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Sample records for evolution cognition language

  1. Social Cognition and the Evolution of Language: Constructing Cognitive Phylogenies

    PubMed Central

    Fitch, W. Tecumseh; Huber, Ludwig; Bugnyar, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Human language and social cognition are closely linked: advanced social cognition is necessary for children to acquire language, and language allows forms of social understanding (and, more broadly, culture) that would otherwise be impossible. Both “language” and “social cognition” are complex constructs, involving many independent cognitive mechanisms, and the comparative approach provides a powerful route to understanding the evolution of such mechanisms. We provide a broad comparative review of mechanisms underlying social intelligence in vertebrates, with the goal of determining which human mechanisms are broadly shared, which have evolved in parallel in other clades, and which, potentially, are uniquely developed in our species. We emphasize the importance of convergent evolution for testing hypotheses about neural mechanisms and their evolution. PMID:20346756

  2. Why language really is not a communication system: a cognitive view of language evolution.

    PubMed

    Reboul, Anne C

    2015-01-01

    While most evolutionary scenarios for language see it as a communication system with consequences on the language-ready brain, there are major difficulties for such a view. First, language has a core combination of features-semanticity, discrete infinity, and decoupling-that makes it unique among communication systems and that raise deep problems for the view that it evolved for communication. Second, extant models of communication systems-the code model of communication (Millikan, 2005) and the ostensive model of communication (Scott-Phillips, 2015) cannot account for language evolution. I propose an alternative view, according to which language first evolved as a cognitive tool, following Fodor's (1975, 2008) Language of Thought Hypothesis, and was then exapted (externalized) for communication. On this view, a language-ready brain is a brain profoundly reorganized in terms of connectivity, allowing the human conceptual system to emerge, triggering the emergence of syntax. Language as used in communication inherited its core combination of features from the Language of Thought. PMID:26441802

  3. Why language really is not a communication system: a cognitive view of language evolution

    PubMed Central

    Reboul, Anne C.

    2015-01-01

    While most evolutionary scenarios for language see it as a communication system with consequences on the language-ready brain, there are major difficulties for such a view. First, language has a core combination of features—semanticity, discrete infinity, and decoupling—that makes it unique among communication systems and that raise deep problems for the view that it evolved for communication. Second, extant models of communication systems—the code model of communication (Millikan, 2005) and the ostensive model of communication (Scott-Phillips, 2015) cannot account for language evolution. I propose an alternative view, according to which language first evolved as a cognitive tool, following Fodor’s (1975, 2008) Language of Thought Hypothesis, and was then exapted (externalized) for communication. On this view, a language-ready brain is a brain profoundly reorganized in terms of connectivity, allowing the human conceptual system to emerge, triggering the emergence of syntax. Language as used in communication inherited its core combination of features from the Language of Thought. PMID:26441802

  4. Nitric oxide signaling in the development and evolution of language and cognitive circuits.

    PubMed

    Funk, Owen H; Kwan, Kenneth Y

    2014-09-01

    The neocortex underlies not only remarkable motor and sensory capabilities, but also some of our most distinctly human cognitive functions. The emergence of these higher functions during evolution was accompanied by structural changes in the neocortex, including the acquisition of areal specializations such as Broca's speech and language area. The study of these evolutionary mechanisms, which likely involve species-dependent gene expression and function, represents a substantial challenge. These species differences, however, may represent valuable opportunities to understand the molecular underpinnings of neocortical evolution. Here, we discuss nitric oxide signaling as a candidate mechanism in the assembly of neocortical circuits underlying language and higher cognitive functions. This hypothesis was based on the highly specific mid-fetal pattern of nitric oxide synthase 1 (NOS1, previously nNOS) expression in the pyramidal (projection) neurons of two human neocortical areas respectively involved in speech and language, and higher cognition; the frontal operculum (FOp) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). This expression is transiently present during mid-gestation, suggesting that NOS1 may be involved in the development of these areas and the assembly of their neural circuits. As no other gene product is known to exhibit such exquisite spatiotemporal expression, NOS1 represents a remarkable candidate for these functions. PMID:24933499

  5. Nitric oxide signaling in the development and evolution of language and cognitive circuits.

    PubMed

    Funk, Owen H; Kwan, Kenneth Y

    2014-09-01

    The neocortex underlies not only remarkable motor and sensory capabilities, but also some of our most distinctly human cognitive functions. The emergence of these higher functions during evolution was accompanied by structural changes in the neocortex, including the acquisition of areal specializations such as Broca's speech and language area. The study of these evolutionary mechanisms, which likely involve species-dependent gene expression and function, represents a substantial challenge. These species differences, however, may represent valuable opportunities to understand the molecular underpinnings of neocortical evolution. Here, we discuss nitric oxide signaling as a candidate mechanism in the assembly of neocortical circuits underlying language and higher cognitive functions. This hypothesis was based on the highly specific mid-fetal pattern of nitric oxide synthase 1 (NOS1, previously nNOS) expression in the pyramidal (projection) neurons of two human neocortical areas respectively involved in speech and language, and higher cognition; the frontal operculum (FOp) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). This expression is transiently present during mid-gestation, suggesting that NOS1 may be involved in the development of these areas and the assembly of their neural circuits. As no other gene product is known to exhibit such exquisite spatiotemporal expression, NOS1 represents a remarkable candidate for these functions.

  6. The knowledge instinct, cognitive algorithms, modeling of language and cultural evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perlovsky, Leonid I.

    2008-04-01

    The talk discusses mechanisms of the mind and their engineering applications. The past attempts at designing "intelligent systems" encountered mathematical difficulties related to algorithmic complexity. The culprit turned out to be logic, which in one way or another was used not only in logic rule systems, but also in statistical, neural, and fuzzy systems. Algorithmic complexity is related to Godel's theory, a most fundamental mathematical result. These difficulties were overcome by replacing logic with a dynamic process "from vague to crisp," dynamic logic. It leads to algorithms overcoming combinatorial complexity, and resulting in orders of magnitude improvement in classical problems of detection, tracking, fusion, and prediction in noise. I present engineering applications to pattern recognition, detection, tracking, fusion, financial predictions, and Internet search engines. Mathematical and engineering efficiency of dynamic logic can also be understood as cognitive algorithm, which describes fundamental property of the mind, the knowledge instinct responsible for all our higher cognitive functions: concepts, perception, cognition, instincts, imaginations, intuitions, emotions, including emotions of the beautiful. I present our latest results in modeling evolution of languages and cultures, their interactions in these processes, and role of music in cultural evolution. Experimental data is presented that support the theory. Future directions are outlined.

  7. Language and cognition interaction neural mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Perlovsky, Leonid

    2011-01-01

    How language and cognition interact in thinking? Is language just used for communication of completed thoughts, or is it fundamental for thinking? Existing approaches have not led to a computational theory. We develop a hypothesis that language and cognition are two separate but closely interacting mechanisms. Language accumulates cultural wisdom; cognition develops mental representations modeling surrounding world and adapts cultural knowledge to concrete circumstances of life. Language is acquired from surrounding language "ready-made" and therefore can be acquired early in life. This early acquisition of language in childhood encompasses the entire hierarchy from sounds to words, to phrases, and to highest concepts existing in culture. Cognition is developed from experience. Yet cognition cannot be acquired from experience alone; language is a necessary intermediary, a "teacher." A mathematical model is developed; it overcomes previous difficulties and leads to a computational theory. This model is consistent with Arbib's "language prewired brain" built on top of mirror neuron system. It models recent neuroimaging data about cognition, remaining unnoticed by other theories. A number of properties of language and cognition are explained, which previously seemed mysterious, including influence of language grammar on cultural evolution, which may explain specifics of English and Arabic cultures.

  8. Language and Cognition Interaction Neural Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Perlovsky, Leonid

    2011-01-01

    How language and cognition interact in thinking? Is language just used for communication of completed thoughts, or is it fundamental for thinking? Existing approaches have not led to a computational theory. We develop a hypothesis that language and cognition are two separate but closely interacting mechanisms. Language accumulates cultural wisdom; cognition develops mental representations modeling surrounding world and adapts cultural knowledge to concrete circumstances of life. Language is acquired from surrounding language “ready-made” and therefore can be acquired early in life. This early acquisition of language in childhood encompasses the entire hierarchy from sounds to words, to phrases, and to highest concepts existing in culture. Cognition is developed from experience. Yet cognition cannot be acquired from experience alone; language is a necessary intermediary, a “teacher.” A mathematical model is developed; it overcomes previous difficulties and leads to a computational theory. This model is consistent with Arbib's “language prewired brain” built on top of mirror neuron system. It models recent neuroimaging data about cognition, remaining unnoticed by other theories. A number of properties of language and cognition are explained, which previously seemed mysterious, including influence of language grammar on cultural evolution, which may explain specifics of English and Arabic cultures. PMID:21876687

  9. Language evolution in the laboratory.

    PubMed

    Scott-Phillips, Thomas C; Kirby, Simon

    2010-09-01

    The historical origins of natural language cannot be observed directly. We can, however, study systems that support language and we can also develop models that explore the plausibility of different hypotheses about how language emerged. More recently, evolutionary linguists have begun to conduct language evolution experiments in the laboratory, where the emergence of new languages used by human participants can be observed directly. This enables researchers to study both the cognitive capacities necessary for language and the ways in which languages themselves emerge. One theme that runs through this work is how individual-level behaviours result in population-level linguistic phenomena. A central challenge for the future will be to explore how different forms of information transmission affect this process.

  10. Language evolution in the laboratory.

    PubMed

    Scott-Phillips, Thomas C; Kirby, Simon

    2010-09-01

    The historical origins of natural language cannot be observed directly. We can, however, study systems that support language and we can also develop models that explore the plausibility of different hypotheses about how language emerged. More recently, evolutionary linguists have begun to conduct language evolution experiments in the laboratory, where the emergence of new languages used by human participants can be observed directly. This enables researchers to study both the cognitive capacities necessary for language and the ways in which languages themselves emerge. One theme that runs through this work is how individual-level behaviours result in population-level linguistic phenomena. A central challenge for the future will be to explore how different forms of information transmission affect this process. PMID:20675183

  11. The Evolution of Language

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowak, Martin A.; Krakauer, David C.

    1999-07-01

    The emergence of language was a defining moment in the evolution of modern humans. It was an innovation that changed radically the character of human society. Here, we provide an approach to language evolution based on evolutionary game theory. We explore the ways in which protolanguages can evolve in a nonlinguistic society and how specific signals can become associated with specific objects. We assume that early in the evolution of language, errors in signaling and perception would be common. We model the probability of misunderstanding a signal and show that this limits the number of objects that can be described by a protolanguage. This "error limit" is not overcome by employing more sounds but by combining a small set of more easily distinguishable sounds into words. The process of "word formation" enables a language to encode an essentially unlimited number of objects. Next, we analyze how words can be combined into sentences and specify the conditions for the evolution of very simple grammatical rules. We argue that grammar originated as a simplified rule system that evolved by natural selection to reduce mistakes in communication. Our theory provides a systematic approach for thinking about the origin and evolution of human language.

  12. Archaeology and cognitive evolution.

    PubMed

    Wynn, Thomas

    2002-06-01

    Archaeology can provide two bodies of information relevant to the understanding of the evolution of human cognition--the timing of developments, and the evolutionary context of these developments. The challenge is methodological. Archaeology must document attributes that have direct implications for underlying cognitive mechanisms. One example of such a cognitive archaeology is found in spatial cognition. The archaeological record documents an evolutionary sequence that begins with ape-equivalent spatial abilities 2.5 million years ago and ends with the appearance of modern abilities in the still remote past of 400,000 years ago. The timing of these developments reveals two major episodes in the evolution in spatial ability, one, 1.5 million years ago and the other, one million years later. The two episodes of development in spatial cognition had very different evolutionary contexts. The first was associated with the shift to an open country adaptive niche that occurred early in the time range of Homo erectus. The second was associated with no clear adaptive shift, though it does appear to have coincided with the invasion of more hostile environments and the appearance of systematic hunting of large mammals. Neither, however, occurred in a context of modern hunting and gathering.

  13. Evolution of Brain and Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schoenemann, P. Thomas

    2009-01-01

    The evolution of language and the evolution of the brain are tightly interlinked. Language evolution represents a special kind of adaptation, in part because language is a complex behavior (as opposed to a physical feature) but also because changes are adaptive only to the extent that they increase either one's understanding of others, or one's…

  14. Triadic (ecological, neural, cognitive) niche construction: a scenario of human brain evolution extrapolating tool use and language from the control of reaching actions.

    PubMed

    Iriki, Atsushi; Taoka, Miki

    2012-01-12

    Hominin evolution has involved a continuous process of addition of new kinds of cognitive capacity, including those relating to manufacture and use of tools and to the establishment of linguistic faculties. The dramatic expansion of the brain that accompanied additions of new functional areas would have supported such continuous evolution. Extended brain functions would have driven rapid and drastic changes in the hominin ecological niche, which in turn demanded further brain resources to adapt to it. In this way, humans have constructed a novel niche in each of the ecological, cognitive and neural domains, whose interactions accelerated their individual evolution through a process of triadic niche construction. Human higher cognitive activity can therefore be viewed holistically as one component in a terrestrial ecosystem. The brain's functional characteristics seem to play a key role in this triadic interaction. We advance a speculative argument about the origins of its neurobiological mechanisms, as an extension (with wider scope) of the evolutionary principles of adaptive function in the animal nervous system. The brain mechanisms that subserve tool use may bridge the gap between gesture and language--the site of such integration seems to be the parietal and extending opercular cortices.

  15. Culture shapes the evolution of cognition.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Bill; Kirby, Simon; Smith, Kenny

    2016-04-19

    A central debate in cognitive science concerns the nativist hypothesis, the proposal that universal features of behavior reflect a biologically determined cognitive substrate: For example, linguistic nativism proposes a domain-specific faculty of language that strongly constrains which languages can be learned. An evolutionary stance appears to provide support for linguistic nativism, because coordinated constraints on variation may facilitate communication and therefore be adaptive. However, language, like many other human behaviors, is underpinned by social learning and cultural transmission alongside biological evolution. We set out two models of these interactions, which show how culture can facilitate rapid biological adaptation yet rule out strong nativization. The amplifying effects of culture can allow weak cognitive biases to have significant population-level consequences, radically increasing the evolvability of weak, defeasible inductive biases; however, the emergence of a strong cultural universal does not imply, nor lead to, nor require, strong innate constraints. From this we must conclude, on evolutionary grounds, that the strong nativist hypothesis for language is false. More generally, because such reciprocal interactions between cultural and biological evolution are not limited to language, nativist explanations for many behaviors should be reconsidered: Evolutionary reasoning shows how we can have cognitively driven behavioral universals and yet extreme plasticity at the level of the individual-if, and only if, we account for the human capacity to transmit knowledge culturally. Wherever culture is involved, weak cognitive biases rather than strong innate constraints should be the default assumption.

  16. Culture shapes the evolution of cognition

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Bill; Kirby, Simon; Smith, Kenny

    2016-01-01

    A central debate in cognitive science concerns the nativist hypothesis, the proposal that universal features of behavior reflect a biologically determined cognitive substrate: For example, linguistic nativism proposes a domain-specific faculty of language that strongly constrains which languages can be learned. An evolutionary stance appears to provide support for linguistic nativism, because coordinated constraints on variation may facilitate communication and therefore be adaptive. However, language, like many other human behaviors, is underpinned by social learning and cultural transmission alongside biological evolution. We set out two models of these interactions, which show how culture can facilitate rapid biological adaptation yet rule out strong nativization. The amplifying effects of culture can allow weak cognitive biases to have significant population-level consequences, radically increasing the evolvability of weak, defeasible inductive biases; however, the emergence of a strong cultural universal does not imply, nor lead to, nor require, strong innate constraints. From this we must conclude, on evolutionary grounds, that the strong nativist hypothesis for language is false. More generally, because such reciprocal interactions between cultural and biological evolution are not limited to language, nativist explanations for many behaviors should be reconsidered: Evolutionary reasoning shows how we can have cognitively driven behavioral universals and yet extreme plasticity at the level of the individual—if, and only if, we account for the human capacity to transmit knowledge culturally. Wherever culture is involved, weak cognitive biases rather than strong innate constraints should be the default assumption. PMID:27044094

  17. Evolution, brain, and the nature of language.

    PubMed

    Berwick, Robert C; Friederici, Angela D; Chomsky, Noam; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2013-02-01

    Language serves as a cornerstone for human cognition, yet much about its evolution remains puzzling. Recent research on this question parallels Darwin's attempt to explain both the unity of all species and their diversity. What has emerged from this research is that the unified nature of human language arises from a shared, species-specific computational ability. This ability has identifiable correlates in the brain and has remained fixed since the origin of language approximately 100 thousand years ago. Although songbirds share with humans a vocal imitation learning ability, with a similar underlying neural organization, language is uniquely human.

  18. Modeling Educational Content: The Cognitive Approach of the PALO Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodriguez-Artacho, Miguel; Verdejo Maillo, M. Felisa

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents a reference framework to describe educational material. It introduces the PALO Language as a cognitive based approach to Educational Modeling Languages (EML). In accordance with recent trends for reusability and interoperability in Learning Technologies, EML constitutes an evolution of the current content-centered…

  19. Language Diversity and Cognitive Representations. Human Cognitive Processing, Volume 3.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuchs, Catherine, Ed.; Robert, Stephane, Ed.

    This book brings together the contributions of individual language scholars, linguists, anthropologists, psychologists, and neurophysicians. Each chapter focuses on the human cognitive processes involved in language activity and the impact of language diversity on them. The basic issue is how to correlate language diversity with the universality…

  20. Evolution of speech-specific cognitive adaptations

    PubMed Central

    de Boer, Bart

    2015-01-01

    This paper argues that an evolutionary perspective is natural when investigating cognitive adaptations related to language. This is because there appears to be correspondence between traits that linguists consider interesting and traits that have undergone selective pressure related to language. The paper briefly reviews theoretical results that shed light on what kind of adaptations we can expect to have evolved and then reviews concrete work related to the evolution of adaptations for combinatorial speech. It turns out that there is as yet no strong direct evidence for cognitive traits that have undergone selection related to speech, but there is indirect evidence that indicates selection. However, the traits that may have undergone selection are expected to be continuously variable ones, rather than the discrete ones that linguists have focused on traditionally. PMID:26483746

  1. Evolution of speech-specific cognitive adaptations.

    PubMed

    de Boer, Bart

    2015-01-01

    This paper argues that an evolutionary perspective is natural when investigating cognitive adaptations related to language. This is because there appears to be correspondence between traits that linguists consider interesting and traits that have undergone selective pressure related to language. The paper briefly reviews theoretical results that shed light on what kind of adaptations we can expect to have evolved and then reviews concrete work related to the evolution of adaptations for combinatorial speech. It turns out that there is as yet no strong direct evidence for cognitive traits that have undergone selection related to speech, but there is indirect evidence that indicates selection. However, the traits that may have undergone selection are expected to be continuously variable ones, rather than the discrete ones that linguists have focused on traditionally.

  2. Extended, Embodied Cognition and Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atkinson, Dwight

    2010-01-01

    A "cognitivist" approach to cognition has traditionally dominated second language acquisition (SLA) studies. In this article, I examine two alternative approaches--"extended cognition" and "embodied cognition"--for how they might help us conceptualize SLA. More specifically, I present: (i) summaries of extended and embodied cognition, followed by…

  3. Human evolution and cognition.

    PubMed

    Tattersall, Ian

    2010-09-01

    Human beings are distinguished from all other organisms by their symbolic way of processing information about the world. This unique cognitive style is qualitatively different from all the earlier hominid cognitive styles, and is not simply an improved version of them. The hominid fossil and archaeological records show clearly that biological and technological innovations have typically been highly sporadic, and totally out of phase, since the invention of stone tools some 2.5 million years ago. They also confirm that this pattern applied in the arrival of modern cognition: the anatomically recognizable species Homo sapiens was well established long before any population of it began to show indications of behaving symbolically. This places the origin of symbolic thought in the realms of exaptation, whereby new structures come into existence before being recruited to new uses, and of emergence, whereby entire new levels of complexity are achieved through new combinations of attributes unremarkable in themselves. Both these phenomena involve entirely routine evolutionary processes; special as we human beings may consider ourselves, there was nothing special about the way we came into existence. Modern human cognition is a very recent acquisition; and its emergence ushered in an entirely new pattern of technological (and other behavioral) innovation, in which constant change results from the ceaseless exploration of the potential inherent in our new capacity.

  4. The evolution of cognitive control.

    PubMed

    Stout, Dietrich

    2010-10-01

    One of the key challenges confronting cognitive science is to discover natural categories of cognitive function. Of special interest is the unity or diversity of cognitive control mechanisms. Evolutionary history is an underutilized resource that, together with neuropsychological and neuroscientific evidence, can help to provide a biological ground for the fractionation of cognitive control. Comparative evidence indicates that primate brain evolution has produced dissociable mechanisms for external action control and internal self-regulation, but that most real-world behaviors rely on a combination of these. The archeological record further indicates the timing and context of distinctively human elaborations to these cognitive control functions, including the gradual emergence of increasingly complex hierarchical action control.

  5. Cognition and Written Language: A Symposium.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Purves, Alan, Ed.

    Originally presented at a symposium on cognition and written language, the 14 papers in this collection discuss research findings regarding reading and writing processes, ways that the development of effective reading and writing can be abetted by instruction, and research needs in the area of cognition and written language. The papers focus on…

  6. Music, evolution and language.

    PubMed

    Masataka, Nobuo

    2007-01-01

    Darwin (1871) noted that the human musical faculty 'must be ranked amongst the most mysterious with which he is endowed'. Indeed, previous research with human infants and young children has revealed that we are born with variable musical capabilities. Here, the adaptive purpose served by these differing capabilities is discussed with reference to comparative findings regarding the acoustic behavior of nonhuman primates. The findings provide evidence supporting Darwin's hypothesis of an intermediate stage of human evolutionary history characterized by a communication system that resembles music more closely than language and possibly acting as a precursor for both current language and music.

  7. Cognitive Linguistics and the Second Language Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holme, Randal

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive Linguistics (CL) makes the functional assumption that form is motivated by meaning. CL also analyses form-meaning pairings as products of how cognition structures perception. CL thus helps teachers to fit language to the nature of the cognition that learns whilst devising modes of instruction that are better attuned to the nature of the…

  8. Joint attention and language evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwisthout, Johan; Vogt, Paul; Haselager, Pim; Dijkstra, Ton

    2008-06-01

    This study investigates how more advanced joint attentional mechanisms, rather than only shared attention between two agents and an object, can be implemented and how they influence the results of language games played by these agents. We present computer simulations with language games showing that adding constructs that mimic the three stages of joint attention identified in children's early development (checking attention, following attention, and directing attention) substantially increase the performance of agents in these language games. In particular, the rates of improved performance for the individual attentional mechanisms have the same ordering as that of the emergence of these mechanisms in infants' development. These results suggest that language evolution and joint attentional mechanisms have developed in a co-evolutionary way, and that the evolutionary emergence of the individual attentional mechanisms is ordered just like their developmental emergence.

  9. The cognitive neuroscience of signed language.

    PubMed

    Rönnberg, J; Söderfeldt, B; Risberg, J

    2000-12-01

    The present article is an assessment of the current state of knowledge in the field of cognitive neuroscience of signed language. Reviewed lesion data show that the left hemisphere is dominant for perception and production of signed language in aphasics, in a fashion similar to spoken language aphasia. Several neuropsychological dissociations support this claim: Non-linguistic visuospatial functions can be dissociated from spatial functions and general motor deficits can be dissociated from execution of signs. Reviewed imaging data corroborate the lesion data in that the importance of the left hemisphere is re-confirmed. The data also establish the role of the right hemisphere in signed language processing. Alternative hypotheses regarding what aspects of signed language processing are handled by the right hemisphere are currently tested. The second section of the paper starts by addressing the role that early acquisition of signed and spoken language play for the neurofunctional activation patterns in the brain. Compensatory cognitive and communicative enhancements have also been documented as a function of early sign language use, suggesting an interesting interaction between language and cognition. Recent behavioural data on sign processing in working memory--a cognitive system important for language perception and production suggest e.g. phonological loop effects analogous to those obtained for speech processing. Neuroimaging studies will have to address this potential communality. PMID:11194414

  10. A Proposed Neurological Interpretation of Language Evolution.

    PubMed

    Ardila, Alfredo

    2015-01-01

    Since the very beginning of the aphasia history it has been well established that there are two major aphasic syndromes (Wernicke's-type and Broca's-type aphasia); each one of them is related to the disturbance at a specific linguistic level (lexical/semantic and grammatical) and associated with a particular brain damage localization (temporal and frontal-subcortical). It is proposed that three stages in language evolution could be distinguished: (a) primitive communication systems similar to those observed in other animals, including nonhuman primates; (b) initial communication systems using sound combinations (lexicon) but without relationships among the elements (grammar); and (c) advanced communication systems including word-combinations (grammar). It is proposed that grammar probably originated from the internal representation of actions, resulting in the creation of verbs; this is an ability that depends on the so-called Broca's area and related brain networks. It is suggested that grammar is the basic ability for the development of so-called metacognitive executive functions. It is concluded that while the lexical/semantic language system (vocabulary) probably appeared during human evolution long before the contemporary man (Homo sapiens sapiens), the grammatical language historically represents a recent acquisition and is correlated with the development of complex cognition (metacognitive executive functions). PMID:26124540

  11. A Proposed Neurological Interpretation of Language Evolution.

    PubMed

    Ardila, Alfredo

    2015-01-01

    Since the very beginning of the aphasia history it has been well established that there are two major aphasic syndromes (Wernicke's-type and Broca's-type aphasia); each one of them is related to the disturbance at a specific linguistic level (lexical/semantic and grammatical) and associated with a particular brain damage localization (temporal and frontal-subcortical). It is proposed that three stages in language evolution could be distinguished: (a) primitive communication systems similar to those observed in other animals, including nonhuman primates; (b) initial communication systems using sound combinations (lexicon) but without relationships among the elements (grammar); and (c) advanced communication systems including word-combinations (grammar). It is proposed that grammar probably originated from the internal representation of actions, resulting in the creation of verbs; this is an ability that depends on the so-called Broca's area and related brain networks. It is suggested that grammar is the basic ability for the development of so-called metacognitive executive functions. It is concluded that while the lexical/semantic language system (vocabulary) probably appeared during human evolution long before the contemporary man (Homo sapiens sapiens), the grammatical language historically represents a recent acquisition and is correlated with the development of complex cognition (metacognitive executive functions).

  12. A Proposed Neurological Interpretation of Language Evolution

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Since the very beginning of the aphasia history it has been well established that there are two major aphasic syndromes (Wernicke's-type and Broca's-type aphasia); each one of them is related to the disturbance at a specific linguistic level (lexical/semantic and grammatical) and associated with a particular brain damage localization (temporal and frontal-subcortical). It is proposed that three stages in language evolution could be distinguished: (a) primitive communication systems similar to those observed in other animals, including nonhuman primates; (b) initial communication systems using sound combinations (lexicon) but without relationships among the elements (grammar); and (c) advanced communication systems including word-combinations (grammar). It is proposed that grammar probably originated from the internal representation of actions, resulting in the creation of verbs; this is an ability that depends on the so-called Broca's area and related brain networks. It is suggested that grammar is the basic ability for the development of so-called metacognitive executive functions. It is concluded that while the lexical/semantic language system (vocabulary) probably appeared during human evolution long before the contemporary man (Homo sapiens sapiens), the grammatical language historically represents a recent acquisition and is correlated with the development of complex cognition (metacognitive executive functions). PMID:26124540

  13. Triadic (ecological, neural, cognitive) niche construction: a scenario of human brain evolution extrapolating tool use and language from the control of reaching actions

    PubMed Central

    Iriki, Atsushi; Taoka, Miki

    2012-01-01

    Hominin evolution has involved a continuous process of addition of new kinds of cognitive capacity, including those relating to manufacture and use of tools and to the establishment of linguistic faculties. The dramatic expansion of the brain that accompanied additions of new functional areas would have supported such continuous evolution. Extended brain functions would have driven rapid and drastic changes in the hominin ecological niche, which in turn demanded further brain resources to adapt to it. In this way, humans have constructed a novel niche in each of the ecological, cognitive and neural domains, whose interactions accelerated their individual evolution through a process of triadic niche construction. Human higher cognitive activity can therefore be viewed holistically as one component in a terrestrial ecosystem. The brain's functional characteristics seem to play a key role in this triadic interaction. We advance a speculative argument about the origins of its neurobiological mechanisms, as an extension (with wider scope) of the evolutionary principles of adaptive function in the animal nervous system. The brain mechanisms that subserve tool use may bridge the gap between gesture and language—the site of such integration seems to be the parietal and extending opercular cortices. PMID:22106423

  14. The mystery of language evolution

    PubMed Central

    Hauser, Marc D.; Yang, Charles; Berwick, Robert C.; Tattersall, Ian; Ryan, Michael J.; Watumull, Jeffrey; Chomsky, Noam; Lewontin, Richard C.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved. We show that, to date, (1) studies of nonhuman animals provide virtually no relevant parallels to human linguistic communication, and none to the underlying biological capacity; (2) the fossil and archaeological evidence does not inform our understanding of the computations and representations of our earliest ancestors, leaving details of origins and selective pressure unresolved; (3) our understanding of the genetics of language is so impoverished that there is little hope of connecting genes to linguistic processes any time soon; (4) all modeling attempts have made unfounded assumptions, and have provided no empirical tests, thus leaving any insights into language's origins unverifiable. Based on the current state of evidence, we submit that the most fundamental questions about the origins and evolution of our linguistic capacity remain as mysterious as ever, with considerable uncertainty about the discovery of either relevant or conclusive evidence that can adjudicate among the many open hypotheses. We conclude by presenting some suggestions about possible paths forward. PMID:24847300

  15. The mystery of language evolution.

    PubMed

    Hauser, Marc D; Yang, Charles; Berwick, Robert C; Tattersall, Ian; Ryan, Michael J; Watumull, Jeffrey; Chomsky, Noam; Lewontin, Richard C

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved. We show that, to date, (1) studies of nonhuman animals provide virtually no relevant parallels to human linguistic communication, and none to the underlying biological capacity; (2) the fossil and archaeological evidence does not inform our understanding of the computations and representations of our earliest ancestors, leaving details of origins and selective pressure unresolved; (3) our understanding of the genetics of language is so impoverished that there is little hope of connecting genes to linguistic processes any time soon; (4) all modeling attempts have made unfounded assumptions, and have provided no empirical tests, thus leaving any insights into language's origins unverifiable. Based on the current state of evidence, we submit that the most fundamental questions about the origins and evolution of our linguistic capacity remain as mysterious as ever, with considerable uncertainty about the discovery of either relevant or conclusive evidence that can adjudicate among the many open hypotheses. We conclude by presenting some suggestions about possible paths forward.

