neighbor mouse. Furthermore, L1 speakers, highly proficient at recognizing phonemes in their native tongue, should show no such effect. The results of both studies clearly support our hypothesis, indicating that phonological neighbors in the L2 may greatly interfere with L2 word recognition.

  5. Prototypicality in Sentence Production

    PubMed Central

    Onishi, Kristine H.; Murphy, Gregory L.; Bock, Kathryn

    2008-01-01

    Three cued-recall experiments examined the effect of category typicality on the ordering of words in sentence production. Past research has found that typical items tend to be mentioned before atypical items in a phrase—a pattern usually associated with lexical variables (like word frequency), and yet typicality is a conceptual variable. Experiment 1 revealed that an appropriate conceptual framework was necessary to yield the typicality effect. Experiment 2 tested ad-hoc categories that do not have prior representations in long-term memory and yielded no typicality effect. Experiment 3 used carefully matched sentences in which two category members appeared in the same or in different phrases. Typicality affected word order only when the two words appeared in the same phrase. These results are consistent with an account in which typicality has its origin in conceptual structure, which leads to differences in lexical accessibility in appropriate contexts. PMID:17631877

  6. Sensory Processing in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crane, Laura; Goddard, Lorna; Pring, Linda

    2009-01-01

    Unusual sensory processing has been widely reported in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs); however, the majority of research in this area has focused on children. The present study assessed sensory processing in adults with ASD using the Adult/Adolescent Sensory Profile (AASP), a 60-item self-report questionnaire assessing levels of sensory…

  7. Adult attachment processes: individual and couple perspectives.

    PubMed

    Bartholomew, K

    1997-09-01

    This paper overviews a new approach to understanding the range of difficulties experienced in close attachment relationships in adulthood. Drawing on the work of Bowlby, four prototypic adult attachment patterns are defined in terms of the intersection of two underlying dimensions, the positivity of the person's self-image and the positivity of the person's image of others (Bartholomew, 1990; Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991). The distinct interpersonal difficulties associated with each attachment pattern are described. Findings are presented indicating that individual differences in attachment have implications for the quality of adults' romantic relationships, and that attachment theory may be helpful in understanding violent spousal relationships. Five current issues in the study of adult attachment are addressed: the stability of attachment patterns, the associations between attachment and general personality factors, the relative merits of categorical and prototype assessments of attachment, the identification of multiple attachments in adulthood, and the specificity of adult attachment patterns. It is suggested that the four-category model of adult attachment is especially sensitive to the range and complexity of attachment-related difficulties experienced in adulthood.

  8. Children's Processing and Comprehension of Complex Sentences Containing Temporal Connectives: The Influence of Memory on the Time Course of Accurate Responses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blything, Liam P.; Cain, Kate

    2016-01-01

    In a touch-screen paradigm, we recorded 3- to 7-year-olds' (N = 108) accuracy and response times (RTs) to assess their comprehension of 2-clause sentences containing "before" and "after". Children were influenced by order: performance was most accurate when the presentation order of the 2 clauses matched the chronological order…

  9. When Novel Sentences Spoken or Heard for the First Time in the History of the Universe Are Not Enough: Toward a Dual-Process Model of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Lancker Sidtis, Diana

    2003-01-01

    Although interest in the language sciences was previously focused on newly created sentences, more recently much attention has turned to the importance of formulaic expressions in normal and disordered communication. Also referred to as formulaic expressions and made up of speech formulas, idioms, expletives, serial and memorized speech, slang,…

  10. Integration of partial information for spoken and written sentence recognition by older listeners.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kimberly G; Fogerty, Daniel

    2016-06-01

    Older adults have difficulty understanding speech in challenging listening environments. Combining multisensory signals may facilitate speech recognition. This study measured recognition of interrupted spoken and written sentences by older adults for different preserved stimulus proportions. Unimodal performance was first examined when only interrupted text or speech stimuli were presented. Multimodal performance with concurrently presented text and speech stimuli was tested with delayed and simultaneous participant responses. Older listeners performed better in unimodal speech-only compared to text-only conditions across all proportions preserved. Performance was also better in delayed multimodal conditions. Comparison to a younger sample suggests age-related amodal processing declines.

  11. Repeating words in sentences: effects of sentence structure.

    PubMed

    Wheeldon, Linda R; Smith, Mark C; Apperly, Ian A

    2011-09-01

    An online picture description methodology was used to investigate the interaction between lexical and syntactic information in spoken sentence production. In response to arrays of moving pictures, participants generated prepositional sentences, such as "The apple moves towards the dog," as well as coordinate noun phrase sentences, such as "The apple and the dog move up." In Experiments 1 and 2, speakers produced the same sentence structures on prime and target trials. In addition, a pictured object was repeated in either similar or different sentence positions. Lexical repetition speeded sentence production when it occurred on the first item of the target sentence (Experiments 1 and 2). However, priming was dependent on the structural position of the to-be-repeated word in the prime sentence. In particular, a noun that occurred in a prepositional phrase did not result in facilitation when it was repeated as the head of the subject phrase (Experiment 1). This effect was shown to be independent of differences in the linear position of the repeated word in prime and target trials (Experiments 2). Experiments 3 and 4 demonstrated that lexical repetition returns when the effect of sentence structure is removed. Possible mechanisms for this interaction between lexical and structural repetition are explored.

  12. Language and motor cortex response to comprehending accidental and intentional action sentences.

    PubMed

    Kana, Rajesh K; Ammons, Carla J; Doss, Constance F; Waite, Megan E; Kana, Bhumika; Herringshaw, Abbey J; Ver Hoef, Lawrence

    2015-10-01

    Understanding the meaning of others' actions involves mentally simulating those actions by oneself. Embodied theories of language espouse a prominent role for motor simulation in reading comprehension, especially when words, sentences, or narratives portray everyday actions. Inherent in these actions is the level of agency of the actor. Motor cortex activity in response to processing action verbs has been relatively well-established. What has been less explored, however, are: (1) the neural bases of determining whether an action is intentional or accidental (agency); and (2) whether agency influences level of motor simulation. This functional MRI study investigated how language and motor areas of the brain respond to sentences depicting intentional versus accidental action. 25 healthy adults read a series of sentences in the MRI scanner and determined whether the actions described were accidental or intentional. The main results include: (1) left hemisphere language areas (left inferior frontal gyrus, LIFG; left superior temporal gyrus, LSTG), premotor cortex (PM), and presupplementary motor area (pSMA) were strongly activated by both sentence types; (2) processing accidental action, relative to intentional action, elicited greater activity in LIFG, medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), and left amygdala; no statistically significant activity was found in the opposite contrast; and (3) greater percent signal change was observed in LIFG while processing accidental action and in right precentral gyrus for intentional action. The results of this study support language and motor region involvement in action sentence comprehension in accordance with embodiment theories. Additionally, it provides new insight into the linguistic, integrative, and emotional demands of comprehending accidental action, its underlying neural circuitry, and its relationship to intentionality bias: the predisposition to ascribe purpose to action. PMID:26300387

  13. Effects of Word Frequency and Modality on Sentence Comprehension Impairments in People with Aphasia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeDe, Gayle

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: It is well known that people with aphasia have sentence comprehension impairments. The present study investigated whether lexical factors contribute to sentence comprehension impairments in both the auditory and written modalities using online measures of sentence processing. Method: People with aphasia and non brain-damaged controls…

  14. "The Spotty Cow Tickled the Pig with a Curly Tail": How Do Sentence Position, Preferred Argument Structure, and Referential Complexity Affect Children's and Adults' Choice of Referring Expression?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Theakston, Anna L.

    2012-01-01

    In this study, 5-year-olds and adults described scenes that differed according to whether (a) the subject or object of a transitive verb represented an accessible or inaccessible referent, consistent or inconsistent with patterns of preferred argument structure, and (b) a simple noun was sufficient to uniquely identify an inaccessible referent.…

  15. Effects of Acute Hypoglycemia on Working Memory and Language Processing in Adults With and Without Type 1 Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Kate V.; Pickering, Martin J.; Zammitt, Nicola N.; Hartsuiker, Robert J.; Traxler, Matthew J.; Frier, Brian M.

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To examine the effects of hypoglycemia on language processing in adults with and without type 1 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Forty adults were studied (20 with type 1 diabetes and 20 healthy volunteers) using a hyperinsulinemic glucose clamp to lower blood glucose to 2.5 mmol/L (45 mg/dL) (hypoglycemia) for 60 min, or to maintain blood glucose at 4.5 mmol/L (81 mg/dL) (euglycemia), on separate occasions. Language tests were applied to assess the effects of hypoglycemia on the relationship between working memory and language (reading span), grammatical decoding (self-paced reading), and grammatical encoding (subject-verb agreement). RESULTS Hypoglycemia caused a significant deterioration in reading span (P < 0.001; η2 = 0.37; Cohen d = 0.65) and a fall in correct responses (P = 0.005; η2 = 0.19; Cohen d = 0.41). On the self-paced reading test, the reading time for the first sentence fragment increased during hypoglycemia (P = 0.039; η2 = 0.11; Cohen d = 0.25). For the reading of the next fragment, hypoglycemia affected the healthy volunteer group more than the adults with type 1 diabetes (P = 0.03; η2 = 0.12; Cohen d = 0.25). However, hypoglycemia did not significantly affect the number of errors in sentence comprehension or the time taken to answer questions. Hypoglycemia caused a deterioration of subject-verb agreement (correct responses: P = 0.011; η2 = 0.159; Cohen d = 0.31). CONCLUSIONS Hypoglycemia caused a significant deterioration in reading span and in the accuracy of subject-verb agreement, both of which are practical aspects of language involved in its everyday use. Language processing is therefore impaired during moderate hypoglycemia. PMID:25758768

  16. Learning through Action: Parallel Learning Processes in Children and Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ethridge, Elizabeth A.; Branscomb, Kathryn R.

    2009-01-01

    Experiential learning has become an essential part of many educational settings from infancy through adulthood. While the effectiveness of active learning has been evaluated in youth and adult settings, few known studies have compared the learning processes of children and adults within the same project. This article contrasts the active learning…

  17. Transfer and Developmental Processes in Adult Foreign Language Speech Production.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flege, James Emil; Davidian, Richard D.

    1984-01-01

    Describes a study done to test the hypothesis that factors that shape children's production of their native language (L1) will also influence adults' pronunciation of sounds in a foreign language (L2). Results confirmed the hypothesis that developmental processes are "reactivated" when adults attempt to produce L2 sounds not found in their L1.…

  18. Overview of Central Auditory Processing Deficits in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Atcherson, Samuel R.; Nagaraj, Naveen K.; Kennett, Sarah E.W.; Levisee, Meredith

    2015-01-01

    Although there are many reported age-related declines in the human body, the notion that a central auditory processing deficit exists in older adults has not always been clear. Hearing loss and both structural and functional central nervous system changes with advancing age are contributors to how we listen, hear, and process auditory information. Even older adults with normal or near normal hearing sensitivity may exhibit age-related central auditory processing deficits as measured behaviorally and/or electrophysiologically. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of assessment and rehabilitative approaches for central auditory processing deficits in older adults. It is hoped that the outcome of the information presented here will help clinicians with older adult patients who do not exhibit the typical auditory processing behaviors exhibited by others at the same age and with comparable hearing sensitivity all in the absence of other health-related conditions. PMID:27516715

  19. Overview of Central Auditory Processing Deficits in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Atcherson, Samuel R; Nagaraj, Naveen K; Kennett, Sarah E W; Levisee, Meredith

    2015-08-01

    Although there are many reported age-related declines in the human body, the notion that a central auditory processing deficit exists in older adults has not always been clear. Hearing loss and both structural and functional central nervous system changes with advancing age are contributors to how we listen, hear, and process auditory information. Even older adults with normal or near normal hearing sensitivity may exhibit age-related central auditory processing deficits as measured behaviorally and/or electrophysiologically. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of assessment and rehabilitative approaches for central auditory processing deficits in older adults. It is hoped that the outcome of the information presented here will help clinicians with older adult patients who do not exhibit the typical auditory processing behaviors exhibited by others at the same age and with comparable hearing sensitivity all in the absence of other health-related conditions. PMID:27516715

  20. Sometimes Children Are as Good as Adults: The Pragmatic Use of Prosody in Children's On-Line Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhou, Peng; Crain, Stephen; Zhan, Likan

    2012-01-01

    This study examined 4-year-old Mandarin-speaking children's sensitivity to prosodic cues in resolving speech act ambiguities, using eye-movement recordings. Most previous on-line studies have focused on children's use of prosody in resolving structural ambiguities. Although children have been found to be sensitive to prosodic information, they use…

  1. [TEFREP: repeating sentences Test in France and Quebec. Development, validation and standardization].

    PubMed

    Bourgeois-Marcotte, Josiane; Wilson, Maximiliano A; Forest, Martin; Monetta, Laura

    2015-09-01

    Sentence repetition is part of the assessment tasks used to better characterise aphasic patients' oral production. Moreover, impaired sentence and phrase repetition is a core feature of the logopenic variant of primary progressive aphasia. The aim of this study is to present the TEFREP (TEst Français de RÉpétition de Phrases), a French sentence repetition task that manipulates psycholinguistic variables known to affect the performance of aphasic patients. The final version of the TEFREP consists of 24 sentences in which length, semantic reversibility and type of sentence have been manipulated. The task shows good psychometric properties (validity and reliability). Norms according to age and education level have been developed from a sample of 80 healthy adults and older adults. In conclusion, the TEFREP fulfills the current need for a reliable assessment tool of sentence repetition in Canadian French-speaking populations and contributes to the differential diagnosis of language impairment.

  2. Word order priming in written and spoken sentence production.

    PubMed

    Hartsuiker, R J; Westenberg, C

    2000-05-15

    An experiment is reported that showed priming of the word order of auxiliary verb and past participle in Dutch subordinate clauses, both in speaking and in writing. Participants completed sentence fragments to full sentences. Prime sentence fragments were constrained so as to be completed with only one possible word order. Target sentence fragments, presented immediately after the prime fragments, could be completed with the same word order as that of the prime and an alternative order with the two words exchanged. Significant priming effects were obtained, so that the same word orders tended to be used in prime and target. We interpret this as evidence for a distinct process of constituent structure linearization during sentence production, which serves to ensure the fluency of speech and writing.

  3. Using sentence combining in technical writing classes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosner, M.; Paul, T.

    1981-01-01

    Sentence combining exercises are advanced as a way to teach technical writing style without reliance upon abstractions, from which students do not learn. Such exercises: (1) give students regular writing practice; (2) teach the logic of sentence structure, sentence editing, and punctuation; (3) paragraph development and organization; and (4) rhetorical stance. Typical sentence, paragraph, and discourse level sentence combining exercises are described.

  4. Brain-wave recognition of sentences

    PubMed Central

    Suppes, Patrick; Han, Bing; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    1998-01-01

    Electrical and magnetic brain waves of two subjects were recorded for the purpose of recognizing which one of 12 sentences or seven words auditorily presented was processed. The analysis consisted of averaging over trials to create prototypes and test samples, to each of which a Fourier transform was applied, followed by filtering and an inverse transformation to the time domain. The filters used were optimal predictive filters, selected for each subject. A still further improvement was obtained by taking differences between recordings of two electrodes to obtain bipolar pairs that then were used for the same analysis. Recognition rates, based on a least-squares criterion, varied, but the best were above 90%. The first words of prototypes of sentences also were cut and pasted to test, at least partially, the invariance of a word’s brain wave in different sentence contexts. The best result was above 80% correct recognition. Test samples made up only of individual trials also were analyzed. The best result was 134 correct of 288 (47%), which is promising, given that the expected recognition number by chance is just 24 (or 8.3%). The work reported in this paper extends our earlier work on brain-wave recognition of words only. The recognition rates reported here further strengthen the case that recordings of electric brain waves of words or sentences, together with extensive mathematical and statistical analysis, can be the basis of new developments in our understanding of brain processing of language. PMID:9861061

  5. Adult Literacy as Educational Process. Literacy Lessons.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roy-Singh, Raja

    There are 900 million illiterate people in the world. Because of reflective insights and creative research during the last two decades, the literacy process is no longer conceived as a training process that concentrates exclusively on implanting specific mechanical skills. It is now recognized as an educational process, as an unfolding of human…

  6. Making simple sentences hard: Verb bias effects in simple direct object sentences

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Michael P.; Garnsey, Susan M.