  16. Language, Cognition, and ESL Literacy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cazden, Courtney B.; Starfield, Sue

    1994-01-01

    In "Vygotsky and ESL Literacy Teaching," Cazden uses examples from South Africa to discuss internalization of socially acquired language, instruction as "scaffolded assistance," and social meanings of English-as-a-Second-Language literacy. In "Cummins, EAP, and Academic Literacy," Starfield focuses on a University of Witwatersrand…

  17. The co-evolution of language and emotions.

    PubMed

    Jablonka, Eva; Ginsburg, Simona; Dor, Daniel

    2012-08-01

    We argue that language evolution started like the evolution of reading and writing, through cultural evolutionary processes. Genuinely new behavioural patterns emerged from collective exploratory processes that individuals could learn because of their brain plasticity. Those cultural-linguistic innovative practices that were consistently socially and culturally selected drove a process of genetic accommodation of both general and language-specific aspects of cognition. We focus on the affective facet of this culture-driven cognitive evolution, and argue that the evolution of human emotions co-evolved with that of language. We suggest that complex tool manufacture and alloparenting played an important role in the evolution of emotions, by leading to increased executive control and inter-subjective sensitivity. This process, which can be interpreted as a special case of self-domestication, culminated in the construction of human-specific social emotions, which facilitated information-sharing. Once in place, language enhanced the inhibitory control of emotions, enabled the development of novel emotions and emotional capacities, and led to a human mentality that departs in fundamental ways from that of other apes. We end by suggesting experimental approaches that can help in evaluating some of these proposals and hence lead to better understanding of the evolutionary biology of language and emotions. PMID:22734058

  18. The co-evolution of language and emotions

    PubMed Central

    Jablonka, Eva; Ginsburg, Simona; Dor, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    We argue that language evolution started like the evolution of reading and writing, through cultural evolutionary processes. Genuinely new behavioural patterns emerged from collective exploratory processes that individuals could learn because of their brain plasticity. Those cultural–linguistic innovative practices that were consistently socially and culturally selected drove a process of genetic accommodation of both general and language-specific aspects of cognition. We focus on the affective facet of this culture-driven cognitive evolution, and argue that the evolution of human emotions co-evolved with that of language. We suggest that complex tool manufacture and alloparenting played an important role in the evolution of emotions, by leading to increased executive control and inter-subjective sensitivity. This process, which can be interpreted as a special case of self-domestication, culminated in the construction of human-specific social emotions, which facilitated information-sharing. Once in place, language enhanced the inhibitory control of emotions, enabled the development of novel emotions and emotional capacities, and led to a human mentality that departs in fundamental ways from that of other apes. We end by suggesting experimental approaches that can help in evaluating some of these proposals and hence lead to better understanding of the evolutionary biology of language and emotions. PMID:22734058

  19. The Ecology of Language Evolution. Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mufwene, Salikoko S.

    This book explores the development of creoles and other new languages, highlighting conceptual and methodological issues for genetic linguistics and discussing the significance of ecologies that influence language evolution. It presents examples of changes in the structure, function, and vitality of languages, suggesting that similar ecologies…

  20. Cognitive pragmatics of language disorders in adults.

    PubMed

    Davis, G Albyn

    2007-05-01

    Cognitive pragmatics is the study of the mental structures and processes involved in the use of language in communicative contexts. Paradigms of cognitive psychology (off-line and on-line) have been applied to the study of the abilities to go beyond the literal (inference) and derive meaning in relation to context (e.g., metaphor and sarcasm). These pragmatic functions have been examined for the involvement of processes of meaning activation, embellishment, and revision. Clinical investigators have explored abilities and deficits in acquired aphasia, right hemisphere dysfunction, and closed head injury. This article reviews and provides some analysis of clinical studies that are consistent with the themes constituting cognitive pragmatics.

  1. The Language Organ: Linguistics as Cognitive Physiology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Stephen R.; Lightfoot, David W.

    This book treats human language as the manifestation of a faculty of the mind, a mental organ whose nature is determined by human biology, suggesting that its functional properties should be explored just as physiology explores the functional properties of physical organs. The book asserts that linguistics investigates cognition, taking as its…

  2. Language Influence on Children's Cognitive Number Representation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alsawaie, Othman N.

    2004-01-01

    This study examined the effect of language on children's cognitive representation of number. The sample for the study consisted of 90 Arabic speaking children with a mean age of 80 months. Children were interviewed individually and asked to represent written two-digit numbers using base-10 blocks. A new approach for testing the linguistic…

  3. Cognition Plus: Correlates of Language Learning Success.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ehrman, Madeline E.; Oxford, Rebecca L.

    1995-01-01

    Examines the relationships of individual difference variables to end-of-training proficiency ratings in speaking and reading for a large sample of adults in intensive training in a wide range of languages at the U.S. Department of State. Variables included tested cognitive aptitude, learning strategies, learning styles, personality, motivation and…

  4. Cognitive Mechanisms Underlying Second Language Listening Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hu, Guiling

    2009-01-01

    This dissertation research investigates the cognitive mechanisms underlying second language (L2) listening comprehension. I use three types of sentential contexts, congruent, neutral and incongruent, to look at how L2 learners construct meaning in spoken sentence comprehension. The three types of contexts differ in their context predictability.…

  5. Mirror Neurons and the Evolution of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corballis, Michael C.

    2010-01-01

    The mirror system provided a natural platform for the subsequent evolution of language. In nonhuman primates, the system provides for the understanding of biological action, and possibly for imitation, both prerequisites for language. I argue that language evolved from manual gestures, initially as a system of pantomime, but with gestures…

  6. Cognition and Function in Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Barbara A., Ed.; Jurafsky, Dan, Ed.; Michaelis, Laura A., Ed.

    Selected papers include: "From Core to Periphery: A Study on the Directionality of Syntactic Change in Japanese" (Kaoru Horie); "On the Extension of Body-Part Nouns to Object-Part Nouns and Spatial Adpositions" (Yo Matsumoto); "Noun Classes: Language Change and Learning" (Maria Polinsky, Dan Jackson); "Multifunctionality: The Developmental Path of…

  7. Ape gestures and language evolution

    PubMed Central

    Pollick, Amy S.; de Waal, Frans B. M.

    2007-01-01

    The natural communication of apes may hold clues about language origins, especially because apes frequently gesture with limbs and hands, a mode of communication thought to have been the starting point of human language evolution. The present study aimed to contrast brachiomanual gestures with orofacial movements and vocalizations in the natural communication of our closest primate relatives, bonobos (Pan paniscus) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). We tested whether gesture is the more flexible form of communication by measuring the strength of association between signals and specific behavioral contexts, comparing groups of both the same and different ape species. Subjects were two captive bonobo groups, a total of 13 individuals, and two captive chimpanzee groups, a total of 34 individuals. The study distinguished 31 manual gestures and 18 facial/vocal signals. It was found that homologous facial/vocal displays were used very similarly by both ape species, yet the same did not apply to gestures. Both within and between species gesture usage varied enormously. Moreover, bonobos showed greater flexibility in this regard than chimpanzees and were also the only species in which multimodal communication (i.e., combinations of gestures and facial/vocal signals) added to behavioral impact on the recipient. PMID:17470779

  8. Language, embodiment, and the cognitive niche.

    PubMed

    Clark, Andy

    2006-08-01

    Embodied agents use bodily actions and environmental interventions to make the world a better place to think in. Where does language fit into this emerging picture of the embodied, ecologically efficient agent? One useful way to approach this question is to consider language itself as a cognition-enhancing animal-built structure. To take this perspective is to view language as a kind of self-constructed cognitive niche: a persisting but never stationary material scaffolding whose crucial role in promoting thought and reason remains surprisingly poorly understood. It is the very materiality of this linguistic scaffolding, I suggest, that gives it some key benefits. By materializing thought in words, we create structures that are themselves proper objects of perception, manipulation, and (further) thought.

  9. Modelling language evolution: Examples and predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Tao; Shuai, Lan; Zhang, Menghan

    2014-06-01

    We survey recent computer modelling research of language evolution, focusing on a rule-based model simulating the lexicon-syntax coevolution and an equation-based model quantifying the language competition dynamics. We discuss four predictions of these models: (a) correlation between domain-general abilities (e.g. sequential learning) and language-specific mechanisms (e.g. word order processing); (b) coevolution of language and relevant competences (e.g. joint attention); (c) effects of cultural transmission and social structure on linguistic understandability; and (d) commonalities between linguistic, biological, and physical phenomena. All these contribute significantly to our understanding of the evolutions of language structures, individual learning mechanisms, and relevant biological and socio-cultural factors. We conclude the survey by highlighting three future directions of modelling studies of language evolution: (a) adopting experimental approaches for model evaluation; (b) consolidating empirical foundations of models; and (c) multi-disciplinary collaboration among modelling, linguistics, and other relevant disciplines.

  10. Cognition and the evolution of camouflage.

    PubMed

    Skelhorn, John; Rowe, Candy

    2016-02-24

    Camouflage is one of the most widespread forms of anti-predator defence and prevents prey individuals from being detected or correctly recognized by would-be predators. Over the past decade, there has been a resurgence of interest in both the evolution of prey camouflage patterns, and in understanding animal cognition in a more ecological context. However, these fields rarely collide, and the role of cognition in the evolution of camouflage is poorly understood. Here, we review what we currently know about the role of both predator and prey cognition in the evolution of prey camouflage, outline why cognition may be an important selective pressure driving the evolution of camouflage and consider how studying the cognitive processes of animals may prove to be a useful tool to study the evolution of camouflage, and vice versa. In doing so, we highlight that we still have a lot to learn about the role of cognition in the evolution of camouflage and identify a number of avenues for future research. PMID:26911959

  11. Cognition and the evolution of camouflage

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Camouflage is one of the most widespread forms of anti-predator defence and prevents prey individuals from being detected or correctly recognized by would-be predators. Over the past decade, there has been a resurgence of interest in both the evolution of prey camouflage patterns, and in understanding animal cognition in a more ecological context. However, these fields rarely collide, and the role of cognition in the evolution of camouflage is poorly understood. Here, we review what we currently know about the role of both predator and prey cognition in the evolution of prey camouflage, outline why cognition may be an important selective pressure driving the evolution of camouflage and consider how studying the cognitive processes of animals may prove to be a useful tool to study the evolution of camouflage, and vice versa. In doing so, we highlight that we still have a lot to learn about the role of cognition in the evolution of camouflage and identify a number of avenues for future research. PMID:26911959

  12. Many important language universals are not reducible to processing or cognition.

    PubMed

    Medeiros, David P; Piattelli-Palmarini, Massimo; Bever, Thomas G

    2016-01-01

    Christiansen & Chater (C&C) ignore the many linguistic universals that cannot be reduced to processing or cognitive constraints, some of which we present. Their claim that grammar is merely acquired language processing skill cannot account for such universals. Their claim that all other universal properties are historically and culturally based is a nonsequitur about language evolution, lacking data. PMID:27562411

  13. Language evolution and human-computer interaction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grudin, Jonathan; Norman, Donald A.

    1991-01-01

    Many of the issues that confront designers of interactive computer systems also appear in natural language evolution. Natural languages and human-computer interfaces share as their primary mission the support of extended 'dialogues' between responsive entities. Because in each case one participant is a human being, some of the pressures operating on natural languages, causing them to evolve in order to better support such dialogue, also operate on human-computer 'languages' or interfaces. This does not necessarily push interfaces in the direction of natural language - since one entity in this dialogue is not a human, this is not to be expected. Nonetheless, by discerning where the pressures that guide natural language evolution also appear in human-computer interaction, we can contribute to the design of computer systems and obtain a new perspective on natural languages.

  14. Cognitive Evolution by MMSE in Poststroke Patients

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    da Costa, Fabricia Azevedo

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the cognitive and clinical evolution of post-acute stroke patients and the evolution of each Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) item. A longitudinal study was conducted with 42 poststroke individuals in rehabilitation. The MMSE and the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale were used to assess…

  15. Metaphoric competence in cognitive and language development.

    PubMed

    Marschark, M; Nall, L

    1985-01-01

    Consideration of the age-related changes in children's language and cognitive development suggests qualitative changes in their creative language use. Many, if not most, researchers in the area have argued that some metaphoric competence emerges far earlier than would be expected on the basis of explanation or interpretation tasks alone. These same researchers, however, appear largely to have neglected consideration of the cognitive prerequisites for such abilities and differences between what is nonliteral for the adult and nonliteral for the child. If figurative language is defined as involving intentional violation of conceptual boundaries in order to highlight some correspondence, one must be sure that children credited with that competence have (1) the metacognitive and metalinguistic abilities to understand at least some of the implications of such language (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980; Nelson, 1974; Nelson & Nelson, 1978), (2) a conceptual organization that entails the purportedly violated conceptual boundaries (Lange, 1978), and (3) some notion of metaphoric tension as well as ground. Having stacked the definitional cards, we doubt that many investigators would assert that 2-year-old children at nonverbal symbolic play are doing anything that is literally metaphorical in our terms. But neither will we deny that one can observe creative components in the verbal and nonverbal play of the young child that are precursors of later nonliteral language skills (see McCune-Nicolich, 1981, for discussion). We simply do not see these creative abilities as specific to language in any way that justifies calling them metaphoric competence. Rather, the child's abilities to deal flexibly with the world, to "play" with possible alternative organizations of it, and to see similarity in diversity represent the bases of subsequent cognitive as well as language development. Far from being an exceptional aspect of development, apparently nonliteral language should be considered a

  16. Language as a multimodal phenomenon: implications for language learning, processing and evolution.

    PubMed

    Vigliocco, Gabriella; Perniss, Pamela; Vinson, David

    2014-09-19

    Our understanding of the cognitive and neural underpinnings of language has traditionally been firmly based on spoken Indo-European languages and on language studied as speech or text. However, in face-to-face communication, language is multimodal: speech signals are invariably accompanied by visual information on the face and in manual gestures, and sign languages deploy multiple channels (hands, face and body) in utterance construction. Moreover, the narrow focus on spoken Indo-European languages has entrenched the assumption that language is comprised wholly by an arbitrary system of symbols and rules. However, iconicity (i.e. resemblance between aspects of communicative form and meaning) is also present: speakers use iconic gestures when they speak; many non-Indo-European spoken languages exhibit a substantial amount of iconicity in word forms and, finally, iconicity is the norm, rather than the exception in sign languages. This introduction provides the motivation for taking a multimodal approach to the study of language learning, processing and evolution, and discusses the broad implications of shifting our current dominant approaches and assumptions to encompass multimodal expression in both signed and spoken languages.

  17. Language as a multimodal phenomenon: implications for language learning, processing and evolution.

    PubMed

    Vigliocco, Gabriella; Perniss, Pamela; Vinson, David

    2014-09-19

    Our understanding of the cognitive and neural underpinnings of language has traditionally been firmly based on spoken Indo-European languages and on language studied as speech or text. However, in face-to-face communication, language is multimodal: speech signals are invariably accompanied by visual information on the face and in manual gestures, and sign languages deploy multiple channels (hands, face and body) in utterance construction. Moreover, the narrow focus on spoken Indo-European languages has entrenched the assumption that language is comprised wholly by an arbitrary system of symbols and rules. However, iconicity (i.e. resemblance between aspects of communicative form and meaning) is also present: speakers use iconic gestures when they speak; many non-Indo-European spoken languages exhibit a substantial amount of iconicity in word forms and, finally, iconicity is the norm, rather than the exception in sign languages. This introduction provides the motivation for taking a multimodal approach to the study of language learning, processing and evolution, and discusses the broad implications of shifting our current dominant approaches and assumptions to encompass multimodal expression in both signed and spoken languages. PMID:25092660

  18. The shape and tempo of language evolution

    PubMed Central

    Greenhill, S. J.; Atkinson, Q. D.; Meade, A.; Gray, R. D.

    2010-01-01

    There are approximately 7000 languages spoken in the world today. This diversity reflects the legacy of thousands of years of cultural evolution. How far back we can trace this history depends largely on the rate at which the different components of language evolve. Rates of lexical evolution are widely thought to impose an upper limit of 6000–10 000 years on reliably identifying language relationships. In contrast, it has been argued that certain structural elements of language are much more stable. Just as biologists use highly conserved genes to uncover the deepest branches in the tree of life, highly stable linguistic features hold the promise of identifying deep relationships between the world's languages. Here, we present the first global network of languages based on this typological information. We evaluate the relative evolutionary rates of both typological and lexical features in the Austronesian and Indo-European language families. The first indications are that typological features evolve at similar rates to basic vocabulary but their evolution is substantially less tree-like. Our results suggest that, while rates of vocabulary change are correlated between the two language families, the rates of evolution of typological features and structural subtypes show no consistent relationship across families. PMID:20375050

  19. The shape and tempo of language evolution.

    PubMed

    Greenhill, S J; Atkinson, Q D; Meade, A; Gray, R D

    2010-08-22

    There are approximately 7000 languages spoken in the world today. This diversity reflects the legacy of thousands of years of cultural evolution. How far back we can trace this history depends largely on the rate at which the different components of language evolve. Rates of lexical evolution are widely thought to impose an upper limit of 6000-10,000 years on reliably identifying language relationships. In contrast, it has been argued that certain structural elements of language are much more stable. Just as biologists use highly conserved genes to uncover the deepest branches in the tree of life, highly stable linguistic features hold the promise of identifying deep relationships between the world's languages. Here, we present the first global network of languages based on this typological information. We evaluate the relative evolutionary rates of both typological and lexical features in the Austronesian and Indo-European language families. The first indications are that typological features evolve at similar rates to basic vocabulary but their evolution is substantially less tree-like. Our results suggest that, while rates of vocabulary change are correlated between the two language families, the rates of evolution of typological features and structural subtypes show no consistent relationship across families.

  20. New thinking: the evolution of human cognition.

    PubMed

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2012-08-01

    Humans are animals that specialize in thinking and knowing, and our extraordinary cognitive abilities have transformed every aspect of our lives. In contrast to our chimpanzee cousins and Stone Age ancestors, we are complex political, economic, scientific and artistic creatures, living in a vast range of habitats, many of which are our own creation. Research on the evolution of human cognition asks what types of thinking make us such peculiar animals, and how they have been generated by evolutionary processes. New research in this field looks deeper into the evolutionary history of human cognition, and adopts a more multi-disciplinary approach than earlier 'Evolutionary Psychology'. It is informed by comparisons between humans and a range of primate and non-primate species, and integrates findings from anthropology, archaeology, economics, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, philosophy and psychology. Using these methods, recent research reveals profound commonalities, as well striking differences, between human and non-human minds, and suggests that the evolution of human cognition has been much more gradual and incremental than previously assumed. It accords crucial roles to cultural evolution, techno-social co-evolution and gene-culture co-evolution. These have produced domain-general developmental processes with extraordinary power-power that makes human cognition, and human lives, unique. PMID:22734052

  1. Language Learning by Dint of Social Cognitive Advancement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mathew, Bincy; Raja, B. William Dharma

    2015-01-01

    Language is of vital importance to human beings. It is a means of communication and it has specific cognitive links. Advanced social cognition is necessary for children to acquire language, and sophisticated mind-reading abilities to assume word meanings and communicate pragmatically. Language can be defined as a bi-directional system that permits…

  2. Archeological insights into hominin cognitive evolution.

    PubMed

    Wynn, Thomas; Coolidge, Frederick L

    2016-07-01

    How did the human mind evolve? How and when did we come to think in the ways we do? The last thirty years have seen an explosion in research related to the brain and cognition. This research has encompassed a range of biological and social sciences, from epigenetics and cognitive neuroscience to social and developmental psychology. Following naturally on this efflorescence has been a heightened interest in the evolution of the brain and cognition. Evolutionary scholars, including paleoanthropologists, have deployed the standard array of evolutionary methods. Ethological and experimental evidence has added significantly to our understanding of nonhuman brains and cognition, especially those of nonhuman primates. Studies of fossil brains through endocasts and sophisticated imaging techniques have revealed evolutionary changes in gross neural anatomy. Psychologists have also gotten into the game through application of reverse engineering to experimentally based descriptions of cognitive functions. For hominin evolution, there is another rich source of evidence of cognition, the archeological record. Using the methods of Paleolithic archeology and the theories and models of cognitive science, evolutionary cognitive archeology documents developments in the hominin mind that would otherwise be inaccessible.

  3. Unraveling the evolution of uniquely human cognition

    PubMed Central

    MacLean, Evan L.

    2016-01-01

    A satisfactory account of human cognitive evolution will explain not only the psychological mechanisms that make our species unique, but also how, when, and why these traits evolved. To date, researchers have made substantial progress toward defining uniquely human aspects of cognition, but considerably less effort has been devoted to questions about the evolutionary processes through which these traits have arisen. In this article, I aim to link these complementary aims by synthesizing recent advances in our understanding of what makes human cognition unique, with theory and data regarding the processes of cognitive evolution. I review evidence that uniquely human cognition depends on synergism between both representational and motivational factors and is unlikely to be accounted for by changes to any singular cognitive system. I argue that, whereas no nonhuman animal possesses the full constellation of traits that define the human mind, homologies and analogies of critical aspects of human psychology can be found in diverse nonhuman taxa. I suggest that phylogenetic approaches to the study of animal cognition—which can address questions about the selective pressures and proximate mechanisms driving cognitive change—have the potential to yield important insights regarding the processes through which the human cognitive phenotype evolved. PMID:27274041

  4. Archeological insights into hominin cognitive evolution.

    PubMed

    Wynn, Thomas; Coolidge, Frederick L

    2016-07-01

    How did the human mind evolve? How and when did we come to think in the ways we do? The last thirty years have seen an explosion in research related to the brain and cognition. This research has encompassed a range of biological and social sciences, from epigenetics and cognitive neuroscience to social and developmental psychology. Following naturally on this efflorescence has been a heightened interest in the evolution of the brain and cognition. Evolutionary scholars, including paleoanthropologists, have deployed the standard array of evolutionary methods. Ethological and experimental evidence has added significantly to our understanding of nonhuman brains and cognition, especially those of nonhuman primates. Studies of fossil brains through endocasts and sophisticated imaging techniques have revealed evolutionary changes in gross neural anatomy. Psychologists have also gotten into the game through application of reverse engineering to experimentally based descriptions of cognitive functions. For hominin evolution, there is another rich source of evidence of cognition, the archeological record. Using the methods of Paleolithic archeology and the theories and models of cognitive science, evolutionary cognitive archeology documents developments in the hominin mind that would otherwise be inaccessible. PMID:27519459

  5. New Frontiers in Language Evolution and Development.

    PubMed

    Oller, D Kimbrough; Dale, Rick; Griebel, Ulrike

    2016-04-01

    This article introduces the Special Issue and its focus on research in language evolution with emphasis on theory as well as computational and robotic modeling. A key theme is based on the growth of evolutionary developmental biology or evo-devo. The Special Issue consists of 13 articles organized in two sections: A) Theoretical foundations and B) Modeling and simulation studies. All the papers are interdisciplinary in nature, encompassing work in biological and linguistic foundations for the study of language evolution as well as a variety of computational and robotic modeling efforts shedding light on how language may be developed and may have evolved.

  6. The Immune Syntax Revisited: Opening New Windows on Language Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Benítez-Burraco, Antonio; Uriagereka, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Recent research has added new dimensions to our understanding of classical evolution, according to which evolutionary novelties result from gene mutations inherited from parents to offspring. Language is surely one such novelty. Together with specific changes in our genome and epigenome, we suggest that two other (related) mechanisms may have contributed to the brain rewiring underlying human cognitive evolution and, specifically, the changes in brain connectivity that prompted the emergence of our species-specific linguistic abilities: the horizontal transfer of genetic material by viral and non-viral vectors and the brain/immune system crosstalk (more generally, the dialogue between the microbiota, the immune system, and the brain). PMID:26793054

  7. The Immune Syntax Revisited: Opening New Windows on Language Evolution.

    PubMed

    Benítez-Burraco, Antonio; Uriagereka, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Recent research has added new dimensions to our understanding of classical evolution, according to which evolutionary novelties result from gene mutations inherited from parents to offspring. Language is surely one such novelty. Together with specific changes in our genome and epigenome, we suggest that two other (related) mechanisms may have contributed to the brain rewiring underlying human cognitive evolution and, specifically, the changes in brain connectivity that prompted the emergence of our species-specific linguistic abilities: the horizontal transfer of genetic material by viral and non-viral vectors and the brain/immune system crosstalk (more generally, the dialogue between the microbiota, the immune system, and the brain).

  8. The Immune Syntax Revisited: Opening New Windows on Language Evolution.

    PubMed

    Benítez-Burraco, Antonio; Uriagereka, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Recent research has added new dimensions to our understanding of classical evolution, according to which evolutionary novelties result from gene mutations inherited from parents to offspring. Language is surely one such novelty. Together with specific changes in our genome and epigenome, we suggest that two other (related) mechanisms may have contributed to the brain rewiring underlying human cognitive evolution and, specifically, the changes in brain connectivity that prompted the emergence of our species-specific linguistic abilities: the horizontal transfer of genetic material by viral and non-viral vectors and the brain/immune system crosstalk (more generally, the dialogue between the microbiota, the immune system, and the brain). PMID:26793054

  9. Genes, language, cognition, and culture: towards productive inquiry.

    PubMed

    Fitch, W Tecumseh

    2011-04-01

    The Queen Mary conference on “Integrating Genetic and Cultural Evolutionary Approaches to Language,” and the papers in this special issue, clearly illustrate the excitement and potential of trans-disciplinary approaches to language as an evolved biological capacity (phylogeny) and an evolving cultural entity (glossogeny). Excepting the present author, the presenters/authors are mostly young rising stars in their respective fields, and include scientists with backgrounds in linguistics, animal communication, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and computer science. On display was a clear willingness to engage with different approaches and terminology and a commitment to shared standards of scientific rigor, empirically driven theory, and logical argument. Because the papers assembled here, together with the introduction, speak for themselves, I will focus in this “extro-duction” on some of the terminological and conceptual difficulties which threaten to block this exciting wave of scientific progress in understanding language evolution, in both senses of that term. In particular I will first argue against the regrettably widespread practice of opposing cultural and genetic explanations of human cognition as if they were dichotomous. Second, I will unpack the debate concerning “general-purpose” and “domain-specific” mechanisms, which masquerades as a debate about nativism but is nothing of the sort. I believe that framing discussions of language in these terms has generated more heat than light, and that a modern molecular understanding of genes, development, behavior, and evolution renders many of the assumptions underlying this debate invalid.

  10. [The genetic language: grammar, semantics, evolution].

    PubMed

    Ratner, V A

    1993-05-01

    The genetic language is a collection of rules and regularities of genetic information coding for genetic texts. It is defined by alphabet, grammar, collection of punctuation marks and regulatory sites, semantics. There is a review of these general attributes of genetic language, including also the problems of synonymy and evolution. The main directions of theoretical investigations of genetic language and neighbouring questions are formulated: (1) cryptographic problems, (2) analysis of genetic texts, (3) theoretical-linguistic problems, (4) evolutionary linguistic questions. The problem of genetic language becomes one of the key ones of molecular genetics, molecular biology and gene engineering.

  11. Language evolution: syntax before phonology?

    PubMed Central

    Collier, Katie; Bickel, Balthasar; van Schaik, Carel P.; Manser, Marta B.; Townsend, Simon W.

    2014-01-01

    Phonology and syntax represent two layers of sound combination central to language's expressive power. Comparative animal studies represent one approach to understand the origins of these combinatorial layers. Traditionally, phonology, where meaningless sounds form words, has been considered a simpler combination than syntax, and thus should be more common in animals. A linguistically informed review of animal call sequences demonstrates that phonology in animal vocal systems is rare, whereas syntax is more widespread. In the light of this and the absence of phonology in some languages, we hypothesize that syntax, present in all languages, evolved before phonology. PMID:24943364

  12. Can mathematics explain the evolution of human language?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Investigation into the sequence structure of the genetic code by means of an informatic approach is a real success story. The features of human language are also the object of investigation within the realm of formal language theories. They focus on the common rules of a universal grammar that lies behind all languages and determine generation of syntactic structures. This universal grammar is a depiction of material reality, i.e., the hidden logical order of things and its relations determined by natural laws. Therefore mathematics is viewed not only as an appropriate tool to investigate human language and genetic code structures through computer science-based formal language theory but is itself a depiction of material reality. This confusion between language as a scientific tool to describe observations/experiences within cognitive constructed models and formal language as a direct depiction of material reality occurs not only in current approaches but was the central focus of the philosophy of science debate in the twentieth century, with rather unexpected results. This article recalls these results and their implications for more recent mathematical approaches that also attempt to explain the evolution of human language. PMID:22046452

  13. Can mathematics explain the evolution of human language?

    PubMed

    Witzany, Guenther

    2011-09-01

    Investigation into the sequence structure of the genetic code by means of an informatic approach is a real success story. The features of human language are also the object of investigation within the realm of formal language theories. They focus on the common rules of a universal grammar that lies behind all languages and determine generation of syntactic structures. This universal grammar is a depiction of material reality, i.e., the hidden logical order of things and its relations determined by natural laws. Therefore mathematics is viewed not only as an appropriate tool to investigate human language and genetic code structures through computer science-based formal language theory but is itself a depiction of material reality. This confusion between language as a scientific tool to describe observations/experiences within cognitive constructed models and formal language as a direct depiction of material reality occurs not only in current approaches but was the central focus of the philosophy of science debate in the twentieth century, with rather unexpected results. This article recalls these results and their implications for more recent mathematical approaches that also attempt to explain the evolution of human language.

  14. Learning about primates' learning, language, and cognition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rumbaugh, Duane M.

    1992-01-01

    Results are presented of many years of research on the methods of teaching primates the language and cognitive skills which were long considered to be unteachable to particular species of primates. It was found that chimpanzee subjects could not only learn a number of 'stock sentences' but to use them in variations and several combinations for the purpose of solving various problems. Apes placed in different rooms could be taught to communicate via computer, and collaborate with each other on doing specific tasks. Contrary to expectations, young rhesus monkeys proved to be able to learn as much as the chimpanzee species.

  15. Manual praxis in stone tool manufacture: implications for language evolution.

    PubMed

    Ruck, Lana

    2014-12-01

    Alternative functions of the left-hemisphere dominant Broca's region have induced hypotheses regarding the evolutionary parallels between manual praxis and language in humans. Many recent studies on Broca's area reveal several assumptions about the cognitive mechanisms that underlie both functions, including: (1) an accurate, finely controlled body schema, (2) increasing syntactical abilities, particularly for goal-oriented actions, and (3) bilaterality and fronto-parietal connectivity. Although these characteristics are supported by experimental paradigms, many researchers have failed to acknowledge a major line of evidence for the evolutionary development of these traits: stone tools. The neuroscience of stone tool manufacture is a viable proxy for understanding evolutionary aspects of manual praxis and language, and may provide key information for evaluating competing hypotheses on the co-evolution of these cognitive domains in our species.