    2009-01-01

    Constraint-based lexical models of language processing assume that readers resolve temporary ambiguities by relying on a variety of cues, including particular knowledge of how verbs combine with nouns. Previous experiments have demonstrated verb bias effects only in structurally complex sentences, and have been criticized on the grounds that such effects could be due to a rapid reanalysis stage in a two-stage modular processing system. In a self-paced reading experiment and an eyetracking experiment, we demonstrate verb bias effects in sentences with simple structures that should require no reanalyis, and thus provide evidence that the combinatorial properties of individual words influence the earliest stages of sentence comprehension. PMID:20160997

  7. The Misinterpretation of Noncanonical Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferreira, Fernanda

    2003-01-01

    Research on language comprehension has focused on the resolution of syntactic ambiguities, and most studies have employed garden-path sentences to determine the system's preferences and to assess its use of nonsyntactic sources information. A topic that has been neglected is how syntactically challenging but essentially unambiguous sentences are…

  8. Ontological Knowledge and Sentence Anomaly.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gerard, Anthony B.; Mandler, Jean M.

    1983-01-01

    Discusses attempt to replicate and extend Keil's study of effects of ontological knowledge on judgments of sentence acceptability (indicating there is hierarchical one-to-one mapping of predicate-term relations of language onto the basic structure of knowledge). New data does not support Keil but suggests that range of sentence interpretation…

  9. Physicist sentenced for export violation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwynne, Peter

    2009-08-01

    J Reece Roth, a retired University of Tennessee plasma physicist convicted of violating the American Arms Export Control Act, is planning to appeal against a four-year prison sentence handed down last month. "It's an appeal against everything, including the verdict and the sentence," says his lawyer Thomas Dundon.

  10. Item and relational processing in young and older adults.

    PubMed

    Fisher, L M; McDowd, J M

    1993-03-01

    The item and relational information framework of memory provided a methodology for an analytical approach to age differences in encoding and retrieval processes. Subjects were given related or unrelated words to sort or rate for pleasantness. Young adults performed better than older adults in free recall, but older adults were able to use both item and relational information as well as young adults. In a second experiment, subjects also sorted or rated a list composed of different numbers of category items. The pattern of free recall and cued recall scores indicated that item and relational information affected the memory performance of both age groups in a similar fashion. By examining memory in terms of item and relational information, it appears that older adults do not have difficulty combining two types of target information during encoding and that the information assists in recall of target items. PMID:8473699

  11. Developmental Sentence Scoring for Japanese (DSSJ)

    PubMed Central

    Miyata, Susanne; MacWhinney, Brian; Otomo, Kiyoshi; Sirai, Hidetosi; Oshima-Takane, Yuriko; Hirakawa, Makiko; Shirai, Yasuhiro; Sugiura, Masatoshi; Itoh, Keiko

    2014-01-01

    This paper reports on the development and use of the Developmental Sentence Scoring for Japanese (DSSJ), a new morpho-syntactical measure for Japanese constructed after the model of the English Developmental Sentence Scoring model (Lee, 1974). Using this measure, we calculated DSSJ scores for 84 children divided into six age groups between 2;8 and 5;2 on the basis of 100-sentence samples collected from free-play child-adult conversations. The analysis showed a high correlation of the DSSJ overall score with the Mean Length of Utterance. The analysis of the DSSJ subarea scores revealed large variations between these subarea scores for children with similar overall DSSJ scores. When investigating the high-scoring children (over 1 SD over group average), most children scored high in three to five subareas, but the combination of scores for these subareas varied from child to child. It is concluded that DSSJ is a valuable tool especially for the language acquisition research. The overall DSSJ score reliably reflects the overall morpho-syntactic development of Japanese children, and the subarea scores provide specific information on individual acquisition patterns. PMID:25414535

  12. Integration of Partial Information within and across Modalities: Contributions to Spoken and Written Sentence Recognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Kimberly G.; Fogerty, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: This study evaluated the extent to which partial spoken or written information facilitates sentence recognition under degraded unimodal and multimodal conditions. Method: Twenty young adults with typical hearing completed sentence recognition tasks in unimodal and multimodal conditions across 3 proportions of preservation. In the unimodal…

  13. Subject-Verb Agreement in Children and Adults: Serial or Hierarchical Processing?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Negro, Isabelle; Chanquoy, Lucile; Fayol, Michel; Louis-Sidney, Maryse

    2005-01-01

    Two processes, serial and hierarchical, are generally opposed to account for grammatical encoding in language production. In a developmental perspective, the question addressed here is whether the subject-verb agreement during writing is computed serially, once the words are linearly ordered in the sentence, or hierarchically, as soon as the…

  14. Auditory processing deficits in reading disabled adults.

    PubMed

    Amitay, Sygal; Ahissar, Meray; Nelken, Israel

    2002-09-01

    The nature of the auditory processing deficit of disabled readers is still an unresolved issue. The quest for a fundamental, nonlinguistic, perceptual impairment has been dominated by the hypothesis that the difficulty lies in processing sequences of stimuli at presentation rates of tens of milliseconds. The present study examined this hypothesis using tasks that require processing of a wide range of stimulus time constants. About a third of the sampled population of disabled readers (classified as "poor auditory processors") had difficulties in most of the tasks tested: detection of frequency differences, detection of tones in narrowband noise, detection of amplitude modulation, detection of the direction of sound sources moving in virtual space, and perception of the lateralized position of tones based on their interaural phase differences. Nevertheless, across-channel integration was intact in these poor auditory processors since comodulation masking release was not reduced. Furthermore, phase locking was presumably intact since binaural masking level differences were normal. In a further examination of temporal processing, participants were asked to discriminate two tones at various intervals where the frequency difference was ten times each individual's frequency just noticeable difference (JND). Under these conditions, poor auditory processors showed no specific difficulty at brief intervals, contrary to predictions under a fast temporal processing deficit assumption. The complementary subgroup of disabled readers who were not poor auditory processors showed some difficulty in this condition when compared with their direct controls. However, they had no difficulty on auditory tasks such as amplitude modulation detection, which presumably taps processing of similar time scales. These two subgroups of disabled readers had similar reading performance but those with a generally poor auditory performance scored lower on some cognitive tests. Taken together, these

  15. Does verbatim sentence recall underestimate the language competence of near-native speakers?

    PubMed Central

    Schweppe, Judith; Barth, Sandra; Ketzer-Nöltge, Almut; Rummer, Ralf

    2015-01-01

    Verbatim sentence recall is widely used to test the language competence of native and non-native speakers since it involves comprehension and production of connected speech. However, we assume that, to maintain surface information, sentence recall relies particularly on attentional resources, which differentially affects native and non-native speakers. Since even in near-natives language processing is less automatized than in native speakers, processing a sentence in a foreign language plus retaining its surface may result in a cognitive overload. We contrasted sentence recall performance of German native speakers with that of highly proficient non-natives. Non-natives recalled the sentences significantly poorer than the natives, but performed equally well on a cloze test. This implies that sentence recall underestimates the language competence of good non-native speakers in mixed groups with native speakers. The findings also suggest that theories of sentence recall need to consider both its linguistic and its attentional aspects. PMID:25698996

  16. Modality effects in sentence recall.

    PubMed

    Goolkasian, Paula; Foos, Paul W; Eaton, Mirrenda

    2009-04-01

    The authors examined the intrusion of lures into sentence recall when manipulating the modality of distractor-word lists and sentences separately. Participants received a list of words followed by a sentence, and the list did or did not contain a lure related to a target in the sentence. Conceptual regeneration of the sentence during recall predicted higher lure intrusions than spontaneous intrusions in all conditions. However, if surface information is remembered, the modality of sentence and list should influence intrusions. The results from Experiment 1 showed that both factors are important, as intrusions were always higher when lures were contained in the distractor-word list and when visual, rather than auditory, sentences were recalled. The authors also found distractor modality to influence the results. In Experiment 2, when interference from the word probe was reduced by removing 40% of the word probes, the disruptive effect of the auditory distractors was attenuated on the trials without the word probe. Also, the authors found lure intrusions to be dependent on the presence of the word probe. PMID:19350835

  17. Making Simple Sentences Hard: Verb Bias Effects in Simple Direct Object Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Michael P.; Garnsey, Susan M.

    2009-01-01

    Constraint-based lexical models of language processing assume that readers resolve temporary ambiguities by relying on a variety of cues, including particular knowledge of how verbs combine with nouns. Previous experiments have demonstrated verb bias effects only in structurally complex sentences, and have been criticized on the grounds that such…

  18. Overt sentence production in event-related fMRI.

    PubMed

    Haller, Sven; Radue, E W; Erb, Michael; Grodd, Wolfgang; Kircher, Tilo

    2005-01-01

    The use of syntactic structures on a sentence level is a unique human ability. Functional imaging studies have usually investigated syntax comprehension. However, language production may be performed by different neuronal resources. We have investigated syntax generation on a sentence level with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). BOLD contrast was measured while subjects articulated utterances aloud. In the active condition 'sentence generation' (SG), subjects had to produce subject verb object (SVO) sentences (e.g. "The child throws the ball") according to syntactically incomplete stimuli (e.g. "throw ball child") presented visually. In the control condition 'word reading' (WR), subjects had to read identical stimuli without completing the syntactic structure, while in a second control condition 'sentence reading' (SR), subjects had to read complete sentences. The semantic meaning of all expressions was obvious despite the syntactically incomplete structure in conditions SG and WR. In both contrasts, SG minus WR and SG minus SR, activation was mainly present in the left inferior frontal (BA 44/45) and medial frontal (BA 6) gyri, the superior parietal lobule (BA 7) and the right insula (BA 13). A region of interest analysis revealed significantly stronger left-dominant activation in BA 45 compared to BA 44. Our data illustrates the crucial involvement of the left BA 45 in syntactic encoding and is in line with more recent imaging and brain lesion data on syntax processing on a sentence level, emphasizing the involvement of a distributed left and right hemispheric network in syntax generation. PMID:15721193

  19. A new sentence generator providing material for maximum reading speed measurement.

    PubMed

    Perrin, Jean-Luc; Paillé, Damien; Baccino, Thierry

    2015-12-01

    A new method is proposed to generate text material for assessing maximum reading speed of adult readers. The described procedure allows one to generate a vast number of equivalent short sentences. These sentences can be displayed for different durations in order to determine the reader's maximum speed using a psychophysical threshold algorithm. Each sentence is built so that it is either true or false according to common knowledge. The actual reading is verified by asking the reader to determine the truth value of each sentence. We based our design on the generator described by Crossland et al. and upgraded it. The new generator handles concepts distributed in an ontology, which allows an easy determination of the sentences' truth value and control of lexical and psycholinguistic parameters. In this way many equivalent sentence can be generated and displayed to perform the measurement. Maximum reading speed scores obtained with pseudo-randomly chosen sentences from the generator were strongly correlated with maximum reading speed scores obtained with traditional MNREAD sentences (r = .836). Furthermore, the large number of sentences that can be generated makes it possible to perform repeated measurements, since the possibility of a reader learning individual sentences is eliminated. Researchers interested in within-reader performance variability could use the proposed method for this purpose.

  20. Treatment and Generalization of Complex Sentence Production in Agrammatism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ballard, Kirrie J.; Thompson, Cynthia K.

    1999-01-01

    This study, with five adults diagnosed with Broca's aphasia with agrammatism, evaluated the acquisition and generalization of complex-sentence production using Linguistic Specific Treatment (LST) and the utility of syntactic theory in evaluating treatment effects. The study's findings support the use of LST, which applies syntactic theory to…

  1. Detection of sentence boundaries and abbreviations in clinical narratives

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background In Western languages the period character is highly ambiguous, due to its double role as sentence delimiter and abbreviation marker. This is particularly relevant in clinical free-texts characterized by numerous anomalies in spelling, punctuation, vocabulary and with a high frequency of short forms. Methods The problem is addressed by two binary classifiers for abbreviation and sentence detection. A support vector machine exploiting a linear kernel is trained on different combinations of feature sets for each classification task. Feature relevance ranking is applied to investigate which features are important for the particular task. The methods are applied to German language texts from a medical record system, authored by specialized physicians. Results Two collections of 3,024 text snippets were annotated regarding the role of period characters for training and testing. Cohen's kappa resulted in 0.98. For abbreviation and sentence boundary detection we can report an unweighted micro-averaged F-measure using a 10-fold cross validation of 0.97 for the training set. For test set based evaluation we obtained an unweighted micro-averaged F-measure of 0.95 for abbreviation detection and 0.94 for sentence delineation. Language-dependent resources and rules were found to have less impact on abbreviation detection than on sentence delineation. Conclusions Sentence detection is an important task, which should be performed at the beginning of a text processing pipeline. For the text genre under scrutiny we showed that support vector machines exploiting a linear kernel produce state of the art results for sentence boundary detection. The results are comparable with other sentence boundary detection methods applied to English clinical texts. We identified abbreviation detection as a supportive task for sentence delineation. PMID:26099994

  2. Exploring Methods to Investigate Sentencing Decisions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Merrall, Elizabeth L. C.; Dhami, Mandeep K.; Bird, Sheila M.

    2010-01-01

    The determinants of sentencing are of much interest in criminal justice and legal research. Understanding the determinants of sentencing decisions is important for ensuring transparent, consistent, and justifiable sentencing practice that adheres to the goals of sentencing, such as the punishment, rehabilitation, deterrence, and incapacitation of…

  3. Striatum processes reward differently in adolescents versus adults

    PubMed Central

    Sturman, David A.; Moghaddam, Bita

    2012-01-01

    Adolescents often respond differently than adults to the same salient motivating contexts, such as peer interactions and pleasurable stimuli. Delineating the neural processing differences of adolescents is critical to understanding this phenomenon, as well as the bases of serious behavioral and psychiatric vulnerabilities, such as drug abuse, mood disorders, and schizophrenia. We believe that age-related changes in the ways salient stimuli are processed in key brain regions could underlie the unique predilections and vulnerabilities of adolescence. Because motivated behavior is the central issue, it is critical that age-related comparisons of brain activity be undertaken during motivational contexts. We compared single-unit activity and local field potentials in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and dorsal striatum (DS) of adolescent and adult rats during a reward-motivated instrumental task. These regions are involved in motivated learning, reward processing, and action selection. We report adolescent neural processing differences in the DS, a region generally associated more with learning than reward processing in adults. Specifically, adolescents, but not adults, had a large proportion of neurons in the DS that activated in anticipation of reward. More similar response patterns were observed in NAc of the two age groups. DS single-unit activity differences were found despite similar local field potential oscillations. This study demonstrates that in adolescents, a region critically involved in learning and habit formation is highly responsive to reward. It thus suggests a mechanism for how rewards might shape adolescent behavior differently, and for their increased vulnerabilities to affective disorders. PMID:22307637

  4. P600-like positivity and Left Anterior Negativity responses are elicited by semantic reversibility in nonanomalous sentences.

    PubMed

    Meltzer, Jed A; Braun, Allen R

    2013-01-01

    ERPs are commonly elicited by semantic and syntactic violations in sentences, leading to proposals that they reflect neural activity underlying ordinary language comprehension. We examined ERPs in an auditory sentence-picture-matching task, using nonanomalous sentences that were either semantically reversible, (boy pushes girl) or irreversible, (boy eats apple). Timelocked to the end of the critical clause, which occurred in the middle of a longer sentence, we observed an enhanced central-posterior positivity in response to the reversible sentences. The topography of this response is consistent with the P600 potential reported in studies of syntactic anomalies and other manipulations related to sentence structure. Following the end of the sentence, during a memory delay period prior to picture onset, reversible sentences also evoked a protracted anterior negativity, predominantly on the left. This negativity was stronger for sentences containing relative clauses compared to simple active sentences, but did not differ between object-embedded and the less complex subject-embedded clauses. The observation of a P600 occurring selectively in reversible sentences supports the interpretation of that potential as reflecting the syntactic processing of thematic relationships, as irreversible sentences contained alternative cues for thematic roles. The left anterior negativity likely reflects later processes of rehearsal and reanalysis of sentence content in working memory. PMID:24227906

  5. Sensory Temporal Processing in Adults with Early Hearing Loss

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heming, Joanne E.; Brown, Lenora N.

    2005-01-01

    This study examined tactile and visual temporal processing in adults with early loss of hearing. The tactile task consisted of punctate stimulations that were delivered to one or both hands by a mechanical tactile stimulator. Pairs of light emitting diodes were presented on a display for visual stimulation. Responses consisted of YES or NO…

  6. Engagement with Young Adult Literature: Outcomes and Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ivey, Gay; Johnston, Peter H.

    2013-01-01

    This study examines students' perceptions of the outcomes and processes of engaged reading in classrooms prioritizing engagement through self-selected, self-paced reading of compelling young adult literature. The primary data were 71 end-of-year student interviews, supported by end-of-year teacher interviews, biweekly observational data,…

  7. The Self-Directed Learning Process of Older, Rural Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberson, Donald N., Jr.; Merriam, Sharan B.

    2005-01-01

    Medical advances and lifestyle changes have resulted in older adults living longer and healthier lives. Nevertheless, older adulthood, as other life stages, requires change in work, family, and health. Self-directed learning (SDL) is one way of negotiating these transitions. The purpose of this study was to understand this process of learning.…

  8. Brain structural correlates of complex sentence comprehension in children

    PubMed Central

    Fengler, Anja; Meyer, Lars; Friederici, Angela D.

    2015-01-01

    Prior structural imaging studies found initial evidence for the link between structural gray matter changes and the development of language performance in children. However, previous studies generally only focused on sentence comprehension. Therefore, little is known about the relationship between structural properties of brain regions relevant to sentence processing and more specific cognitive abilities underlying complex sentence comprehension. In this study, whole-brain magnetic resonance images from 59 children between 5 and 8 years were assessed. Scores on a standardized sentence comprehension test determined grammatical proficiency of our participants. A confirmatory factory analysis corroborated a grammar-relevant and a verbal working memory-relevant factor underlying the measured performance. Voxel-based morphometry of gray matter revealed that while children's ability to assign thematic roles is positively correlated with gray matter probability (GMP) in the left inferior temporal gyrus and the left inferior frontal gyrus, verbal working memory-related performance is positively correlated with GMP in the left parietal operculum extending into the posterior superior temporal gyrus. Since these areas are known to be differentially engaged in adults’ complex sentence processing, our data suggest a specific correspondence between children's GMP in language-relevant brain regions and differential cognitive abilities that guide their sentence comprehension. PMID:26468613

  9. Syntactic priming in German-English bilinguals during sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Weber, Kirsten; Indefrey, Peter

    2009-07-15

    A longstanding question in bilingualism is whether syntactic information is shared between the two language processing systems. We used an fMRI repetition suppression paradigm to investigate syntactic priming in reading comprehension in German-English late-acquisition bilinguals. In comparison to conventional subtraction analyses in bilingual experiments, repetition suppression has the advantage of being able to detect neuronal populations that are sensitive to properties that are shared by consecutive stimuli. In this study, we manipulated the syntactic structure between prime and target sentences. A sentence with a passive sentence structure in English was preceded either by a passive or by an active sentence in English or German. We looked for repetition suppression effects in left inferior frontal, left precentral and left middle temporal regions of interest. These regions were defined by a contrast of all non-target sentences in German and English versus the baseline of sentence-format consonant strings. We found decreases in activity (repetition suppression effects) in these regions of interest following the repetition of syntactic structure from the first to the second language and within the second language. Moreover, a separate behavioural experiment using a word-by-word reading paradigm similar to the fMRI experiment showed faster reading times for primed compared to unprimed English target sentences regardless of whether they were preceded by an English or a German sentence of the same structure. We conclude that there is interaction between the language processing systems and that at least some syntactic information is shared between a bilingual's languages with similar syntactic structures.

  10. Evidence of Compensatory Processing in Adults with Developmental Language Impairment: Testing the Predictions of the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Poll, Gerard H.; Miller, Carol A.; van Hell, Janet G.

    2015-01-01

    Background The Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH) proposes that individuals with primary developmental language impairment (DLI) have a deficient procedural memory, compromising their syntactic abilities. Individuals with DLI may compensate for procedural memory deficits by engaging declarative memory for syntactic tasks. Arguments are part of the lexicon whereas adjuncts rely on syntactic processing. As a result, individuals with DLI may have unusual difficulty processing adjuncts. Alternatively, processing for adjuncts may be typical for individuals with DLI but show frequency effects, indicating compensatory use of declarative memory. Aims Our goal was to test the predictions of the PDH by comparing argument and adjunct processing times for adults with and without DLI, and to seek evidence of compensatory use of declarative memory for adjunct processing. We further evaluated group performance on measures of visual procedural and declarative memory. Methods & Procedures Forty-four adults, 21 with DLI, completed a self-paced listening task, a procedural memory task, and a declarative memory task. The self-paced listening task tracked the word-by-word processing time for sentences that included prepositional phrases acting as arguments or adjuncts. We used regression analysis to determine effects of group membership and argument or adjunct status on processing times. Correlation analyses evaluated relationships between argument and adjunct frequency on processing times by group. Results & Outcomes We found no effect of group membership on the processing time for arguments and adjuncts in the self-paced listening task. Argument phrases were processed more easily by both groups. There were frequency effects for adjunct processing for the group with DLI, but not the group with typical language. We did not find the expected frequency effects for argument processing. The group with DLI also performed more poorly in both the procedural and declarative memory tasks

  11. Children’s and adults’ processing of anomaly and implausibility during reading: Evidence from eye movements

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, Holly S. S. L.; Liversedge, Simon P.; Blythe, Hazel I.; White, Sarah J.; Gathercole, Susan E.; Rayner, Keith

    2009-01-01

    The eye movements of 24 children and 24 adults were monitored to compare how they read sentences containing plausible, implausible, and anomalous thematic relations. In the implausible condition the incongruity occurred due to the incompatibility of two objects involved in the event denoted by the main verb. In the anomalous condition the direct object of the verb was not a possible verb argument. Adults exhibited immediate disruption with the anomalous sentences as compared to the implausible sentences as indexed by longer gaze durations on the target word. Children exhibited the same pattern of effects as adults as far as the anomalous sentences were concerned, but exhibited delayed effects of implausibility. These data indicate that while children and adults are alike in their basic thematic assignment processes during reading, children may be delayed in the efficiency with which they are able to integrate pragmatic and real-world knowledge into their discourse representation. PMID:17853235

  12. Lexical availability and grammatical encoding scope during spoken sentence production.

    PubMed

    Wheeldon, Linda; Ohlson, Natalie; Ashby, Aimee; Gator, Sophie

    2013-08-01

    Three sentence production experiments investigate the relationship between lexical and structural processing scope. Speakers generated sentences with varying phrase structures in response to visual displays (e.g., The dog and the hat move above the fork and the tree/The dog moves above the hat and the fork and the tree). On half of the trials, one of the pictures in the arrays was previewed. Filler sentences varied preview position and sentence structure from trial to trial. When speakers could not anticipate the position of the previewed picture in the upcoming sentence (Experiment 1), preview benefit for pictures corresponding to the second noun to be produced was limited to pictures that fell within the sentence-initial phrase. When the linear position of the previewed picture was predictable, preview benefits were observed for the second noun to be produced, irrespective of phrase position (Experiment 2). However, no preview benefits were observed for the third noun to be produced (Experiment 3). In contrast, significant effects of initial phrase structure were observed in all experiments, with latencies increasing with initial phrase length. The results are consistent with speakers operating a phrasal scope for structural planning within which the scope of lexical access can vary. PMID:23286440

  13. Neural correlates of syntactic ambiguity in sentence comprehension for low and high span readers.

    PubMed

    Fiebach, Christian J; Vos, Sandra H; Friederici, Angela D

    2004-11-01

    Syntactically ambiguous sentences have been found to be difficult to process, in particular, for individuals with low working memory capacity. The current study used fMRI to investigate the neural basis of this effect in the processing of written sentences. Participants with high and low working memory capacity read sentences with either a short or long region of temporary syntactic ambiguity while being scanned. A distributed left-dominant network in the peri-sylvian region was identified to support sentence processing in the critical region of the sentence. Within this network, only the superior portion of Broca's area (BA 44) and a parietal region showed an activation increase as a function of the length of the syntactically ambiguous region in the sentence. Furthermore, it was only the BA 44 region that exhibited an interaction of working memory span, length of the syntactic ambiguity, and sentence complexity. In this area, the activation increase for syntactically more complex sentences became only significant under longer regions of ambiguity, and for low span readers only. This finding suggests that neural activity in BA 44 increases during sentence comprehension when processing demands increase, be it due to syntactic processing demands or by an interaction with the individually available working memory capacity.

  14. Effect of repeated evaluation and repeated exposure on acceptability ratings of sentences.

    PubMed

    Zervakis, Jennifer; Mazuka, Reiko

    2013-12-01

    This study investigated the effect of repeated evaluation and repeated exposure on grammatical acceptability ratings for both acceptable and unacceptable sentence types. In Experiment 1, subjects in the Experimental group rated multiple examples of two ungrammatical sentence types (ungrammatical binding and double object with dative-only verb), and two difficult to process sentence types [center-embedded (2) and garden path ambiguous relative], along with matched grammatical/non-difficult sentences, before rating a final set of experimental sentences. Subjects in the control group rated unrelated sentences during the exposure period before rating the experimental sentences. Subjects in the Experimental group rated both grammatical and ungrammatical sentences as more acceptable after repeated evaluation than subjects in the Control group. In Experiment 2, subjects answered a comprehension question after reading each sentence during the exposure period. Subjects in the experimental group rated garden path and center-embedded (1) sentences as higher in acceptability after comprehension exposure than subjects in the control group. The results are consistent with increased fluency of comprehension being misattributed as a change in acceptability.

  15. Oscillatory Brain Dynamics during Sentence Reading: A Fixation-Related Spectral Perturbation Analysis.

    PubMed

    Vignali, Lorenzo; Himmelstoss, Nicole A; Hawelka, Stefan; Richlan, Fabio; Hutzler, Florian

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated oscillatory brain dynamics during self-paced sentence-level processing. Participants read fully correct sentences, sentences containing a semantic violation and "sentences" in which the order of the words was randomized. At the target word level, fixations on semantically unrelated words elicited a lower-beta band (13-18 Hz) desynchronization. At the sentence level, gamma power (31-55 Hz) increased linearly for syntactically correct sentences, but not when the order of the words was randomized. In the 300-900 ms time window after sentence onsets, theta power (4-7 Hz) was greater for syntactically correct sentences as compared to sentences where no syntactic structure was preserved (random words condition). We interpret our results as conforming with a recently formulated predictive-coding framework for oscillatory neural dynamics during sentence-level language comprehension. Additionally, we discuss how our results relate to previous findings with serial visual presentation vs. self-paced reading. PMID:27199713

  16. Effect of repeated evaluation and repeated exposure on acceptability ratings of sentences.

    PubMed

    Zervakis, Jennifer; Mazuka, Reiko

    2013-12-01

    This study investigated the effect of repeated evaluation and repeated exposure on grammatical acceptability ratings for both acceptable and unacceptable sentence types. In Experiment 1, subjects in the Experimental group rated multiple examples of two ungrammatical sentence types (ungrammatical binding and double object with dative-only verb), and two difficult to process sentence types [center-embedded (2) and garden path ambiguous relative], along with matched grammatical/non-difficult sentences, before rating a final set of experimental sentences. Subjects in the control group rated unrelated sentences during the exposure period before rating the experimental sentences. Subjects in the Experimental group rated both grammatical and ungrammatical sentences as more acceptable after repeated evaluation than subjects in the Control group. In Experiment 2, subjects answered a comprehension question after reading each sentence during the exposure period. Subjects in the experimental group rated garden path and center-embedded (1) sentences as higher in acceptability after comprehension exposure than subjects in the control group. The results are consistent with increased fluency of comprehension being misattributed as a change in acceptability. PMID:23179954

  17. Child versus adult psychoanalysis: two processes or one?

    PubMed

    Sugarman, Alan

    2009-12-01

    Child analysis continues to be seen as a different technique from adult analysis because children are still involved in a developmental process and because the primary objects continue to play active roles in their lives. This paper argues that this is a false dichotomy. An extended vignette of the analysis of a latency-aged girl is used to demonstrate that the psychoanalytic process that develops in child analysis is structurally the same as that in adult analysis. Both revolve around the analysis of resistance and transference and use both to promote knowledge of the patient's mind at work. And both techniques formulate interventions based on the analyst's appraisal of the patient's mental organization. It is hoped that stressing the essential commonality of both techniques will promote the development of an overarching theory of psychoanalytic technique.

  18. The Rhymes that the Reader Perused Confused the Meaning: Phonological Effects during On-line Sentence Comprehension.

    PubMed

    Acheson, Daniel J; Macdonald, Maryellen C

    2011-08-01

    Research on written language comprehension has generally assumed that the phonological properties of a word have little effect on sentence comprehension beyond the processes of word recognition. Two experiments investigated this assumption. Participants silently read relative clauses in which two pairs of words either did or did not have a high degree of phonological overlap. Participants were slower reading and less accurate comprehending the overlap sentences compared to the non-overlapping controls, even though sentences were matched for plausibility and differed by only two words across overlap conditions. A comparison across experiments showed that the overlap effects were larger in the more difficult object relative than in subject relative sentences. The reading patterns showed that phonological representations affect not only memory for recently encountered sentences but also the developing sentence interpretation during on-line processing. Implications for theories of sentence processing and memory are discussed.

  19. Improving Writing with Sentence Combining Exercises.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nutter, Norma; Safran, Joan

    1984-01-01

    Sentence-combining exercises, which require students to combine simple sentences in any way they wish, have helped learning disabled elementary children improve skills in writing, reading, and spelling. The exercises are flexible, motivating, and simple to design. (CL)

  20. Predicted errors in children's early sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Gertner, Yael; Fisher, Cynthia

    2012-07-01

    Children use syntax to interpret sentences and learn verbs; this is syntactic bootstrapping. The structure-mapping account of early syntactic bootstrapping proposes that a partial representation of sentence structure, the set of nouns occurring with the verb, guides initial interpretation and provides an abstract format for new learning. This account predicts early successes, but also telltale errors: Toddlers should be unable to tell transitive sentences from other sentences containing two nouns. In testing this prediction, we capitalized on evidence that 21-month-olds use what they have learned about noun order in English sentences to understand new transitive verbs. In two experiments, 21-month-olds applied this noun-order knowledge to two-noun intransitive sentences, mistakenly assigning different interpretations to "The boy and the girl are gorping!" and "The girl and the boy are gorping!". This suggests that toddlers exploit partial representations of sentence structure to guide sentence interpretation; these sparse representations are useful, but error-prone.

  1. Age-related changes in working memory during sentence comprehension: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Grossman, Murray; Cooke, Ayanna; DeVita, Chris; Alsop, David; Detre, John; Chen, Willis; Gee, James

    2002-02-01

    Sentence comprehension declines with age, but the neural basis for this change is unclear. We monitored regional brain activity in 13 younger subjects and 11 healthy seniors matched for sentence comprehension accuracy while they answered a simple probe about written sentences. The sentences varied in their grammatical features (subject-relative vs object-relative subordinate clause) and their verbal working memory (WM) demands (short vs long antecedent noun-gap linkage). We found that young and senior subjects both recruit a core written sentence processing network, including left posterolateral temporal and bilateral occipital cortex for all sentences, and ventral portions of left inferior frontal cortex for object-relative sentences with a long noun-gap linkage. Differences in activation patterns for seniors compared to younger subjects were due largely to changes in brain regions associated with a verbal WM network. While seniors had less left parietal recruitment than younger subjects, left premotor cortex, and dorsal portions of left inferior frontal cortex showed greater activation in seniors compared to younger subjects. Younger subjects recruited right posterolateral temporal cortex for sentences with a long noun-gap linkage. Seniors additionally recruited right parietal cortex for this sentence-specific form of WM. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the neural basis for sentence comprehension includes dissociable but interactive large-scale neural networks supporting core written sentence processes and related cognitive resources involved in WM. Seniors with good comprehension appear to up-regulate portions of the neural substrate for WM during sentence processing to achieve comprehension accuracy that equals young subjects.

  2. Syntactic priming in spoken sentence production - an online study.

    PubMed

    Smith, M; Wheeldon, L

    2001-02-01

    Six experiments investigate syntactic priming online via a picture description task in which participants produce target sentences whose initial phrase is syntactically similar or dissimilar to that of the prime sentence produced on the previous trial. In the first experiment it is shown that a syntactically related prime sentence speeds onset latencies to a subsequent target sentence by approximately 50 ms relative to a syntactically unrelated prime sentence. In the second experiment, the cost of the process of lemma access is factored out via a picture previewing technique but a priming effect is still obtained demonstrating that the effect is not a product of the priming of lemma access processes. In Experiment 3, the related and unrelated prime trials feature the same picture display but the 50 ms facilitation effect is still observed indicating that the effect does not result from the priming of visual perception of the picture movements. This is further strengthened in Experiment 4 which uses written prime sentences rather than a picture description task on the prime trial and still obtains a facilitation effect. In Experiment 5, the effect disappears when the participants are instructed to name the movements but not the objects depicted in the array and this is interpreted as evidence against the view that the effect results from the conceptualization of the events depicted by the array. In the final experiment, the scope of the syntactic persistence effect is investigated by priming sentences with initial phrases of varying syntactic complexity. Significant priming is only observed for an initial phrase featuring two nouns - a finding consistent with the view that the syntactic persistence effect applies only to the generation of the first phrase of an utterance prior to speech onset. The implications of these results are analyzed in the final discussion section.