  16. Manual praxis in stone tool manufacture: implications for language evolution.

    PubMed

    Ruck, Lana

    2014-12-01

    Alternative functions of the left-hemisphere dominant Broca's region have induced hypotheses regarding the evolutionary parallels between manual praxis and language in humans. Many recent studies on Broca's area reveal several assumptions about the cognitive mechanisms that underlie both functions, including: (1) an accurate, finely controlled body schema, (2) increasing syntactical abilities, particularly for goal-oriented actions, and (3) bilaterality and fronto-parietal connectivity. Although these characteristics are supported by experimental paradigms, many researchers have failed to acknowledge a major line of evidence for the evolutionary development of these traits: stone tools. The neuroscience of stone tool manufacture is a viable proxy for understanding evolutionary aspects of manual praxis and language, and may provide key information for evaluating competing hypotheses on the co-evolution of these cognitive domains in our species. PMID:25463818

  17. Learning bias, cultural evolution of language, and the biological evolution of the language faculty.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kenny

    2011-04-01

    The biases of individual language learners act to determine the learnability and cultural stability of languages: learners come to the language learning task with biases which make certain linguistic systems easier to acquire than others. These biases are repeatedly applied during the process of language transmission, and consequently should effect the types of languages we see in human populations. Understanding the cultural evolutionary consequences of particular learning biases is therefore central to understanding the link between language learning in individuals and language universals, common structural properties shared by all the world’s languages. This paper reviews a range of models and experimental studies which show that weak biases in individual learners can have strong effects on the structure of socially learned systems such as language, suggesting that strong universal tendencies in language structure do not require us to postulate strong underlying biases or constraints on language learning. Furthermore, understanding the relationship between learner biases and language design has implications for theories of the evolution of those learning biases: models of gene-culture coevolution suggest that, in situations where a cultural dynamic mediates between properties of individual learners and properties of language in this way, biological evolution is unlikely to lead to the emergence of strong constraints on learning.

  18. Reciprocal and Inversion Reversibility in Language Acquisition and Cognitive Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flora, June Annette

    Kindergarten and first-grade children participated in a study of the role of reciprocal and inversion reversibility in language acquisition and cognitive development. Subjects completed cognitive tasks assessing conservation, seriation, and class inclusion, and language tasks assessing the active-passive transformation and the negative…

  19. Cognitive Content Engagement in Content-Based Language Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kong, Stella; Hoare, Philip

    2011-01-01

    This article reports a study of aspects of pedagogy that can bring about students' cognitive engagement with academic content and, thus, use of the academic language in content-based language lessons in three middle schools in Xi'an, China. Two criteria--academic content level and depth of processing--were used to determine cognitive content…

  20. Language in Cognitive Development: The Emergence of the Mediated Mind.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Katherine

    This book presents an integrated theory of cognitive development in infancy and early childhood, emphasizing the role of language in memory, processing narratives, forming concepts, and understanding others' intentions. Chapter 1, "Language, Cognition, and Culture in Developmental Perspective," presents the experiential theoretical approach and…

  1. Cooperation came first: evolution and human cognition.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Steven C; Sanford, Brandon T

    2014-01-01

    Contextual behavioral perspectives on learning and behavior reside under the umbrella of evolution science. In this paper we briefly review current developments in evolution science that bear on learning and behavior, concluding that behavior is now moving to the center of evolution studies. Learning is one of the main ladders of evolution by establishing functional benchmarks within which genetic adaptations can be advantaged. We apply that approach to the beginning feature of human cognition according to Relational Frame Theory: derived symmetry in coordination framing. When combined with the idea that cooperation came before major advances in human cognition or culture, existing abilities in social referencing, joint attention, perspective-taking skills, and relational learning ensure that the behavioral subcomponents of symmetrical equivalence relations would be reinforced. When coordination framing emerged and came under arbitrary contextual control as an operant class, a template was established for the development of multiple relational frames and the emergence and evolutionary impact of human cognition as we know it. Implications of these ideas for translational research are briefly discussed. PMID:24318964

  2. Two languages in mind: Bilingualism as a tool to investigate language, cognition, and the brain

    PubMed Central

    Kroll, Judith F.; Bobb, Susan C.; Hoshino, Noriko

    2014-01-01

    A series of discoveries in the last two decades has changed the way we think about bilingualism and its implications for language and cognition. One is that both languages are always active. The parallel activation of the two languages is thought to give rise to competition that imposes demands on the bilingual to control the language not in use to achieve fluency in the target language. The second is that there are consequences of bilingualism that affect the native as well as the second language. The native language changes in response to second language use. The third is that the consequences of bilingualism are not limited to language but appear to reflect a reorganization of brain networks that hold implications for the ways in which bilinguals negotiate cognitive competition more generally. The focus of recent research on bilingualism has been to understand the relation between these discoveries and the implications they hold for language, cognition, and the brain across the lifespan. PMID:25309055

  3. El Lenguaje en Evolucion (Language in Evolution)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jurado, Arturo

    1974-01-01

    The evolution of the Spanish language is due, in part, to popular culture and radio, television, films and advertising. Many words take on altered meaning when used in casual, intimate or slangy conversation; included is a list of such words with their informal connotations, as used by many Mexicans. (Text is in Spanish.) (CK)

  4. Music, cognition, culture, and evolution.

    PubMed

    Cross, I

    2001-06-01

    We seem able to define the biological foundations for our musicality within a clear and unitary framework, yet music itself does not appear so clearly definable. Music is different things and does different things in different cultures; the bundles of elements and functions that are music for any given culture may overlap minimally with those of another culture, even for those cultures where "music" constitutes a discrete and identifiable category of human activity in its own right. The dynamics of culture, of music as cultural praxis, are neither necessarily reducible, nor easily relatable, to the dynamics of our biologies. Yet music appears to be a universal human competence. Recent evolutionary theory, however, affords a means for exploring things biological and cultural within a framework in which they are at least commensurable. The adoption of this perspective shifts the focus of the search for the foundations of music away from the mature and particular expression of music within a specific culture or situation and on to the human capacity for musicality. This paper will survey recent research that examines that capacity and its evolutionary origins in the light of a definition of music that embraces music's multifariousness. It will be suggested that music, like speech, is a product of both our biologies and our social interactions; that music is a necessary and integral dimension of human development; and that music may have played a central role in the evolution of the modern human mind.

  5. Nonlinguistic Cognitive Treatment for Bilingual Children with Primary Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ebert, Kerry Danahy; Rentmeester-Disher, Jill; Kohnert, Kathryn

    2012-01-01

    Substantial evidence points to the presence of subtle weaknesses in the nonlinguistic cognitive processing skills of children with primary (or specific) language impairment (PLI). It is possible that these weaknesses contribute to the language learning difficulties that characterize PLI, and that treating them can improve language skills. To test…

  6. The Mexican American Child: Language, Cognition, and Social Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcia, Eugene E., Ed.

    The nine articles are divided into three general topics: language, cognition, and social development. Eduardo Hernandez-Chavez discusses strategies in early second language acquisition and their implications for bilingual instruction. Eugene E. Garcia, Lento Maez, and Gustavo Gonzales examine the incidence of language switching in Spanish/English…

  7. Cognitive ornithology: the evolution of avian intelligence

    PubMed Central

    Emery, Nathan J

    2005-01-01

    Comparative psychologists interested in the evolution of intelligence have focused their attention on social primates, whereas birds tend to be used as models of associative learning. However, corvids and parrots, which have forebrains relatively the same size as apes, live in complex social groups and have a long developmental period before becoming independent, have demonstrated ape-like intelligence. Although, ornithologists have documented thousands of hours observing birds in their natural habitat, they have focused their attention on avian behaviour and ecology, rather than intelligence. This review discusses recent studies of avian cognition contrasting two different approaches; the anthropocentric approach and the adaptive specialization approach. It is argued that the most productive method is to combine the two approaches. This is discussed with respects to recent investigations of two supposedly unique aspects of human cognition; episodic memory and theory of mind. In reviewing the evidence for avian intelligence, corvids and parrots appear to be cognitively superior to other birds and in many cases even apes. This suggests that complex cognition has evolved in species with very different brains through a process of convergent evolution rather than shared ancestry, although the notion that birds and mammals may share common neural connectivity patterns is discussed. PMID:16553307

  8. Cognitive outcome after awake surgery for tumors in language areas.

    PubMed

    Santini, B; Talacchi, A; Squintani, G; Casagrande, F; Capasso, R; Miceli, G

    2012-06-01

    In surgery for tumors of the dominant hemisphere, the attention devoted to quality of resection and preservation of language function has not been accompanied by comparable interest in preservation of cognitive abilities which may affect quality of life. We studied 22 patients undergoing awake surgery for glioma removal in the language areas of the brain. Besides monitoring tumor variables (size, location, histology, edema), we used a multifaceted battery of tests to investigate mood, cognition, and language in an attempt to assess the burden of disease and treatment, and the relationships between these three dimensions. Baseline assessment showed that 45% of the patients were depressed and 23% anxious; some cognitive and language impairment was noted for 59 and 50%, respectively. A general decline in postoperative cognitive performance (significant for memory and attention only) and language function (significant for picture naming) was observed, whereas depression was unchanged and anxiety decreased. Tumor histology, but not demographic variables or extent of resection, correlated with postoperative cognitive changes: patients undergoing surgery for high-grade tumors were more likely to improve. No correlation was observed between scores for mood, cognition, and language function. A subset of patients with low-grade glioma was followed up for 3-6 months; although some improvement was observed they did not always regain their preoperative performance. In conclusion, we believe that cognitive assessment performed in conjunction with language testing is a necessary step in the global evaluation of brain tumor patients both before and after surgery.

  9. Seeking Synthesis: The Integrative Problem in Understanding Language and Its Evolution.

    PubMed

    Dale, Rick; Kello, Christopher T; Schoenemann, P Thomas

    2016-04-01

    We discuss two problems for a general scientific understanding of language, sequences and synergies: how language is an intricately sequenced behavior and how language is manifested as a multidimensionally structured behavior. Though both are central in our understanding, we observe that the former tends to be studied more than the latter. We consider very general conditions that hold in human brain evolution and its computational implications, and identify multimodal and multiscale organization as two key characteristics of emerging cognitive function in our species. This suggests that human brains, and cognitive function specifically, became more adept at integrating diverse information sources and operating at multiple levels for linguistic performance. We argue that framing language evolution, learning, and use in terms of synergies suggests new research questions, and it may be a fruitful direction for new developments in theory and modeling of language as an integrated system. PMID:26988387

  10. The evolution of language and thought.

    PubMed

    Lieberman, Philip

    2016-06-20

    Language primarily evolved as a vocal medium that transmits the attributes of human culture and the necessities of daily communication. Human language has a long, complex evolutionary history. Language also serves as an instrument of thought since it has become evident that in the course of this process neural circuits that initially evolved to regulate motor control, motor responses to external events, and ultimately talking were recycled to serve tasks such as working memory, cognitive flexibility linguistic tasks such as comprehending distinctions in meaning conveyed by syntax. This precludes the human brain possessing an organ devoted exclusively to language, such as the Faculty of Language proposed by Chomsky (1972, 2012). In essence like Fodor's (1983) modular model, a restatement of archaic phrenological theories (Spurzheim, 1815). The subcortical basal ganglia can be traced back to early anurans. Although our knowledge of the neural circuits of the human brain is at a very early stage and incomplete, the findings of independent studies over the past 40 years, discussed here, have identified circuits linking the basal ganglia with various areas of prefrontal cortex, posterior cortical regions and other subcortical structures. These circuits are active in linguistic tasks such as lexical access, comprehending distinctions in meaning conferred by syntax and the range of higher cognitive tasks involving executive control and play a critical role in conferring cognitive flexibility. The cingulate cortex which appeared in Therapsids, transitional mammal-like reptiles who lived in age of the dinosaurs, most likely enhanced mother-infant interaction, contributing to success in the Darwinian (1859) "Struggle for Existence" - the survival of progeny. They continue to fill that role in present-day mammals as well as being involved in controlling laryngeal phonation during speech and directing attention (Newman & MacLean, 1983; Cummings, 1993". The cerebellum and

  11. The evolution of language and thought.

    PubMed

    Lieberman, Philip

    2016-06-20

    Language primarily evolved as a vocal medium that transmits the attributes of human culture and the necessities of daily communication. Human language has a long, complex evolutionary history. Language also serves as an instrument of thought since it has become evident that in the course of this process neural circuits that initially evolved to regulate motor control, motor responses to external events, and ultimately talking were recycled to serve tasks such as working memory, cognitive flexibility linguistic tasks such as comprehending distinctions in meaning conveyed by syntax. This precludes the human brain possessing an organ devoted exclusively to language, such as the Faculty of Language proposed by Chomsky (1972, 2012). In essence like Fodor's (1983) modular model, a restatement of archaic phrenological theories (Spurzheim, 1815). The subcortical basal ganglia can be traced back to early anurans. Although our knowledge of the neural circuits of the human brain is at a very early stage and incomplete, the findings of independent studies over the past 40 years, discussed here, have identified circuits linking the basal ganglia with various areas of prefrontal cortex, posterior cortical regions and other subcortical structures. These circuits are active in linguistic tasks such as lexical access, comprehending distinctions in meaning conferred by syntax and the range of higher cognitive tasks involving executive control and play a critical role in conferring cognitive flexibility. The cingulate cortex which appeared in Therapsids, transitional mammal-like reptiles who lived in age of the dinosaurs, most likely enhanced mother-infant interaction, contributing to success in the Darwinian (1859) "Struggle for Existence" - the survival of progeny. They continue to fill that role in present-day mammals as well as being involved in controlling laryngeal phonation during speech and directing attention (Newman & MacLean, 1983; Cummings, 1993". The cerebellum and

  12. The cognitive niche: Coevolution of intelligence, sociality, and language

    PubMed Central

    Pinker, Steven

    2010-01-01

    Although Darwin insisted that human intelligence could be fully explained by the theory of evolution, the codiscoverer of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace, claimed that abstract intelligence was of no use to ancestral humans and could only be explained by intelligent design. Wallace's apparent paradox can be dissolved with two hypotheses about human cognition. One is that intelligence is an adaptation to a knowledge-using, socially interdependent lifestyle, the “cognitive niche.” This embraces the ability to overcome the evolutionary fixed defenses of plants and animals by applications of reasoning, including weapons, traps, coordinated driving of game, and detoxification of plants. Such reasoning exploits intuitive theories about different aspects of the world, such as objects, forces, paths, places, states, substances, and other people's beliefs and desires. The theory explains many zoologically unusual traits in Homo sapiens, including our complex toolkit, wide range of habitats and diets, extended childhoods and long lives, hypersociality, complex mating, division into cultures, and language (which multiplies the benefit of knowledge because know-how is useful not only for its practical benefits but as a trade good with others, enhancing the evolution of cooperation). The second hypothesis is that humans possess an ability of metaphorical abstraction, which allows them to coopt faculties that originally evolved for physical problem-solving and social coordination, apply them to abstract subject matter, and combine them productively. These abilities can help explain the emergence of abstract cognition without supernatural or exotic evolutionary forces and are in principle testable by analyses of statistical signs of selection in the human genome. PMID:20445094

  13. Grounding language in action and perception: From cognitive agents to humanoid robots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cangelosi, Angelo

    2010-06-01

    In this review we concentrate on a grounded approach to the modeling of cognition through the methodologies of cognitive agents and developmental robotics. This work will focus on the modeling of the evolutionary and developmental acquisition of linguistic capabilities based on the principles of symbol grounding. We review cognitive agent and developmental robotics models of the grounding of language to demonstrate their consistency with the empirical and theoretical evidence on language grounding and embodiment, and to reveal the benefits of such an approach in the design of linguistic capabilities in cognitive robotic agents. In particular, three different models will be discussed, where the complexity of the agent's sensorimotor and cognitive system gradually increases: from a multi-agent simulation of language evolution, to a simulated robotic agent model for symbol grounding transfer, to a model of language comprehension in the humanoid robot iCub. The review also discusses the benefits of the use of humanoid robotic platform, and specifically of the open source iCub platform, for the study of embodied cognition.

  14. Cognitive Approach to Assessing Pragmatic Language Comprehension in Children with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryder, Nuala; Leinonen, Eeva; Schulz, Joerg

    2008-01-01

    Background: Pragmatic language impairment in children with specific language impairment has proved difficult to assess, and the nature of their abilities to comprehend pragmatic meaning has not been fully investigated. Aims: To develop both a cognitive approach to pragmatic language assessment based on Relevance Theory and an assessment tool for…

  15. Relations among Verbal and Nonverbal Cognitive Skills in Normal Language and Specifically Language-Impaired Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Restrepo, Maria Adelaida; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Administration of verbal and nonverbal measures to 20 normal language and 20 specifically language-impaired children (ages 4-5) indicated that a "qualitative-differences" model of specific language impairment better accounts for the co-occurrence of poor verbal and poor nonverbal cognitive skills in subjects than a "low-normal" model. (Author/JDD)

  16. Storytelling, behavior planning, and language evolution in context

    PubMed Central

    McBride, Glen

    2014-01-01

    An attempt is made to specify the structure of the hominin bands that began steps to language. Storytelling could evolve without need for language yet be strongly subject to natural selection and could provide a major feedback process in evolving language. A storytelling model is examined, including its effects on the evolution of consciousness and the possible timing of language evolution. Behavior planning is presented as a model of language evolution from storytelling. The behavior programming mechanism in both directions provide a model of creating and understanding behavior and language. Culture began with societies, then family evolution, family life in troops, but storytelling created a culture of experiences, a final step in the long process of achieving experienced adults by natural selection. Most language evolution occurred in conversations where evolving non-verbal feedback ensured mutual agreements on understanding. Natural language evolved in conversations with feedback providing understanding of changes. PMID:25360123

  17. Language as grist to the mill of cognition.

    PubMed

    Tillas, Alexandros

    2015-08-01

    There is a growing consensus that natural language plays a significant role in our cognitive lives. However, this role of language is not adequately characterised. In this paper, I investigate the relationship between natural language and thinking and argue that thinking operates largely according to associationistic rules. Furthermore, I show that language is neither restricted to interfacing between a 'Language of Thought' and the conscious level, nor is it constitutively involved in thinking. Unlike available alternatives, the suggested view predicts and accommodates a large battery of empirical evidence. Furthermore, it avoids problems that associationistic views traditionally faced, e.g. problems of propositional thinking and compositionality of thought.

  18. The Evolution of the Language Faculty: Clarifications and Implications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fitch, W. Tecumseh; Hauser, Marc D.; Chomsky, Noam

    2005-01-01

    In this response to Pinker and Jackendoff's critique, we extend our previous framework for discussion of language evolution, clarifying certain distinctions and elaborating on a number of points. In the first half of the paper, we reiterate that profitable research into the biology and evolution of language requires fractionation of ''language''…

  19. The Oscillopathic Nature of Language Deficits in Autism: From Genes to Language Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Benítez-Burraco, Antonio; Murphy, Elliot

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are pervasive neurodevelopmental disorders involving a number of deficits to linguistic cognition. The gap between genetics and the pathophysiology of ASD remains open, in particular regarding its distinctive linguistic profile. The goal of this article is to attempt to bridge this gap, focusing on how the autistic brain processes language, particularly through the perspective of brain rhythms. Due to the phenomenon of pleiotropy, which may take some decades to overcome, we believe that studies of brain rhythms, which are not faced with problems of this scale, may constitute a more tractable route to interpreting language deficits in ASD and eventually other neurocognitive disorders. Building on recent attempts to link neural oscillations to certain computational primitives of language, we show that interpreting language deficits in ASD as oscillopathic traits is a potentially fruitful way to construct successful endophenotypes of this condition. Additionally, we will show that candidate genes for ASD are overrepresented among the genes that played a role in the evolution of language. These genes include (and are related to) genes involved in brain rhythmicity. We hope that the type of steps taken here will additionally lead to a better understanding of the comorbidity, heterogeneity, and variability of ASD, and may help achieve a better treatment of the affected populations. PMID:27047363

  20. The Oscillopathic Nature of Language Deficits in Autism: From Genes to Language Evolution.

    PubMed

    Benítez-Burraco, Antonio; Murphy, Elliot

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are pervasive neurodevelopmental disorders involving a number of deficits to linguistic cognition. The gap between genetics and the pathophysiology of ASD remains open, in particular regarding its distinctive linguistic profile. The goal of this article is to attempt to bridge this gap, focusing on how the autistic brain processes language, particularly through the perspective of brain rhythms. Due to the phenomenon of pleiotropy, which may take some decades to overcome, we believe that studies of brain rhythms, which are not faced with problems of this scale, may constitute a more tractable route to interpreting language deficits in ASD and eventually other neurocognitive disorders. Building on recent attempts to link neural oscillations to certain computational primitives of language, we show that interpreting language deficits in ASD as oscillopathic traits is a potentially fruitful way to construct successful endophenotypes of this condition. Additionally, we will show that candidate genes for ASD are overrepresented among the genes that played a role in the evolution of language. These genes include (and are related to) genes involved in brain rhythmicity. We hope that the type of steps taken here will additionally lead to a better understanding of the comorbidity, heterogeneity, and variability of ASD, and may help achieve a better treatment of the affected populations. PMID:27047363

  1. Cerebellum, Language, and Cognition in Autism and Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hodge, Steven M.; Makris, Nikos; Kennedy, David N.; Caviness, Verne S., Jr.; Howard, James; McGrath, Lauren; Steele, Shelly; Frazier, Jean A.; Tager-Flusberg, Helen; Harris, Gordon J.

    2010-01-01

    We performed cerebellum segmentation and parcellation on magnetic resonance images from right-handed boys, aged 6-13 years, including 22 boys with autism [16 with language impairment (ALI)], 9 boys with Specific Language Impairment (SLI), and 11 normal controls. Language-impaired groups had reversed asymmetry relative to unimpaired groups in…

  2. Developmental language disorders: cognitive processes, semantics, pragmatics, phonology, and syntax.

    PubMed

    Cromer, R F

    1981-03-01

    Five areas of research concerned with language acquisition--cognitive processes, semantics, pragmatics, phonology, and syntax--are reviewed in terms of their contribution to understanding language disorders. Two views of cognitive processes are discussed. One of these, emphasizing cognitive mechanisms such as short-term memory, is seen as providing possible explanations for some types of language deficits. The other, a concern with conceptual knowledge, is subjected to a critical analysis questioning how complete an explanation it is able to offer for some aspects of language acquisition. Problems of definition are also discussed when semantic aspects of language are considered. Problems in the pragmatic component of language are seen as providing an explanation for particular aspects of language disorder in some autistic children. The importance of focusing on phonology as a central grammatical process is discussed and linked to dyslexia and to spelling disorders. Finally, it is argued that the acquisition of syntactic structure is not yet understood. Impairments such as a hierarchical planning order deficit may affect syntactic ability and lead to disordered language, as found in some types of developmentally aphasic children. It is concluded that it is important to study all five areas of the title, and their interrelationships, if various language disorders are to be adequately understood.

  3. Reciprocal influences between maternal language and children's language and cognitive development in low-income families.

    PubMed

    Song, Lulu; Spier, Elizabeth T; Tamis-Lemonda, Catherine S

    2014-03-01

    We examined reciprocal associations between early maternal language use and children's language and cognitive development in seventy ethnically diverse, low-income families. Mother-child dyads were videotaped when children were aged 2;0 and 3;0. Video transcripts were analyzed for quantity and lexical diversity of maternal and child language. Child cognitive development was assessed at both ages and child receptive vocabulary was assessed at age 3;0. Maternal language related to children's lexical diversity at each age, and maternal language at age 2;0, was associated with children's receptive vocabulary and cognitive development at age 3;0. Furthermore, children's cognitive development at age 2;0 was associated with maternal language at age 3;0 controlling for maternal language at age 2;0, suggesting bi-directionality in mother-child associations. The quantity and diversity of the language children hear at home has developmental implications for children from low-income households. In addition, children's early cognitive skills further feed into their subsequent language experiences.

  4. Music and language perception: expectations, structural integration, and cognitive sequencing.

    PubMed

    Tillmann, Barbara

    2012-10-01

    Music can be described as sequences of events that are structured in pitch and time. Studying music processing provides insight into how complex event sequences are learned, perceived, and represented by the brain. Given the temporal nature of sound, expectations, structural integration, and cognitive sequencing are central in music perception (i.e., which sounds are most likely to come next and at what moment should they occur?). This paper focuses on similarities in music and language cognition research, showing that music cognition research provides insight into the understanding of not only music processing but also language processing and the processing of other structured stimuli. The hypothesis of shared resources between music and language processing and of domain-general dynamic attention has motivated the development of research to test music as a means to stimulate sensory, cognitive, and motor processes.

  5. Brain. Conscious and Unconscious Mechanisms of Cognition, Emotions, and Language

    PubMed Central

    Perlovsky, Leonid; Ilin, Roman

    2012-01-01

    Conscious and unconscious brain mechanisms, including cognition, emotions and language are considered in this review. The fundamental mechanisms of cognition include interactions between bottom-up and top-down signals. The modeling of these interactions since the 1960s is briefly reviewed, analyzing the ubiquitous difficulty: incomputable combinatorial complexity (CC). Fundamental reasons for CC are related to the Gödel’s difficulties of logic, a most fundamental mathematical result of the 20th century. Many scientists still “believed” in logic because, as the review discusses, logic is related to consciousness; non-logical processes in the brain are unconscious. CC difficulty is overcome in the brain by processes “from vague-unconscious to crisp-conscious” (representations, plans, models, concepts). These processes are modeled by dynamic logic, evolving from vague and unconscious representations toward crisp and conscious thoughts. We discuss experimental proofs and relate dynamic logic to simulators of the perceptual symbol system. “From vague to crisp” explains interactions between cognition and language. Language is mostly conscious, whereas cognition is only rarely so; this clarifies much about the mind that might seem mysterious. All of the above involve emotions of a special kind, aesthetic emotions related to knowledge and to cognitive dissonances. Cognition-language-emotional mechanisms operate throughout the hierarchy of the mind and create all higher mental abilities. The review discusses cognitive functions of the beautiful, sublime, music. PMID:24961270

  6. Understanding the Consequences of Bilingualism for Language Processing and Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Kroll, Judith F.; Bialystok, Ellen

    2013-01-01

    Contemporary research on bilingualism has been framed by two major discoveries. In the realm of language processing, studies of comprehension and production show that bilinguals activate information about both languages when using one language alone. Parallel activation of the two languages has been demonstrated for highly proficient bilinguals as well as second language learners and appears to be present even when distinct properties of the languages themselves might be sufficient to bias attention towards the language in use. In the realm of cognitive processing, studies of executive function have demonstrated a bilingual advantage, with bilinguals outperforming their monolingual counterparts on tasks that require ignoring irrelevant information, task switching, and resolving conflict. Our claim is that these outcomes are related and have the overall effect of changing the way that both cognitive and linguistic processing are carried out for bilinguals. In this article we consider each of these domains of bilingual performance and consider the kinds of evidence needed to support this view. We argue that the tendency to consider bilingualism as a unitary phenomenon explained in terms of simple component processes has created a set of apparent controversies that masks the richness of the central finding in this work: the adult mind and brain are open to experience in ways that create profound consequences for both language and cognition. PMID:24223260

  7. Slip of the tongue: Implications for evolution and language development.

    PubMed

    Forrester, Gillian S; Rodriguez, Alina

    2015-08-01

    A prevailing theory regarding the evolution of language implicates a gestural stage prior to the emergence of speech. In support of a transition of human language from a gestural to a vocal system, articulation of the hands and the tongue are underpinned by overlapping left hemisphere dominant neural regions. Behavioral studies demonstrate that human adults perform sympathetic mouth actions in imitative synchrony with manual actions. Additionally, right-handedness for precision manual actions in children has been correlated with the typical development of language, while a lack of hand bias has been associated with psychopathology. It therefore stands to reason that sympathetic mouth actions during fine precision motor action of the hands may be lateralized. We employed a fine-grained behavioral coding paradigm to provide the first investigation of tongue protrusions in typically developing 4-year old children. Tongue protrusions were investigated across a range of cognitive tasks that required varying degrees of manual action: precision motor action, gross motor action and no motor actions. The rate of tongue protrusions was influenced by the motor requirements of the task and tongue protrusions were significantly right-biased for only precision manual motor action (p<.001). From an evolutionary perspective, tongue protrusions can drive new investigations regarding how an early human communication system transitioned from hand to mouth. From a developmental perspective, the present study may serve to reveal patterns of tongue protrusions during the motor development of typically developing children.

  8. Plasticity of Human Spatial Cognition: Spatial Language and Cognition Covary across Cultures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haun, Daniel B. M.; Rapold, Christian J.; Janzen, Gabriele; Levinson, Stephen C.

    2011-01-01

    The present paper explores cross-cultural variation in spatial cognition by comparing spatial reconstruction tasks by Dutch and Namibian elementary school children. These two communities differ in the way they predominantly express spatial relations in language. Four experiments investigate cognitive strategy preferences across different levels of…

  9. The native language of social cognition

    PubMed Central

    Kinzler, Katherine D.; Dupoux, Emmanuel; Spelke, Elizabeth S.

    2007-01-01

    What leads humans to divide the social world into groups, preferring their own group and disfavoring others? Experiments with infants and young children suggest these tendencies are based on predispositions that emerge early in life and depend, in part, on natural language. Young infants prefer to look at a person who previously spoke their native language. Older infants preferentially accept toys from native-language speakers, and preschool children preferentially select native-language speakers as friends. Variations in accent are sufficient to evoke these social preferences, which are observed in infants before they produce or comprehend speech and are exhibited by children even when they comprehend the foreign-accented speech. Early-developing preferences for native-language speakers may serve as a foundation for later-developing preferences and conflicts among social groups. PMID:17640881

  10. The native language of social cognition.

    PubMed

    Kinzler, Katherine D; Dupoux, Emmanuel; Spelke, Elizabeth S

    2007-07-24

    What leads humans to divide the social world into groups, preferring their own group and disfavoring others? Experiments with infants and young children suggest these tendencies are based on predispositions that emerge early in life and depend, in part, on natural language. Young infants prefer to look at a person who previously spoke their native language. Older infants preferentially accept toys from native-language speakers, and preschool children preferentially select native-language speakers as friends. Variations in accent are sufficient to evoke these social preferences, which are observed in infants before they produce or comprehend speech and are exhibited by children even when they comprehend the foreign-accented speech. Early-developing preferences for native-language speakers may serve as a foundation for later-developing preferences and conflicts among social groups.

  11. Number as a Cognitive Technology: Evidence from Piraha Language and Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frank, Michael C.; Everett, Daniel L.; Fedorenko, Evelina; Gibson, Edward

    2008-01-01

    Does speaking a language without number words change the way speakers of that language perceive exact quantities? The Piraha are an Amazonian tribe who have been previously studied for their limited numerical system [Gordon, P. (2004). Numerical cognition without words: Evidence from Amazonia. "Science 306", 496-499]. We show that the Piraha have…

  12. Theorizing and Studying the Language-Teaching Mind: Mapping Research on Language Teacher Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burns, Anne; Freeman, Donald; Edwards, Emily

    2015-01-01

    The overarching project of the conceptual and empirical contributions in this special issue is to redraw boundaries for language teacher cognition research. Our aim in this final article is to complement the foregoing collection of articles by conceptualizing ontologically and methodologically past and current trajectories in language teacher…

  13. Left inferior parietal lobe engagement in social cognition and language.

    PubMed

    Bzdok, Danilo; Hartwigsen, Gesa; Reid, Andrew; Laird, Angela R; Fox, Peter T; Eickhoff, Simon B

    2016-09-01

    Social cognition and language are two core features of the human species. Despite distributed recruitment of brain regions in each mental capacity, the left parietal lobe (LPL) represents a zone of topographical convergence. The present study quantitatively summarizes hundreds of neuroimaging studies on social cognition and language. Using connectivity-based parcellation on a meta-analytically defined volume of interest (VOI), regional coactivation patterns within this VOI allowed identifying distinct subregions. Across parcellation solutions, two clusters emerged consistently in rostro-ventral and caudo-ventral aspects of the parietal VOI. Both clusters were functionally significantly associated with social-cognitive and language processing. In particular, the rostro-ventral cluster was associated with lower-level processing facets, while the caudo-ventral cluster was associated with higher-level processing facets in both mental capacities. Contrarily, in the (less stable) dorsal parietal VOI, all clusters reflected computation of general-purpose processes, such as working memory and matching tasks, that are frequently co-recruited by social or language processes. Our results hence favour a rostro-caudal distinction of lower- versus higher-level processes underlying social cognition and language in the left inferior parietal lobe. PMID:27241201

  14. Rate of language evolution is affected by population size

    PubMed Central

    Bromham, Lindell; Hua, Xia; Fitzpatrick, Thomas G.; Greenhill, Simon J.