  3. 75 FR 41279 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-15

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts AGENCY: United States Sentencing Commission. ACTION.... ADDRESSES: Send comments to: United States Sentencing Commission, One Columbus Circle, NE., Suite...

  4. 77 FR 31071 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-24

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts AGENCY: United States Sentencing Commission. ACTION.... ADDRESSES: Send applications to: United States Sentencing Commission, One Columbus Circle NE., Suite...

  5. Sentence Components in Southeastern Tepehuan.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Willett, Thomas L.

    This paper explores the intra-clausal relations of minimal locutionary and illocutionary force in Southeastern Tepehuan. It surveys the semantic and syntactic sentence types with primary reference to grammatical relations. The semantic propositional structures, along with their modal parameters and other semantic prosodies are discussed in Section…

  6. Children and adults integrate talker and verb information in online processing.

    PubMed Central

    Borovsky, Arielle; Creel, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    Children seem able to efficiently interpret a variety of linguistic cues during speech comprehension, yet have difficulty interpreting sources of non-linguistic and paralinguistic information that accompany speech. The current study asked whether (paralinguistic) voice-activated role knowledge is rapidly interpreted in coordination with a linguistic cue (a sentential action) during speech comprehension in an eye-tracked sentence comprehension task with children (aged 3-10) and college-aged adults. Participants were initially familiarized with two talkers who identified their respective roles (e.g. PRINCESS and PIRATE) before hearing a previously-introduced talker name an action and object (“I want to hold the sword,” in the pirate's voice). As the sentence was spoken, eye-movements were recorded to four objects that varied in relationship to the sentential talker and action (Target: SWORD, Talker-Related: SHIP, Action-Related: WAND, and Unrelated: CARRIAGE). The task was to select the named image. Even young child listeners rapidly combined inferences about talker identity with the action, allowing them to fixate on the Target before it was mentioned, although there were developmental and vocabulary differences on this task. Results suggest that children, like adults, store real-world knowledge of a talker's role and actively use this information to interpret speech. PMID:24611671

  7. 32 CFR 16.4 - Sentencing procedures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Sentencing procedures. 16.4 Section 16.4 National Defense Department of Defense OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE MILITARY COMMISSIONS SENTENCING... relevant to sentencing. 32 CFR 9.6(e)(10) permits the Prosecution and Defense to present information to...

  8. 32 CFR 16.4 - Sentencing procedures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Sentencing procedures. 16.4 Section 16.4 National Defense Department of Defense OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE MILITARY COMMISSIONS SENTENCING... relevant to sentencing. 32 CFR 9.6(e)(10) permits the Prosecution and Defense to present information to...

  9. 32 CFR 16.4 - Sentencing procedures.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Sentencing procedures. 16.4 Section 16.4 National Defense Department of Defense OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE MILITARY COMMISSIONS SENTENCING... relevant to sentencing. 32 CFR 9.6(e)(10) permits the Prosecution and Defense to present information to...

  10. 32 CFR 16.3 - Available sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Available sentences. 16.3 Section 16.3 National Defense Department of Defense OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE MILITARY COMMISSIONS SENTENCING § 16.3 Available sentences. (a) General. 32 CFR part 9 permits a military commission wide latitude in...

  11. 32 CFR 16.3 - Available sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... Available sentences. (a) General. 32 CFR part 9 permits a military commission wide latitude in sentencing... prerequisites detailed in 32 CFR part 9 are met. Detention associated with an individual's status as an enemy... person making a final decision on the sentence in accordance with of 32 CFR 9.6(h). (c)...

  12. 32 CFR 16.3 - Available sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... Available sentences. (a) General. 32 CFR part 9 permits a military commission wide latitude in sentencing... prerequisites detailed in 32 CFR part 9 are met. Detention associated with an individual's status as an enemy... person making a final decision on the sentence in accordance with of 32 CFR 9.6(h). (c)...

  13. Generic Sentences in English and French.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herschensohn, Julia

    Previous accounts of "generic" have been either too broad in including several sentence types as generic, or too narrow in limiting the definition of generic to the noun or verb alone. This research critically examines data and previous treatments of the generic verb, generic noun, and generic sentence. Because every generic sentence may also have…

  14. 32 CFR 16.3 - Available sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... Available sentences. (a) General. 32 CFR part 9 permits a military commission wide latitude in sentencing... prerequisites detailed in 32 CFR part 9 are met. Detention associated with an individual's status as an enemy... Forces of the United States and of the broad deterrent impact associated with a sentence's effect...

  15. Sentencing Outcomes of Convicted Child Sex Offenders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patrick, Steven; Marsh, Robert

    2011-01-01

    This research examines the sentencing outcomes of convicted child sexual offenders from data collected over an eight year period. Multiple regression and nominal log linear regression are used to examine length of prison sentence, length of probation sentence, and whether the convicted offender is actually sent to prison or to probation. While…

  16. The Truth Before and After: Brain Potentials Reveal Automatic Activation of Event Knowledge during Sentence Comprehension.

    PubMed

    Nieuwland, Mante S

    2015-11-01

    How does knowledge of real-world events shape our understanding of incoming language? Do temporal terms like "before" and "after" impact the online recruitment of real-world event knowledge? These questions were addressed in two ERP experiments, wherein participants read sentences that started with "before" or "after" and contained a critical word that rendered each sentence true or false (e.g., "Before/After the global economic crisis, securing a mortgage was easy/harder"). The critical words were matched on predictability, rated truth value, and semantic relatedness to the words in the sentence. Regardless of whether participants explicitly verified the sentences or not, false-after-sentences elicited larger N400s than true-after-sentences, consistent with the well-established finding that semantic retrieval of concepts is facilitated when they are consistent with real-world knowledge. However, although the truth judgments did not differ between before- and after-sentences, no such sentence N400 truth value effect occurred in before-sentences, whereas false-before-sentences elicited an enhanced subsequent positive ERPs. The temporal term "before" itself elicited more negative ERPs at central electrode channels than "after." These patterns of results show that, irrespective of ultimate sentence truth value judgments, semantic retrieval of concepts is momentarily facilitated when they are consistent with the known event outcome compared to when they are not. However, this inappropriate facilitation incurs later processing costs as reflected in the subsequent positive ERP deflections. The results suggest that automatic activation of event knowledge can impede the incremental semantic processes required to establish sentence truth value. PMID:26244719

  17. The Truth Before and After: Brain Potentials Reveal Automatic Activation of Event Knowledge during Sentence Comprehension.

    PubMed

    Nieuwland, Mante S

    2015-11-01

    How does knowledge of real-world events shape our understanding of incoming language? Do temporal terms like "before" and "after" impact the online recruitment of real-world event knowledge? These questions were addressed in two ERP experiments, wherein participants read sentences that started with "before" or "after" and contained a critical word that rendered each sentence true or false (e.g., "Before/After the global economic crisis, securing a mortgage was easy/harder"). The critical words were matched on predictability, rated truth value, and semantic relatedness to the words in the sentence. Regardless of whether participants explicitly verified the sentences or not, false-after-sentences elicited larger N400s than true-after-sentences, consistent with the well-established finding that semantic retrieval of concepts is facilitated when they are consistent with real-world knowledge. However, although the truth judgments did not differ between before- and after-sentences, no such sentence N400 truth value effect occurred in before-sentences, whereas false-before-sentences elicited an enhanced subsequent positive ERPs. The temporal term "before" itself elicited more negative ERPs at central electrode channels than "after." These patterns of results show that, irrespective of ultimate sentence truth value judgments, semantic retrieval of concepts is momentarily facilitated when they are consistent with the known event outcome compared to when they are not. However, this inappropriate facilitation incurs later processing costs as reflected in the subsequent positive ERP deflections. The results suggest that automatic activation of event knowledge can impede the incremental semantic processes required to establish sentence truth value.

  18. Neural Processing of Emotional Prosody across the Adult Lifespan

    PubMed Central

    Demenescu, Liliana Ramona; Kato, Yutaka; Mathiak, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Emotion recognition deficits emerge with the increasing age, in particular, a decline in the identification of sadness. However, little is known about the age-related changes of emotion processing in sensory, affective, and executive brain areas. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study investigated neural correlates of auditory processing of prosody across adult lifespan. Unattended detection of emotional prosody changes was assessed in 21 young (age range: 18–35 years), 19 middle-aged (age range: 36–55 years), and 15 older (age range: 56–75 years) adults. Pseudowords uttered with neutral prosody were standards in an oddball paradigm with angry, sad, happy, and gender deviants (total 20% deviants). Changes in emotional prosody and voice gender elicited bilateral superior temporal gyri (STG) responses reflecting automatic encoding of prosody. At the right STG, responses to sad deviants decreased linearly with age, whereas happy events exhibited a nonlinear relationship. In contrast to behavioral data, no age by sex interaction emerged on the neural networks. The aging decline of emotion processing of prosodic cues emerges already at an early automatic stage of information processing at the level of the auditory cortex. However, top-down modulation may lead to an additional perceptional bias, for example, towards positive stimuli, and may depend on context factors such as the listener's sex. PMID:26583118

  19. Neural Processing of Emotional Prosody across the Adult Lifespan.

    PubMed

    Demenescu, Liliana Ramona; Kato, Yutaka; Mathiak, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Emotion recognition deficits emerge with the increasing age, in particular, a decline in the identification of sadness. However, little is known about the age-related changes of emotion processing in sensory, affective, and executive brain areas. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study investigated neural correlates of auditory processing of prosody across adult lifespan. Unattended detection of emotional prosody changes was assessed in 21 young (age range: 18-35 years), 19 middle-aged (age range: 36-55 years), and 15 older (age range: 56-75 years) adults. Pseudowords uttered with neutral prosody were standards in an oddball paradigm with angry, sad, happy, and gender deviants (total 20% deviants). Changes in emotional prosody and voice gender elicited bilateral superior temporal gyri (STG) responses reflecting automatic encoding of prosody. At the right STG, responses to sad deviants decreased linearly with age, whereas happy events exhibited a nonlinear relationship. In contrast to behavioral data, no age by sex interaction emerged on the neural networks. The aging decline of emotion processing of prosodic cues emerges already at an early automatic stage of information processing at the level of the auditory cortex. However, top-down modulation may lead to an additional perceptional bias, for example, towards positive stimuli, and may depend on context factors such as the listener's sex. PMID:26583118

  20. Structural Priming and Frequency Effects Interact in Chinese Sentence Comprehension.

    PubMed

    Wei, Hang; Dong, Yanping; Boland, Julie E; Yuan, Fang

    2016-01-01

    Previous research in several European languages has shown that the language processing system is sensitive to both structural frequency and structural priming effects. However, it is currently not clear whether these two types of effects interact during online sentence comprehension, especially for languages that do not have morphological markings. To explore this issue, the present study investigated the possible interplay between structural priming and frequency effects for sentences containing the Chinese ambiguous construction V NP1 de NP2 in a self-paced reading experiment. The sentences were disambiguated to either the more frequent/preferred NP structure or the less frequent VP structure. Each target sentence was preceded by a prime sentence of three possible types: NP primes, VP primes, and neutral primes. When the ambiguous construction V NP1 de NP2 was disambiguated to the dispreferred VP structure, participants experienced more processing difficulty following an NP prime relative to following a VP prime or a neutral baseline. When the ambiguity was resolved to the preferred NP structure, prime type had no effect. These results suggest that structural priming in comprehension is modulated by the baseline frequency of alternative structures, with the less frequent structure being more subject to structural priming effects. These results are discussed in the context of the error-based, implicit learning account of structural priming. PMID:26869954

  1. Structural Priming and Frequency Effects Interact in Chinese Sentence Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Hang; Dong, Yanping; Boland, Julie E.; Yuan, Fang

    2016-01-01

    Previous research in several European languages has shown that the language processing system is sensitive to both structural frequency and structural priming effects. However, it is currently not clear whether these two types of effects interact during online sentence comprehension, especially for languages that do not have morphological markings. To explore this issue, the present study investigated the possible interplay between structural priming and frequency effects for sentences containing the Chinese ambiguous construction V NP1 de NP2 in a self-paced reading experiment. The sentences were disambiguated to either the more frequent/preferred NP structure or the less frequent VP structure. Each target sentence was preceded by a prime sentence of three possible types: NP primes, VP primes, and neutral primes. When the ambiguous construction V NP1 de NP2 was disambiguated to the dispreferred VP structure, participants experienced more processing difficulty following an NP prime relative to following a VP prime or a neutral baseline. When the ambiguity was resolved to the preferred NP structure, prime type had no effect. These results suggest that structural priming in comprehension is modulated by the baseline frequency of alternative structures, with the less frequent structure being more subject to structural priming effects. These results are discussed in the context of the error-based, implicit learning account of structural priming. PMID:26869954

  2. Neural Aspects of Sentence Comprehension: Syntactic Complexity, Reversibility, and Reanalysis

    PubMed Central

    McArdle, Joseph J.; Schafer, Robin J.; Braun, Allen R.

    2010-01-01

    Broca's area is preferentially activated by reversible sentences with complex syntax, but various linguistic factors may be responsible for this finding, including syntactic movement, working-memory demands, and post hoc reanalysis. To distinguish between these, we tested the interaction of syntactic complexity and semantic reversibility in a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of sentence–picture matching. During auditory comprehension, semantic reversibility induced selective activation throughout the left perisylvian language network. In contrast, syntactic complexity (object-embedded vs. subject-embedded relative clauses) within reversible sentences engaged only the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) and left precentral gyrus. Within irreversible sentences, only the LIFG was sensitive to syntactic complexity, confirming a unique role for this region in syntactic processing. Nonetheless, larger effects of reversibility itself occurred in the same regions, suggesting that full syntactic parsing may be a nonautomatic process applied as needed. Complex reversible sentences also induced enhanced signals in LIFG and left precentral regions on subsequent picture selection, but with additional recruitment of the right hemisphere homolog area (right inferior frontal gyrus) as well, suggesting that post hoc reanalysis of sentence structure, compared with initial comprehension, engages an overlapping but larger network of brain regions. These dissociable effects may offer a basis for studying the reorganization of receptive language function after brain damage. PMID:19920058

  3. Children's On-Line Processing of Scrambling in Japanese

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suzuki, Takaaki

    2013-01-01

    This study investigates the on-line processing of scrambled sentences in Japanese by preschool children and adults using a combination of self-paced listening and speeded picture selection tasks. The effects of a filler-gap dependency, reversibility, and case markers were examined. The results show that both children and adults had difficulty in…

  4. Bilinguals Show Weaker Lexical Access during Spoken Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shook, Anthony; Goldrick, Matthew; Engstler, Caroline; Marian, Viorica

    2015-01-01

    When bilinguals process written language, they show delays in accessing lexical items relative to monolinguals. The present study investigated whether this effect extended to spoken language comprehension, examining the processing of sentences with either low or high semantic constraint in both first and second languages. English-German…

  5. Beyond decoding: phonological processing during silent reading in beginning readers.

    PubMed

    Blythe, Hazel I; Pagán, Ascensión; Dodd, Megan

    2015-07-01

    In this experiment, the extent to which beginning readers process phonology during lexical identification in silent sentence reading was investigated. The eye movements of children aged seven to nine years and adults were recorded as they read sentences containing either a correctly spelled target word (e.g., girl), a pseudohomophone (e.g., gerl), or a spelling control (e.g., garl). Both children and adults showed a benefit from the valid phonology of the pseudohomophone, compared to the spelling control during reading. This indicates that children as young as seven years old exhibit relatively skilled phonological processing during reading, despite having moved past the use of overt phonological decoding strategies. In addition, in comparison to adults, children's lexical processing was more disrupted by the presence of spelling errors, suggesting a developmental change in the relative dependence upon phonological and orthographic processing in lexical identification during silent sentence reading.

  6. Transactional processes in the development of adult personality disorder symptoms.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Elizabeth A; Ruiz, Sarah K

    2016-08-01

    The development of adult personality disorder symptoms, including transactional processes of relationship representational and behavioral experience from infancy to early adolescence, was examined using longitudinal data from a risk sample (N = 162). Significant preliminary correlations were found between early caregiving experience and adult personality disorder symptoms and between representational and behavioral indices across time and adult symptomatology. Significant correlations were also found among diverse representational assessments (e.g., interview, drawing, and projective narrative) and between concurrent representational and observational measures of relationship functioning. Path models were analyzed to investigate the combined relations of caregiving experience in infancy; relationship representation and experience in early childhood, middle childhood, and early adolescence; and personality disorder symptoms in adulthood. The hypothesized model representing interactive contributions of representational and behavioral experience represented the data significantly better than competing models representing noninteractive contributions. Representational and behavioral indicators mediated the link between early caregiving quality and personality disorder symptoms. The findings extend previous studies of normative development and support an organizational developmental view that early relationship experiences contribute to socioemotional maladaptation as well as adaptation through the progressive transaction of mutually informing expectations and experience. PMID:27427797

  7. Oscillatory Brain Dynamics during Sentence Reading: A Fixation-Related Spectral Perturbation Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Vignali, Lorenzo; Himmelstoss, Nicole A.; Hawelka, Stefan; Richlan, Fabio; Hutzler, Florian

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated oscillatory brain dynamics during self-paced sentence-level processing. Participants read fully correct sentences, sentences containing a semantic violation and “sentences” in which the order of the words was randomized. At the target word level, fixations on semantically unrelated words elicited a lower-beta band (13–18 Hz) desynchronization. At the sentence level, gamma power (31–55 Hz) increased linearly for syntactically correct sentences, but not when the order of the words was randomized. In the 300–900 ms time window after sentence onsets, theta power (4–7 Hz) was greater for syntactically correct sentences as compared to sentences where no syntactic structure was preserved (random words condition). We interpret our results as conforming with a recently formulated predictive-coding framework for oscillatory neural dynamics during sentence-level language comprehension. Additionally, we discuss how our results relate to previous findings with serial visual presentation vs. self-paced reading. PMID:27199713

  8. Effects of Word Frequency and Modality on Sentence Comprehension Impairments in People with Aphasia

    PubMed Central

    DeDe, Gayle

    2014-01-01

    Purpose It is well known that people with aphasia have sentence comprehension impairments. The present study investigated whether lexical factors contribute to sentence comprehension impairments in both the auditory and written modalities using on-line measures of sentence processing. Methods People with aphasia and non-brain-damaged controls participated in the experiment (n=8 per group). Twenty-one sentence pairs containing high and low frequency words were presented in self-paced listening and reading tasks. The sentences were syntactically simple and differed only in the critical words. The dependent variables were response times for critical segments of the sentence and accuracy on the comprehension questions. Results The results showed that word frequency influences performance on measures of sentence comprehension in people with aphasia. The accuracy data on the comprehension questions suggested that people with aphasia have more difficulty understanding sentences containing low frequency words in the written compared to auditory modality. Both group and single case analyses of the response time data also pointed to more difficulty with reading than listening. Conclusions The results show that sentence comprehension in people with aphasia is influenced by word frequency and presentation modality. PMID:22294411

  9. Information structure expectations in sentence comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Katy; Dickey, Michael Walsh; Frazier, Lyn; Clifton, Charles

    2009-01-01

    In English, new information typically appears late in the sentence, as does primary accent. Because of this tendency, perceivers might expect the final constituent or constituents of a sentence to contain informational focus. This expectation should in turn affect how they comprehend focus-sensitive constructions such as ellipsis sentences. Results from four experiments on sluicing sentences (e.g., The mobster implicated the thug, but we can’t find out who else) suggest that perceivers do prefer to place focus late in the sentence, though that preference can be mitigated by prosodic information (pitch accents, Experiment 2) or syntactic information (clefted sentences, Experiment 3) indicating that focus is located elsewhere. Furthermore, it is not necessarily the direct object, but the informationally-focused constituent that is the preferred antecedent (Experiment 4). Expectations regarding the information structure of a sentence, which are only partly cancelable by means of overt focus markers, may explain persistent biases in ellipsis resolution. PMID:18609404

  10. Establishing causal coherence across sentences: an ERP study

    PubMed Central

    Kuperberg, Gina R.; Paczynski, Martin; Ditman, Tali

    2011-01-01

    This study examined neural activity associated with establishing causal relationships across sentences during online comprehension. ERPs were measured while participants read and judged the relatedness of three-sentence scenarios in which the final sentence was highly causally related, intermediately related and causally unrelated to its context. Lexico-semantic co-occurrence was matched across the three conditions using a Latent Semantic Analysis. Critical words in causally unrelated scenarios evoked a larger N400 than words in both highly causally related and intermediately related scenarios, regardless of whether they appeared before or at the sentence-final position. At midline sites, the N400 to intermediately related sentence-final words was attenuated to the same degree as to highly causally related words, but otherwise the N400 to intermediately related words fell in between that evoked by highly causally related and intermediately related words. No modulation of the Late Positivity/P600 component was observed across conditions. These results indicate that both simple and complex causal inferences can influence the earliest stages of semantically processing an incoming word. Further, they suggest that causal coherence, at the situation level, can influence incremental word-by-word discourse comprehension, even when semantic relationships between individual words are matched. PMID:20175676

  11. Lexical or Syntactic Control of Sentence Formulation? Structural Generalizations from Idiom Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Konopka, Agnieszka E; Bock, Kathryn

    2009-01-01

    To compare abstract structural and lexicalist accounts of syntactic processes in sentence formulation, we examined the effectiveness of nonidiomatic and idiomatic phrasal verbs in inducing structural generalizations. Three experiments made use of a syntactic priming paradigm in which participants recalled sentences they had read in rapid serial…

  12. Lingering Effects of Disfluent Material on Comprehension of Garden Path Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lau, Ellen F.; Ferreira, Fernanda

    2005-01-01

    In two experiments, we tested for lingering effects of "verb replacement" disfluencies on the processing of garden path sentences that exhibit the main verb/reduced relative (MV/RR) ambiguity. Participants heard sentences with revisions like "The little girl chosen, uh, selected for the role celebrated with her parents and friends". We found that…

  13. Individual Variation in a Japanese Sentence Comprehension Task: Form, Functions, and Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sasaki, Yoshinori

    1997-01-01

    Reports on follow-up analyses of Sasaki's (in press) competition experiment study of Japanese sentence comprehension strategies conducted to investigate the double-object active and transitive causative sentence processing strategies by English-speaking learners of Japanese and how immediate error feedback affects them. The article contrasts…

  14. Word Misperception, the Neighbor Frequency Effect, and the Role of Sentence Context: Evidence from Eye Movements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slattery, Timothy J.

    2009-01-01

    An eye movement experiment was conducted to investigate whether the processing of a word can be affected by its higher frequency neighbor (HFN). Target words with an HFN (birch) or without one (spruce) were embedded into 2 types of sentence frames: 1 in which the HFN (birth) could fit given the prior sentence context, and 1 in which it could not.…

  15. Comprehension of Written Sentences as a Core Component of Children's Reading Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ecalle, Jean; Bouchafa, Houria; Potocki, Anna; Magnan, Annie

    2013-01-01

    Two experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that sentence processing is an essential mediatory skill between word recognition and text comprehension in reading. In Experiment 1, a semantic similarity judgement task was used with children from Grade 2 to Grade 9. They had to say whether two written sentences had the same (or very similar)…

  16. Predicting Sentencing for Low-Level Crimes: Comparing Models of Human Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    von Helversen, Bettina; Rieskamp, Jorg

    2009-01-01

    Laws and guidelines regulating legal decision making are often imposed without taking the cognitive processes of the legal decision maker into account. In the case of sentencing, this raises the question of whether the sentencing decisions of prosecutors and judges are consistent with legal policy. Especially in handling low-level crimes, legal…

  17. Inadequate and Infrequent Are Not Alike: ERPs to Deviant Prosodic Patterns in Spoken Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mietz, Anja; Toepel, Ulrike; Ischebeck, Anja; Alter, Kai

    2008-01-01

    The current study on German investigates Event-Related brain Potentials (ERPs) for the perception of sentences with intonations which are infrequent (i.e. vocatives) or inadequate in daily conversation. These ERPs are compared to the processing correlates for sentences in which the syntax-to-prosody relations are congruent and used frequently…

  18. Bilingual word recognition in a sentence context.

    PubMed

    Assche, Eva Van; Duyck, Wouter; Hartsuiker, Robert J

    2012-01-01

    This article provides an overview of bilingualism research on visual word recognition in isolation and in sentence context. Many studies investigating the processing of words out-of-context have shown that lexical representations from both languages are activated when reading in one language (language-non-selective lexical access). A newly developed research line asks whether language-non-selective access generalizes to word recognition in sentence contexts, providing a language cue and/or semantic constraint information for upcoming words. Recent studies suggest that the language of the preceding words is insufficient to restrict lexical access to words of the target language, even when reading in the native language. Eye tracking studies revealing the time course of word activation further showed that semantic constraint does not restrict language-non-selective access at early reading stages, but there is evidence that it has a relatively late effect. The theoretical implications for theories of bilingual word recognition are discussed in light of the Bilingual Interactive Activation+ model (Dijkstra and van Heuven, 2002).

  19. Prediction, Error, and Adaptation during Online Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fine, Alex Brabham

    2013-01-01

    A fundamental challenge for human cognition is perceiving and acting in a world in which the statistics that characterize available sensory data are non-stationary. This thesis focuses on this problem specifically in the domain of sentence comprehension, where linguistic variability poses computational challenges to the processes underlying…

  20. Polysemy in Sentence Comprehension: Effects of Meaning Dominance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foraker, Stephani; Murphy, Gregory L.

    2012-01-01

    Words like "church" are polysemous, having two related senses (a building and an organization). Three experiments investigated how polysemous senses are represented and processed during sentence comprehension. On one view, readers retrieve an underspecified, core meaning, which is later specified more fully with contextual information. On another…

  1. Whole Report versus Partial Report in RSVP Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Potter, Mary C.; Nieuwenstein, Mark; Strohminger, Nina

    2008-01-01

    A sentence is readily understood and recalled when presented one word at a time using rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) at 10 words/s [Potter, M. C. (1984). Rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP): A method for studying language processing. In D. Kieras & M. Just (Eds.), "New methods in reading comprehension research" (pp. 91-118).…

  2. Number Attraction Effects in Near-Native Spanish Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jegerski, Jill

    2016-01-01

    Grammatical agreement phenomena such as verbal number have long been of fundamental interest in the study of second language (L2) acquisition. Previous research from the perspective of sentence processing has documented nativelike behavior among nonnative participants but has also relied almost exclusively on grammar violation paradigms. The…

  3. Sentence Complexity and Working Memory Effects in Ambiguity Resolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Ji Hyon; Christianson, Kiel

    2013-01-01

    Two self-paced reading experiments using a paraphrase decision task paradigm were performed to investigate how sentence complexity contributed to the relative clause (RC) attachment preferences of speakers of different working memory capacities (WMCs). Experiment 1 (English) showed working memory effects on relative clause processing in both…

  4. Memory Operations and Structures in Sentence Comprehension: Evidence from Ellipsis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Andrea Eyleen

    2010-01-01

    Natural language often contains dependencies that span words, phrases, or even sentences. Thus, language comprehension relies on recovering recently processed information from memory for subsequent interpretation. This dissertation investigates the memory operations that subserve dependency resolution through the lens of "verb-phrase ellipsis"…

  5. Reading as Reasoning; Reading as Ambiguity: Understanding Sentence Structures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marcus, Albert

    If in reading a sentence a reader finds something unfamiliar in lexical meaning or grammatical structures, the meaning of the written material may be ambiguous to him. Sometimes the context will help to clarify the meaning of an unfamiliar element, but often it won't. Understanding what is read involves not only the process of reasoning, but also…

  6. Lexically Specific Knowledge and Individual Differences in Adult Native Speakers' Processing of the English Passive

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Street, James A.; Dabrowska, Ewa

    2014-01-01

    This article provides experimental evidence for the role of lexically specific representations in the processing of passive sentences and considerable education-related differences in comprehension of the passive construction. The experiment measured response time and decision accuracy of participants with high and low academic attainment using an…

  7. Paired comparisons of nonlinear frequency compression, extended bandwidth, and restricted bandwidth hearing-aid processing for children and adults with hearing loss

    PubMed Central

    Brennan, Marc A.; McCreery, Ryan; Kopun, Judy; Hoover, Brenda; Alexander, Joshua; Lewis, Dawna; Stelmachowicz, Patricia G.

    2014-01-01

    Background Preference for speech and music processed with nonlinear frequency compression and two controls (restricted and extended bandwidth hearing-aid processing) was examined in adults and children with hearing loss. Purpose Determine if stimulus type (music, sentences), age (children, adults) and degree of hearing loss influence listener preference for nonlinear frequency compression, restricted bandwidth and extended bandwidth. Research Design Within-subject, quasi-experimental study. Using a round-robin procedure, participants listened to amplified stimuli that were 1) frequency-lowered using nonlinear frequency compression, 2) low-pass filtered at 5 kHz to simulate the restricted bandwidth of conventional hearing aid processing, or 3) low-pass filtered at 11 kHz to simulate extended bandwidth amplification. The examiner and participants were blinded to the type of processing. Using a two-alternative forced-choice task, participants selected the preferred music or sentence passage. Study Sample Sixteen children (8–16 years) and 16 adults (19–65 years) with mild-to-severe sensorineural hearing loss. Intervention All subjects listened to speech and music processed using a hearing-aid simulator fit to the Desired Sensation Level algorithm v.5.0a (Scollie et al, 2005). Results Children and adults did not differ in their preferences. For speech, participants preferred extended bandwidth to both nonlinear frequency compression and restricted bandwidth. Participants also preferred nonlinear frequency compression to restricted bandwidth. Preference was not related to degree of hearing loss. For music, listeners did not show a preference. However, participants with greater hearing loss preferred nonlinear frequency compression to restricted bandwidth more than participants with less hearing loss. Conversely, participants with greater hearing loss were less likely to prefer extended bandwidth to restricted bandwidth. Conclusion Both age groups preferred access to

  8. The Development of Complex Sentence Interpretation in Typically Developing Children Compared with Children with Specific Language Impairments or Early Unilateral Focal Lesions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dick, Frederic; Wulfeck, Beverly; Krupa-Kwiatkowski, Magda; Bates, Elizabeth

    2004-01-01

    This study compared sentence comprehension skills in typically developing children 5-17 years of age, children with language impairment (LI) and children with focal brain injuries (FL) acquired in the pre/perinatal period. Participants were asked to process sentences "on-line", choosing the agent in sentences that varied in syntactic complexity…

  9. Bilinguals Show Weaker Lexical Access During Spoken Sentence Comprehension.

    PubMed

    Shook, Anthony; Goldrick, Matthew; Engstler, Caroline; Marian, Viorica

    2015-12-01

    When bilinguals process written language, they show delays in accessing lexical items relative to monolinguals. The present study investigated whether this effect extended to spoken language comprehension, examining the processing of sentences with either low or high semantic constraint in both first and second languages. English-German bilinguals, German-English bilinguals and English monolinguals listened for target words in spoken English sentences while their eye-movements were recorded. Bilinguals' eye-movements reflected weaker lexical access relative to monolinguals; furthermore, the effect of semantic constraint differed across first versus second language processing. Specifically, English-native bilinguals showed fewer overall looks to target items, regardless of sentence constraint; German-native bilinguals activated target items more slowly and maintained target activation over a longer period of time in the low-constraint condition compared with monolinguals. No eye movements to cross-linguistic competitors were observed, suggesting that these lexical access disadvantages were present during bilingual spoken sentence comprehension even in the absence of overt interlingual competition.

  10. Reference in single sentences and in texts.

    PubMed

    Crawley, R A; Stevenson, R J

    1990-05-01

    This study investigated the comprehension and production of reference terms in both sentences (Experiments 1 and 2) and texts (Experiments 3 and 4) using a sentence completion task. In Experiments 1 and 2, the use of a sentence-level strategy (subject assignment) was investigated. In Experiments 3 and 4, the use of a text-level strategy (topic assignment) was also investigated. There was a clear preference for continuing the sentences by referring to the subjects of the sentences regardless of the availability of gender cues, in both single sentences and in texts. There was also an influence of the topic of each text on both the choice of referent and the type of reference term used. However, the choice of reference term was affected by the number of potential antecedents in the preceding text. Overall, the results suggest that the sentence subject is a salient item in working memory. This salience is increased if the sentence subject is also the textual topic. In addition, it appears that the presence of a pronoun in a text triggers a specific strategy to assign the pronoun to the (salient) sentence subject. PMID:2231478

  11. Parafoveal perception during sentence reading?: An ERP paradigm using rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) with flankers

    PubMed Central

    Bentin, Shlomo; Kutas, Marta

    2014-01-01

    We describe a new procedure using event related brain potentials to investigate parafoveal word processing during sentence reading. Sentences were presented word-byword at fixation, flanked two degrees bilaterally by letter strings. Flanker strings were pseudowords, except for the third word in each sentence, which was flanked by either two pseudowords, or a pseudoword and a word, one on each side. Flanker words were either semantically congruent or incongruent with the sentence context. P2 (175-375 ms) amplitudes were less positive for contextually incongruent than congruent flanker words but only with flanker words in the right visual field for English, and in the left visual field in Hebrew. Flankered word presentation thus may be a suitable method for the electrophysiological study of parafoveal perception during sentence reading. PMID:21361965

  12. Parafoveal perception during sentence reading? An ERP paradigm using rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) with flankers.