    2015-01-01

    The effect of population size on patterns and rates of language evolution is controversial. Do languages with larger speaker populations change faster due to a greater capacity for innovation, or do smaller populations change faster due to more efficient diffusion of innovations? Do smaller populations suffer greater loss of language elements through founder effects or drift, or do languages with more speakers lose features due to a process of simplification? Revealing the influence of population size on the tempo and mode of language evolution not only will clarify underlying mechanisms of language change but also has practical implications for the way that language data are used to reconstruct the history of human cultures. Here, we provide, to our knowledge, the first empirical, statistically robust test of the influence of population size on rates of language evolution, controlling for the evolutionary history of the populations and formally comparing the fit of different models of language evolution. We compare rates of gain and loss of cognate words for basic vocabulary in Polynesian languages, an ideal test case with a well-defined history. We demonstrate that larger populations have higher rates of gain of new words whereas smaller populations have higher rates of word loss. These results show that demographic factors can influence rates of language evolution and that rates of gain and loss are affected differently. These findings are strikingly consistent with general predictions of evolutionary models. PMID:25646448

  15. Detecting Cognitive Impairment and Dementia in Deaf People: The British Sign Language Cognitive Screening Test.

    PubMed

    Atkinson, Joanna; Denmark, Tanya; Marshall, Jane; Mummery, Cath; Woll, Bencie

    2015-11-01

    To provide accurate diagnostic screening of deaf people who use signed communication, cognitive tests must be devised in signed languages with normative deaf samples. This article describes the development of the first screening test for the detection of cognitive impairment and dementia in deaf signers. The British Sign Language Cognitive Screening Test uses standardized video administration to screen cognition using signed, rather than spoken or written, instructions and a large norm-referenced sample of 226 deaf older people. Percentiles are provided for clinical comparison. The tests showed good reliability, content validity, and correlation with age, intellectual ability, and education. Clinical discrimination was shown between the normative sample and 14 deaf patients with dementia. This innovative testing approach transforms the ability to detect dementia in deaf people, avoids the difficulties of using an interpreter, and enables culturally and linguistically sensitive assessment of deaf signers, with international potential for adaptation into other signed languages. PMID:26245349

  16. Evolution of Models of Working Memory and Cognitive Resources.

    PubMed

    Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this article is to trace the evolution of models of working memory and cognitive resources from the early 20th century to today. Linear flow models of information processing common in the 1960s and 1970s centered on the transfer of verbal information from a limited-capacity short-term memory store to long-term memory through rehearsal. Current conceptions see working memory as a dynamic system that includes both maintaining and manipulating information through a series of interactive components that include executive control and attentional resources. These models also reflect the evolution from an almost exclusive concentration on working memory for verbal materials to inclusion of a visual working memory component. Although differing in postulated mechanisms and emphasis, these evolving viewpoints all share the recognition that human information processing is a limited-capacity system with limits on the amount of information that can be attended to, remain activated in memory, and utilized at one time. These limitations take on special importance in spoken language comprehension, especially when the stimuli have complex linguistic structures or listening effort is increased by poor acoustic quality or reduced hearing acuity. PMID:27355768

  17. The Inseparability of Cognition and Emotion in Second Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swain, Merrill

    2013-01-01

    The scholarly literature about the process of second language (L2) learning has focused to a considerable extent on cognitive processes. Left aside are questions about how emotions fit into an understanding of L2 learning. One goal of this plenary is to demonstrate that we have limited our understanding of L2 learning by failing to take into…

  18. Topics in Cognitive Development: Language and Operational Thought. Volume 2.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Presseisen, Barbara Z.; And Others

    This is the second volume in a series that records the official Symposium Proceedings of the Jean Piaget Society and examines the theoretical, empirical, and applied aspects of Jean Piaget's seminal epistemology. The 12 papers are divided into four areas: language development, formal reasoning, social cognition, and applied research. The topics of…

  19. Language and Cognitive Development of Deaf and Hearing Twin Sisters.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schirmer, Barbara R.

    In this case study, the language and cognitive development of a 4-year 5-month old profoundly deaf girl and her normally hearing identical twin sister were investigated by videotaping the twins in their home interacting with each other, the investigator, and family members. Materials used with the children were designed to elicit spontaneous,…

  20. Cognitive-Developmental Training with Elevated Boards and Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Arnold; Miller, Eileen Eller

    1973-01-01

    Described is the cognitive-developmental training of 19 mute autistic children, mean age 11 years, with special language signs and connected boards elevated 3 to 6 feet above the ground to promote awareness of body in relation to surrounding objects. (MC)

  1. Cognitive Diagnosis Approaches to Language Assessment: An Overview

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Yong-Won; Sawaki, Yasuyo

    2009-01-01

    A variety of cognitive diagnosis approaches (CDAs) have been used by researchers to extract fine-grained information about the linguistic knowledge states and skill mastery levels of test takers based on their performance on language tests. Although some of these approaches have been in use in the psychometric community for quite some time, many…

  2. MATERIAL LANGUAGE STYLES AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR CHILDREN'S COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    OLIM, ELLIS G.; AND OTHERS

    PART OF A LARGER STUDY OF THE COGNITIVE ENVIRONMENTS OF PRESCHOOL CHILDREN, THIS EXPERIMENT EXAMINED THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN MOTHERS' LANGUAGE STYLES AND THE CONCEPT ATTAINMENT OF THEIR PRESCHOOL CHILDREN. SPEECH SAMPLES WERE OBTAINED FROM 160 URBAN NEGRO MOTHERS OF FOUR SOCIOECONOMIC GROUPS (MIDDLE-CLASS, UPPER-LOWER, LOWER-LOWER, AND…

  3. Bound Cognition and Referential Uses of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wulfemeyer, Julie Marie

    2011-01-01

    This work is an attempt to give a unified theory in response to two questions. The first question arises in the philosophy of mind: what is the mechanism by which we think of objects in the world? The second is a question in the philosophy of language: what is the mechanism by which we speak of them? These are questions that some have treated…

  4. Cognitive Effects of Language on Human Navigation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shusterman, Anna; Ah Lee, Sang; Spelke, Elizabeth S.

    2011-01-01

    Language has been linked to spatial representation and behavior in humans, but the nature of this effect is debated. Here, we test whether simple verbal expressions improve 4-year-old children's performance in a disoriented search task in a small rectangular room with a single red landmark wall. Disoriented children's landmark-guided search for a…

  5. Redrawing the Boundaries on Theory, Research, and Practice Concerning Language Teachers' Philosophies and Language Teacher Cognition: Toward a Critical Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crookes, Graham V.

    2015-01-01

    Two areas of investigation and professional practice--language teachers' philosophies and language teacher cognition--can be considered as related, perhaps overlapping, insofar as they are both the result of thought. The concept of a philosophy of teaching may hold together sets of language teacher cognitions, or guide specific investigations of…

  6. The myth of language universals: language diversity and its importance for cognitive science.

    PubMed

    Evans, Nicholas; Levinson, Stephen C

    2009-10-01

    Talk of linguistic universals has given cognitive scientists the impression that languages are all built to a common pattern. In fact, there are vanishingly few universals of language in the direct sense that all languages exhibit them. Instead, diversity can be found at almost every level of linguistic organization. This fundamentally changes the object of enquiry from a cognitive science perspective. This target article summarizes decades of cross-linguistic work by typologists and descriptive linguists, showing just how few and unprofound the universal characteristics of language are, once we honestly confront the diversity offered to us by the world's 6,000 to 8,000 languages. After surveying the various uses of "universal," we illustrate the ways languages vary radically in sound, meaning, and syntactic organization, and then we examine in more detail the core grammatical machinery of recursion, constituency, and grammatical relations. Although there are significant recurrent patterns in organization, these are better explained as stable engineering solutions satisfying multiple design constraints, reflecting both cultural-historical factors and the constraints of human cognition. Linguistic diversity then becomes the crucial datum for cognitive science: we are the only species with a communication system that is fundamentally variable at all levels. Recognizing the true extent of structural diversity in human language opens up exciting new research directions for cognitive scientists, offering thousands of different natural experiments given by different languages, with new opportunities for dialogue with biological paradigms concerned with change and diversity, and confronting us with the extraordinary plasticity of the highest human skills.

  7. Cognitive Empathy and Emotional Empathy in Human Behavior and Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Adam

    2006-01-01

    This article presents 7 simple models of the relationship between cognitive empathy (mental perspective taking) and emotional empathy (the vicarious sharing of emotion). I consider behavioral outcomes of the models, arguing that, during human evolution, natural selection may have acted on variation in the relationship between cognitive empathy and…

  8. Embodied language comprehension requires an enactivist paradigm of cognition.

    PubMed

    van Elk, Michiel; Slors, Marc; Bekkering, Harold

    2010-01-01

    Two recurrent concerns in discussions on an embodied view of cognition are the "necessity question" (i.e., is activation in modality-specific brain areas necessary for language comprehension?) and the "simulation constraint" (i.e., how do we understand language for which we lack the relevant experiences?). In the present paper we argue that the criticisms encountered by the embodied approach hinge on a cognitivist interpretation of embodiment. We argue that the data relating sensorimotor activation to language comprehension can best be interpreted as supporting a non-representationalist, enactivist model of language comprehension, according to which language comprehension can be described as procedural knowledge - knowledge how, not knowledge that - that enables us to interact with others in a shared physical world. The enactivist view implies that the activation of modality-specific brain areas during language processing reflects the employment of sensorimotor skills and that language comprehension is a context-bound phenomenon. Importantly, an enactivist view provides an embodied approach of language, while avoiding the problems encountered by a cognitivist interpretation of embodiment. PMID:21833288

  9. Neural Cognition and Affective Computing on Cyber Language.

    PubMed

    Huang, Shuang; Zhou, Xuan; Xue, Ke; Wan, Xiqiong; Yang, Zhenyi; Xu, Duo; Ivanović, Mirjana; Yu, Xueer

    2015-01-01

    Characterized by its customary symbol system and simple and vivid expression patterns, cyber language acts as not only a tool for convenient communication but also a carrier of abundant emotions and causes high attention in public opinion analysis, internet marketing, service feedback monitoring, and social emergency management. Based on our multidisciplinary research, this paper presents a classification of the emotional symbols in cyber language, analyzes the cognitive characteristics of different symbols, and puts forward a mechanism model to show the dominant neural activities in that process. Through the comparative study of Chinese, English, and Spanish, which are used by the largest population in the world, this paper discusses the expressive patterns of emotions in international cyber languages and proposes an intelligent method for affective computing on cyber language in a unified PAD (Pleasure-Arousal-Dominance) emotional space.

  10. Neural Cognition and Affective Computing on Cyber Language.

    PubMed

    Huang, Shuang; Zhou, Xuan; Xue, Ke; Wan, Xiqiong; Yang, Zhenyi; Xu, Duo; Ivanović, Mirjana; Yu, Xueer

    2015-01-01

    Characterized by its customary symbol system and simple and vivid expression patterns, cyber language acts as not only a tool for convenient communication but also a carrier of abundant emotions and causes high attention in public opinion analysis, internet marketing, service feedback monitoring, and social emergency management. Based on our multidisciplinary research, this paper presents a classification of the emotional symbols in cyber language, analyzes the cognitive characteristics of different symbols, and puts forward a mechanism model to show the dominant neural activities in that process. Through the comparative study of Chinese, English, and Spanish, which are used by the largest population in the world, this paper discusses the expressive patterns of emotions in international cyber languages and proposes an intelligent method for affective computing on cyber language in a unified PAD (Pleasure-Arousal-Dominance) emotional space. PMID:26491431

  11. Neural Cognition and Affective Computing on Cyber Language

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Shuang; Zhou, Xuan; Xue, Ke; Wan, Xiqiong; Yang, Zhenyi; Xu, Duo; Ivanović, Mirjana; Yu, Xueer

    2015-01-01

    Characterized by its customary symbol system and simple and vivid expression patterns, cyber language acts as not only a tool for convenient communication but also a carrier of abundant emotions and causes high attention in public opinion analysis, internet marketing, service feedback monitoring, and social emergency management. Based on our multidisciplinary research, this paper presents a classification of the emotional symbols in cyber language, analyzes the cognitive characteristics of different symbols, and puts forward a mechanism model to show the dominant neural activities in that process. Through the comparative study of Chinese, English, and Spanish, which are used by the largest population in the world, this paper discusses the expressive patterns of emotions in international cyber languages and proposes an intelligent method for affective computing on cyber language in a unified PAD (Pleasure-Arousal-Dominance) emotional space. PMID:26491431

  12. Communication and cognition: the social beyond language, interaction and culture.

    PubMed

    Mascareño, Aldo

    2008-06-01

    Cognition theories describe the social with terms like language, interaction or culture, whose theoretical status has also been discussed in modern sociology. These concepts are not well-positioned to understand the emergence and autonomy of social orders. Sociological theory of self-referential systems can be useful to reconstruct the bottom-up process which contributes to the emergence of the social as communication as well as to describe the way in which society exerts downward causation upon cognitive phenomena. The core of this theory is the systemic category of meaning as a shared horizon for psychic and social systems.

  13. Unraveling the Tangles of Language Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petroni, F.; Serva, M.; Volchenkov, D.

    2012-07-01

    The relationships between languages molded by extremely complex social, cultural and political factors are assessed by an automated method, in which the distance between languages is estimated by the average normalized Levenshtein distance between words from the list of 200 meanings maximally resistant to change. A sequential process of language classification described by random walks on the matrix of lexical distances allows to represent complex relationships between languages geometrically, in terms of distances and angles. We have tested the method on a sample of 50 Indo-European and 50 Austronesian languages. The geometric representations of language taxonomy allows for making accurate interfaces on the most significant events of human history by tracing changes in language families through time. The Anatolian and Kurgan hypothesis of the Indo-European origin and the "express train" model of the Polynesian origin are thoroughly discussed.

  14. Intelligence, Cognition, and Language of Green Plants.

    PubMed

    Trewavas, Anthony

    2016-01-01

    A summary definition of some 70 descriptions of intelligence provides a definition for all other organisms including plants that stresses fitness. Barbara McClintock, a plant biologist, posed the notion of the 'thoughtful cell' in her Nobel prize address. The systems structure necessary for a thoughtful cell is revealed by comparison of the interactome and connectome. The plant root cap, a group of some 200 cells that act holistically in responding to numerous signals, likely possesses a similar systems structure agreeing with Darwin's description of acting like the brain of a lower organism. Intelligent behavior requires assessment of different choices and taking the beneficial one. Decisions are constantly required to optimize the plant phenotype to a dynamic environment and the cambium is the assessing tissue diverting more or removing resources from different shoot and root branches through manipulation of vascular elements. Environmental awareness likely indicates consciousness. Spontaneity in plant behavior, ability to count to five and error correction indicate intention. Volatile organic compounds are used as signals in plant interactions and being complex in composition may be the equivalent of language accounting for self and alien recognition by individual plants. Game theory describes competitive interactions. Interactive and intelligent outcomes emerge from application of various games between plants themselves and interactions with microbes. Behavior profiting from experience, another simple definition of intelligence, requires both learning and memory and is indicated in the priming of herbivory, disease and abiotic stresses. PMID:27199823

  15. Intelligence, Cognition, and Language of Green Plants.

    PubMed

    Trewavas, Anthony

    2016-01-01

    A summary definition of some 70 descriptions of intelligence provides a definition for all other organisms including plants that stresses fitness. Barbara McClintock, a plant biologist, posed the notion of the 'thoughtful cell' in her Nobel prize address. The systems structure necessary for a thoughtful cell is revealed by comparison of the interactome and connectome. The plant root cap, a group of some 200 cells that act holistically in responding to numerous signals, likely possesses a similar systems structure agreeing with Darwin's description of acting like the brain of a lower organism. Intelligent behavior requires assessment of different choices and taking the beneficial one. Decisions are constantly required to optimize the plant phenotype to a dynamic environment and the cambium is the assessing tissue diverting more or removing resources from different shoot and root branches through manipulation of vascular elements. Environmental awareness likely indicates consciousness. Spontaneity in plant behavior, ability to count to five and error correction indicate intention. Volatile organic compounds are used as signals in plant interactions and being complex in composition may be the equivalent of language accounting for self and alien recognition by individual plants. Game theory describes competitive interactions. Interactive and intelligent outcomes emerge from application of various games between plants themselves and interactions with microbes. Behavior profiting from experience, another simple definition of intelligence, requires both learning and memory and is indicated in the priming of herbivory, disease and abiotic stresses.

  16. Intelligence, Cognition, and Language of Green Plants

    PubMed Central

    Trewavas, Anthony

    2016-01-01

    A summary definition of some 70 descriptions of intelligence provides a definition for all other organisms including plants that stresses fitness. Barbara McClintock, a plant biologist, posed the notion of the ‘thoughtful cell’ in her Nobel prize address. The systems structure necessary for a thoughtful cell is revealed by comparison of the interactome and connectome. The plant root cap, a group of some 200 cells that act holistically in responding to numerous signals, likely possesses a similar systems structure agreeing with Darwin’s description of acting like the brain of a lower organism. Intelligent behavior requires assessment of different choices and taking the beneficial one. Decisions are constantly required to optimize the plant phenotype to a dynamic environment and the cambium is the assessing tissue diverting more or removing resources from different shoot and root branches through manipulation of vascular elements. Environmental awareness likely indicates consciousness. Spontaneity in plant behavior, ability to count to five and error correction indicate intention. Volatile organic compounds are used as signals in plant interactions and being complex in composition may be the equivalent of language accounting for self and alien recognition by individual plants. Game theory describes competitive interactions. Interactive and intelligent outcomes emerge from application of various games between plants themselves and interactions with microbes. Behavior profiting from experience, another simple definition of intelligence, requires both learning and memory and is indicated in the priming of herbivory, disease and abiotic stresses. PMID:27199823

  17. Spatial language facilitates spatial cognition: Evidence from children who lack language input

    PubMed Central

    Gentner, Dedre; Özyürek, Asli; Gürcanli, Özge; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Does spatial language influence how people think about space? To address this question, we observed children who did not know a conventional language, and tested their performance on nonlinguistic spatial tasks. We studied deaf children living in Istanbul whose hearing losses prevented them from acquiring speech and whose hearing parents had not exposed them to sign. Lacking a conventional language, the children used gestures, called homesigns, to communicate. In Study 1, we asked whether homesigners used gesture to convey spatial relations, and found that they did not. In Study 2, we tested a new group of homesigners on a spatial mapping task, and found that they performed significantly worse than hearing Turkish children who were matched to the deaf children on another cognitive task. The absence of spatial language thus went hand-in-hand with poor performance on the nonlinguistic spatial task, pointing to the importance of spatial language in thinking about space. PMID:23542409

  18. Beyond Cognition to Commitment: English Language Teaching in South Korean Primary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moodie, Ian; Feryok, Anne

    2015-01-01

    In order to understand teacher cognition--the thoughts, beliefs, and knowledge of language teachers--it is helpful to understand why people commit to language teaching in the first place. However, few studies of language teachers have directly examined the nature and development of commitment in language teachers, across their language learning,…

  19. Structured cognition and neural systems: from rats to language.

    PubMed

    Battaglia, Francesco P; Borensztajn, Gideon; Bod, Rens

    2012-08-01

    Much of animal and human cognition is compositional in nature: higher order, complex representations are formed by (rule-governed) combination of more primitive representations. We review here some of the evidence for compositionality in perception and memory, motivating an approach that takes ideas and techniques from computational linguistics to model aspects of structural representation in cognition. We summarize some recent developments in our work that, on the one hand, use algorithms from computational linguistics to model memory consolidation and the formation of semantic memory, and on the other hand use insights from the neurobiology of memory to develop a neurally inspired model of syntactic parsing that improves over existing (not cognitively motivated) models in computational linguistics. These two theoretical studies highlight interesting analogies between language acquisition, semantic memory and memory consolidation, and suggest possible neural mechanisms, implemented in computational algorithms that may underlie memory consolidation.

  20. Action and language integration: from humans to cognitive robots.

    PubMed

    Borghi, Anna M; Cangelosi, Angelo

    2014-07-01

    The topic is characterized by a highly interdisciplinary approach to the issue of action and language integration. Such an approach, combining computational models and cognitive robotics experiments with neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and linguistic approaches, can be a powerful means that can help researchers disentangle ambiguous issues, provide better and clearer definitions, and formulate clearer predictions on the links between action and language. In the introduction we briefly describe the papers and discuss the challenges they pose to future research. We identify four important phenomena the papers address and discuss in light of empirical and computational evidence: (a) the role played not only by sensorimotor and emotional information but also of natural language in conceptual representation; (b) the contextual dependency and high flexibility of the interaction between action, concepts, and language; (c) the involvement of the mirror neuron system in action and language processing; (d) the way in which the integration between action and language can be addressed by developmental robotics and Human-Robot Interaction.

  1. Cognitive aging and hearing acuity: modeling spoken language comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Wingfield, Arthur; Amichetti, Nicole M.; Lash, Amanda

    2015-01-01

    The comprehension of spoken language has been characterized by a number of “local” theories that have focused on specific aspects of the task: models of word recognition, models of selective attention, accounts of thematic role assignment at the sentence level, and so forth. The ease of language understanding (ELU) model (Rönnberg et al., 2013) stands as one of the few attempts to offer a fully encompassing framework for language understanding. In this paper we discuss interactions between perceptual, linguistic, and cognitive factors in spoken language understanding. Central to our presentation is an examination of aspects of the ELU model that apply especially to spoken language comprehension in adult aging, where speed of processing, working memory capacity, and hearing acuity are often compromised. We discuss, in relation to the ELU model, conceptions of working memory and its capacity limitations, the use of linguistic context to aid in speech recognition and the importance of inhibitory control, and language comprehension at the sentence level. Throughout this paper we offer a constructive look at the ELU model; where it is strong and where there are gaps to be filled. PMID:26124724

  2. Cognitive Linguistics and Second Language Learning: Theoretical Basics and Experimental Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tyler, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    This book illustrates the ways that cognitive linguistics, a relatively new paradigm in language studies, can illuminate and facilitate language research and teaching. The first part of the book introduces the basics of cognitive linguistic theory in a way that is geared toward second language teachers and researchers. The second part of the book…

  3. Mild cognitive impairment: a concept in evolution

    PubMed Central

    Petersen, Ronald C.; Caracciolo, Barbara; Brayne, Carol; Gauthier, Serge; Jelic, Vesna; Fratiglioni, Laura

    2014-01-01

    The construct of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) has evolved over the past 10 years since the publication of the new MCI definition at the Key Symposium in 2003, but the core criteria have remained unchanged. The construct has been extensively used worldwide, both in clinical and research settings, to define the grey area between intact cognitive functioning and clinical dementia. A rich set of data regarding occurrence, risk factors, and progression of MCI has been generated. Discrepancies between studies can be mostly explained by differences in the operationalization of the criteria, differences in the setting where the criteria have been applied, selection of subjects, and length of follow-up in longitudinal studies. Major controversial issues that remain to be further explored are: algorithmic versus clinical classification, reliability of clinical judgment, temporal changes in cognitive performances, and predictivity of putative biomarkers. Some suggestions to further develop the MCI construct include the tailoring of the clinical criteria to specific populations and to specific contexts. The addition of biomarkers to the clinical phenotypes is promising but requires deeper investigation. Translation of findings from the specialty clinic to the population setting, although challenging, will enhance uniformity of outcomes. More longitudinal population-based studies on cognitive aging and MCI need to be performed to clarify all these issues. PMID:24605806

  4. Cognition and the evolution of music: pitfalls and prospects.

    PubMed

    Honing, Henkjan; Ploeger, Annemie

    2012-10-01

    What was the role of music in the evolutionary history of human beings? We address this question from the point of view that musicality can be defined as a cognitive trait. Although it has been argued that we will never know how cognitive traits evolved (Lewontin, 1998), we argue that we may know the evolution of music by investigating the fundamental cognitive mechanisms of musicality, for example, relative pitch, tonal encoding of pitch, and beat induction. In addition, we show that a nomological network of evidence (Schmitt & Pilcher, 2004) can be built around the hypothesis that musicality is a cognitive adaptation. Within this network, different modes of evidence are gathered to support a specific evolutionary hypothesis. We show that the combination of psychological, medical, physiological, genetic, phylogenetic, hunter-gatherer, and cross-cultural evidence indicates that musicality is a cognitive adaptation.

  5. Stone toolmaking and the evolution of human culture and cognition.

    PubMed

    Stout, Dietrich

    2011-04-12

    Although many species display behavioural traditions, human culture is unique in the complexity of its technological, symbolic and social contents. Is this extraordinary complexity a product of cognitive evolution, cultural evolution or some interaction of the two? Answering this question will require a much better understanding of patterns of increasing cultural diversity, complexity and rates of change in human evolution. Palaeolithic stone tools provide a relatively abundant and continuous record of such change, but a systematic method for describing the complexity and diversity of these early technologies has yet to be developed. Here, an initial attempt at such a system is presented. Results suggest that rates of Palaeolithic culture change may have been underestimated and that there is a direct relationship between increasing technological complexity and diversity. Cognitive evolution and the greater latitude for cultural variation afforded by increasingly complex technologies may play complementary roles in explaining this pattern.

  6. The Implications of the Working Memory Model for the Evolution of Modern Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Wynn, Thomas; Coolidge, Frederick L.

    2011-01-01

    What distinguishes the cognition of biologically modern humans from that of more archaic populations such as Neandertals? The norm in paleoanthropology has been to emphasize the role of language and symbolism. But the modern mind is more than just an archaic mind enhanced by symbol use. It also possesses an important problem solving and planning component. In cognitive neuroscience these advanced planning abilities have been extensively investigated through a formal model known as working memory. The working memory model is now well-enough established to provide a powerful lens through which paleoanthropologists can view the fossil and archaeological records. The challenge is methodological. The following essay reviews the controversial hypothesis that a recent enhancement of working memory capacity was the final piece in the evolution of modern cognition. PMID:21716664

  7. Précis of Foundations of language: brain, meaning, grammar, evolution.

    PubMed

    Jackendoff, Ray

    2003-12-01

    The goal of this study is to reintegrate the theory of generative grammar into the cognitive sciences. Generative grammar was right to focus on the child's acquisition of language as its central problem, leading to the hypothesis of an innate Universal Grammar. However, generative grammar was mistaken in assuming that the syntactic component is the sole course of combinatoriality, and that everything else is "interpretive." The proper approach is a parallel architecture, in which phonology, syntax, and semantics are autonomous generative systems linked by interface components. The parallel architecture leads to an integration within linguistics, and to a far better integration with the rest of cognitive neuroscience. It fits naturally into the larger architecture of the mind/brain and permits a properly mentalistic theory of semantics. It results in a view of linguistic performance in which the rules of grammar are directly involved in processing. Finally, it leads to a natural account of the incremental evolution of the language capacity.

  8. Reciprocal Influences between Maternal Language and Children's Language and Cognitive Development in Low-Income Families

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Song, Lulu; Spier, Elizabeth T.; Tamis-Lemonda, Catherine S.

    2014-01-01

    We examined reciprocal associations between early maternal language use and children's language and cognitive development in seventy ethnically diverse, low-income families. Mother-child dyads were videotaped when children were aged 2;0 and 3;0. Video transcripts were analyzed for quantity and lexical diversity of maternal and child language.…

  9. When Language Experience Fails to Explain Word Reading Development: Early Cognitive and Linguistic Profiles of Young Foreign Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hu, Chieh-Fang; Schuele, C. Melanie

    2015-01-01

    Although language experience is a key factor in successful foreign language (FL) learning, many FL learners fail to achieve performance levels that were predicted on the basis of their FL experience. This retrospective study investigated early cognitive and linguistic correlates of learning English as a foreign language (FL) in a group of…

  10. Decreasing Cognitive Load for Learners: Strategy of Web-Based Foreign Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Jianfeng

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive load is one of the important factors that influence the effectiveness and efficiency of web-based foreign language learning. Cognitive load theory assumes that human's cognitive capacity in working memory is limited and if it overloads, learning will be hampered, so that high level of cognitive load can affect the performance of learning…

  11. Redrawing the Boundaries of Language Teacher Cognition: Language Teacher Educators' Emotion, Cognition, and Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Golombek, Paula R.

    2015-01-01

    This article, grounded in a Vygotskian sociocultural perspective, details the self-inquiry of a language teacher educator who examined her "emotional dissonance" regarding her mediation of the reflection journals of a teacher learner teaching an ESL class during an internship. Data from the teacher learner's reflection journals and the…

  12. The integration hypothesis of human language evolution and the nature of contemporary languages

    PubMed Central

    Miyagawa, Shigeru; Ojima, Shiro; Berwick, Robert C.; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2014-01-01

    How human language arose is a mystery in the evolution of Homo sapiens. Miyagawa et al. (2013) put forward a proposal, which we will call the Integration Hypothesis of human language evolution, that holds that human language is composed of two components, E for expressive, and L for lexical. Each component has an antecedent in nature: E as found, for example, in birdsong, and L in, for example, the alarm calls of monkeys. E and L integrated uniquely in humans to give rise to language. A challenge to the Integration Hypothesis is that while these non-human systems are finite-state in nature, human language is known to require characterization by a non-finite state grammar. Our claim is that E and L, taken separately, are in fact finite-state; when a grammatical process crosses the boundary between E and L, it gives rise to the non-finite state character of human language. We provide empirical evidence for the Integration Hypothesis by showing that certain processes found in contemporary languages that have been characterized as non-finite state in nature can in fact be shown to be finite-state. We also speculate on how human language actually arose in evolution through the lens of the Integration Hypothesis. PMID:24936195

  13. The integration hypothesis of human language evolution and the nature of contemporary languages.

    PubMed

    Miyagawa, Shigeru; Ojima, Shiro; Berwick, Robert C; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2014-01-01

    How human language arose is a mystery in the evolution of Homo sapiens. Miyagawa et al. (2013) put forward a proposal, which we will call the Integration Hypothesis of human language evolution, that holds that human language is composed of two components, E for expressive, and L for lexical. Each component has an antecedent in nature: E as found, for example, in birdsong, and L in, for example, the alarm calls of monkeys. E and L integrated uniquely in humans to give rise to language. A challenge to the Integration Hypothesis is that while these non-human systems are finite-state in nature, human language is known to require characterization by a non-finite state grammar. Our claim is that E and L, taken separately, are in fact finite-state; when a grammatical process crosses the boundary between E and L, it gives rise to the non-finite state character of human language. We provide empirical evidence for the Integration Hypothesis by showing that certain processes found in contemporary languages that have been characterized as non-finite state in nature can in fact be shown to be finite-state. We also speculate on how human language actually arose in evolution through the lens of the Integration Hypothesis.

  14. Two languages, two minds: flexible cognitive processing driven by language of operation.

    PubMed

    Athanasopoulos, Panos; Bylund, Emanuel; Montero-Melis, Guillermo; Damjanovic, Ljubica; Schartner, Alina; Kibbe, Alexandra; Riches, Nick; Thierry, Guillaume

    2015-04-01

    People make sense of objects and events around them by classifying them into identifiable categories. The extent to which language affects this process has been the focus of a long-standing debate: Do different languages cause their speakers to behave differently? Here, we show that fluent German-English bilinguals categorize motion events according to the grammatical constraints of the language in which they operate. First, as predicted from cross-linguistic differences in motion encoding, bilingual participants functioning in a German testing context prefer to match events on the basis of motion completion to a greater extent than do bilingual participants in an English context. Second, when bilingual participants experience verbal interference in English, their categorization behavior is congruent with that predicted for German; when bilingual participants experience verbal interference in German, their categorization becomes congruent with that predicted for English. These findings show that language effects on cognition are context-bound and transient, revealing unprecedented levels of malleability in human cognition.

  15. Two languages, two minds: flexible cognitive processing driven by language of operation.

    PubMed

    Athanasopoulos, Panos; Bylund, Emanuel; Montero-Melis, Guillermo; Damjanovic, Ljubica; Schartner, Alina; Kibbe, Alexandra; Riches, Nick; Thierry, Guillaume

    2015-04-01

    People make sense of objects and events around them by classifying them into identifiable categories. The extent to which language affects this process has been the focus of a long-standing debate: Do different languages cause their speakers to behave differently? Here, we show that fluent German-English bilinguals categorize motion events according to the grammatical constraints of the language in which they operate. First, as predicted from cross-linguistic differences in motion encoding, bilingual participants functioning in a German testing context prefer to match events on the basis of motion completion to a greater extent than do bilingual participants in an English context. Second, when bilingual participants experience verbal interference in English, their categorization behavior is congruent with that predicted for German; when bilingual participants experience verbal interference in German, their categorization becomes congruent with that predicted for English. These findings show that language effects on cognition are context-bound and transient, revealing unprecedented levels of malleability in human cognition. PMID:25749698

  16. The evolution of coordinated vocalizations before language.

    PubMed

    Bryant, Gregory A

    2014-12-01

    Ackermann et al. briefly point out the potential significance of coordinated vocal behavior in the dual pathway model of acoustic communication. Rhythmically entrained and articulated pre-linguistic vocal activity in early hominins might have set the evolutionary stage for later refinements that manifest in modern humans as language-based conversational turn-taking, joint music-making, and other behaviors associated with prosociality. PMID:25514939

  17. Evolution, language and analogy in functional genomics.

    PubMed

    Benner, S A; Gaucher, E A

    2001-07-01

    Almost a century ago, Wittgenstein pointed out that theory in science is intricately connected to language. This connection is not a frequent topic in the genomics literature. But a case can be made that functional genomics is today hindered by the paradoxes that Wittgenstein identified. If this is true, until these paradoxes are recognized and addressed, functional genomics will continue to be limited in its ability to extrapolate information from genomic sequences.

  18. Evolution, language and analogy in functional genomics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benner, S. A.; Gaucher, E. A.

    2001-01-01

    Almost a century ago, Wittgenstein pointed out that theory in science is intricately connected to language. This connection is not a frequent topic in the genomics literature. But a case can be made that functional genomics is today hindered by the paradoxes that Wittgenstein identified. If this is true, until these paradoxes are recognized and addressed, functional genomics will continue to be limited in its ability to extrapolate information from genomic sequences.

  19. Influence of hearing loss and cognitive abilities on language development in CHARGE Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Vesseur, Annemarie; Langereis, Margreet; Free, Rolien; Snik, Ad; van Ravenswaaij-Arts, Conny; Mylanus, Emmanuel

    2016-08-01

    Hearing loss and cognitive delay are frequently occurring features in CHARGE syndrome that may contribute to impaired language development. However, not much is known about language development in patients with CHARGE syndrome. In this retrospective study, hearing loss, cognitive abilities, and language development are described in 50 patients with CHARGE syndrome. After informed consent was given, data were collected from local medical files. Most patients (38.3%; 18/47 patients) had moderate hearing loss (41-70 dB) and 58.5% (24/41 patients) had an IQ below 70. The mean language quotients of the receptive and expressive language were more than one standard deviation below the norm. Both hearing loss and cognitive delay had an influence on language development. Language and cognitive data were not available for all patients, which may have resulted in a pre-selection of patients with a delay. In conclusion, while hearing thresholds, cognitive abilities and language development vary widely in CHARGE syndrome, they are mostly below average. Hearing loss and cognitive delay have a significant influence on language development in children with CHARGE syndrome. To improve our knowledge about and the quality of care we can provide to CHARGE patients, hearing and developmental tests should be performed regularly in order to differentiate between the contributions of hearing loss and cognitive delay to delays in language development, and to provide adequate hearing amplification in the case of hearing loss. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27145116

  20. On the Evolution of Human Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lieberman, Philip

    Human linguistic ability depends, in part, on the gradual evolution of man's supralaryngeal vocal tract. The anatomic basis of human speech production is the result of a long evolutionary process in which the Darwinian process of natural selection acted to retain mutations. For auditory perception, the listener operates in terms of the acoustic…

  1. The role of mirror neurons in language acquisition and evolution.

    PubMed

    Behme, Christina

    2014-04-01

    I argue that Cook et al.'s attack of the genetic hypothesis of mirror neurons misses its target because the authors miss the point that genetics may specify how neurons may learn, not what they learn. Paying more attention to recent work linking mirror neurons to language acquisition and evolution would strengthen Cook et al.'s arguments against a rigid genetic hypothesis.

  2. Language Evolution: Constraints and Opportunities From Modern Genetics.

    PubMed

    Dediu, Dan; Christiansen, Morten H

    2016-04-01

    Our understanding of language, its origins and subsequent evolution (including language change), is shaped not only by data and theories from the language sciences, but also fundamentally by the biological sciences. Recent developments in genetics and evolutionary theory offer both very strong constraints on what scenarios of language evolution are possible and probable, but also offer exciting opportunities for understanding otherwise puzzling phenomena. Due to the intrinsic breathtaking rate of advancement in these fields, and the complexity, subtlety, and sometimes apparent non-intuitiveness of the phenomena discovered, some of these recent developments have either being completely missed by language scientists or misperceived and misrepresented. In this short paper, we offer an update on some of these findings and theoretical developments through a selection of illustrative examples and discussions that cast new light on current debates in the language sciences. The main message of our paper is that life is much more complex and nuanced than anybody could have predicted even a few decades ago, and that we need to be flexible in our theorizing instead of embracing a priori dogmas and trying to patch paradigms that are no longer satisfactory.

  3. Cognition and Literacy in English Language Learners at Risk for Reading Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, H. Lee; Orosco, Michael J.; Lussier, Cathy M.

    2012-01-01

    This study explores the cognitive basis of reading disabilities (RDs) in Spanish-speaking children who are learning English as a second language. Children (N = 393) designated as English language learners (ELLs) or bilingual with and without RDs in Grades 1, 2, and 3 were administered a battery of cognitive (short-term memory, working memory,…

  4. Relative Contribution of Perception/Cognition and Language on Spatial Categorization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Choi, Soonja; Hattrup, Kate

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the relative contribution of perception/cognition and language-specific semantics in nonverbal categorization of spatial relations. English and Korean speakers completed a video-based similarity judgment task involving containment, support, tight fit, and loose fit. Both perception/cognition and language served as resources…

  5. Cognitive and Linguistic Precursors to Early Literacy Achievement in Children with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Weerdenburg, Marjolijn; Verhoeven, Ludo; van Balkom, Hans; Bosman, Anna

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the role of cognitive and language skills as predictors of early literacy skills in children with Specific Language Impairment. A range of cognitive and linguistic skills were assessed in a sample of 137 eight-year-old children with SLI at the beginning of the school year, and 6 months later on word decoding and reading…

  6. Cognitive Diagnosis and Q-Matrices in Language Assessment: The Authors Respond

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Yong-Won; Sawaki, Yasuyo

    2010-01-01

    This article presents the authors' response on the two commentators' (Fred Davidson and Charles Alderson) reviews of the 2009 Special Issue of "Language Assessment Quarterly" on "Cognitive Diagnosis and Q-matrices in Language Assessment." The Special Issue represents several years of research work on cognitive diagnosis approaches (CDA) carried…

  7. Social Cognition and Externalizing Psychopathology: An Investigation of the Mediating Role of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zadeh, Zohreh Yaghoub; Im-Bolter, Nancie; Cohen, Nancy J.

    2007-01-01

    The present study integrates findings from three lines of research on the association of social cognition and externalizing psychopathology, language and externalizing psychopathology, and social cognition and language functioning using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). To date these associations have been examined in pairs. A sample of 354…

  8. A Bird’s Eye View of Human Language Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Berwick, Robert C.; Beckers, Gabriël J. L.; Okanoya, Kazuo; Bolhuis, Johan J.

    2012-01-01

    Comparative studies of linguistic faculties in animals pose an evolutionary paradox: language involves certain perceptual and motor abilities, but it is not clear that this serves as more than an input–output channel for the externalization of language proper. Strikingly, the capability for auditory–vocal learning is not shared with our closest relatives, the apes, but is present in such remotely related groups as songbirds and marine mammals. There is increasing evidence for behavioral, neural, and genetic similarities between speech acquisition and birdsong learning. At the same time, researchers have applied formal linguistic analysis to the vocalizations of both primates and songbirds. What have all these studies taught us about the evolution of language? Is the comparative study of an apparently species-specific trait like language feasible? We argue that comparative analysis remains an important method for the evolutionary reconstruction and causal analysis of the mechanisms underlying language. On the one hand, common descent has been important in the evolution of the brain, such that avian and mammalian brains may be largely homologous, particularly in the case of brain regions involved in auditory perception, vocalization, and auditory memory. On the other hand, there has been convergent evolution of the capacity for auditory–vocal learning, and possibly for structuring of external vocalizations, such that apes lack the abilities that are shared between songbirds and humans. However, significant limitations to this comparative analysis remain. While all birdsong may be classified in terms of a particularly simple kind of concatenation system, the regular languages, there is no compelling evidence to date that birdsong matches the characteristic syntactic complexity of human language, arising from the composition of smaller forms like words and phrases into larger ones. PMID:22518103

  9. Delegation to automaticity: the driving force for cognitive evolution?

    PubMed Central

    Shine, J. M.; Shine, R.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to delegate control over repetitive tasks from higher to lower neural centers may be a fundamental innovation in human cognition. Plausibly, the massive neurocomputational challenges associated with the mastery of balance during the evolution of bipedality in proto-humans provided a strong selective advantage to individuals with brains capable of efficiently transferring tasks in this way. Thus, the shift from quadrupedal to bipedal locomotion may have driven the rapid evolution of distinctive features of human neuronal functioning. We review recent studies of functional neuroanatomy that bear upon this hypothesis, and identify ways to test our ideas. PMID:24808820

  10. Innateness and culture in the evolution of language.

    PubMed

    Kirby, Simon; Dowman, Mike; Griffiths, Thomas L

    2007-03-20

    Human language arises from biological evolution, individual learning, and cultural transmission, but the interaction of these three processes has not been widely studied. We set out a formal framework for analyzing cultural transmission, which allows us to investigate how innate learning biases are related to universal properties of language. We show that cultural transmission can magnify weak biases into strong linguistic universals, undermining one of the arguments for strong innate constraints on language learning. As a consequence, the strength of innate biases can be shielded from natural selection, allowing these genes to drift. Furthermore, even when there is no natural selection, cultural transmission can produce apparent adaptations. Cultural transmission thus provides an alternative to traditional nativist and adaptationist explanations for the properties of human languages.

  11. Networks of lexical borrowing and lateral gene transfer in language and genome evolution

    PubMed Central

    List, Johann-Mattis; Nelson-Sathi, Shijulal; Geisler, Hans; Martin, William

    2014-01-01

    Like biological species, languages change over time. As noted by Darwin, there are many parallels between language evolution and biological evolution. Insights into these parallels have also undergone change in the past 150 years. Just like genes, words change over time, and language evolution can be likened to genome evolution accordingly, but what kind of evolution? There are fundamental differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic evolution. In the former, natural variation entails the gradual accumulation of minor mutations in alleles. In the latter, lateral gene transfer is an integral mechanism of natural variation. The study of language evolution using biological methods has attracted much interest of late, most approaches focusing on language tree construction. These approaches may underestimate the important role that borrowing plays in language evolution. Network approaches that were originally designed to study lateral gene transfer may provide more realistic insights into the complexities of language evolution. PMID:24375688

  12. The Nature of the Language Faculty and Its Implications for Evolution of Language (Reply to Fitch, Hauser, and Chomsky)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackendoff, Ray; Pinker, Steven

    2005-01-01

    In a continuation of the conversation with Fitch, Chomsky, and Hauser on the evolution of language, we examine their defense of the claim that the uniquely human, language-specific part of the language faculty (the ''narrow language faculty'') consists only of recursion, and that this part cannot be considered an adaptation to communication. We…

  13. Without it no music: cognition, biology and evolution of musicality.

    PubMed

    Honing, Henkjan; ten Cate, Carel; Peretz, Isabelle; Trehub, Sandra E

    2015-03-19

    Musicality can be defined as a natural, spontaneously developing trait based on and constrained by biology and cognition. Music, by contrast, can be defined as a social and cultural construct based on that very musicality. One critical challenge is to delineate the constituent elements of musicality. What biological and cognitive mechanisms are essential for perceiving, appreciating and making music? Progress in understanding the evolution of music cognition depends upon adequate characterization of the constituent mechanisms of musicality and the extent to which they are present in non-human species. We argue for the importance of identifying these mechanisms and delineating their functions and developmental course, as well as suggesting effective means of studying them in human and non-human animals. It is virtually impossible to underpin the evolutionary role of musicality as a whole, but a multicomponent perspective on musicality that emphasizes its constituent capacities, development and neural cognitive specificity is an excellent starting point for a research programme aimed at illuminating the origins and evolution of musical behaviour as an autonomous trait. PMID:25646511

  14. Without it no music: cognition, biology and evolution of musicality.

    PubMed

    Honing, Henkjan; ten Cate, Carel; Peretz, Isabelle; Trehub, Sandra E

    2015-03-19

    Musicality can be defined as a natural, spontaneously developing trait based on and constrained by biology and cognition. Music, by contrast, can be defined as a social and cultural construct based on that very musicality. One critical challenge is to delineate the constituent elements of musicality. What biological and cognitive mechanisms are essential for perceiving, appreciating and making music? Progress in understanding the evolution of music cognition depends upon adequate characterization of the constituent mechanisms of musicality and the extent to which they are present in non-human species. We argue for the importance of identifying these mechanisms and delineating their functions and developmental course, as well as suggesting effective means of studying them in human and non-human animals. It is virtually impossible to underpin the evolutionary role of musicality as a whole, but a multicomponent perspective on musicality that emphasizes its constituent capacities, development and neural cognitive specificity is an excellent starting point for a research programme aimed at illuminating the origins and evolution of musical behaviour as an autonomous trait.

  15. Without it no music: cognition, biology and evolution of musicality

    PubMed Central

    Honing, Henkjan; ten Cate, Carel; Peretz, Isabelle; Trehub, Sandra E.

    2015-01-01

    Musicality can be defined as a natural, spontaneously developing trait based on and constrained by biology and cognition. Music, by contrast, can be defined as a social and cultural construct based on that very musicality. One critical challenge is to delineate the constituent elements of musicality. What biological and cognitive mechanisms are essential for perceiving, appreciating and making music? Progress in understanding the evolution of music cognition depends upon adequate characterization of the constituent mechanisms of musicality and the extent to which they are present in non-human species. We argue for the importance of identifying these mechanisms and delineating their functions and developmental course, as well as suggesting effective means of studying them in human and non-human animals. It is virtually impossible to underpin the evolutionary role of musicality as a whole, but a multicomponent perspective on musicality that emphasizes its constituent capacities, development and neural cognitive specificity is an excellent starting point for a research programme aimed at illuminating the origins and evolution of musical behaviour as an autonomous trait. PMID:25646511

  16. The Relationship between Language Ability and Cognitive Function in Patients with Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sung-Jin; Shim, Joo-Cheol; Kong, Bo-Geum; Kang, Je-Wook; Moon, Jung-Joon; Jeon, Dong-Wook; Jung, Sung-Soo; Seo, Beom-Joo; Jung, Do-Un

    2015-01-01

    Objective Cognitive dysfunction is common in people with schizophrenia, and language disability is one of the most notable cognitive deficits. This study assessed the use and comprehension ability of the Korean language in patients with schizophrenia and the correlations between language ability and cognitive function. Methods Eighty-six patients with schizophrenia and a group of 29 healthy controls were recruited. We assessed both clinical symptoms and cognitive functions including Korean language ability. For clinical symptoms, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, Clinical Global Impression-Schizophrenia Scale, and Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale were used. For the Korean language ability assessment, a portion of the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) Korean Language Test was used. The Short-form of Korean-Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, the Korean version of the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Performance-based Skills Assessment (K-UPSA), and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) were used to assess cognitive functions. Results Schizophrenic patients had significantly lower scores in the language and cognitive function tests both in the total and subscale scores. Various clinical scores had negative correlations with reading comprehension ability of the KBS Korean Language Test. The WCST and a part of the K-UPSA had positive correlations with multiple domains of the language test. Conclusion A significant difference was found between schizophrenic patients and controls in language ability. Correlations between Korean language ability and several clinical symptoms and cognitive functions were demonstrated in patients with schizophrenia. Tests of cognitive function had positive correlations with different aspects of language ability. PMID:26598588

  17. Cognitive integration of language and memory in bilinguals: semantic representation.

    PubMed

    Francis, W S

    1999-03-01

    Understanding cognitive research on the integration of 2 languages in bilingual memory is difficult because of the different terminology, methodology, analysis, and interpretation strategies that scholars with different backgrounds bring to the research. These studies can be usefully categorized on 2 dimensions: memory for verbal experience versus linguistic knowledge, and systemwise versus pairwise issues. Experimental findings in this area converge on the conclusion that at the word meaning/conceptual level, both episodic and linguistic memory can be characterized as shared at the systems level and at least partly shared at the pairwise translation-equivalent level. Interpretation problems that stem from weak hypothesis testing structure and from covert translation can be minimized by using appropriate design and analysis techniques.

  18. Evidence for shared cognitive processing of pitch in music and language.

    PubMed

    Perrachione, Tyler K; Fedorenko, Evelina G; Vinke, Louis; Gibson, Edward; Dilley, Laura C

    2013-01-01

    Language and music epitomize the complex representational and computational capacities of the human mind. Strikingly similar in their structural and expressive features, a longstanding question is whether the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms underlying these abilities are shared or distinct--either from each other or from other mental processes. One prominent feature shared between language and music is signal encoding using pitch, conveying pragmatics and semantics in language and melody in music. We investigated how pitch processing is shared between language and music by measuring consistency in individual differences in pitch perception across language, music, and three control conditions intended to assess basic sensory and domain-general cognitive processes. Individuals' pitch perception abilities in language and music were most strongly related, even after accounting for performance in all control conditions. These results provide behavioral evidence, based on patterns of individual differences, that is consistent with the hypothesis that cognitive mechanisms for pitch processing may be shared between language and music.

  19. Cognitive and Linguistic Predictors of Basic Arithmetic Skills: Evidence from First-Language and Second-Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kleemans, Tijs; Segers, Eliane; Verhoeven, Ludo

    2014-01-01

    The present study investigated the role of both cognitive and linguistic predictors in basic arithmetic skills (i.e., addition and subtraction) in 69 first-language (L1) learners and 60 second-language (L2) learners from the second grade of primary schools in the Netherlands. All children were tested on non-verbal intelligence, working memory,…

  20. Language, Cognitive Flexibility, and Explicit False Belief Understanding: Longitudinal Analysis in Typical Development and Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farrant, Brad M.; Maybery, Murray T.; Fletcher, Janet

    2012-01-01

    The hypothesis that language plays a role in theory-of-mind (ToM) development is supported by a number of lines of evidence (e.g., H. Lohmann & M. Tomasello, 2003). The current study sought to further investigate the relations between maternal language input, memory for false sentential complements, cognitive flexibility, and the development of…

  1. Determining First Language Composition Using Cognitively Demanding/Context-Reduced Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luetke-Stahlman, Barbara

    A model of assessing language proficiency in hearing bilingual students is adapted and discussed in terms of hearing impairment needs. Empirical data are presented to verify that the language or system acting as a "first language" for hearing-impaired students in cognitive/academic stituations can be determined. Educational implications are…

  2. Language Teacher Cognition in Applied Linguistics Research: Revisiting the Territory, Redrawing the Boundaries, Reclaiming the Relevance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kubanyiova, Magdalena; Feryok, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Understanding language teachers' "mental lives" (Walberg, 1972), and how these shape and are shaped by the activity of language teaching in diverse sociocultural contexts, has been at the forefront of the sub discipline of applied linguistics that has become known as "language teacher cognition." Although the collective…

  3. How Can One Learn Mathematical Word Problems in a Second Language? A Cognitive Load Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moussa-Inaty, Jase; Causapin, Mark; Groombridge, Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Language may ordinarily account for difficulties in solving word problems and this is particularly true if mathematical word problems are taught in a language other than one's native language. Research into cognitive load may offer a clear theoretical framework when investigating word problems because memory, specifically working memory, plays a…

  4. Three-Dimensional Constraints on Human Cognition as Expressed in Human Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adam, Christopher C.

    2015-01-01

    Those advocating the existence of a distinct language instinct generally claim that human language is not reliant on general human cognition. However, limitations on recursive patterns in human language are universally attested, from the micro-level elements of phonology, throughout the mid-level elements of morphology and syntax, and up to the…

  5. Languaging as Agent and Constituent of Cognitive Change in an Older Adult: An Example

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swain, Merrill; Lapkin, Sharon

    2011-01-01

    Vygotsky's writings have established the critical importance of language in the development of higher mental functions, including memory and attention. One of the processes involved in this development is languaging, the activity of mediating cognitively complex ideas using language (Swain, 2006). The present study of an older adult with mild…

  6. Language and life history: a new perspective on the development and evolution of human language.

    PubMed

    Locke, John L; Bogin, Barry

    2006-06-01

    It has long been claimed that Homo sapiens is the only species that has language, but only recently has it been recognized that humans also have an unusual pattern of growth and development. Social mammals have two stages of pre-adult development: infancy and juvenility. Humans have two additional prolonged and pronounced life history stages: childhood, an interval of four years extending between infancy and the juvenile period that follows, and adolescence, a stage of about eight years that stretches from juvenility to adulthood. We begin by reviewing the primary biological and linguistic changes occurring in each of the four pre-adult ontogenetic stages in human life history. Then we attempt to trace the evolution of childhood and juvenility in our hominin ancestors. We propose that several different forms of selection applied in infancy and childhood; and that, in adolescence, elaborated vocal behaviors played a role in courtship and intrasexual competition, enhancing fitness and ultimately integrating performative and pragmatic skills with linguistic knowledge in a broad faculty of language. A theoretical consequence of our proposal is that fossil evidence of the uniquely human stages may be used, with other findings, to date the emergence of language. If important aspects of language cannot appear until sexual maturity, as we propose, then a second consequence is that the development of language requires the whole of modern human ontogeny. Our life history model thus offers new ways of investigating, and thinking about, the evolution, development, and ultimately the nature of human language.

  7. Foreign language training as cognitive therapy for age-related cognitive decline: A hypothesis for future research

    PubMed Central

    Antoniou, Mark; Gunasekera, Geshri; Wong, Patrick C. M.

    2014-01-01

    Over the next fifty years, the number of older adults is set to reach record levels. Protecting older adults from the age-related effects of cognitive decline is one of the greatest challenges of the next few decades as it places increasing pressure on families, health systems, and economies on a global scale. The disease-state of age-related cognitive decline—Alzheimer's disease and other dementias—hijacks our consciousness and intellectual autonomy. However, there is evidence that cognitively stimulating activities protect against the adverse effects of cognitive decline. Similarly, bilingualism is also considered to be a safeguard. We propose that foreign language learning programs aimed at older populations are an optimal solution for building cognitive reserve because language learning engages an extensive brain network that is known to overlap with the regions negatively affected by the aging process. It is recommended that future research should test this potentially fruitful hypothesis. PMID:24051310

  8. Foreign language training as cognitive therapy for age-related cognitive decline: a hypothesis for future research.

    PubMed

    Antoniou, Mark; Gunasekera, Geshri M; Wong, Patrick C M

    2013-12-01

    Over the next fifty years, the number of older adults is set to reach record levels. Protecting older adults from the age-related effects of cognitive decline is one of the greatest challenges of the next few decades as it places increasing pressure on families, health systems, and economies on a global scale. The disease-state of age-related cognitive decline-Alzheimer's disease and other dementias-hijacks our consciousness and intellectual autonomy. However, there is evidence that cognitively stimulating activities protect against the adverse effects of cognitive decline. Similarly, bilingualism is also considered to be a safeguard. We propose that foreign language learning programs aimed at older populations are an optimal solution for building cognitive reserve because language learning engages an extensive brain network that is known to overlap with the regions negatively affected by the aging process. It is recommended that future research should test this potentially fruitful hypothesis. PMID:24051310

  9. Co-evolution of human consciousness and language (revisited).

    PubMed

    Arbib, Michael A

    2014-06-01

    This article discusses the view that human consciousness may share aspects of "animal awareness" with other species, but has its unique form because humans possess language. Two ingredients of a theory of the evolution of human consciousness are offered: the view that a précis of intended activity is necessarily formed in the brain of a human that communicates in a human way; and the notion that such a précis underwrites the uniquely human aspect of consciousness.

  10. The evolution of the language faculty: clarifications and implications.

    PubMed

    Fitch, W Tecumseh; Hauser, Marc D; Chomsky, Noam

    2005-09-01

    In this response to Pinker and Jackendoff's critique, we extend our previous framework for discussion of language evolution, clarifying certain distinctions and elaborating on a number of points. In the first half of the paper, we reiterate that profitable research into the biology and evolution of language requires fractionation of "language" into component mechanisms and interfaces, a non-trivial endeavor whose results are unlikely to map onto traditional disciplinary boundaries. Our terminological distinction between FLN and FLB is intended to help clarify misunderstandings and aid interdisciplinary rapprochement. By blurring this distinction, Pinker and Jackendoff mischaracterize our hypothesis 3 which concerns only FLN, not "language" as a whole. Many of their arguments and examples are thus irrelevant to this hypothesis. Their critique of the minimalist program is for the most part equally irrelevant, because very few of the arguments in our original paper were tied to this program; in an online appendix we detail the deep inaccuracies in their characterization of this program. Concerning evolution, we believe that Pinker and Jackendoff's emphasis on the past adaptive history of the language faculty is misplaced. Such questions are unlikely to be resolved empirically due to a lack of relevant data, and invite speculation rather than research. Preoccupation with the issue has retarded progress in the field by diverting research away from empirical questions, many of which can be addressed with comparative data. Moreover, offering an adaptive hypothesis as an alternative to our hypothesis concerning mechanisms is a logical error, as questions of function are independent of those concerning mechanism. The second half of our paper consists of a detailed response to the specific data discussed by Pinker and Jackendoff. Although many of their examples are irrelevant to our original paper and arguments, we find several areas of substantive disagreement that could be

  11. Parallel Evolution of Genes and Languages in the Caucasus Region

    PubMed Central

    Balanovsky, Oleg; Dibirova, Khadizhat; Dybo, Anna; Mudrak, Oleg; Frolova, Svetlana; Pocheshkhova, Elvira; Haber, Marc; Platt, Daniel; Schurr, Theodore; Haak, Wolfgang; Kuznetsova, Marina; Radzhabov, Magomed; Balaganskaya, Olga; Romanov, Alexey; Zakharova, Tatiana; Soria Hernanz, David F.; Zalloua, Pierre; Koshel, Sergey; Ruhlen, Merritt; Renfrew, Colin; Wells, R. Spencer; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Balanovska, Elena

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed 40 SNP and 19 STR Y-chromosomal markers in a large sample of 1,525 indigenous individuals from 14 populations in the Caucasus and 254 additional individuals representing potential source populations. We also employed a lexicostatistical approach to reconstruct the history of the languages of the North Caucasian family spoken by the Caucasus populations. We found a different major haplogroup to be prevalent in each of four sets of populations that occupy distinct geographic regions and belong to different linguistic branches. The haplogroup frequencies correlated with geography and, even more strongly, with language. Within haplogroups, a number of haplotype clusters were shown to be specific to individual populations and languages. The data suggested a direct origin of Caucasus male lineages from the Near East, followed by high levels of isolation, differentiation and genetic drift in situ. Comparison of genetic and linguistic reconstructions covering the last few millennia showed striking correspondences between the topology and dates of the respective gene and language trees, and with documented historical events. Overall, in the Caucasus region, unmatched levels of gene-language co-evolution occurred within geographically isolated populations, probably due to its mountainous terrain. PMID:21571925

  12. Comparison of the Recovery Patterns of Language and Cognitive Functions in Patients with Post-Traumatic Language Processing Deficits and in Patients with Aphasia Following a Stroke

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vukovic, Mile; Vuksanovic, Jasmina; Vukovic, Irena

    2008-01-01

    In this study we investigated the recovery patterns of language and cognitive functions in patients with post-traumatic language processing deficits and in patients with aphasia following a stroke. The correlation of specific language functions and cognitive functions was analyzed in the acute phase and 6 months later. Significant recovery of the…

  13. Cognition and Language: From Apprehension to Judgment -- Quantum Conjectures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arecchi, F. T.

    2014-12-01

    We critically discuss the two moments of human cognition, namely, apprehension (A), whereby a coherent perception emerges from the recruitment of neuronal groups, and judgment (B), that entails the comparison of two apprehensions acquired at different times, coded in a suitable language and recalled by memory. (B) requires selfconsciousness, in so far as the agent who expresses the judgment must be aware that the two apprehensions are submitted to his/her own scrutiny and that it is his/her duty to extract a mutual relation. Since (B) lasts around 3 seconds, the semantic value of the pieces under comparison must be decided within this time. This implies a fast search of the memory contents. As a fact, exploring human subjects with sequences of simple words, we find evidence of a limited time window, corresponding to the memory retrieval of a linguistic item in order to match it with the next one in a text flow (be it literary, or musical,or figurative). Classifying the information content of spike trains, an uncertainty relation emerges between the bit size of a word and its duration. This uncertainty is ruled by a constant that can be given a numerical value and that has nothing to do with Planck's constant. A "quantum conjecture" in the above sense might explain the onset and decay of the memory window connecting successive pieces of a linguistic text. The conjecture here formulated is applicable to other reported evidences of quantum effects in human cognitive processes, so far lacking a plausible framework since no efforts to assign a quantum constant have been associated.