    PubMed

    Barber, Horacio A; Ben-Zvi, Shir; Bentin, Shlomo; Kutas, Marta

    2011-04-01

    We describe a new procedure using event-related brain potentials to investigate parafoveal word processing during sentence reading. Sentences were presented word by word at fixation, flanked 2° bilaterally by letter strings. Flanker strings were pseudowords, except for the third word in each sentence, which was flanked by either two pseudowords or a pseudoword and a word, one on each side. Flanker words were either semantically congruent or incongruent with the sentence context. P2 (175-375 ms) amplitudes were less positive for contextually incongruent than congruent flanker words but only with flanker words in the right visual field for English and in the left visual field in Hebrew. Flankered word presentation thus may be a suitable method for the electrophysiological study of parafoveal perception during sentence reading.

  13. The emotion potential of simple sentences: additive or interactive effects of nouns and adjectives?

    PubMed Central

    Lüdtke, Jana; Jacobs, Arthur M.

    2015-01-01

    The vast majority of studies on affective processes in reading focus on single words. The most robust finding is a processing advantage for positively valenced words, which has been replicated in the rare studies investigating effects of affective features of words during sentence or story comprehension. Here we were interested in how the different valences of words in a sentence influence its processing and supralexical affective evaluation. Using a sentence verification task we investigated how comprehension of simple declarative sentences containing a noun and an adjective depends on the valences of both words. The results are in line with the assumed general processing advantage for positive words. We also observed a clear interaction effect, as can be expected from the affective priming literature: sentences with emotionally congruent words (e.g., The grandpa is clever) were verified faster than sentences containing emotionally incongruent words (e.g., The grandpa is lonely). The priming effect was most prominent for sentences with positive words suggesting that both, early processing as well as later meaning integration and situation model construction, is modulated by affective processing. In a second rating task we investigated how the emotion potential of supralexical units depends on word valence. The simplest hypothesis predicts that the supralexical affective structure is a linear combination of the valences of the nouns and adjectives (Bestgen, 1994). Overall, our results do not support this: The observed clear interaction effect on ratings indicate that especially negative adjectives dominated supralexical evaluation, i.e., a sort of negativity bias in sentence evaluation. Future models of sentence processing thus should take interactive affective effects into account. PMID:26321975

  14. The Effects of Marzano's Six Step Vocabulary Process, on Fourth Grade Students' Vocabulary Knowledge, Fluency, and Sentence Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suing, Janet S.

    2012-01-01

    This exploratory study examined the ways in which fourth grade students, in an urban setting, responded to a nine-week implementation of Marzano's Six Step Vocabulary Process. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between the direct instruction of vocabulary and the effects on student achievement as measured by Vocabulary…

  15. Comparative Studies on the Roles of Linguistic Knowledge and Sentence Processing Speed in L2 Listening and Reading Comprehension in an EFL Tertiary Setting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oh, Eunjou

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated the relative contributions of vocabulary knowledge, grammar knowledge, and processing speed to second language listening and reading comprehension. Seventy-five Korean university students participated in the study. Results showed the three tested components had a significant portion of shared variance in explaining…

  16. A Mouse with a Roof? Effects of Phonological Neighbors on Processing of Words in Sentences in a Non-Native Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruschemeyer, Shirley-Ann; Nojack, Agnes; Limbach, Maxi

    2008-01-01

    The architecture of the language processing system for speakers of more than one language remains an intriguing topic of research. A common finding is that speakers of multiple languages are slower at responding to language stimuli in their non-native language (L2) than monolingual speakers. This may simply reflect participants' unfamiliarity with…

  17. A Study of the Speed of Understanding Sentences as a Function of Sentence Structure. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halamandaris, Pandelis G.

    On the basis of the grammatical theory developed by Noam Chomsky, it is reasonable to presume that the different parts of a sentence may not all be understood with equal facility and speed. One purpose of this study was to determine whether some of the grammatical relations within a sentence were understood more readily than others. Sentences of…

  18. The systematic use of semantic and acoustic processing by younger and older adults.

    PubMed

    West, R L; Cohen, S L

    1985-01-01

    To examine age differences in semantic and acoustic processing, 80 older and 80 younger adults participated in an incidental learning study. The study compared free recall and semantic and acoustic cued recall performance after five orienting conditions. The younger adults performed better than the older adults, especially after acoustic orienting. Encoding specificity effects occurred at both age levels. The results indicated that both age groups performed better with semantic processing than acoustic processing, but that older adults relied on the semantic information far more than the younger adults. PMID:4092721

  19. The influence of sentence novelty and figurativeness on brain activity

    PubMed Central

    Diaz, Michele T.; Barrett, Kyle M.; Hogstrom, Larson J.

    2010-01-01

    The predominance of the left hemisphere in language comprehension and production is well established. More recently, the right hemisphere’s contribution to language has been examined. Clinical, behavioral, and neuroimaging research support the right hemisphere’s involvement in metaphor processing. But, there is disagreement about whether metaphors, in and of themselves, engage the right hemisphere or if other factors that vary between metaphors and literal language elicit right hemisphere engagement. It is important to disambiguate these issues to improve our basic knowledge of figurative language processing, to more precisely define how the right hemisphere supports language, and to facilitate our ability to understand and treat language impairments. Here we investigated the role of the right hemisphere in language comprehension with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) by manipulating familiarity in both literal and metaphoric sentences. In an event-related design, participants viewed English sentences that appeared every 4.5 to 9 seconds, and to which they made a pleasantness judgment. All sentences elicited activation in traditional language brain regions including left inferior frontal gyrus, left anterior inferior temporal and left posterior middle temporal gyri. Overall, metaphors and novel stimuli elicited activation in bilateral inferior frontal gyri and left temporal regions. Additionally, metaphors elicited greater activation than literal sentences in right temporal pole. Although our results are partially consistent with the graded salience hypothesis and the coarse coding hypothesis, the right hemisphere’s sensitivity to familiar metaphors suggests that right hemisphere recruitment is most influenced by semantic integration demands. PMID:21146553

  20. Applauding with Closed Hands: Neural Signature of Action-Sentence Compatibility Effects

    PubMed Central

    Aravena, Pia; Hurtado, Esteban; Riveros, Rodrigo; Cardona, Juan Felipe; Manes, Facundo; Ibáñez, Agustín

    2010-01-01

    Background Behavioral studies have provided evidence for an action–sentence compatibility effect (ACE) that suggests a coupling of motor mechanisms and action-sentence comprehension. When both processes are concurrent, the action sentence primes the actual movement, and simultaneously, the action affects comprehension. The aim of the present study was to investigate brain markers of bidirectional impact of language comprehension and motor processes. Methodology/Principal Findings Participants listened to sentences describing an action that involved an open hand, a closed hand, or no manual action. Each participant was asked to press a button to indicate his/her understanding of the sentence. Each participant was assigned a hand-shape, either closed or open, which had to be used to activate the button. There were two groups (depending on the assigned hand-shape) and three categories (compatible, incompatible and neutral) defined according to the compatibility between the response and the sentence. ACEs were found in both groups. Brain markers of semantic processing exhibited an N400-like component around the Cz electrode position. This component distinguishes between compatible and incompatible, with a greater negative deflection for incompatible. Motor response elicited a motor potential (MP) and a re-afferent potential (RAP), which are both enhanced in the compatible condition. Conclusions/Significance The present findings provide the first ACE cortical measurements of semantic processing and the motor response. N400-like effects suggest that incompatibility with motor processes interferes in sentence comprehension in a semantic fashion. Modulation of motor potentials (MP and RAP) revealed a multimodal semantic facilitation of the motor response. Both results provide neural evidence of an action-sentence bidirectional relationship. Our results suggest that ACE is not an epiphenomenal post-sentence comprehension process. In contrast, motor-language integration

  1. Processing of Numerical and Proportional Quantifiers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shikhare, Sailee; Heim, Stefan; Klein, Elise; Huber, Stefan; Willmes, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Quantifier expressions like "many" and "at least" are part of a rich repository of words in language representing magnitude information. The role of numerical processing in comprehending quantifiers was studied in a semantic truth value judgment task, asking adults to quickly verify sentences about visual displays using…

  2. Reading during the composition of multi-sentence texts: an eye-movement study.

    PubMed

    Torrance, Mark; Johansson, Roger; Johansson, Victoria; Wengelin, Åsa

    2016-09-01

    Writers composing multi-sentence texts have immediate access to a visual representation of what they have written. Little is known about the detail of writers' eye movements within this text during production. We describe two experiments in which competent adult writers' eye movements were tracked while performing short expository writing tasks. These are contrasted with conditions in which participants read and evaluated researcher-provided texts. Writers spent a mean of around 13 % of their time looking back into their text. Initiation of these look-back sequences was strongly predicted by linguistically important boundaries in their ongoing production (e.g., writers were much more likely to look back immediately prior to starting a new sentence). 36 % of look-back sequences were associated with sustained reading and the remainder with less patterned forward and backward saccades between words ("hopping"). Fixation and gaze durations and the presence of word-length effects suggested lexical processing of fixated words in both reading and hopping sequences. Word frequency effects were not present when writers read their own text. Findings demonstrate the technical possibility and potential value of examining writers' fixations within their just-written text. We suggest that these fixations do not serve solely, or even primarily, in monitoring for error, but play an important role in planning ongoing production. PMID:26120046

  3. Reading during the composition of multi-sentence texts: an eye-movement study.

    PubMed

    Torrance, Mark; Johansson, Roger; Johansson, Victoria; Wengelin, Åsa

    2016-09-01

    Writers composing multi-sentence texts have immediate access to a visual representation of what they have written. Little is known about the detail of writers' eye movements within this text during production. We describe two experiments in which competent adult writers' eye movements were tracked while performing short expository writing tasks. These are contrasted with conditions in which participants read and evaluated researcher-provided texts. Writers spent a mean of around 13 % of their time looking back into their text. Initiation of these look-back sequences was strongly predicted by linguistically important boundaries in their ongoing production (e.g., writers were much more likely to look back immediately prior to starting a new sentence). 36 % of look-back sequences were associated with sustained reading and the remainder with less patterned forward and backward saccades between words ("hopping"). Fixation and gaze durations and the presence of word-length effects suggested lexical processing of fixated words in both reading and hopping sequences. Word frequency effects were not present when writers read their own text. Findings demonstrate the technical possibility and potential value of examining writers' fixations within their just-written text. We suggest that these fixations do not serve solely, or even primarily, in monitoring for error, but play an important role in planning ongoing production.

  4. A Staff Development Model for Adult Educators. Process, Content, and Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burrichter, Arthur W.; Gardner, Daniel L.

    This publication is a guide for designing programs to develop adult educator competencies as determined by other adult educators in Florida. The first section of the three-part publication explains the process of developing the list of essential competencies needed by adult educators, which makes up the second section of the document. The listing…

  5. 76 FR 38460 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-30

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts AGENCY: United States Sentencing Commission. ACTION... the Practitioners Advisory Group are expiring as of October 2011, the United States...

  6. 77 FR 31070 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-24

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts AGENCY: United States Sentencing Commission. ACTION... the Practitioners Advisory Group are expiring as of October 2012, the United States...

  7. 78 FR 36641 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-18

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts AGENCY: United States Sentencing Commission. ACTION... the Practitioners Advisory Group are expiring as of October 2013, the United States...

  8. TMS-induced modulation of action sentence priming in the ventral premotor cortex.

    PubMed

    Tremblay, Pascale; Sato, Marc; Small, Steven L

    2012-01-01

    Despite accumulating evidence that cortical motor areas, particularly the lateral premotor cortex, are activated during language comprehension, the question of whether motor processes help mediate the semantic encoding of language remains controversial. To address this issue, we examined whether low frequency (1 Hz) repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the left ventral premotor cortex (PMv) can interfere with the comprehension of sentences describing manual actions, visual properties of manipulable and non-manipulable objects, and actions of the lips and mouth. Using a primed semantic decision task, sixteen participants were asked to determine for a given sentence whether or not an auditorily presented target word was congruent with the sentence. We hypothesized that if the left PMv is contributing semantic information that is used to comprehend action and object related sentences, then TMS applied over PMv should result in a disruption of semantic priming. Our results show that TMS reduces semantic priming, induces a shift in response bias, and increases response sensitivity, but does so only during the processing of manual action sentences. This suggests a preferential contribution of PMv to the processing of sentences describing manual actions compared to other types of sentences.

  9. Creating Hope for Life-Sentenced Offenders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruddell, Rick; Broom, Ian; Young, Matthew

    2010-01-01

    Offenders sentenced to terms of life imprisonment pose special challenges for correctional systems. The Correctional Service of Canada collaborated with nongovernmental agencies to develop programmatic interventions to better prepare this population to survive their prison sentences and transition to the community. This study describes the…

  10. Sentence Adverbs in the Kingdom of Agree

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shu, Chih-hsiang

    2011-01-01

    This dissertation offers a novel account of the syntax of sentence adverbs. The need for a new account is clear from the lack of descriptive coverage and theoretical coherence in current work on adverbial syntax. Descriptively, the majority of work has so far neglected the fact that sentence adverbs behave syntactically like typical focusing…

  11. Predicted Errors In Children's Early Sentence Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Gertner, Yael; Fisher, Cynthia

    2012-01-01

    Children use syntax to interpret sentences and learn verbs; this is syntactic bootstrapping. The structure-mapping account of early syntactic bootstrapping proposes that a partial representation of sentence structure, the set of nouns occurring with the verb, guides initial interpretation and provides an abstract format for new learning. This account predicts early successes, but also telltale errors: Toddlers should be unable to tell transitive sentences from other sentences containing two nouns. In testing this prediction, we capitalized on evidence that 21-month-olds use what they have learned about noun order in English sentences to understand new transitive verbs. In two experiments, 21-month-olds applied this noun-order knowledge to two-noun intransitive sentences, mistakenly assigning different interpretations to “The boy and the girl are gorping!” and “The girl and the boy are gorping!”. This suggests that toddlers exploit partial representations of sentence structure to guide sentence interpretation; these sparse representations are useful, but error-prone. PMID:22525312

  12. Some Transformational Effects on Recoding English Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaneda, Michikazu

    1972-01-01

    The experiment described in this report investigates second language development and the possibility of determining various levels of language acquisition. The subjects involved are Japanese students learning English. The students are given the task of recalling English kernel sentences after hearing them once. The resulting sentences--the…

  13. Sentence Repetition: What Does the Task Measure?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Polišenská, Kamila; Chiat, Shula; Roy, Penny

    2015-01-01

    Background: Sentence repetition is gaining increasing attention as a source of information about children's sentence-level abilities in clinical assessment, and as a clinical marker of specific language impairment. However, it is widely debated what the task is testing and therefore how informative it is. Aims: (1) To evaluate the effects of…

  14. Functional Neuroimaging Studies of Written Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caplan, David

    2004-01-01

    Sentences convey relationships between the meanings of words, such as who is accomplishing an action or receiving it. Functional neuroimaging based on positron-emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging has been used to identify areas of the brain involved in structuring sentences and determining aspects of meaning associated…

  15. The role of working memory in inferential sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Ana Isabel; Paolieri, Daniela; Macizo, Pedro; Bajo, Teresa

    2014-08-01

    Existing literature on inference making is large and varied. Trabasso and Magliano (Discourse Process 21(3):255-287, 1996) proposed the existence of three types of inferences: explicative, associative and predictive. In addition, the authors suggested that these inferences were related to working memory (WM). In the present experiment, we investigated whether WM capacity plays a role in our ability to answer comprehension sentences that require text information based on these types of inferences. Participants with high and low WM span read two narratives with four paragraphs each. After each paragraph was read, they were presented with four true/false comprehension sentences. One required verbatim information and the other three implied explicative, associative and predictive inferential information. Results demonstrated that only the explicative and predictive comprehension sentences required WM: participants with high verbal WM were more accurate in giving explanations and also faster at making predictions relative to participants with low verbal WM span; in contrast, no WM differences were found in the associative comprehension sentences. These results are interpreted in terms of the causal nature underlying these types of inferences.