  14. Colloquium paper: the cognitive niche: coevolution of intelligence, sociality, and language.

    PubMed

    Pinker, Steven

    2010-05-11

    Although Darwin insisted that human intelligence could be fully explained by the theory of evolution, the codiscoverer of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace, claimed that abstract intelligence was of no use to ancestral humans and could only be explained by intelligent design. Wallace's apparent paradox can be dissolved with two hypotheses about human cognition. One is that intelligence is an adaptation to a knowledge-using, socially interdependent lifestyle, the "cognitive niche." This embraces the ability to overcome the evolutionary fixed defenses of plants and animals by applications of reasoning, including weapons, traps, coordinated driving of game, and detoxification of plants. Such reasoning exploits intuitive theories about different aspects of the world, such as objects, forces, paths, places, states, substances, and other people's beliefs and desires. The theory explains many zoologically unusual traits in Homo sapiens, including our complex toolkit, wide range of habitats and diets, extended childhoods and long lives, hypersociality, complex mating, division into cultures, and language (which multiplies the benefit of knowledge because know-how is useful not only for its practical benefits but as a trade good with others, enhancing the evolution of cooperation). The second hypothesis is that humans possess an ability of metaphorical abstraction, which allows them to coopt faculties that originally evolved for physical problem-solving and social coordination, apply them to abstract subject matter, and combine them productively. These abilities can help explain the emergence of abstract cognition without supernatural or exotic evolutionary forces and are in principle testable by analyses of statistical signs of selection in the human genome. PMID:20445094

  15. Language at Three Timescales: The Role of Real-Time Processes in Language Development and Evolution.

    PubMed

    McMurray, Bob

    2016-04-01

    Evolutionary developmental systems (evo-devo) theory stresses that selection pressures operate on entire developmental systems rather than just genes. This study extends this approach to language evolution, arguing that selection pressure may operate on two quasi-independent timescales. First, children clearly must acquire language successfully (as acknowledged in traditional evo-devo accounts) and evolution must equip them with the tools to do so. Second, while this is developing, they must also communicate with others in the moment using partially developed knowledge. These pressures may require different solutions, and their combination may underlie the evolution of complex mechanisms for language development and processing. I present two case studies to illustrate how the demands of both real-time communication and language acquisition may be subtly different (and interact). The first case study examines infant-directed speech (IDS). A recent view is that IDS underwent cultural to statistical learning mechanisms that infants use to acquire the speech categories of their language. However, recent data suggest is it may not have evolved to enhance development, but rather to serve a more real-time communicative function. The second case study examines the argument for seemingly specialized mechanisms for learning word meanings (e.g., fast-mapping). Both behavioral and computational work suggest that learning may be much slower and served by general-purpose mechanisms like associative learning. Fast-mapping, then, may be a real-time process meant to serve immediate communication, not learning, by augmenting incomplete vocabulary knowledge with constraints from the current context. Together, these studies suggest that evolutionary accounts consider selection pressure arising from both real-time communicative demands and from the need for accurate language development.

  16. Language at Three Timescales: The Role of Real-Time Processes in Language Development and Evolution.

    PubMed

    McMurray, Bob

    2016-04-01

    Evolutionary developmental systems (evo-devo) theory stresses that selection pressures operate on entire developmental systems rather than just genes. This study extends this approach to language evolution, arguing that selection pressure may operate on two quasi-independent timescales. First, children clearly must acquire language successfully (as acknowledged in traditional evo-devo accounts) and evolution must equip them with the tools to do so. Second, while this is developing, they must also communicate with others in the moment using partially developed knowledge. These pressures may require different solutions, and their combination may underlie the evolution of complex mechanisms for language development and processing. I present two case studies to illustrate how the demands of both real-time communication and language acquisition may be subtly different (and interact). The first case study examines infant-directed speech (IDS). A recent view is that IDS underwent cultural to statistical learning mechanisms that infants use to acquire the speech categories of their language. However, recent data suggest is it may not have evolved to enhance development, but rather to serve a more real-time communicative function. The second case study examines the argument for seemingly specialized mechanisms for learning word meanings (e.g., fast-mapping). Both behavioral and computational work suggest that learning may be much slower and served by general-purpose mechanisms like associative learning. Fast-mapping, then, may be a real-time process meant to serve immediate communication, not learning, by augmenting incomplete vocabulary knowledge with constraints from the current context. Together, these studies suggest that evolutionary accounts consider selection pressure arising from both real-time communicative demands and from the need for accurate language development. PMID:26991438

  17. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence From Word Segmentation.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-11-01

    The informativity of a computational model of language acquisition is directly related to how closely it approximates the actual acquisition task, sometimes referred to as the model's cognitive plausibility. We suggest that though every computational model necessarily idealizes the modeled task, an informative language acquisition model can aim to be cognitively plausible in multiple ways. We discuss these cognitive plausibility checkpoints generally and then apply them to a case study in word segmentation, investigating a promising Bayesian segmentation strategy. We incorporate cognitive plausibility by using an age-appropriate unit of perceptual representation, evaluating the model output in terms of its utility, and incorporating cognitive constraints into the inference process. Our more cognitively plausible model shows a beneficial effect of cognitive constraints on segmentation performance. One interpretation of this effect is as a synergy between the naive theories of language structure that infants may have and the cognitive constraints that limit the fidelity of their inference processes, where less accurate inference approximations are better when the underlying assumptions about how words are generated are less accurate. More generally, these results highlight the utility of incorporating cognitive plausibility more fully into computational models of language acquisition.

  18. Case report: Is verbal cognitive performance in bilingual neuropsychiatric patients test-language dependent?

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Mabel; Kratochvilova, Zuzana; Kuniss, Renata; Vorackova, Veronika; Dorazilova, Aneta; Fajnerova, Iveta

    2015-12-01

    Bilingualism (BL) is increasing around the world. Although BL has been shown to have a broad impact-both positive and negative-on language and cognitive functioning, cognitive models and standards are mainly based on monolinguals. If we take cognitive performance of monolinguals as a standard, then the performance of bilinguals might not be accurately estimated. The assessment of cognitive functions is an important part of both the diagnostic process and further treatment in neurological and neuropsychiatric patients. In order to identify the presence or absence of cognitive deficit in bilingual patients, it will be important to determine the positive and/or negative impact of BL properties on measured cognitive performance. However, research of the impact of BL on cognitive performance in neuropsychiatric patients is limited. This article aims to compare the influence of the language (dominant-L1, second-L2) used for assessment of verbal cognitive performance in two cases of bilingual neuropsychiatric patients (English/Czech). Despite the fact that the two cases have different diagnoses, similarities in working memory and verbal learning profiles for L1 and L2 were present in both patients. We expected L1 to have higher performance in all measures when compared with L2. This assumption was partially confirmed. As expected, verbal working memory performance was better when assessed in L1. In contrast, verbal learning showed the same or better performance in L2 when compared with L1. Verbal fluency and immediate recall results were comparable in both languages. In conclusion, the language of administration partially influenced verbal performance of bilingual patients. Whether the language itself influenced low performance in a given language or it was a result of a deficit requires further research. According to our results, we suggest that an assessment in both languages needs to be a component of reasonable cognitive assessment of bilingual patients.

  19. Case report: Is verbal cognitive performance in bilingual neuropsychiatric patients test-language dependent?

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Mabel; Kratochvilova, Zuzana; Kuniss, Renata; Vorackova, Veronika; Dorazilova, Aneta; Fajnerova, Iveta

    2015-12-01

    Bilingualism (BL) is increasing around the world. Although BL has been shown to have a broad impact-both positive and negative-on language and cognitive functioning, cognitive models and standards are mainly based on monolinguals. If we take cognitive performance of monolinguals as a standard, then the performance of bilinguals might not be accurately estimated. The assessment of cognitive functions is an important part of both the diagnostic process and further treatment in neurological and neuropsychiatric patients. In order to identify the presence or absence of cognitive deficit in bilingual patients, it will be important to determine the positive and/or negative impact of BL properties on measured cognitive performance. However, research of the impact of BL on cognitive performance in neuropsychiatric patients is limited. This article aims to compare the influence of the language (dominant-L1, second-L2) used for assessment of verbal cognitive performance in two cases of bilingual neuropsychiatric patients (English/Czech). Despite the fact that the two cases have different diagnoses, similarities in working memory and verbal learning profiles for L1 and L2 were present in both patients. We expected L1 to have higher performance in all measures when compared with L2. This assumption was partially confirmed. As expected, verbal working memory performance was better when assessed in L1. In contrast, verbal learning showed the same or better performance in L2 when compared with L1. Verbal fluency and immediate recall results were comparable in both languages. In conclusion, the language of administration partially influenced verbal performance of bilingual patients. Whether the language itself influenced low performance in a given language or it was a result of a deficit requires further research. According to our results, we suggest that an assessment in both languages needs to be a component of reasonable cognitive assessment of bilingual patients. PMID:26663627

  20. Prenatal Alcohol and Cocaine Exposure: Influences on Cognition, Speech, Language, and Hearing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cone-Wesson, B.

    2005-01-01

    This paper reviews research on the consequences of prenatal exposure to alcohol and cocaine on children's speech, language, hearing, and cognitive development. The review shows that cognitive impairment, learning disabilities, and behavioral disorders are the central nervous system manifestations of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), and cranio-facial…

  1. Brain-Based Aspects of Cognitive Learning Approaches in Second Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moghaddam, Alireza Navid; Araghi, Seyed Mahdi

    2013-01-01

    Language learning process is one of the complicated behaviors of human beings which has called many scholars and experts' attention especially after the middle of last century by the advent of cognitive psychology that later on we see its implication to education. Unlike previous thought of schools, cognitive psychology deals with the way in which…

  2. Foreign Language Achievement in Relation to Student-Teacher Cognitive Styles: A Preliminary Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hansen, Jacqueline; Stansfield, Charles

    Research has shown student field-independent cognitive style (FI), as opposed to field-dependent cognitive style (FD), to be correlated moderately with success on selected second language tasks. A trait-treatment interaction approach was utilized in this study to examine the role of FD/I among 236 college students enrolled in six sections of an…

  3. Language and Cognitive Predictors of Text Comprehension: Evidence from Multivariate Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Young-Suk

    2015-01-01

    Using data from children in South Korea (N = 145, M[subscript age] = 6.08), it was determined how low-level language and cognitive skills (vocabulary, syntactic knowledge, and working memory) and high-level cognitive skills (comprehension monitoring and theory of mind [ToM]) are related to listening comprehension and whether listening…

  4. Cognitive Load Theory: An Empirical Study of Anxiety and Task Performance in Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, I-Jung; Chang, Chi-Cheng

    2009-01-01

    Introduction: This study explores the relationship among three variables--cognitive load, foreign language anxiety, and task performance. Cognitive load refers to the load imposed on working memory while performing a particular task. The authors hypothesized that anxiety consumes the resources of working memory, leaving less capacity for cognitive…

  5. Young Children's Cognitive Achievement: Home Learning Environment, Language and Ethnic Background

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frumkin, Lara A.

    2013-01-01

    For decades, research has shown differences in cognitive assessment scores between White and minority ethnic group(s) learners as well as differences across different minority ethnic groups. More recent data have indicated that the home learning environment and languages spoken can impact cognitive assessment and other corollary outcomes. This…

  6. Cognition, Language Contact, and the Development of Pragmatic Comprehension in a Study-Abroad Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taguchi, Naoko

    2008-01-01

    This study examined two issues: (a) whether there are gains in accurate and speedy comprehension of second language (L2) pragmatic meaning over time and (b) whether the gains are associated with cognitive processing ability and the amount of language contact in an L2 environment. Forty-four college students in a US institution completed three…

  7. I Thought We Were Good: Social Cognition, Figurative Language, and Adolescent Psychopathology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Im-Bolter, Nancie; Cohen, Nancy J.; Farnia, Fataneh

    2013-01-01

    Background: Language has been shown to play a critical role in social cognitive reasoning in preschool and school-aged children, but little research has been conducted with adolescents. During adolescence, the ability to understand figurative language becomes increasingly important for social relationships and may affect social adjustment. This…

  8. Cognitive Learning Styles in "Traditional" Audio-Lingual and Suggestopedic Language Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bayuk, Milla

    The need for cognitive style mapping and student grouping in order to enhance learning and retention in foreign language instruction is examined. The four components of classical audio-lingual language instruction, listening, speaking, reading, and writing, are discussed. Different learning modalities are considered, including visual, auditory,…

  9. Cognitive Retroactive Transfer (CRT) of Language Skills among Bilingual Arabic-English Readers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abu-Rabia, Salim; Shakkour, Wael; Siegel, Linda

    2013-01-01

    This study examined the effects of an intervention helping struggling readers improve their reading and writing skills in English as a foreign language (L2), and those same skills in Arabic, which was their first language (L1). Transferring linguistic skills from L2 to L1 is termed "cognitive retroactive transfer". Tests were administered to the…

  10. Vygotsky and Cognitive Science: Language and the Unification of the Social and Computational Mind.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frawley, William

    Integrating Vygotsky's sociocultural theory of the mind and cognitive science's computational model, this book focuses on how the computational mind uses language to mediate the internal and external worlds during thought. The first part of the book establishes the basis for unifying social and computational approaches to mind through language.…

  11. "Cognitive Diagnosis and Q-Matrices in Language Assessment": A Commentary

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alderson, J. Charles

    2010-01-01

    This commentary appraises the 2009 special issue of "Language Assessment Quarterly" on "Cognitive Diagnosis and Q-matrices in Language Assessment." Despite a number of weaknesses, specifically in attempting inappropriately to retrofit a suite of proficiency tests to diagnostic purposes, the special issue is seen as a landmark in the development of…

  12. Using the Natural Language Paradigm (NLP) to Increase Vocalizations of Older Adults with Cognitive Impairments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LeBlanc, Linda A.; Geiger, Kaneen B.; Sautter, Rachael A.; Sidener, Tina M.

    2007-01-01

    The Natural Language Paradigm (NLP) has proven effective in increasing spontaneous verbalizations for children with autism. This study investigated the use of NLP with older adults with cognitive impairments served at a leisure-based adult day program for seniors. Three individuals with limited spontaneous use of functional language participated…

  13. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence from Word Segmentation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    The informativity of a computational model of language acquisition is directly related to how closely it approximates the actual acquisition task, sometimes referred to as the model's "cognitive plausibility." We suggest that though every computational model necessarily idealizes the modeled task, an informative language acquisition…

  14. Profiles of Academic Achievement and Cognitive Processing in College Students with Foreign Language Difficulties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prevatt, Frances; Proctor, Briley; Swartz, Stacy L.; Canto, Angela I.

    2003-01-01

    This study evaluated the cognitive and achievement profiles of college students experiencing difficulties in foreign language (FLD group). Because past research appears to have generated different results based on the type of comparison groups utilized, we attempted to obtain a better representation of students with foreign language difficulties.…

  15. The sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis for language acquisition and language evolution

    PubMed Central

    Imai, Mutsumi; Kita, Sotaro

    2014-01-01

    Sound symbolism is a non-arbitrary relationship between speech sounds and meaning. We review evidence that, contrary to the traditional view in linguistics, sound symbolism is an important design feature of language, which affects online processing of language, and most importantly, language acquisition. We propose the sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis, claiming that (i) pre-verbal infants are sensitive to sound symbolism, due to a biologically endowed ability to map and integrate multi-modal input, (ii) sound symbolism helps infants gain referential insight for speech sounds, (iii) sound symbolism helps infants and toddlers associate speech sounds with their referents to establish a lexical representation and (iv) sound symbolism helps toddlers learn words by allowing them to focus on referents embedded in a complex scene, alleviating Quine's problem. We further explore the possibility that sound symbolism is deeply related to language evolution, drawing the parallel between historical development of language across generations and ontogenetic development within individuals. Finally, we suggest that sound symbolism bootstrapping is a part of a more general phenomenon of bootstrapping by means of iconic representations, drawing on similarities and close behavioural links between sound symbolism and speech-accompanying iconic gesture. PMID:25092666

  16. The sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis for language acquisition and language evolution.

    PubMed

    Imai, Mutsumi; Kita, Sotaro

    2014-09-19

    Sound symbolism is a non-arbitrary relationship between speech sounds and meaning. We review evidence that, contrary to the traditional view in linguistics, sound symbolism is an important design feature of language, which affects online processing of language, and most importantly, language acquisition. We propose the sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis, claiming that (i) pre-verbal infants are sensitive to sound symbolism, due to a biologically endowed ability to map and integrate multi-modal input, (ii) sound symbolism helps infants gain referential insight for speech sounds, (iii) sound symbolism helps infants and toddlers associate speech sounds with their referents to establish a lexical representation and (iv) sound symbolism helps toddlers learn words by allowing them to focus on referents embedded in a complex scene, alleviating Quine's problem. We further explore the possibility that sound symbolism is deeply related to language evolution, drawing the parallel between historical development of language across generations and ontogenetic development within individuals. Finally, we suggest that sound symbolism bootstrapping is a part of a more general phenomenon of bootstrapping by means of iconic representations, drawing on similarities and close behavioural links between sound symbolism and speech-accompanying iconic gesture. PMID:25092666

  17. The sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis for language acquisition and language evolution.

    PubMed

    Imai, Mutsumi; Kita, Sotaro

    2014-09-19

    Sound symbolism is a non-arbitrary relationship between speech sounds and meaning. We review evidence that, contrary to the traditional view in linguistics, sound symbolism is an important design feature of language, which affects online processing of language, and most importantly, language acquisition. We propose the sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis, claiming that (i) pre-verbal infants are sensitive to sound symbolism, due to a biologically endowed ability to map and integrate multi-modal input, (ii) sound symbolism helps infants gain referential insight for speech sounds, (iii) sound symbolism helps infants and toddlers associate speech sounds with their referents to establish a lexical representation and (iv) sound symbolism helps toddlers learn words by allowing them to focus on referents embedded in a complex scene, alleviating Quine's problem. We further explore the possibility that sound symbolism is deeply related to language evolution, drawing the parallel between historical development of language across generations and ontogenetic development within individuals. Finally, we suggest that sound symbolism bootstrapping is a part of a more general phenomenon of bootstrapping by means of iconic representations, drawing on similarities and close behavioural links between sound symbolism and speech-accompanying iconic gesture.

  18. Cognitive Rationality and Its Logic-Mathematical Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Masalova, Svetlana

    2012-01-01

    The article deals with the cognitive (flexible) rationality, combining rational and irrational moments of the scientific search of the cognizing subject. Linguo-cognitive model of the concept as the flexible regulative rationality reveals the activity of the cognitive processes and the mentality of the epistemological-ontic subject, its leading…

  19. 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

  20. Oral and Written Language and the Cognitive Processes of Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson, David R.

    1977-01-01

    Looks at the structures of childrens' oral language or "mother tongue" and the structures of adult literate prose and emphasizes the alternate conceptions of reality that those languages sustain. (MH)

  1. Cognitive characteristics of learning Java, an object-oriented programming language

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Garry Lynn

    Industry and Academia are moving from procedural programming languages (e.g., COBOL) to object-oriented programming languages, such as Java for the Internet. Past studies in the cognitive aspects of programming have focused primarily on procedural programming languages. Some of the languages used have been Pascal, C, Basic, FORTAN, and COBOL. Object-oriented programming (OOP) represents a new paradigm for computing. Industry is finding that programmers are having difficulty shifting to this new programming paradigm. This instruction in OOP is currently starting in colleges and universities across the country. What are the cognitive aspects for this new OOP language Java? When is a student developmentally ready to handle the cognitive characteristics of the OOP language Java? Which cognitive teaching style is best for this OOP language Java? Questions such as the aforementioned are the focus of this research Such research is needed to improve understanding of the learning process and identify students' difficulties with OOP methods. This can enhance academic teaching and industry training (Scholtz, 1993; Sheetz, 1997; Rosson, 1990). Cognitive development as measured by the Propositional Logic Test, cognitive style as measured by the Hemispheric Mode Indicator, and physical hemispheric dominance as measured by a self-report survey were obtained from thirty-six university students studying Java programming. Findings reveal that physical hemispheric dominance is unrelated to cognitive and programming language variables. However, both procedural and object oriented programming require Piaget's formal operation cognitive level as indicated by the Propositional Logic Test. This is consistent with prior research A new finding is that object oriented programming also requires formal operation cognitive level. Another new finding is that object oriented programming appears to be unrelated to hemispheric cognitive style as indicated by the Hemispheric Mode Indicator (HMI

  2. Cognitive and linguistic correlates of early exposure to more than one language.

    PubMed

    Akhtar, Nameera; Menjivar, Jennifer A

    2012-01-01

    This chapter reviews recent studies of cognitive and linguistic correlates of exposure to two languages in infancy and early childhood. Most of the studies reviewed directly compare monolingual children to those who are exposed to two languages. The cognitive correlates include enhanced executive functioning (especially inhibitory control), and Theory of Mind. The linguistic correlates include smaller vocabularies in each language, different word-learning strategies, slower lexical access, and enhanced pragmatic and metalinguistic skills. Issues in interpreting group differences, in particular, whether such differences should be interpreted as deficits, are discussed.

  3. Implications of timing of maternal depressive symptoms for early cognitive and language development.

    PubMed

    Sohr-Preston, Sara L; Scaramella, Laura V

    2006-03-01

    : Statistically, women, particularly pregnant women and new mothers, are at heightened risk for depression. The present review describes the current state of the research linking maternal depressed mood and children's cognitive and language development. Exposure to maternal depressive symptoms, whether during the prenatal period, postpartum period, or chronically, has been found to increase children's risk for later cognitive and language difficulties. The present review considers both the timing of maternal depression and the chronicity of mothers' depression on children's risk for cognitive and language delays. Infancy is frequently identified as a sensitive period in which environmental stimulation has the potential to substantially influence children's cognitive and language development. However, children's exposure to chronic maternal depression seems to be associated with more problematic outcomes for children, perhaps because depression interferes with mothers' ability to respond sensitively and consistently over time. Consistent with this expectation, interventions targeting parenting practices of depressed mothers have been found to increase children's cognitive competence during early childhood. The current review provides a synthesis of the current state of the field regarding the association between maternal depression and children's cognitive and language development during early childhood.

  4. Language and cognitive predictors of text comprehension: evidence from multivariate analysis.

    PubMed

    Kim, Young-Suk

    2015-01-01

    Using data from children in South Korea (N = 145, Mage = 6.08), it was determined how low-level language and cognitive skills (vocabulary, syntactic knowledge, and working memory) and high-level cognitive skills (comprehension monitoring and theory of mind [ToM]) are related to listening comprehension and whether listening comprehension and word reading mediate the relations of language and cognitive skills to reading comprehension. Low-level skills predicted comprehension monitoring and ToM, which in turn predicted listening comprehension. Vocabulary and syntactic knowledge were also directly related to listening comprehension, whereas working memory was indirectly related via comprehension monitoring and ToM. Listening comprehension and word reading completely mediated the relations of language and cognitive skills to reading comprehension.

  5. Language experience differentiates prefrontal and subcortical activation of the cognitive control network in novel word learning.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Kailyn A L; King, Kelly E; Hernandez, Arturo E

    2013-02-15

    The purpose of this study was to examine the cognitive control mechanisms in adult English speaking monolinguals compared to early sequential Spanish-English bilinguals during the initial stages of novel word learning. Functional magnetic resonance imaging during a lexico-semantic task after only 2h of exposure to novel German vocabulary flashcards showed that monolinguals activated a broader set of cortical control regions associated with higher-level cognitive processes, including the supplementary motor area (SMA), anterior cingulate (ACC), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), as well as the caudate, implicated in cognitive control of language. However, bilinguals recruited a more localized subcortical network that included the putamen, associated more with motor control of language. These results suggest that experience managing multiple languages may differentiate the learning strategy and subsequent neural mechanisms of cognitive control used by bilinguals compared to monolinguals in the early stages of novel word learning.

  6. What can atypical language hemispheric specialization tell us about cognitive functions?

    PubMed

    Cai, Qing; Van der Haegen, Lise

    2015-04-01

    Recent studies have made substantial progress in understanding the interactions between cognitive functions, from language to cognitive control, attention, and memory. However, dissociating these functions has been hampered by the close proximity of regions involved, as in the case in the prefrontal and parietal cortex. In this article, we review a series of studies that investigated the relationship between language and other cognitive functions in an alternative way - by examining their functional (co-)lateralization. We argue that research on the hemispheric lateralization of language and its link with handedness can offer an appropriate starting-point to shed light on the relationships between different functions. Besides functional interactions, anatomical asymmetries in non-human primates and those underlying language in humans can provide unique information about cortical organization. Finally, some open questions and criteria are raised for an ideal theoretical model of the cortex based on hemispheric specialization.

  7. Cognitive control for language switching in bilinguals: A quantitative meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging studies.

    PubMed

    Luk, Gigi; Green, David W; Abutalebi, Jubin; Grady, Cheryl

    2011-11-17

    In a quantitative meta-analysis, using the activation likelihood estimation method, we examined the neural regions involved in bilingual cognitive control, particularly when engaging in switching between languages. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the bilingual cognitive control model based on a qualitative analysis [Abutalebi, J., & Green, D. W. (2008). Control mechanisms in bilingual language production: Neural evidence from language switching studies. Language and Cognitive Processes, 23, 557-582.]. After reviewing 128 peer-reviewed articles, ten neuroimaging studies met our inclusion criteria and in each study, bilinguals switched between languages in response to cues. We isolated regions involved in voluntary language switching, by including reported contrasts between the switching conditions and high level baseline conditions involving similar tasks but requiring the use of only one language. Eight brain regions showed significant and reliable activation: left inferior frontal gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, left middle frontal gyrus, right precentral gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus, midline pre-SMA and bilateral caudate nuclei. This quantitative result is consistent with bilingual aphasia studies that report switching deficits associated with lesions to the caudate nuclei or prefrontal cortex. It also extends the previously reported qualitative model. We discuss the implications of the findings for accounts of bilingual cognitive control.

  8. Early Life Instruction in Foreign Language and Music and Incidence of Mild Cognitive Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Robert S.; Boyle, Patricia A.; Yang, Jingyun; James, Bryan D.; Bennett, David A.

    2014-01-01

    Objective To test the hypothesis that foreign language and music instruction in early life are associated with lower incidence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and slower rate of cognitive decline in old age. Method At enrollment in a longitudinal cohort study, 964 older persons without cognitive impairment estimated years of foreign language and music instruction by age 18. Annually thereafter they completed clinical evaluations that included cognitive testing and clinical classification of MCI. Results There were 264 persons with no foreign language instruction, 576 with 1–4 years, and 124 with >4 years; 346 persons with no music instruction, 360 with 1–4 years, and 258 with >4 years. During a mean of 5.8 years of observation, 396 participants (41.1%) developed MCI. In a proportional hazards model adjusted for age, sex, and education, higher levels (>4 years) of foreign language (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.687, 95% confidence interval [ CI]: 0.482, 0.961) and music (HR = 0.708, 95% CI: 0.539, 0.930) instruction by the age of 18 were each associated with reduced risk of MCI. The association persisted after adjustment for other early life indicators of an enriched cognitive environment, and it was stronger for nonamnestic than amnestic MCI. Both foreign language and music instruction were associated with higher initial level of cognitive function, but neither instruction measure was associated with cognitive decline. Conclusions Higher levels of foreign language and music instruction during childhood and adolescence are associated in old age with lower risk of developing MCI but not with rate of cognitive decline. PMID:25110933

  9. Apes, Wolves, Birds, and Humans: Toward a Comparative Foundation for a Functional Theory of Language Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Jane H.

    1977-01-01

    This article reviews the possibilities that a comparative, functionally oriented view of communication evolution offers to a linguist interested in the evolution of human languages and suggests a wide variety of areas which might be further investigated with profit. (CFM)

  10. Technology, expertise and social cognition in human evolution.

    PubMed

    Stout, Dietrich; Passingham, Richard; Frith, Christopher; Apel, Jan; Chaminade, Thierry

    2011-04-01

    Paleolithic stone tools provide concrete evidence of major developments in human behavioural and cognitive evolution. Of particular interest are evolving cognitive mechanisms implied by the cultural transmission of increasingly complex prehistoric technologies, hypothetically including motor resonance, causal reasoning and mentalizing. To test the relevance of these mechanisms to specific Paleolithic technologies, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of Naïve, Trained and Expert subjects observing two toolmaking methods of differing complexity and antiquity: the simple 'Oldowan' method documented by the earliest tools 2.5 million years ago; and the more complex 'Acheulean' method used to produce refined tools 0.5 million years ago. Subjects observed 20-s video clips of an expert demonstrator, followed by behavioural tasks designed to maintain attention. Results show that observational understanding of Acheulean toolmaking involves increased demands for the recognition of abstract technological intentions. Across subject groups, Acheulean compared with Oldowan toolmaking was associated with activation of left anterior intraparietal and inferior frontal sulci, indicating the relevance of resonance mechanisms. Between groups, Naïve subjects relied on bottom-up kinematic simulation in the premotor cortex to reconstruct unfamiliar intentions, and Experts employed a combination of familiarity-based sensorimotor matching in the posterior parietal cortex and top-down mentalizing involving the medial prefrontal cortex. While no specific differences between toolmaking technologies were found for Trained subjects, both produced frontal activation relative to Control, suggesting focused engagement with toolmaking stimuli. These findings support motor resonance hypotheses for the evolutionary origins of human social cognition and cumulative culture, directly linking these hypotheses with archaeologically observable behaviours in prehistory.

  11. Sleep intensity and the evolution of human cognition.

    PubMed

    Samson, David R; Nunn, Charles L

    2015-01-01

    Over the past four decades, scientists have made substantial progress in understanding the evolution of sleep patterns across the Tree of Life. Remarkably, the specifics of sleep along the human lineage have been slow to emerge. This is surprising, given our unique mental and behavioral capacity and the importance of sleep for individual cognitive performance. One view is that our species' sleep architecture is in accord with patterns documented in other mammals. We promote an alternative view, that human sleep is highly derived relative to that of other primates. Based on new and existing evidence, we specifically propose that humans are more efficient in their sleep patterns than are other primates, and that human sleep is shorter, deeper, and exhibits a higher proportion of REM than expected. Thus, we propose the sleep intensity hypothesis: Early humans experienced selective pressure to fulfill sleep needs in the shortest time possible. Several factors likely served as selective pressures for more efficient sleep, including increased predation risk in terrestrial environments, threats from intergroup conflict, and benefits arising from increased social interaction. Less sleep would enable longer active periods in which to acquire and transmit new skills and knowledge, while deeper sleep may be critical for the consolidation of those skills, leading to enhanced cognitive abilities in early humans.

  12. Cognitive-Academic Language Proficiency and Language Acquisition in Bilingual Instruction--with an Outlook on a University Project in Albania.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Portmann-Tselikas Paul R.

    2001-01-01

    Explores the contribution of cognitive-academic language proficiency to second language acquisition in instructional contexts, using Cummins' concepts of bilingual education. Discusses Albania's educational practices and reviews a joint project by Austrian and Albanian universities that shows how cognitive academic proficiency, along with…

  13. Brain Circuit for Cognitive Control is Shared by Task and Language Switching.

    PubMed

    De Baene, Wouter; Duyck, Wouter; Brass, Marcel; Carreiras, Manuel

    2015-09-01

    Controlling multiple languages during speech production is believed to rely on functional mechanisms that are (at least partly) shared with domain-general cognitive control in early, highly proficient bilinguals. Recent neuroimaging results have indeed suggested a certain degree of neural overlap between language control and nonverbal cognitive control in bilinguals. However, this evidence is only indirect. Direct evidence for neural overlap between language control and nonverbal cognitive control can only be provided if two prerequisites are met: Language control and nonverbal cognitive control should be compared within the same participants, and the task requirements of both conditions should be closely matched. To provide such direct evidence for the first time, we used fMRI to examine the overlap in brain activation between switch-specific activity in a linguistic switching task and a closely matched nonlinguistic switching task, within participants, in early, highly proficient Spanish-Basque bilinguals. The current findings provide direct evidence that, in these bilinguals, highly similar brain circuits are involved in language control and domain-general cognitive control.

  14. Life history, cognition and the evolution of complex foraging niches.

    PubMed

    Schuppli, Caroline; Graber, Sereina M; Isler, Karin; van Schaik, Carel P

    2016-03-01

    Animal species that live in complex foraging niches have, in general, improved access to energy-rich and seasonally stable food sources. Because human food procurement is uniquely complex, we ask here which conditions may have allowed species to evolve into such complex foraging niches, and also how niche complexity is related to relative brain size. To do so, we divided niche complexity into a knowledge-learning and a motor-learning dimension. Using a sample of 78 primate and 65 carnivoran species, we found that two life-history features are consistently correlated with complex niches: slow, conservative development or provisioning of offspring over extended periods of time. Both act to buffer low energy yields during periods of learning, and may thus act as limiting factors for the evolution of complex niches. Our results further showed that the knowledge and motor dimensions of niche complexity were correlated with pace of development in primates only, and with the length of provisioning in only carnivorans. Accordingly, in primates, but not carnivorans, living in a complex foraging niche requires enhanced cognitive abilities, i.e., a large brain. The patterns in these two groups of mammals show that selection favors evolution into complex niches (in either the knowledge or motor dimension) in species that either develop more slowly or provision their young for an extended period of time. These findings help to explain how humans constructed by far the most complex niche: our ancestors managed to combine slow development (as in other primates) with systematic provisioning of immatures and even adults (as in carnivorans). This study also provides strong support for the importance of ecological factors in brain size evolution. PMID:26989019

  15. The role of domain-general cognitive control in language comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Fedorenko, Evelina

    2014-01-01

    What role does domain-general cognitive control play in understanding linguistic input? Although much evidence has suggested that domain-general cognitive control and working memory resources are sometimes recruited during language comprehension, many aspects of this relationship remain elusive. For example, how frequently do cognitive control mechanisms get engaged when we understand language? And is this engagement necessary for successful comprehension? I here (a) review recent brain imaging evidence for the neural separability of the brain regions that support high-level linguistic processing vs. those that support domain-general cognitive control abilities; (b) define the space of possibilities for the relationship between these sets of brain regions; and (c) review the available evidence that constrains these possibilities to some extent. I argue that we should stop asking whether domain-general cognitive control mechanisms play a role in language comprehension, and instead focus on characterizing the division of labor between the cognitive control brain regions and the more functionally specialized language regions. PMID:24803909

  16. A Dynamic Systems Model of Cognitive and Language Growth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Geert, Paul

    1991-01-01

    A conceptual framework of cognitive growth is sketched and a mathematical model of cognitive growth is presented with the conclusion that the most plausible model is a model of logistic growth with delayed feedback. The model is transformed into a dynamic systems model based on the logistic-growth equation. (SLD)

  17. Building Blocks of Fetal Cognition: Emotion and Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huotilainen, Minna

    2010-01-01

    Magnetoencephalography (MEG) can be effectively used to record fetal and neonatal cognitive abilities/functions by recording completely non-invasively the magnetic fields produced by the active neurons in the brain. During the last trimester and the first months of life, the cognitive capabilities related to emotion recognition and language…

  18. Cognitive Adequacy in Structural-Functional Theories of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Christopher S.

    2008-01-01

    This paper discusses the role played by cognition in three linguistic theories which may be labelled as "structural-functional": Functional (Discourse) Grammar, Role and Reference Grammar and Systemic Functional Grammar. It argues that if we are to achieve true cognitive adequacy, we must go well beyond the grammar itself to include the processes…

  19. Cognitive Processes and Perceived Language Performance of Retarded Persons.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashman, A.

    1982-01-01

    Adaptations of simultaneous and successive processing and language tests were administered to 88 institutionalized moderately mentally retarded adolescents and adults. Results revealed a relationship between language and coding processing and demonstrated the involvement of serial processing in the comprehension of speech flow and language…

  20. Bilingual Language Representation and Cognitive Processes in Translation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hatzidaki, Anna; Pothos, Emmanuel M.

    2008-01-01

    A "text"-translation task and a recognition task investigated the hypothesis that "semantic memory" principally mediates translation from a bilingual's native first language (L1) to her second language (L2), whereas "lexical memory" mediates translation from L2 to L1. This has been held for word translation by the revised hierarchical model (RHM)…

  1. Reading Authentic Texts in a Foreign Language: A Cognitive Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swaffar, Janet K.

    1985-01-01

    Suggests there is a need for a new teaching model which will enable second-language students to integrate the formal, cultural, and informational features of the language on which competency is based. This model should be based on the use of authentic texts which reflect the values of the foreign population. (SED)

  2. Cognitive Correlates of Vocabulary Growth in English Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farnia, Fataneh; Geva, Esther

    2011-01-01

    This study modeled vocabulary trajectories in 91 English language learners (ELLs) with Punjabi, Tamil, or Portuguese home languages, and 50 English monolinguals (EL1) from Grades 1 to 6. The concurrent and longitudinal relationships between phonological awareness and phonological short-term memory and vocabulary were examined. ELLs underperformed…

  3. Language Disabilities in Adolescents: A Question of Cognitive Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiig, Elisabeth

    1984-01-01

    Research is reviewed on language growth between 10-14 years in children with language-learning disabilities. Delays are discussed in semantic development, concept formation, syntactic development, memory, and pragmatics. A strategies-based intervention focus is described along with the need for counseling and for developing adaptive coping and…

  4. Second language lexical development and cognitive control: A longitudinal fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Grant, Angela M; Fang, Shin-Yi; Li, Ping

    2015-05-01

    In this paper we report a longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study that tested contrasting predictions about the time course of cognitive control in second language (L2) acquisition. We examined the neural correlates of lexical processing in L2 learners twice over the course of one academic year. Specifically, while in the scanner, participants were asked to judge the language membership of unambiguous first and second language words, as well as interlingual homographs. Our ROI and connectivity analyses reveal that with increased exposure to the L2, overall activation in control areas such as the anterior cingulate cortex decrease while connectivity with semantic processing regions such as the middle temporal gyrus increase. These results suggest that cognitive control is more important initially in L2 acquisition, and have significant implications for understanding developmental and neurocognitive models of second language lexical processing.

  5. Cognitive processes and neural basis of language switching: proposal of a new model.

    PubMed

    Moritz-Gasser, Sylvie; Duffau, Hugues

    2009-12-01

    Although studies on bilingualism are abundant, cognitive processes and neural foundations of language switching received less attention. The aim of our study is to provide new insights to this still open question: do dedicated region(s) for language switching exist or is this function underlain by a distributed circuit of interconnected brain areas, part of a more general cognitive system? On the basis of recent behavioral, neuroimaging, and brain stimulation studies, we propose an original 'hodological' model of language switching. This process might be subserved by a large-scale cortico-subcortical network, with an executive system (prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulum, caudate nucleus) controlling a more dedicated language subcircuit, which involves postero-temporal areas, supramarginal and angular gyri, Broca's area, and the superior longitudinal fasciculus.

  6. Race, language, and mental evolution in Darwin's descent of man.

    PubMed

    Alter, Stephen G

    2007-01-01

    Charles Darwin was notoriously ambiguous in his remarks about the relationship between human evolution and biological race. He stressed the original unity of the races, yet he also helped to popularize the notion of a racial hierarchy filling the gaps between the highest anthropoids and civilized Europeans. A focus on Darwin's explanation of how humans initially evolved, however, shows that he mainly stressed not hierarchy but a version of humanity's original mental unity. In his book The Descent of Man, Darwin emphasized a substantial degree of mental development (including the incipient use of language) in the early, monogenetic phase of human evolution. This development, he argued, necessarily came before primeval man's numerical increase, geographic dispersion, and racial diversification, because only thus could one explain how that group was able to spread at the expense of rival ape-like populations. This scenario stood opposed to a new evolutionary polygenism formulated in the wake of Darwin's Origin of Species by his ostensible supporters Alfred Russel Wallace and Ernst Haeckel. Darwin judged this outlook inadequate to the task of explaining humanity's emergence. PMID:17623873

  7. Race, language, and mental evolution in Darwin's descent of man.

    PubMed

    Alter, Stephen G

    2007-01-01

    Charles Darwin was notoriously ambiguous in his remarks about the relationship between human evolution and biological race. He stressed the original unity of the races, yet he also helped to popularize the notion of a racial hierarchy filling the gaps between the highest anthropoids and civilized Europeans. A focus on Darwin's explanation of how humans initially evolved, however, shows that he mainly stressed not hierarchy but a version of humanity's original mental unity. In his book The Descent of Man, Darwin emphasized a substantial degree of mental development (including the incipient use of language) in the early, monogenetic phase of human evolution. This development, he argued, necessarily came before primeval man's numerical increase, geographic dispersion, and racial diversification, because only thus could one explain how that group was able to spread at the expense of rival ape-like populations. This scenario stood opposed to a new evolutionary polygenism formulated in the wake of Darwin's Origin of Species by his ostensible supporters Alfred Russel Wallace and Ernst Haeckel. Darwin judged this outlook inadequate to the task of explaining humanity's emergence.

  8. The Cognitive Development of Young Dual Language Learners: A Critical Review

    PubMed Central

    Barac, Raluca; Bialystok, Ellen; Castro, Dina C.; Sanchez, Marta

    2014-01-01

    Dual language exposure and bilingualism are relatively common experiences for children. The present review set out to synthesize the existing research on cognitive development in bilingual children and to identify the gaps and the methodological concerns present in the existing research. A search of major data bases for research conducted with typically-developing, preschool-age dual language learners between 2000-2013 yielded 102 peer-reviewed articles. The existing evidence points to areas of cognitive development in bilingual children where findings are robust or inconclusive, and reveals variables that influence performance. The present review also identifies areas for future research and methodological limitations. PMID:25284958

  9. On the nature and evolution of the neural bases of human language

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lieberman, Philip

    2002-01-01

    the brains of human beings and other species provides insight into the evolution of the brain bases of human language. The neural substrate that regulated motor control in the common ancestor of apes and humans most likely was modified to enhance cognitive and linguistic ability. Speech communication played a central role in this process. However, the process that ultimately resulted in the human brain may have started when our earliest hominid ancestors began to walk.

  10. On the nature and evolution of the neural bases of human language.

    PubMed

    Lieberman, Philip

    2002-01-01

    the brains of human beings and other species provides insight into the evolution of the brain bases of human language. The neural substrate that regulated motor control in the common ancestor of apes and humans most likely was modified to enhance cognitive and linguistic ability. Speech communication played a central role in this process. However, the process that ultimately resulted in the human brain may have started when our earliest hominid ancestors began to walk. PMID:12653308

  11. On the nature and evolution of the neural bases of human language.

    PubMed

    Lieberman, Philip

    2002-01-01

    the brains of human beings and other species provides insight into the evolution of the brain bases of human language. The neural substrate that regulated motor control in the common ancestor of apes and humans most likely was modified to enhance cognitive and linguistic ability. Speech communication played a central role in this process. However, the process that ultimately resulted in the human brain may have started when our earliest hominid ancestors began to walk.

  12. Evolution of brain and culture: the neurological and cognitive journey from Australopithecus to Albert Einstein.

    PubMed

    Falk, Dean

    2016-06-20

    Fossil and comparative primatological evidence suggest that alterations in the development of prehistoric hominin infants kindled three consecutive evolutionary-developmental (evo-devo) trends that, ultimately, paved the way for the evolution of the human brain and cognition. In the earliest trend, infants' development of posture and locomotion became delayed because of anatomical changes that accompanied the prolonged evolution of bipedalism. Because modern humans have inherited these changes, our babies are much slower than other primates to reach developmental milestones such as standing, crawling, and walking. The delay in ancestral babies' physical development eventually precipitated an evolutionary reversal in which they became increasing unable to cling independently to their mothers. For the first time in prehistory, babies were, thus, periodically deprived of direct physical contact with their mothers. This prompted the emergence of a second evo-devo trend in which infants sought contact comfort from caregivers using evolved signals, including new ways of crying that are conserved in modern babies. Such signaling stimulated intense reciprocal interactions between prehistoric mothers and infants that seeded the eventual emergence of motherese and, subsequently, protolanguage. The third trend was for an extreme acceleration in brain growth that began prior to the last trimester of gestation and continued through infants' first postnatal year (early "brain spurt"). Conservation of this trend in modern babies explains why human brains reach adult sizes that are over three times those of chimpanzees. The fossil record of hominin cranial capacities together with comparative neuroanatomical data suggest that, around 3 million years ago, early brain spurts began to facilitate an evolutionary trajectory for increasingly large adult brains in association with neurological reorganization. The prehistoric increase in brain size eventually caused parturition to become

  13. Evolution of brain and culture: the neurological and cognitive journey from Australopithecus to Albert Einstein.

    PubMed

    Falk, Dean

    2016-06-20

    Fossil and comparative primatological evidence suggest that alterations in the development of prehistoric hominin infants kindled three consecutive evolutionary-developmental (evo-devo) trends that, ultimately, paved the way for the evolution of the human brain and cognition. In the earliest trend, infants' development of posture and locomotion became delayed because of anatomical changes that accompanied the prolonged evolution of bipedalism. Because modern humans have inherited these changes, our babies are much slower than other primates to reach developmental milestones such as standing, crawling, and walking. The delay in ancestral babies' physical development eventually precipitated an evolutionary reversal in which they became increasing unable to cling independently to their mothers. For the first time in prehistory, babies were, thus, periodically deprived of direct physical contact with their mothers. This prompted the emergence of a second evo-devo trend in which infants sought contact comfort from caregivers using evolved signals, including new ways of crying that are conserved in modern babies. Such signaling stimulated intense reciprocal interactions between prehistoric mothers and infants that seeded the eventual emergence of motherese and, subsequently, protolanguage. The third trend was for an extreme acceleration in brain growth that began prior to the last trimester of gestation and continued through infants' first postnatal year (early "brain spurt"). Conservation of this trend in modern babies explains why human brains reach adult sizes that are over three times those of chimpanzees. The fossil record of hominin cranial capacities together with comparative neuroanatomical data suggest that, around 3 million years ago, early brain spurts began to facilitate an evolutionary trajectory for increasingly large adult brains in association with neurological reorganization. The prehistoric increase in brain size eventually caused parturition to become

  14. The Coemergence of Cognition, Language, and Speech Motor Control in Early Development: A Longitudinal Correlation Study

    PubMed Central

    Nip, Ignatius S. B.; Green, Jordan R.; Marx, David B.

    2010-01-01

    Although the development of spoken language is dependent on the emergence of cognitive, language, and speech motor skills, knowledge about how these domains interact during the early stages of communication development is currently limited. This exploratory investigation examines the strength of associations between longitudinal changes in articulatory kinematics and development of skills in multiple domains thought to support early communication development. Twenty-four infants were investigated every three months between the ages of 9 and 21 months. Movements of the upper lip, lower lip, and jaw were transduced using a three-dimensional motion capture system to obtain age-related changes in movement speed and range of movement. Standardized measures of cognition and language from the Battelle Developmental Inventory, 2nd edition and the MacArthur-Bates Child Development Inventory were also collected. Significant associations were identified between orofacial kinematic and the standardized measures of language and cognitive skills, even when age served as covariate. These findings provide preliminary evidence of interactions between cognition, language, and speech motor skills during early communication development. Further work is needed to identify and quantify causal relations among these co-emerging skills. PMID:21035125

  15. Neurolinguistic Relativity: How Language Flexes Human Perception and Cognition

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The time has come, perhaps, to go beyond merely acknowledging that language is a core manifestation of the workings of the human mind and that it relates interactively to all aspects of thinking. The issue, thus, is not to decide whether language and human thought may be ineluctably linked (they just are), but rather to determine what the characteristics of this relationship may be and to understand how language influences—and may be influenced by—nonverbal information processing. In an attempt to demystify linguistic relativity, I review neurolinguistic studies from our research group showing a link between linguistic distinctions and perceptual or conceptual processing. On the basis of empirical evidence showing effects of terminology on perception, language‐idiosyncratic relationships in semantic memory, grammatical skewing of event conceptualization, and unconscious modulation of executive functioning by verbal input, I advocate a neurofunctional approach through which we can systematically explore how languages shape human thought.

  16. Neurolinguistic Relativity: How Language Flexes Human Perception and Cognition

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The time has come, perhaps, to go beyond merely acknowledging that language is a core manifestation of the workings of the human mind and that it relates interactively to all aspects of thinking. The issue, thus, is not to decide whether language and human thought may be ineluctably linked (they just are), but rather to determine what the characteristics of this relationship may be and to understand how language influences—and may be influenced by—nonverbal information processing. In an attempt to demystify linguistic relativity, I review neurolinguistic studies from our research group showing a link between linguistic distinctions and perceptual or conceptual processing. On the basis of empirical evidence showing effects of terminology on perception, language‐idiosyncratic relationships in semantic memory, grammatical skewing of event conceptualization, and unconscious modulation of executive functioning by verbal input, I advocate a neurofunctional approach through which we can systematically explore how languages shape human thought. PMID:27642191

  17. Good-enough linguistic representations and online cognitive equilibrium in language processing.

    PubMed

    Karimi, Hossein; Ferreira, Fernanda

    2016-01-01

    We review previous research showing that representations formed during language processing are sometimes just "good enough" for the task at hand and propose the "online cognitive equilibrium" hypothesis as the driving force behind the formation of good-enough representations in language processing. Based on this view, we assume that the language comprehension system by default prefers to achieve as early as possible and remain as long as possible in a state of cognitive equilibrium where linguistic representations are successfully incorporated with existing knowledge structures (i.e., schemata) so that a meaningful and coherent overall representation is formed, and uncertainty is resolved or at least minimized. We also argue that the online equilibrium hypothesis is consistent with current theories of language processing, which maintain that linguistic representations are formed through a complex interplay between simple heuristics and deep syntactic algorithms and also theories that hold that linguistic representations are often incomplete and lacking in detail. We also propose a model of language processing that makes use of both heuristic and algorithmic processing, is sensitive to online cognitive equilibrium, and, we argue, is capable of explaining the formation of underspecified representations. We review previous findings providing evidence for underspecification in relation to this hypothesis and the associated language processing model and argue that most of these findings are compatible with them.

  18. Utility of the Psychoeducational Profile-3 for Assessing Cognitive and Language Skills of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fulton, Mandy L.; D'Entremont, Barbara

    2013-01-01

    The Psychoeducational Profile-3's (PEP-3) ability to estimate cognitive and language skills of 136 children (20-75 months) with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) across a range of functioning, and the association between the PEP-3 and ASD symptomatology was examined using retrospective data. PEP-3 cognitive and language measures were…

  19. Speed of Word Recognition and Vocabulary Knowledge in Infancy Predict Cognitive and Language Outcomes in Later Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marchman, Virginia A.; Fernald, Anne

    2008-01-01

    The nature of predictive relations between early language and later cognitive function is a fundamental question in research on human cognition. In a longitudinal study assessing speed of language processing in infancy, Fernald, Perfors and Marchman (2006 ) found that reaction time at 25 months was strongly related to lexical and grammatical…

  20. Teacher Language Awareness and Cognitive Linguistics (CL): Building a CL-Inspired Perspective on Teaching Lexis in EFL Student Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Giebler, Ralf

    2012-01-01

    It has been suggested recently that it may be useful for language teaching practitioners to have some knowledge of cognitive linguistics. Cognitive linguistics (CL) provides tools that may help the language-teaching practitioner to gain insight into the semantic potential of words and communicate the meaning of lexical chunks in greater detail…

  1. An Analysis of the Relationships between Test Takers' Cognitive and Metacognitive Strategy Use and Second Language Test Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Purpura, James Enos

    1997-01-01

    Investigates the relationship between test takers' strategy and their performance on second-language tests (SLTP) comprising an 80-item Cognitive and Metacognitive Strategy Questionnaire and a 70-item standardized language test. Results explain SLTP by grammar and reading ability; cognitive processing by comprehending, storing, and retrieval…

  2. Linguistic Evolution through Language Acquisition: Formal and Computational Models.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Briscoe, Ted, Ed.

    This collection of papers examines how children acquire language and how this affects language change over the generations. It proceeds from the basis that it is important to address not only the language faculty per se within the framework of evolutionary theory, but also the origins and subsequent development of languages themselves, suggesting…

  3. New evidence about language and cognitive development based on a longitudinal study: hypotheses for intervention.

    PubMed

    Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Levine, Susan C; Hedges, Larry V; Huttenlocher, Janellen; Raudenbush, Stephen W; Small, Steven L

    2014-09-01

    We review findings from a four-year longitudinal study of language learning conducted on two samples: a sample of typically developing children whose parents vary substantially in socioeconomic status, and a sample of children with pre- or perinatal brain injury. This design enables us to study language development across a wide range of language learning environments and a wide range of language learners. We videotaped samples of children's and parents' speech and gestures during spontaneous interactions at home every four months, and then we transcribed and coded the tapes. We focused on two behaviors known to vary across individuals and environments-child gesture and parent speech-behaviors that have the potential to index, and perhaps even play a role in creating, differences across children in linguistic and other cognitive skills. Our observations have led to four hypotheses that have promise for the development of diagnostic tools and interventions to enhance language and cognitive development and brain plasticity after neonatal injury. One kind of hypothesis involves tools that could identify children who may be at risk for later language deficits. The other involves interventions that have the potential to promote language development. We present our four hypotheses as a summary of the findings from our study because there is scientific evidence behind them and because this evidence has the potential to be put to practical use in improving education.

  4. The cultural evolution of language and brain: Comment on "Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by Michael A. Arbib

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colagè, Ivan

    2016-03-01

    Michael A. Arbib's Mirror System Hypothesis (MSH) [1,2] is among the most elaborate attempts at disentangling the issue of language origin. I will focus on the role that cultural evolution, as distinct from biological (genetic) evolution, may have played in the emergence of "modern" human language (as contrasted with forms of proto-languages).

  5. Cognitive and Metacognitive Learning Strategies among Arabic Language Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yusri, Ghazali; Rahimi, Nik Mohd; Shah, Parilah M.; Wah, Wan Haslina

    2013-01-01

    This study investigates cognitive and metacognitive strategies in learning oral Arabic among students at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia. The concept of these strategies was derived from the self-regulated learning framework, which consists of five components, namely rehearsal, elaboration, organization, critical thinking, and…

  6. Early Predictors of Dyslexia in Chinese Children: Familial History of Dyslexia, Language Delay, and Cognitive Profiles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McBride-Chang, Catherine; Lam, Fanny; Lam, Catherine; Chan, Becky; Fong, Cathy Y. C.; Wong, Terry T. Y.; Wong, Simpson W. L.

    2011-01-01

    Background: This work tested the rates at which Chinese children with either language delay or familial history of dyslexia at age 5 manifested dyslexia at age 7, identified which cognitive skills at age 5 best distinguished children with and without dyslexia at age 7, and examined how these early abilities predicted subsequent literacy skills.…

  7. Fantasy Play, Language and Cognitive Ability of Four-Year-Old Children in Guyana South America.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taharally, L. C.

    A controlled study involving 60 randomly selected 4- to 5-year-old children from Guyana (South America) assessed whether providing the opportunity for fantasy play to children in nursery schools that do not provide such opportunity would have an effect on the children's level of symbolic, language, and cognitive ability. Subjects included 20…

  8. Bridging the Gap: Cognitive and Social Approaches to Research in Second Language Learning and Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hulstijn, Jan H.; Young, Richard F.; Ortega, Lourdes; Bigelow, Martha; DeKeyser, Robert; Ellis, Nick C.; Lantolf, James P.; Mackey, Alison; Talmy, Steven

    2014-01-01

    For some, research in learning and teaching of a second language (L2) runs the risk of disintegrating into irreconcilable approaches to L2 learning and use. On the one side, we find researchers investigating linguistic-cognitive issues, often using quantitative research methods including inferential statistics; on the other side, we find…

  9. Language-Cognitive Enhancement of Disadvantaged Preschool Children Through Modeling Procedures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southern, Mara Lee

    Two experiments were performed to evaluate the effects of modeling and small group activities on language and cognitive change in samples of young, low socio-economic status (SES) children. Experiment I involved children attending two preschool centers for aid to dependent children. Experiment II took place in the context of a research preschool…

  10. Implications of Timing of Maternal Depressive Symptoms for Early Cognitive and Language Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sohr-Preston, Sara L.; Scaramella, Laura V.

    2006-01-01

    Statistically, women, particularly pregnant women and new mothers, are at heightened risk for depression. The present review describes the current state of the research linking maternal depressed mood and children's cognitive and language development. Exposure to maternal depressive symptoms, whether during the prenatal period, postpartum period,…

  11. Cognitive Growth in Young Children: Some Theoretical Implications Pertaining to Identity, Language and Memory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klein, Robert A.

    Language as an identifiable cognitive behavior must be studied in relation to identity and memory, all of whose structures undergo progressive changes as the child develops. The organization of the development of the organism depends upon relatively ordered structures of growth, following foreseeable pathways or creodes. The processes occurring…

  12. Air Traffic Communication in a Second Language: Implications of Cognitive Factors for Training and Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farris, Candace; Trofimovich, Pavel; Segalowitz, Norman; Gatbonton, Elizabeth

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of second language (L2) proficiency and task-induced cognitive workload on participants' speech production and retention of information in an environment designed to simulate the demands faced by pilots receiving instructions from air-traffic controllers. Three groups of 20 participants (one…

  13. The Language, Working Memory, and Other Cognitive Demands of Verbal Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Archibald, Lisa M. D.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: To gain a better understanding of the cognitive processes supporting verbal abilities, the underlying structure and interrelationships between common verbal measures were investigated. Methods: An epidemiological sample (n = 374) of school-aged children completed standardized tests of language, intelligence, and short-term and working…

  14. The Cognitive Contribution to the Development of Proficiency in a Foreign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Csapo, Beno; Nikolov, Marianne

    2009-01-01

    The present paper reports results of a longitudinal research project studying the contribution of cognitive skills and other factors to proficiency in a foreign language (L2) in the Hungarian educational context. The larger project aims to describe the levels of L2 proficiency of school-aged populations in order to explore the conditions and…

  15. Fleeing from the Elephant: Language, Cognition and Post-Skinnerian Behavior Analytic Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes, Steven C.

    2005-01-01

    The present set of papers show that leaders in the field of organizational behavior management are grappling with issues of human language and cognition. That is a good and necessary step for the field, but the solutions proposed are worrisome: adopting principles from non-behavioral psychology, adopting principles from introspection that have not…

  16. Cognition and Literacy in English Language Learners at Risk for Reading Disabilities: A Latent Transition Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, H. Lee; Kudo, Milagros; Guzman-Orth, Danielle

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the prevalence and stability of latent classes at risk for reading disabilities (RD) in elementary-aged children whose first language is Spanish. To this end, children (N = 489) in Grades 1, 2, and 3 at Wave 1 were administered a battery of reading, vocabulary, and cognitive measures (short-term memory [STM], working memory…

  17. The Induction of Emergent Relations in Children with Severe Cognitive and Language Delays

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howarth, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    In three experiments I sought to experimentally test a source of emergent relations defined as transitivity by Stimulus Equivalence theory or as combinatorial entailment in Relational Frame Theory. In Experiment I, the participants were 4 children diagnosed with autism who also demonstrated significant cognitive and language delays, who were…

  18. Speech, Language, and Cognition in Preschool Children with Epilepsy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Selassie, G. Rejno-Habte; Viggedal, G.; Olsson, I.; Jennische, M.

    2008-01-01

    We studied expressive and receptive language, oral motor ability, attention, memory, and intelligence in 20 6-year-old children with epilepsy (14 females, six males; mean age 6y 5mo, range 6y-6y 11mo) without learning disability, cerebral palsy (CP), and/or autism, and in 30 reference children without epilepsy (18 females, 12 males; mean age 6y…

  19. Relation of Infant Vision to Early Cognitive and Language Status.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duckman, Robert; Tulloch, Deborah

    Relationships between infant visual skills and the development of object permanence and expressive language skills were examined with 31 infants in three groups: visually typical, visually atypical, and Down Syndrome. Measures used to evaluate visual status were: forced preferential looking, optokinetic nystagmus, and behavioral. Object permanence…

  20. Cognitive Contributions to Plurilithic Views of English and Other Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Christopher J.

    2013-01-01

    Monolithic views of languages predominate in linguistics, applied linguistics, and everyday discourse. The World Englishes, English as a Lingua Franca, and Critical Applied Linguistics frameworks have gone some way to counter the myth, highlighting the iniquities it gives rise to for global users and learners of English. Here, I propose that…

  1. Les contributions de la psychologie cognitive a l'enseignement strategique des langues secondes au niveau universitaire (The Contributions of Cognitive Psychology to Strategic Second Language Instruction at the University Level).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Besnard, Christine

    1995-01-01

    Contributions of the field of cognitive psychology to second language instruction are reviewed. It is proposed that these concepts can contribute not only to classroom language instruction, but also to methodology of language teacher education. (MSE)

  2. The Evolution of Neuroimaging Research and Developmental Language Disorders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lane, Angela B.; Foundas, Anne L.; Leonard, Christiana M.

    2001-01-01

    This article reviews current neuroimaging literature, including computer tomography, positron emission tomography, single photon emission spectroscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging, on individuals with developmental language disorders. The review suggests a complicated relationship between cortical morphometry and language development that is…

  3. When Language of Instruction and Language of Application Differ: Cognitive Costs of Bilingual Mathematics Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saalbach, Henrik; Eckstein, Doris; Andri, Nicoletta; Hobi, Reto; Grabner, Roland H.

    2013-01-01

    Bilingual education programs implicitly assume that the acquired knowledge is represented in a language-independent way. This assumption, however, stands in strong contrast to research findings showing that information may be represented in a way closely tied to the specific language of instruction and learning. The present study aims to examine…

  4. One Language, Two Number-Word Systems and Many Problems: Numerical Cognition in the Czech Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pixner, S.; Zuber, J.; Hermanova, V.; Kaufmann, L.; Nuerk, H.-C.; Moeller, K.