  16. Story Processing Ability in Cognitively Healthy Younger and Older Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Heather Harris; Capilouto, Gilson J.; Srinivasan, Cidambi; Fergadiotis, Gerasimos

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of the study was to examine the relationships among measures of comprehension and production for stories depicted in wordless pictures books and measures of memory and attention for 2 age groups. Method: Sixty cognitively healthy adults participated. They consisted of two groups--young adults (20-29 years of age) and older…

  17. Asymmetrical Cortical Processing of Radial Expansioncontraction in Infants and Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shirai, Nobu; Birtles, Deirdre; Wattam-Bell, John; Yamaguchi, Masami K.; Kanazawa, So; Atkinson, Janette; Braddick, Oliver

    2009-01-01

    We report asymmetrical cortical responses (steady-state visual evoked potentials) to radial expansion and contraction in human infants and adults. Forty-four infants (22 3-month-olds and 22 4-month-olds) and nine adults viewed dynamic dot patterns which cyclically (2.1 Hz) alternate between radial expansion (or contraction) and random directional…

  18. Auditory Processing Efficiency and Temporal Resolution in Children and Adults.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Penelope R.; Hartley, Douglas E.H.; Glasberg, Brian R.; Moore, Brian C.J.; Moore, David R.

    2004-01-01

    Children have higher auditory backward masking (BM) thresholds than adults. One explanation for this is poor temporal resolution, resulting in difficulty separating brief or rapidly presented sounds. This implies that the auditory temporal window is broader in children than in adults. Alternatively, elevated BM thresholds in children may indicate…

  19. Effects of humor on sentence memory.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, S R

    1994-07-01

    Memory for humorous and nonhumorous versions of sentences was compared. Humorous sentences were better remembered than the nonhumorous sentences on both free- and cued-recall tests and on measures of sentence recall and word recall. These effects persisted when subjects were warned that they were about to read a humorous sentence but were attenuated in incidental learning and limited to within-subjects manipulations. In incidental learning, recall was also scored as a function of subjective ratings of humor. Subjective humor affected memory in both within- and between-subjects designs. Attention, arousal, rehearsal, retrieval, and surprise explanations were explored. Results suggest that humorous material receives both increased attention and rehearsal relative to nonhumorous material. PMID:8064254

  20. The Effect of Number and Presentation Order of High-Constraint Sentences on Second Language Word Learning

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Tengfei; Chen, Ran; Dunlap, Susan; Chen, Baoguo

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the results of an experiment that investigated the effects of number and presentation order of high-constraint sentences on semantic processing of unknown second language (L2) words (pseudowords) through reading. All participants were Chinese native speakers who learned English as a foreign language. In the experiment, sentence constraint and order of different constraint sentences were manipulated in English sentences, as well as L2 proficiency level of participants. We found that the number of high-constraint sentences was supportive for L2 word learning except in the condition in which high-constraint exposure was presented first. Moreover, when the number of high-constraint sentences was the same, learning was significantly better when the first exposure was a high-constraint exposure. And no proficiency level effects were found. Our results provided direct evidence that L2 word learning benefited from high quality language input and first presentations of high quality language input. PMID:27695432

  1. The Effect of Number and Presentation Order of High-Constraint Sentences on Second Language Word Learning

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Tengfei; Chen, Ran; Dunlap, Susan; Chen, Baoguo

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the results of an experiment that investigated the effects of number and presentation order of high-constraint sentences on semantic processing of unknown second language (L2) words (pseudowords) through reading. All participants were Chinese native speakers who learned English as a foreign language. In the experiment, sentence constraint and order of different constraint sentences were manipulated in English sentences, as well as L2 proficiency level of participants. We found that the number of high-constraint sentences was supportive for L2 word learning except in the condition in which high-constraint exposure was presented first. Moreover, when the number of high-constraint sentences was the same, learning was significantly better when the first exposure was a high-constraint exposure. And no proficiency level effects were found. Our results provided direct evidence that L2 word learning benefited from high quality language input and first presentations of high quality language input.

  2. On-Line Grammaticality Judgments in French Children and Adults: A Crosslinguistic Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kail, Michele

    2004-01-01

    This study examined the on-line processing of French sentences in a grammaticality judgment experiment. Three age groups of French children (mean age: 6;8, 8;6 and 10;10 years) and a group of adults were asked to detect grammatical violations as quickly as possible. Three factors were studied: the violation type: agreement violations (number and…

  3. Sentence repetition is a measure of children's language skills rather than working memory limitations

    PubMed Central

    Klem, Marianne; Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Hagtvet, Bente; Lyster, Solveig-Alma Halaas; Gustafsson, Jan-Eric; Hulme, Charles

    2015-01-01

    Sentence repetition tasks are widely used in the diagnosis and assessment of children with language difficulties. This paper seeks to clarify the nature of sentence repetition tasks and their relationship to other language skills. We present the results from a 2-year longitudinal study of 216 children. Children were assessed on measures of sentence repetition, vocabulary knowledge and grammatical skills three times at approximately yearly intervals starting at age 4. Sentence repetition was not a unique longitudinal predictor of the growth of language skills. A unidimensional language latent factor (defined by sentence repetition, vocabulary knowledge and grammatical skills) provided an excellent fit to the data, and language abilities showed a high degree of longitudinal stability. Sentence repetition is best seen as a reflection of an underlying language ability factor rather than as a measure of a separate construct with a specific role in language processing. Sentence repetition appears to be a valuable tool for language assessment because it draws upon a wide range of language processing skills. PMID:24986395

  4. Can Speaker Gaze Modulate Syntactic Structuring and Thematic Role Assignment during Spoken Sentence Comprehension?

    PubMed

    Knoeferle, Pia; Kreysa, Helene

    2012-01-01

    During comprehension, a listener can rapidly follow a frontally seated speaker's gaze to an object before its mention, a behavior which can shorten latencies in speeded sentence verification. However, the robustness of gaze-following, its interaction with core comprehension processes such as syntactic structuring, and the persistence of its effects are unclear. In two "visual-world" eye-tracking experiments participants watched a video of a speaker, seated at an angle, describing transitive (non-depicted) actions between two of three Second Life characters on a computer screen. Sentences were in German and had either subject(NP1)-verb-object(NP2) or object(NP1)-verb-subject(NP2) structure; the speaker either shifted gaze to the NP2 character or was obscured. Several seconds later, participants verified either the sentence referents or their role relations. When participants had seen the speaker's gaze shift, they anticipated the NP2 character before its mention and earlier than when the speaker was obscured. This effect was more pronounced for SVO than OVS sentences in both tasks. Interactions of speaker gaze and sentence structure were more pervasive in role-relations verification: participants verified the role relations faster for SVO than OVS sentences, and faster when they had seen the speaker shift gaze than when the speaker was obscured. When sentence and template role-relations matched, gaze-following even eliminated the SVO-OVS response-time differences. Thus, gaze-following is robust even when the speaker is seated at an angle to the listener; it varies depending on the syntactic structure and thematic role relations conveyed by a sentence; and its effects can extend to delayed post-sentence comprehension processes. These results suggest that speaker gaze effects contribute pervasively to visual attention and comprehension processes and should thus be accommodated by accounts of situated language comprehension. PMID:23227018

  5. Can Speaker Gaze Modulate Syntactic Structuring and Thematic Role Assignment during Spoken Sentence Comprehension?

    PubMed Central

    Knoeferle, Pia; Kreysa, Helene

    2012-01-01

    During comprehension, a listener can rapidly follow a frontally seated speaker’s gaze to an object before its mention, a behavior which can shorten latencies in speeded sentence verification. However, the robustness of gaze-following, its interaction with core comprehension processes such as syntactic structuring, and the persistence of its effects are unclear. In two “visual-world” eye-tracking experiments participants watched a video of a speaker, seated at an angle, describing transitive (non-depicted) actions between two of three Second Life characters on a computer screen. Sentences were in German and had either subjectNP1-verb-objectNP2 or objectNP1-verb-subjectNP2 structure; the speaker either shifted gaze to the NP2 character or was obscured. Several seconds later, participants verified either the sentence referents or their role relations. When participants had seen the speaker’s gaze shift, they anticipated the NP2 character before its mention and earlier than when the speaker was obscured. This effect was more pronounced for SVO than OVS sentences in both tasks. Interactions of speaker gaze and sentence structure were more pervasive in role-relations verification: participants verified the role relations faster for SVO than OVS sentences, and faster when they had seen the speaker shift gaze than when the speaker was obscured. When sentence and template role-relations matched, gaze-following even eliminated the SVO-OVS response-time differences. Thus, gaze-following is robust even when the speaker is seated at an angle to the listener; it varies depending on the syntactic structure and thematic role relations conveyed by a sentence; and its effects can extend to delayed post-sentence comprehension processes. These results suggest that speaker gaze effects contribute pervasively to visual attention and comprehension processes and should thus be accommodated by accounts of situated language comprehension. PMID:23227018

  6. Word misperception, the neighbor frequency effect, and the role of sentence context: evidence from eye movements.

    PubMed

    Slattery, Timothy J

    2009-12-01

    An eye movement experiment was conducted to investigate whether the processing of a word can be affected by its higher frequency neighbor (HFN). Target words with an HFN (birch) or without one (spruce) were embedded into 2 types of sentence frames: 1 in which the HFN (birth) could fit given the prior sentence context, and 1 in which it could not. The results suggest that words can be misperceived as their HFN, and that top-down information from sentence context strongly modulates this effect. Implications for models of word recognition and eye movements during reading are discussed.

  7. Sentence context affects the brain response to masked words.

    PubMed

    Coulson, Seana; Brang, David

    2010-06-01

    Historically, language researchers have assumed that lexical, or word-level processing is fast and automatic, while slower, more controlled post-lexical processes are sensitive to contextual information from higher levels of linguistic analysis. Here we demonstrate the impact of sentence context on the processing of words not available for conscious report by recording ERPs as sentences ended congruously or incongruously. Sentence final words were either masked to prevent their conscious identification, or were unmasked. For both masked and unmasked words, congruous completions elicited less negative ERPs than incongruous ones between 300 and 500ms after word onset (N400). Relative to the unmasked words, congruity effects in masked words were much smaller, began slightly later, and displayed a more anterior distribution. Results suggest contextual priming effects indexed by the N400 component reflect both automatic and controlled processes. Data are interpreted as suggesting a link between the neural generators of the N400 and conceptual short-term memory, a dynamic process for conceptual activation and structuring that is triggered by perceptual input.

  8. Categorization of sentence types in medical abstracts.

    PubMed

    McKnight, Larry; Srinivasan, Padmini

    2003-01-01

    This study evaluated the use of machine learning techniques in the classification of sentence type. 7253 structured abstracts and 204 unstructured abstracts of Randomized Controlled Trials from MedLINE were parsed into sentences and each sentence was labeled as one of four types (Introduction, Method, Result, or Conclusion). Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Linear Classifier models were generated and evaluated on cross-validated data. Treating sentences as a simple "bag of words", the SVM model had an average ROC area of 0.92. Adding a feature of relative sentence location improved performance markedly for some models and overall increasing the average ROC to 0.95. Linear classifier performance was significantly worse than the SVM in all datasets. Using the SVM model trained on structured abstracts to predict unstructured abstracts yielded performance similar to that of models trained with unstructured abstracts in 3 of the 4 types. We conclude that classification of sentence type seems feasible within the domain of RCT's. Identification of sentence types may be helpful for providing context to end users or other text summarization techniques.

  9. Clause Structure of Sentences and Speech Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarvella, Robert J.; Herman, Steven J.

    1972-01-01

    Based on a paper presented at the 79th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Atlantic City, N.J., April 1970. Research supported in part by a grant to the Rockefeller University from the Advanced Research Projects Agency. (RS)

  10. The effects of four variables on the intelligibility of synthesized sentences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conroy, Carol; Raphael, Lawrence J.; Bell-Berti, Fredericka

    2003-10-01

    The experiments reported here examined the effects of four variables on the intelligibilty of synthetic speech: (1) listener age, (2) listener experience, (3) speech rate, and (4) the presence versus absence of interword pauses. The stimuli, eighty IEEE-Harvard Sentences, were generated by a DynaVox augmentative/alternative communication device equipped with a DECtalk synthesizer. The sentences were presented to four groups of 12 listeners each (children (9-11 years), teens (14-16 years), young adults (20-25 years), and adults (38-45 years). In the first experiment the sentences were heard at four rates: 105, 135, 165, and 195 wpm; in the second experiment half of the sentences (presented at two rates: 135 and 165 wpm), contained 250 ms interword pauses. Conditions in both experiments were counterbalanced and no sentence was presented twice. Results indicated a consistent decrease in error rates with increased exposure to the synthesized speech for all age groups. Error rates also varied inversely with listener age. Effects of rate variation were inconsistent across listener groups and between experiments. The presences versus absences of pauses affected listener groups differently: The youngest listeners had higher error rates, and the older listeners lower error rates when interword pauses were included in the stimuli. [Work supported by St. John's University and New York City Board of Education, Technology Solutions, District 75.

  11. Conformal mapping-based hand-written word and sentence representation and recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Megherbi, Dalila B.; Iyassu, Yohannes; Boulenouar, A. J.

    2001-08-01

    In this paper, we introduce a technique for handwritten words and sentences representation and recognition. The proposed method is based on complex variables and conformal mapping methodology. In particular, in a previous work, through a complex variable methodology and conformal mapping process, we demonstrated the ability to recognized shapes and concisely represent shape boundaries using a set of polynomial coefficients derived in the mapping process. In this work we illustrate how these previous results can be applied to hand-written words and sentences. We show that the words/sentences classification techniques used are adapted to the feature-coefficients selected and are based on feature-coefficients similarities in combination with the minimum distance classifier. We use as measures the Euclidean distance as well as the covariance matrix eigen- values distance. Finally, experimental results of handwritten words and sentences are shown to show the power, versatility and robustness of the proposed technique.

  12. Speech Disruptions in the Sentence Formulation of School-Age Children with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Finneran, Denise A.; Leonard, Laurence B.; Miller, Carol A.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Many school-age children with specific language impairment produce sentences that appear to conform to the adult grammar. It may be premature to conclude from this, however, that their language formulation ability is age appropriate. Aims: To determine whether a more subtle measure of language use, speech disruptions during sentence…

  13. Efficacy of Attention to Commas (A2C) Strategy for Sentence Comprehension in English Language Learners (ELLs)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benitez-Rivera, Wilma I.

    2013-01-01

    Reading is an active process where readers sometimes have difficulty understanding what they read. Ultimately, readers are required to combine the meaning of each sentence in a text in order to achieve text-level comprehension. Otherwise, the reader is going to have great difficulty with text-level comprehension. Factors such as sentence length…

  14. Short-Term Memory Retrievals and Expectation in On-Line Sentence Comprehension: The Effects of Recent Linguistic Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartek, Brian D.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding how short-term memory shapes sentence comprehension processes is a long-standing topic in psycholinguistics. This thesis pursues new insights on two facets of short-term memory's role in sentence comprehension: (a) The first four experiments search for, and obtain, concrete evidence that locality effects, or increased integration…

  15. An fMRI study of bilingual sentence comprehension and workload.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Mihoko; Carpenter, Patricia A; Just, Marcel Adam

    2002-03-01

    To examine the relation between the cortical substrates that support the comprehension of one's native language and those that support a second language, fMRI measures of cortical activation were taken as native Japanese participants, who had acquired moderate fluency in English, listened to auditory sentences in Japanese and English. In addition, to examine the impact of processing difficulty within a language, sentence difficulty was manipulated by including affirmative (easy) and negative (hard) sentences. The volume of activation was greater for English in most of the cortical regions, suggesting that more cognitive effort was required to process English. Also, a high percentage of the voxels that were activated for the Japanese condition were also activated for the English condition, with as much overlap between Japanese and English as between the processing of affirmative and negative sentences within Japanese. Negative sentences elicited greater activation than affirmative sentences primarily for English, indicating that the structural difficulty of negation has a larger impact on cortical activation if it occurs in the context of the second language, which may serve as another source of difficulty. These results suggest that a shared network of cortical regions supports the processing of both a first and a second language, such that the second language requires more computation and activity from the network.

  16. Consistency of Sentence Intelligibility across Difficult Listening Situations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Healy, Eric W.; Montgomery, Allen A.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The extent to which a sentence retains its level of spoken intelligibility relative to other sentences in a list under a variety of difficult listening situations was examined. Method: The strength of this "sentence effect" was studied using the Central Institute for the Deaf Everyday Speech sentences and both generalizability analysis…

  17. Distinctiveness and encoding effects in online sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Hofmeister, Philip; Vasishth, Shravan

    2014-01-01

    In explicit memory recall and recognition tasks, elaboration and contextual isolation both facilitate memory performance. Here, we investigate these effects in the context of sentence processing: targets for retrieval during online sentence processing of English object relative clause constructions differ in the amount of elaboration associated with the target noun phrase, or the homogeneity of superficial features (text color). Experiment 1 shows that greater elaboration for targets during the encoding phase reduces reading times at retrieval sites, but elaboration of non-targets has considerably weaker effects. Experiment 2 illustrates that processing isolated superficial features of target noun phrases-here, a green word in a sentence with words colored white-does not lead to enhanced memory performance, despite triggering longer encoding times. These results are interpreted in the light of the memory models of Nairne, 1990, 2001, 2006, which state that encoding remnants contribute to the set of retrieval cues that provide the basis for similarity-based interference effects. PMID:25566105

  18. Distinctiveness and encoding effects in online sentence comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Hofmeister, Philip; Vasishth, Shravan

    2014-01-01

    In explicit memory recall and recognition tasks, elaboration and contextual isolation both facilitate memory performance. Here, we investigate these effects in the context of sentence processing: targets for retrieval during online sentence processing of English object relative clause constructions differ in the amount of elaboration associated with the target noun phrase, or the homogeneity of superficial features (text color). Experiment 1 shows that greater elaboration for targets during the encoding phase reduces reading times at retrieval sites, but elaboration of non-targets has considerably weaker effects. Experiment 2 illustrates that processing isolated superficial features of target noun phrases—here, a green word in a sentence with words colored white—does not lead to enhanced memory performance, despite triggering longer encoding times. These results are interpreted in the light of the memory models of Nairne, 1990, 2001, 2006, which state that encoding remnants contribute to the set of retrieval cues that provide the basis for similarity-based interference effects. PMID:25566105

  19. Training Mentors as Educational Advisors for Adult Learners. Process Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Singer, Elizabeth W.

    Materials used by the director of a project designed to assist key personnel in businesses, industries, and agencies with the educational counseling of their employees are presented. The objectives of the project, "Training Mentors as Educational Advisors of Adult Learners," were to: (1) provide two training sessions in educational counseling…

  20. Writing Versus Reading in Traditional and Functional Adult Literacy Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonanni, C.

    1971-01-01

    The author suggests a novel approach to adult literacy education - stressing expressive writing instead of primer reading, and relating the basic spelling patterns of the written language to the already possessed corresponding sound patterns of the spoken language rather than teaching alphabets and letters. (AN)

  1. Phonologic Processing in Adults Who Stutter: Electrophysiological and Behavioral Evidence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber-Fox, Christine; Spencer, Rebecca M.C.; Spruill, John E., III; Smith, Anne

    2004-01-01

    Event-related brain potentials (ERPs), judgment accuracy, and reaction times (RTs) were obtained for 11 adults who stutter and 11 normally fluent speakers as they performed a rhyme judgment task of visually presented word pairs. Half of the word pairs (i.e., prime and target) were phonologically and orthographically congruent across words. That…

  2. Cerebral Specialization for Spatial Processing in Adults with Down Syndrome.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elliott, Digby; And Others

    1995-01-01

    This study of 34 adults with Down's syndrome found that right-handed subjects exhibited no lateral advantage in dihaptic shape-matching, whereas left-handed subjects displayed an expected left-hand advantage. In a visual field dot enumeration task, both groups exhibited left-field superiority. Results indicate that subjects' atypical cerebral…

  3. Semantics and the Number of English Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bjurlof, Thomas; Jamieson, Dale

    It has long been said that there are an infinite number of English sentences. "This is the cat that caught the rat" is an Enqlish sentence. So is "This is the cat that caught the rat that stole the cheese.""This is the cat with white paws that caught the rat that stole the cheese" is unobjectionable as well. Since a clear cutoff point cannot be…

  4. Binocular coordination: reading stereoscopic sentences in depth.

    PubMed

    Schotter, Elizabeth R; Blythe, Hazel I; Kirkby, Julie A; Rayner, Keith; Holliman, Nicolas S; Liversedge, Simon P

    2012-01-01

    The present study employs a stereoscopic manipulation to present sentences in three dimensions to subjects as they read for comprehension. Subjects read sentences with (a) no depth cues, (b) a monocular depth cue that implied the sentence loomed out of the screen (i.e., increasing retinal size), (c) congruent monocular and binocular (retinal disparity) depth cues (i.e., both implied the sentence loomed out of the screen) and (d) incongruent monocular and binocular depth cues (i.e., the monocular cue implied the sentence loomed out of the screen and the binocular cue implied it receded behind the screen). Reading efficiency was mostly unaffected, suggesting that reading in three dimensions is similar to reading in two dimensions. Importantly, fixation disparity was driven by retinal disparity; fixations were significantly more crossed as readers progressed through the sentence in the congruent condition and significantly more uncrossed in the incongruent condition. We conclude that disparity depth cues are used on-line to drive binocular coordination during reading.

  5. Native and non-native reading of sentences: an fMRI experiment.

    PubMed

    Rüschemeyer, Shirley-Ann; Zysset, Stefan; Friederici, Angela D

    2006-05-15

    The processing of syntactic and semantic information in written sentences by native (L1) and non-native (L2) speakers was investigated in an fMRI experiment. This was done by means of a violation paradigm, in which participants read sentences containing either a syntactic, a semantic, or no violation. The results of this study were compared to those of a previous fMRI study, in which auditory sentence processing in L1 and L2 was investigated. The results indicate greater activation for L2 speakers as compared to L1 speakers when reading sentences in several language- and motor-related brain regions. The processing of syntactically incorrect sentences elicited no reliably greater activation in language areas in L2 speakers. In L1 speakers, on the other hand, syntactic processing, as compared to semantic processing, was associated with increased activation in left mid to posterior superior temporal gyrus. In response to the processing of semantically incorrect sentences, both L2 and L1 speakers demonstrated increased involvement of left inferior frontal gyrus. The results of this study were compared to a previously conducted fMRI study, which made use of identical sentence stimuli in the auditory modality. Results from the two studies are in general agreement with one another, although some differences in the response of brain areas very proximal to primary perceptual processing areas (i.e. primary auditory and visual cortex) were observed in conjunction with presentation in the different modalities. The combined results provide evidence that L1 and L2 speakers rely on the same cortical network to process language, although with a higher level of activation in some regions for L2 processing.

  6. Greater Left Inferior Frontal Activation for SVO than VOS during Sentence Comprehension in Kaqchikel

    PubMed Central

    Koizumi, Masatoshi; Kim, Jungho

    2016-01-01

    Cortical activations during the processing of Kaqchikel transitive sentences with canonical and non-canonical word orders were investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Kaqchikel is an endangered Mayan language spoken in Guatemala. The word order in this language is relatively flexible. We observed higher cortical activations in the left inferior frontal gyrus for sentences with the subject-verb-object (SVO) word order, as compared to sentences with the verb-object-subject (VOS) word order, suggesting that Kaqchikel sentences are easier to process when they have the VOS order than when they have the SVO order. This supports the traditional analysis of Mayan word order: the syntactically simplest word order of transitive sentences in Mayan languages, including Kaqchikel, is VOS. More importantly, the results revealed that the subject-before-object word order preference in sentence comprehension, previously observed in other languages, might not reflect a universal aspect of human languages. Rather, processing preference may be language-specific to some extent, reflecting syntactic differences in individual languages. PMID:27790165

  7. Effects of speech clarity on recognition memory for spoken sentences.

    PubMed

    Van Engen, Kristin J; Chandrasekaran, Bharath; Smiljanic, Rajka

    2012-01-01

    Extensive research shows that inter-talker variability (i.e., changing the talker) affects recognition memory for speech signals. However, relatively little is known about the consequences of intra-talker variability (i.e. changes in speaking style within a talker) on the encoding of speech signals in memory. It is well established that speakers can modulate the characteristics of their own speech and produce a listener-oriented, intelligibility-enhancing speaking style in response to communication demands (e.g., when speaking to listeners with hearing impairment or non-native speakers of the language). Here we conducted two experiments to examine the role of speaking style variation in spoken language processing. First, we examined the extent to which clear speech provided benefits in challenging listening environments (i.e. speech-in-noise). Second, we compared recognition memory for sentences produced in conversational and clear speaking styles. In both experiments, semantically normal and anomalous sentences were included to investigate the role of higher-level linguistic information in the processing of speaking style variability. The results show that acoustic-phonetic modifications implemented in listener-oriented speech lead to improved speech recognition in challenging listening conditions and, crucially, to a substantial enhancement in recognition memory for sentences. PMID:22970141

  8. Left Inferior Frontal Activations Depending on the Canonicity Determined by the Argument Structures of Ditransitive Sentences: An MEG Study

    PubMed Central

    Inubushi, Tomoo; Iijima, Kazuki; Koizumi, Masatoshi; Sakai, Kuniyoshi L.

    2012-01-01

    To elucidate the relationships between syntactic and semantic processes, one interesting question is how syntactic structures are constructed by the argument structure of a verb, where each argument corresponds to a semantic role of each noun phrase (NP). Here we examined the effects of possessivity [sentences with or without a possessor] and canonicity [canonical or noncanonical word orders] using Japanese ditransitive sentences. During a syntactic decision task, the syntactic structure of each sentence would be constructed in an incremental manner based on the predicted argument structure of the ditransitive verb in a verb-final construction. Using magnetoencephalography, we found a significant canonicity effect on the current density in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) at 530–550 ms after the verb onset. This effect was selective to canonical sentences, and significant even when the precedent NP was physically identical. We suggest that the predictive effects associated with syntactic processing became larger for canonical sentences, where the NPs and verb were merged with a minimum structural distance, leading to the left IFG activations. For monotransitive and intransitive verbs, in which structural computation of the sentences was simpler than that of ditransitive sentences, we observed a significant effect selective to noncanonical sentences in the temporoparietal regions during 480–670 ms. This effect probably reflects difficulty in semantic processing of noncanonical sentences. These results demonstrate that the left IFG plays a predictive role in syntactic processing, which depends on the canonicity determined by argument structures, whereas other temporoparietal regions would subserve more semantic aspects of sentence processing. PMID:22629366

  9. Reconstructing from a degraded trace: a study of sentence repetition in agrammatism.

    PubMed

    Ostrin, R K; Schwartz, M F

    1986-07-01

    Six agrammatic aphasics repeated simple active and passive voice sentences, varying in degree of semantic constraint: plausible, reversible, and implausible. Frequency of correct response was not sensitive to this semantic manipulation, but error pattern was. In general, errors to plausible targets consisted of relatively inconsequential transformation of the open or closed class vocabulary, while errors to implausible targets implicated a change of syntactic voice. In making these errors, the patients displayed evidence of productive control of the passive morphology and a degree of sensitivity to the syntactic and thematic consequences consequences of passive voice. The repetition errors did not transform the surface order of the major lexical items. The results are interpreted as evidence for a sentence memory trace that preserves, minimally, the major grammatical roles of the target sentence and that serves as input to a reconstructive process that is biased toward the production of semantically plausible sentences.

  10. On the nature of hand-action representations evoked during written sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Bub, Daniel N; Masson, Michael E J

    2010-09-01

    We examine the nature of motor representations evoked during comprehension of written sentences describing hand actions. We distinguish between two kinds of hand actions: a functional action, applied when using the object for its intended purpose, and a volumetric action, applied when picking up or holding the object. In Experiment 1, initial activation of both action representations was followed by selection of the functional action, regardless of sentence context. Experiment 2 showed that when the sentence was followed by a picture of the object, clear context-specific effects on evoked action representations were obtained. Experiment 3 established that when a picture of an object was presented alone, the time course of both functional and volumetric actions was the same. These results provide evidence that representations of object-related hand actions are evoked as part of sentence processing. In addition, we discuss the conditions that elicit context-specific evocation of motor representations.

  11. Childhood social inequalities influences neural processes in young adult caregiving.

    PubMed

    Kim, Pilyoung; Ho, Shaun S; Evans, Gary W; Liberzon, Israel; Swain, James E

    2015-12-01

    Childhood poverty is associated with harsh parenting with a risk of transmission to the next generation. This prospective study examined the relations between childhood poverty and non-parent adults' neural responses to infant cry sounds. While no main effects of poverty were revealed in contrasts of infant cry versus acoustically matched white noise, a gender by childhood poverty interaction emerged. In females, childhood poverty was associated with increased neural activations in the posterior insula, striatum, calcarine sulcus, hippocampus, and fusiform gyrus, while, in males, childhood poverty was associated with reduced levels of neural responses to infant cry in the same regions. Irrespective of gender, neural activation in these regions was associated with higher levels of annoyance with the cry sound and reduced desire to approach the crying infant. The findings suggest gender differences in neural and emotional responses to infant cry sounds among young adults growing up in poverty.

  12. Neural processing of emotional pictures and words: a comparison of young and older adults.

    PubMed

    Leclerc, Christina M; Kensinger, Elizabeth A

    2011-01-01

    Recent findings have revealed age-related changes in neural recruitment during the processing of emotional information. The present study examined whether these age-related changes would be more pronounced for words, thought to be processed in a controlled manner versus relatively automatically processed pictures. Compared to young adults, older adults showed less amygdala activation, and more medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation, for negative than positive pictures. The opposite pattern was observed for words. Older adults showed a positivity effect in memory for words, but not for pictures, suggesting that their positivity effect may stem from age-related changes in medial PFC engagement during encoding.

  13. Processing of Facial Expressions of Emotions by Adults with Down Syndrome and Moderate Intellectual Disability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carvajal, Fernando; Fernandez-Alcaraz, Camino; Rueda, Maria; Sarrion, Louise

    2012-01-01

    The processing of facial expressions of emotions by 23 adults with Down syndrome and moderate intellectual disability was compared with that of adults with intellectual disability of other etiologies (24 matched in cognitive level and 26 with mild intellectual disability). Each participant performed 4 tasks of the Florida Affect Battery and an…

  14. The Processes that Promote Learning in Adult Mentoring and Coaching Dyadic Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marx, Michael J.

    2009-01-01

    This is a study of 10 adults participating in one-to-one mentoring and/or coaching. Participants were selected for interviewing through a purposive sampling process from leading international mentoring and coaching organizations. Selection criteria included (a) being an adult, (b) participating in a dyadic learning, and (c) regarding that…

  15. The Processing Behaviours of Adult Second Language Learners and Their Relationship to Second Language Proficiency.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mangubhai, Francis

    1991-01-01

    Investigated the behaviors for processing language input demonstrated by five adults beginning to learn Hindi as a second language through the Total Physical Response method. The study suggests that, when adult learners are provided with comprehensive input, they engage in a variety of behaviors to extract meaning from it. (73 references) (GLR)

  16. Variability of the Aging Process in Dementia-Free Adults with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsao, Raphaele; Kindelberger, Cecile; Freminville, Benedicte; Touraine, Renaud; Bussey, Gerald

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this cross-sectional study was to analyze the typical aging process in adults with Down syndrome, focusing on its variability. The sample comprised 120 adults with Down syndrome who were free of dementia. Ages ranged from 20 to 69 years. Each participant was assessed on cognitive functioning and social adaptation, and was checked for…

  17. Nutrition and the Older Adult. Module A-9. Block A. Basic Knowledge of the Aging Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harvey, Dexter; Cap, Orest

    This instructional module on nutrition and the older adult is one in a block of 10 modules designed to provide the human services worker who works with older adults with basic information regarding the aging process. An introduction provides an overview of the module content. A listing of general objectives follows. Five sections present…

  18. The Development of Global and Local Processing: A Comparison of Children to Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Eric; Peterson, Robin L.

    2014-01-01

    In light of the adult model of a hemispheric asymmetry of global and local processing, we compared children (M [subscript age] = 8.4 years) to adults in a global-local reaction time (RT) paradigm. Hierarchical designs (large shapes made of small shapes) were presented randomly to each visual field, and participants were instructed to identify…

  19. Face Processing and Facial Emotion Recognition in Adults with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barisnikov, Koviljka; Hippolyte, Loyse; Van der Linden, Martial

    2008-01-01

    Face processing and facial expression recognition was investigated in 17 adults with Down syndrome, and results were compared with those of a child control group matched for receptive vocabulary. On the tasks involving faces without emotional content, the adults with Down syndrome performed significantly worse than did the controls. However, their…

  20. The Effects of Concurrent Cognitive Load on Phonological Processing in Adults Who Stutter

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Robin M.; Fox, Robert A.; Jacewicz, Ewa

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To determine whether phonological processing in adults who stutter (AWS) is disrupted by increased amounts of cognitive load in a concurrent attention-demanding task. Method: Nine AWS and 9 adults who do not stutter (AWNS) participated. Using a dual-task paradigm, the authors presented word pairs for rhyme judgments and, concurrently,…