    2011-01-01

    Comparing numerical performance between different languages does not only mean comparing different number-word systems, but also implies a comparison of differences regarding culture or educational systems. The Czech language provides the remarkable opportunity to disentangle this confound as there exist two different number-word systems within…

  5. Pro and con: Internal speech and the evolution of complex language.

    PubMed

    Behme, Christina

    2016-01-01

    The target article by Christiansen & Chater (C&C) offers an integrated framework for the study of language acquisition and, possibly, a novel role for internal speech in language acquisition. However, the "Now-or-Never bottleneck" raises a paradox for language evolution. It seems to imply that language complexity has been either reduced over time or has remained the same. How, then, could languages as complex as ours have evolved in prelinguistic ancestors? Linguistic Platonism could offer a solution to this paradox. PMID:27562186

  6. The Evolution of Networked Computing in the Teaching of Japanese as a Foreign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harrison, Richard

    1998-01-01

    Reviews the evolution of Internet-based projects in Japanese computer-assisted language learning and suggests future directions in which the field may develop, based on emerging network technology and learning theory. (Author/VWL)

  7. Evolving Meaning: The Roles of Kin Selection, Allomothering and Paternal Care in Language Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitch, W. Tecumseh

    Many contemporary scholars agree that future theories of language evolution need to take a componential approach to language that breaks human language into separate mechanistic components such as vocal imitation, syntactic abilities, and propositional semantics. In this chapter, I discuss the evolution of the last component - the abilities and proclivities underlying honest, complex, propositional meanings. This is both a critical component of language, and one whose evolution is the hardest to explain, precisely because of its apparent uniqueness. Nonetheless, I argue, the comparative approach has important insights to offer in this domain. I briefly discuss the hypothesis that kin selection played an important, but neglected, role in driving the evolution of rich semantic communication. I then review several bodies of comparative data not addressed in previous discussions.

  8. Building a bridge—an archeologist's perspective on the evolution of causal cognition

    PubMed Central

    Haidle, Miriam N.

    2014-01-01

    The cognitive capacities of fossil humans cannot be studied directly. Taking the evolution of causal cognition as an example this article demonstrates the use of bridging arguments from archeological finds as starting point via identification/classification, behavioral reconstructions, and cognitive interpretations to psychological models. Generally, tool use is linked to some causal understanding/agent construal as the tool broadens the subject's specific capabilities by adding new characters to its action sphere. In human evolution, the distance between the primarily perceived problem and the solution satisfying this need increased markedly: from simple causal relations to effective chaining in secondary/modular tool use, and further to the use of composite tools, complementary tool sets and notional tools. This article describes the evolution of human tool behavior from the perspective of problem-solution-distance and discusses the implications for a linked development of causal cognition. PMID:25566147

  9. Reflections of evolution and culture in children's cognition. Implications for mathematical development and instruction.

    PubMed

    Geary, D C

    1995-01-01

    An evolution-based framework for understanding biological and cultural influences on children's cognitive and academic development is presented. The utility of this framework is illustrated within the mathematical domain and serves as a foundation for examining current approaches to educational reform in the United States. Within this framework, there are two general classes of cognitive ability, biologically primary and biologically secondary. Biologically primary cognitive abilities appear to have evolved largely by means of natural or sexual selection. Biologically secondary cognitive abilities reflect the co-optation of primary abilities for purposes other than the original evolution-based function and appear to develop only in specific cultural contexts. A distinction between these classes of ability has important implications for understanding children's cognitive development and achievement. PMID:7872578

  10. A simulation study exploring the role of cultural transmission in language evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Tao; Minett, James W.; Wang, William S.-Y.

    2010-03-01

    This paper proposes a language acquisition framework that includes both intra-generational transmission among children and inter-generational transmission between adults and children. A multi-agent computational model that adopts this framework is designed to evaluate the relative roles of these forms of cultural transmission in language evolution. It is shown that intra-generational transmission helps accelerate the convergence of linguistic knowledge and introduce changes in the communal language, while inter-generational transmission helps preserve an initial language to a certain extent. Due to conventionalisation during transmission, both forms of transmission collectively achieve a dynamic equilibrium of language evolution: On short time-scales, good understandability is maintained among individuals across generations; in the long run, language change is inevitable.

  11. Phonation takes precedence over articulation in development as well as evolution of language.

    PubMed

    Oller, D Kimbrough

    2014-12-01

    Early human vocal development is characterized first by emerging control of phonation and later by prosodic and supraglottal articulation. The target article has missed the opportunity to use these facts in the characterization of evolution in language-specific brain mechanisms. Phonation appears to be the initial human-specific brain change for language, and it was presumably a key target of selection in early hominin evolution. PMID:25514957

  12. [Advances in the experimental analysis of behavior: issues of choice behavior, comparative cognition, and human language].

    PubMed

    Sakagami, T; Yamamoto, J; Jitsumori, M

    1994-12-01

    As the opportunity to contact with related areas has increased, the study of of the experimental analysis of behavior has experienced revolutionary changes. Some of the most active and important areas-studies of choice, comparative cognition, and human language--are reviewed to acquaint readers. Studies of CHOICE have linked to the molar theories of behavioral economics and behavioral ecology, which promoted research of choice by animals under uncertainty conditions. Further approach has been made to integrate the molar and molecular analyses on the basis of the ideas of behavior dynamics. COMPARATIVE COGNITION is a part of a larger field including cognitive science, behavioral neuroscience, and biological science. Recent developments, aided with a comparative perspective, made significant contributions to our understanding of the phylogeny and ontogeny of cognition. Advances in analysis of human behavior provided tools to study behavioral aspects of semantics, syntax, and pragmatics of HUMAN LANGUAGE. Using the paradigm of stimulus equivalence, the emergence of stimulus relations, stimulus-stimulus networks, hierarchical structure of verbal behavior, and other language-related behaviors have been investigated.

  13. Bridging language and attention: brain basis of the impact of bilingualism on cognitive control.

    PubMed

    Garbin, G; Sanjuan, A; Forn, C; Bustamante, J C; Rodriguez-Pujadas, A; Belloch, V; Hernandez, M; Costa, A; Avila, C

    2010-12-01

    Using two languages on an everyday basis appears to have a positive effect on general-purpose executive control in bilinguals. However, the neural correlates of this effect remain poorly understood. To investigate the brain bases of the bilingual advantage in executive control, we tested 21 Spanish monolinguals and 19 Spanish-Catalan early bilinguals in a non-verbal task-switching paradigm. As expected based on previous experiments on non-verbal task switching, we found activation in the right inferior frontal cortex and the anterior cingulate of monolingual participants. While bilingual participants showed a reduced switching cost, they activated the left inferior frontal cortex and the left striatum, a pattern of activation consistent with networks thought to underlie language control. Overall, these results support the hypothesis that bilinguals' early training in switching back and forth between their languages leads to the recruitment of brain regions involved in language control when performing non-linguistic cognitive tasks.

  14. Language, Executive Function and Social Cognition in the Diagnosis of Frontotemporal Dementia Syndromes

    PubMed Central

    Harciarek, Michał; Cosentino, Stephanie

    2015-01-01

    Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) represents a spectrum of non-Alzheimer’s degenerative conditions associated with focal atrophy of the frontal and/or temporal lobes. Frontal and temporal regions of the brain have been shown to be strongly involved in executive function, social cognition and language processing and, thus, deficits in these domains are frequently seen in patients with FTD or may even be hallmarks of a specific FTD subtype ( i.e., relatively selective and progressive language impairment in primary progressive aphasia). In this review, we have attempted to delineate how language, executive function, and social cognition may contribute to the diagnosis of FTD syndromes, namely the behavioral variant FTD as well as the language variants of FTD including the three subtypes of primary progressive aphasia (PPA): non-fluent/agrammatic, semantic, and logopenic. This review also addresses the extent to which deficits in these cognitive areas contribute to the differential diagnosis of FTD versus AD. Finally, early clinical determinants of pathology are briefly discussed and contemporary challenges to the diagnosis of FTD are presented. PMID:23611348

  15. Cognitive Effects of Bilingualism: Digging Deeper for the Contributions of Language Dominance, Linguistic Knowledge, Socio-Economic Status and Cognitive Abilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mueller Gathercole, Virginia C.; Thomas, Enlli Mon; Jones, Leah; Guasch, Nestor Vinas; Young, Nia; Hughes, Emma K.

    2010-01-01

    This study explores the extent to which a bilingual advantage can be observed for executive function tasks in children of varying levels of language dominance, and examines the contributions of general cognitive knowledge, linguistic abilities, language use and socio-economic level to performance. Welsh-English bilingual and English monolingual…

  16. Hominin cognitive evolution: identifying patterns and processes in the fossil and archaeological record

    PubMed Central

    Shultz, Susanne; Nelson, Emma; Dunbar, Robin I. M.

    2012-01-01

    As only limited insight into behaviour is available from the archaeological record, much of our understanding of historical changes in human cognition is restricted to identifying changes in brain size and architecture. Using both absolute and residual brain size estimates, we show that hominin brain evolution was likely to be the result of a mix of processes; punctuated changes at approximately 100 kya, 1 Mya and 1.8 Mya are supplemented by gradual within-lineage changes in Homo erectus and Homo sapiens sensu lato. While brain size increase in Homo in Africa is a gradual process, migration of hominins into Eurasia is associated with step changes at approximately 400 kya and approximately 100 kya. We then demonstrate that periods of rapid change in hominin brain size are not temporally associated with changes in environmental unpredictability or with long-term palaeoclimate trends. Thus, we argue that commonly used global sea level or Indian Ocean dust palaeoclimate records provide little evidence for either the variability selection or aridity hypotheses explaining changes in hominin brain size. Brain size change at approximately 100 kya is coincident with demographic change and the appearance of fully modern language. However, gaps remain in our understanding of the external pressures driving encephalization, which will only be filled by novel applications of the fossil, palaeoclimatic and archaeological records. PMID:22734056

  17. The English Language Curriculum for Senior Secondary School in China: Its Evolution from 1949

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Wenfeng; Lam, Agnes S. L.

    2009-01-01

    This article traces the evolution of the English language curriculum for senior secondary school in China from 1949 against the background of national developments in China. The latest English language curriculum (2003) is then introduced and discussed in comparison with the 1993 syllabus. The comparison suggests that the 2003 curriculum…

  18. Cognitive impairments, emotion, stress, and language in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Seghers, James P; Docherty, Nancy M

    2009-12-30

    Language symptoms in schizophrenia are exacerbated by arousal of negative affect; the extent of this effect varies widely among patients. The present study assessed predictors of affective speech reactivity. Based on earlier research, it was expected that speech reactivity would be predicted by a combination of neurocognitive and emotional variables. We assessed patients (n=50) for baseline depression; neurocognitive functioning in the domains of sustained attention, immediate auditory memory, organizational sequencing, and conceptual sequencing ability; and clarity of speech communication in both stress and non-stress conditions. Twenty-three subject-nominated "significant others" (SOs) also participated in the study, and were assessed for levels of expressed emotion (EE) as an index of relationship stressors. Patients, in turn, rated the subjective stressfulness of being in the presence of their SOs, from which the propensity to perceive interpersonal experiences as stressful was calculated by regressing out EE ratings. As predicted, baseline depression and sensitivity to interpersonal stressors were related to affective reactivity of speech, with stress sensitivity mediating the relationship between depression and speech reactivity. Contrary to expectations, baseline neurocognitive functioning was not related to speech reactivity. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for understanding both schizophrenic language disturbance and stress vulnerability.

  19. Speech, language, and cognition in preschool children with epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Selassie, G Rejnö-Habte; Viggedal, G; Olsson, I; Jennische, M

    2008-06-01

    We studied expressive and receptive language, oral motor ability, attention, memory, and intelligence in 20 6-year-old children with epilepsy (14 females, six males; mean age 6y 5mo, range 6y-6y 11mo) without learning disability, cerebral palsy (CP), and/or autism, and in 30 reference children without epilepsy (18 females, 12 males; mean age 6y 5mo, range 6y-6y 11mo). Ten children had partial, six primarily generalized, and four unclassified epilepsy. Fourteen were having monotherapy and six were taking two or more antiepileptic drugs; 13 children were free from seizures 3 months before the assessment. Results show no statistically significant difference between the groups concerning Verbal IQ, expressive and receptive grammar, and receptive vocabulary. The children with epilepsy had a significantly lower Performance IQ and lower scores in tests of oral motor ability, articulation, emerging literacy, auditory attention, short-term memory, and rapid word retrieval. Parent ratings revealed no significant difference in communicative ability. Polytherapy and early onset of epilepsy influenced some results. Preschool children with epilepsy without learning disability, CP, and/or autism may have receptive verbal ability within the normal range but visuoperceptual, auditory attentional, and speech-language difficulties that could affect school achievement. Careful testing of children with epilepsy who appear to be functioning within the normal range is needed because this may reveal specific impairments that require appropriate professional input. PMID:18422681

  20. The evolution of behaviour therapy and cognitive behaviour therapy.

    PubMed

    Rachman, S

    2015-01-01

    The historical background of the development of behaviour therapy is described. It was based on the prevailing behaviourist psychology and constituted a fundamentally different approach to the causes and treatment of psychological disorders. It had a cold reception and the idea of treating the behaviour of neurotic and other patients was regarded as absurd. The opposition of the medical profession and psychoanalysts is explained. Parallel but different forms of behaviour therapy developed in the US and UK. The infusion of cognitive concepts and procedures generated a merger of behaviour therapy and cognitive therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). The strengths and limitations of the early and current approaches are evaluated.

  1. Motor functioning, exploration, visuospatial cognition and language development in preschool children with autism.

    PubMed

    Hellendoorn, Annika; Wijnroks, Lex; van Daalen, Emma; Dietz, Claudine; Buitelaar, Jan K; Leseman, Paul

    2015-04-01

    In order to understand typical and atypical developmental trajectories it is important to assess how strengths or weaknesses in one domain may be affecting performance in other domains. This study examined longitudinal relations between early fine motor functioning, visuospatial cognition, exploration, and language development in preschool children with ASD and children with other developmental delays/disorders. The ASD group included 63 children at T1 (Mage = 27.10 months, SD = 8.71) and 46 children at T2 (Mage = 45.85 months, SD = 7.16). The DD group consisted of 269 children at T1 (Mage = 17.99 months, SD = 5.59), and 121 children at T2 (Mag e= 43.51 months, SD = 3.81). A subgroup nested within the total sample was randomly selected and studied in-depth on exploratory behavior. This group consisted of 50 children, 21 children with ASD (Mage = 27.57, SD = 7.09) and 29 children with DD (Mage = 24.03 months, SD = 6.42). Fine motor functioning predicted language in both groups. Fine motor functioning was related to visuospatial cognition in both groups and related to object exploration, spatial exploration, and social orientation during exploration only in the ASD group. Visuospatial cognition and all exploration measures were related to both receptive and expressive language in both groups. The findings are in line with the embodied cognition theory, which suggests that cognition emerges from and is grounded in the bodily interactions of an agent with the environment. This study emphasizes the need for researchers and clinicians to consider cognition as emergent from multiple interacting systems.

  2. Investigation of Pre-Service English Language Teachers' Cognitive Structures about Some Key Concepts in Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching Course through Word Association Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ersanli, Ceylan Yangin

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to map the cognitive structure of pre-service English language (EL) teachers about three key concepts related to approaches and methods in language teaching so as to discover their learning process and misconceptions. The study involves both qualitative and quantitative data. The researcher administrated a Word Association Test…

  3. A Study of the Relationship between Code Switching and the Bilingual Advantage: Evidence That Language Use Modulates Neural Indices of Language Processing and Cognitive Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blackburn, Angelique Michelle

    2013-01-01

    Bilinguals sometimes outperform age-matched monolinguals on non-language tasks involving cognitive control. But the bilingual advantage is not consistently found in every experiment and may reflect specific attributes of the bilinguals tested. The goal of this dissertation was to determine if the way in which bilinguals use language, specifically…

  4. Bioacoustics of human whistled languages: an alternative approach to the cognitive processes of language.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Julien

    2004-06-01

    Whistled languages are a valuable heritage of human culture. This paper gives a first survey about a new multidisciplinary approach to these languages. Previous studies on whistled equivalents of languages have already documented that they can provide significant information about the role of rhythm and melody in language. To substantiate this, most whistles are represented by modulations of frequency, centered around 2000 Hz (+/- 1000 Hz) and often reach a loudness of about 130 dB (measured at 1m from the source). Their transmission range can reach up to 10 km (as verified in La Gomera, Canary Island), and the messages can remain understandable, even if the signal is deteriorated. In some cultures the use of whistled language is associated with some "talking musical instruments" (e.g. flutes, guitars, harps, gongs, drums, khens). Finally, whistles as a means of conveying information have some analogues in the animal kingdom (e.g. some birds, cetaceans, primates), providing opportunities to compare the acoustic characteristics of the respective signals. With such properties as a reference, the project reported here has two major tasks: to further elucidate the many facets of whistled language and, above all, help to immediately stop the process of its gradual disappearance. PMID:15258658

  5. Bioacoustics of human whistled languages: an alternative approach to the cognitive processes of language.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Julien

    2004-06-01

    Whistled languages are a valuable heritage of human culture. This paper gives a first survey about a new multidisciplinary approach to these languages. Previous studies on whistled equivalents of languages have already documented that they can provide significant information about the role of rhythm and melody in language. To substantiate this, most whistles are represented by modulations of frequency, centered around 2000 Hz (+/- 1000 Hz) and often reach a loudness of about 130 dB (measured at 1m from the source). Their transmission range can reach up to 10 km (as verified in La Gomera, Canary Island), and the messages can remain understandable, even if the signal is deteriorated. In some cultures the use of whistled language is associated with some "talking musical instruments" (e.g. flutes, guitars, harps, gongs, drums, khens). Finally, whistles as a means of conveying information have some analogues in the animal kingdom (e.g. some birds, cetaceans, primates), providing opportunities to compare the acoustic characteristics of the respective signals. With such properties as a reference, the project reported here has two major tasks: to further elucidate the many facets of whistled language and, above all, help to immediately stop the process of its gradual disappearance.

  6. Cognitive assessment of refugee children: Effects of trauma and new language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Ida; Stolk, Yvonne; Valibhoy, Madeleine; Tucker, Alan; Baker, Judy

    2016-02-01

    Each year, approximately 60,000 children of refugee background are resettled in Western countries. This paper reviews the effects of the refugee experience on cognitive functioning. The distinctive influences for these children include exposure to traumatic events and the need to acquire a new language, factors that need to be considered to avoid overdiagnosis of learning disorders and inappropriate educational placements. Prearrival trauma, psychological sequelae of traumatic events, developmental impact of trauma, and the quality of family functioning have been found to influence cognitive functioning, learning, and academic performance. In addition, the refugee child may be semiproficient in several languages, but proficient in none, whilst also trying to learn a new language. The influence that the child's limited English proficiency, literacy, and school experience may have on academic and test performance is demonstrated by drawing on the research on refugees' English language acquisition, as well as the more extensive literature on bilingual English language learners. Implications for interventions are drawn at the level of government policy, schools, and the individual. The paper concludes with the observation that there is a major need for longitudinal research on refugee children's learning and academic performance and on interventions that will close the academic gap, thereby enabling refugee children to reach their educational potential.

  7. CANTAB object recognition and language tests to detect aging cognitive decline: an exploratory comparative study

    PubMed Central

    Cabral Soares, Fernanda; de Oliveira, Thaís Cristina Galdino; de Macedo, Liliane Dias e Dias; Tomás, Alessandra Mendonça; Picanço-Diniz, Domingos Luiz Wanderley; Bento-Torres, João; Bento-Torres, Natáli Valim Oliver; Picanço-Diniz, Cristovam Wanderley

    2015-01-01

    Objective The recognition of the limits between normal and pathological aging is essential to start preventive actions. The aim of this paper is to compare the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) and language tests to distinguish subtle differences in cognitive performances in two different age groups, namely young adults and elderly cognitively normal subjects. Method We selected 29 young adults (29.9±1.06 years) and 31 older adults (74.1±1.15 years) matched by educational level (years of schooling). All subjects underwent a general assessment and a battery of neuropsychological tests, including the Mini Mental State Examination, visuospatial learning, and memory tasks from CANTAB and language tests. Cluster and discriminant analysis were applied to all neuropsychological test results to distinguish possible subgroups inside each age group. Results Significant differences in the performance of aged and young adults were detected in both language and visuospatial memory tests. Intragroup cluster and discriminant analysis revealed that CANTAB, as compared to language tests, was able to detect subtle but significant differences between the subjects. Conclusion Based on these findings, we concluded that, as compared to language tests, large-scale application of automated visuospatial tests to assess learning and memory might increase our ability to discern the limits between normal and pathological aging. PMID:25565785

  8. Cognitive assessment of refugee children: Effects of trauma and new language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Ida; Stolk, Yvonne; Valibhoy, Madeleine; Tucker, Alan; Baker, Judy

    2016-02-01

    Each year, approximately 60,000 children of refugee background are resettled in Western countries. This paper reviews the effects of the refugee experience on cognitive functioning. The distinctive influences for these children include exposure to traumatic events and the need to acquire a new language, factors that need to be considered to avoid overdiagnosis of learning disorders and inappropriate educational placements. Prearrival trauma, psychological sequelae of traumatic events, developmental impact of trauma, and the quality of family functioning have been found to influence cognitive functioning, learning, and academic performance. In addition, the refugee child may be semiproficient in several languages, but proficient in none, whilst also trying to learn a new language. The influence that the child's limited English proficiency, literacy, and school experience may have on academic and test performance is demonstrated by drawing on the research on refugees' English language acquisition, as well as the more extensive literature on bilingual English language learners. Implications for interventions are drawn at the level of government policy, schools, and the individual. The paper concludes with the observation that there is a major need for longitudinal research on refugee children's learning and academic performance and on interventions that will close the academic gap, thereby enabling refugee children to reach their educational potential. PMID:26563891

  9. Decoding the molecular evolution of human cognition using comparative genomics.

    PubMed

    Usui, Noriyoshi; Co, Marissa; Konopka, Genevieve

    2014-01-01

    Identification of genetic and molecular factors responsible for the specialized cognitive abilities of humans is expected to provide important insights into the mechanisms responsible for disorders of cognition such as autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. Here, we discuss the use of comparative genomics for identifying salient genes and gene networks that may underlie cognition. We focus on the comparison of human and non-human primate brain gene expression and the utility of building gene coexpression networks for prioritizing hundreds of genes that differ in expression among the species queried. We also discuss the importance of and methods for functional studies of the individual genes identified. Together, this integration of comparative genomics with cellular and animal models should provide improved systems for developing effective therapeutics for disorders of cognition. PMID:25247723

  10. Using the Natural Language Paradigm (NLP) to increase vocalizations of older adults with cognitive impairments.

    PubMed

    Leblanc, Linda A; Geiger, Kaneen B; Sautter, Rachael A; Sidener, Tina M

    2007-01-01

    The Natural Language Paradigm (NLP) has proven effective in increasing spontaneous verbalizations for children with autism. This study investigated the use of NLP with older adults with cognitive impairments served at a leisure-based adult day program for seniors. Three individuals with limited spontaneous use of functional language participated in a multiple baseline design across participants. Data were collected on appropriate and inappropriate vocalizations with appropriate vocalizations coded as prompted or unprompted during baseline and treatment sessions. All participants experienced increases in appropriate speech during NLP with variable response patterns. Additionally, the two participants with substantial inappropriate vocalizations showed decreases in inappropriate speech. Implications for intervention in day programs are discussed.

  11. Nonverbal cognition in deaf children following cochlear implantation: motor sequencing disturbances mediate language delays.

    PubMed

    Conway, Christopher M; Karpicke, Jennifer; Anaya, Esperanza M; Henning, Shirley C; Kronenberger, William G; Pisoni, David B

    2011-01-01

    We assessed profoundly deaf children with cochlear implants (CIs) (N = 24) and age-matched normal-hearing children (N = 31) on several nonverbal cognition measures: motor sequencing, tactile discrimination, response inhibition, visual-motor integration, and visual-spatial processing. The results revealed that the children with CIs showed disturbances solely on motor sequencing and that performance on this task was significantly correlated with scores on the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals, 4th Edition (CELF-4). These findings suggest that a period of auditory deprivation before cochlear implantation affects motor sequencing skills, which in turn may mediate the language delays displayed by some deaf children with CIs. PMID:21347923

  12. An arms race between producers and scroungers can drive the evolution of social cognition.

    PubMed

    Arbilly, Michal; Weissman, Daniel B; Feldman, Marcus W; Grodzinski, Uri

    2014-05-01

    The "social intelligence hypothesis" states that the need to cope with complexities of social life has driven the evolution of advanced cognitive abilities. It is usually invoked in the context of challenges arising from complex intragroup structures, hierarchies, and alliances. However, a fundamental aspect of group living remains largely unexplored as a driving force in cognitive evolution: the competition between individuals searching for resources (producers) and conspecifics that parasitize their findings (scroungers). In populations of social foragers, abilities that enable scroungers to steal by outsmarting producers, and those allowing producers to prevent theft by outsmarting scroungers, are likely to be beneficial and may fuel a cognitive arms race. Using analytical theory and agent-based simulations, we present a general model for such a race that is driven by the producer-scrounger game and show that the race's plausibility is dramatically affected by the nature of the evolving abilities. If scrounging and scrounging avoidance rely on separate, strategy-specific cognitive abilities, arms races are short-lived and have a limited effect on cognition. However, general cognitive abilities that facilitate both scrounging and scrounging avoidance undergo stable, long-lasting arms races. Thus, ubiquitous foraging interactions may lead to the evolution of general cognitive abilities in social animals, without the requirement of complex intragroup structures.

  13. The evolution of the Faculty of Language from a Chomskyan perspective: bridging linguistics and biology.

    PubMed

    Longa, Victor Manuel

    2013-01-01

    While language was traditionally considered a purely cultural trait, the advent of Noam Chomsky's Generative Grammar in the second half of the twentieth century dramatically challenged that view. According to that theory, language is an innate feature, part of the human biological endowment. If language is indeed innate, it had to biologically evolve. This review has two main objectives: firstly, it characterizes from a Chomskyan perspective the evolutionary processes by which language could have come into being. Secondly, it proposes a new method for interpreting the archaeological record that radically differs from the usual types of evidence Paleoanthropology has concentrated on when dealing with language evolution: while archaeological remains have usually been regarded from the view of the behavior they could be associated with, the paper will consider archaeological remains from the view of the computational processes and capabilities at work for their production. This computational approach, illustrated with a computational analysis of prehistoric geometric engravings, will be used to challenge the usual generative thinking on language evolution, based on the high specificity of language. The paper argues that the biological machinery of language is neither specifically linguistic nor specifically human, although language itself can still be considered a species-specific innate trait. From such a view, language would be one of the consequences of a slight modification operated on an ancestral architecture shared with vertebrates.

  14. Thinking outside the Cortex: Social Motivation in the Evolution and Development of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Syal, Supriya; Finlay, Barbara L.

    2011-01-01

    Alteration of the organization of social and motivational neuroanatomical circuitry must have been an essential step in the evolution of human language. Development of vocal communication across species, particularly birdsong, and new research on the neural organization and evolution of social and motivational circuitry, together suggest that…

  15. Rana computatrix to human language: towards a computational neuroethology of language evolution.

    PubMed

    Arbib, Michael A

    2003-10-15

    Walter's Machina speculatrix inspired the name Rana computatrix for a family of models of visuomotor coordination in the frog, which contributed to the development of computational neuroethology. We offer here an 'evolutionary' perspective on models in the same tradition for rat, monkey and human. For rat, we show how the frog-like taxon affordance model provides a basis for the spatial navigation mechanisms that involve the hippocampus and other brain regions. For monkey, we recall two models of neural mechanisms for visuomotor coordination. The first, for saccades, shows how interactions between the parietal and frontal cortex augment superior colliculus seen as the homologue of frog tectum. The second, for grasping, continues the theme of parieto-frontal interactions, linking parietal affordances to motor schemas in premotor cortex. It further emphasizes the mirror system for grasping, in which neurons are active both when the monkey executes a specific grasp and when it observes a similar grasp executed by others. The model of human-brain mechanisms is based on the mirror-system hypothesis of the evolution of the language-ready brain, which sees the human Broca's area as an evolved extension of the mirror system for grasping. PMID:14599323

  16. Rana computatrix to human language: towards a computational neuroethology of language evolution.

    PubMed

    Arbib, Michael A

    2003-10-15

    Walter's Machina speculatrix inspired the name Rana computatrix for a family of models of visuomotor coordination in the frog, which contributed to the development of computational neuroethology. We offer here an 'evolutionary' perspective on models in the same tradition for rat, monkey and human. For rat, we show how the frog-like taxon affordance model provides a basis for the spatial navigation mechanisms that involve the hippocampus and other brain regions. For monkey, we recall two models of neural mechanisms for visuomotor coordination. The first, for saccades, shows how interactions between the parietal and frontal cortex augment superior colliculus seen as the homologue of frog tectum. The second, for grasping, continues the theme of parieto-frontal interactions, linking parietal affordances to motor schemas in premotor cortex. It further emphasizes the mirror system for grasping, in which neurons are active both when the monkey executes a specific grasp and when it observes a similar grasp executed by others. The model of human-brain mechanisms is based on the mirror-system hypothesis of the evolution of the language-ready brain, which sees the human Broca's area as an evolved extension of the mirror system for grasping.

  17. Networks uncover hidden lexical borrowing in Indo-European language evolution.

    PubMed

    Nelson-Sathi, Shijulal; List, Johann-Mattis; Geisler, Hans; Fangerau, Heiner; Gray, Russell D; Martin, William; Dagan, Tal

    2011-06-22

    Language evolution is traditionally described in terms of family trees with ancestral languages splitting into descendent languages. However, it has long been recognized that language evolution also entails horizontal components, most commonly through lexical borrowing. For example, the English language was heavily influenced by Old Norse and Old French; eight per cent of its basic vocabulary is borrowed. Borrowing is a distinctly non-tree-like process--akin to horizontal gene transfer in genome evolution--that cannot be recovered by phylogenetic trees. Here, we infer the frequency of hidden borrowing among 2346 cognates (etymologically related words) of basic vocabulary distributed across 84 Indo-European languages. The dataset includes 124 (5%) known borrowings. Applying the uniformitarian principle to inventory dynamics in past and present basic vocabularies, we find that 1373 (61%) of the cognates have been affected by borrowing during their history. Our approach correctly identified 117 (94%) known borrowings. Reconstructed phylogenetic networks that capture both vertical and horizontal components of evolutionary history reveal that, on average, eight per cent of the words of basic vocabulary in each Indo-European language were involved in borrowing during evolution. Basic vocabulary is often assumed to be relatively resistant to borrowing. Our results indicate that the impact of borrowing is far more widespread than previously thought.

  18. Words as alleles: connecting language evolution with Bayesian learners to models of genetic drift.

    PubMed

    Reali, Florencia; Griffiths, Thomas L

    2010-02-01

    Scientists studying how languages change over time often make an analogy between biological and cultural evolution, with words or grammars behaving like traits subject to natural selection. Recent work has exploited this analogy by using models of biological evolution to explain the properties of languages and other cultural artefacts. However, the mechanisms of biological and cultural evolution are very different: biological traits are passed between generations by genes, while languages and concepts are transmitted through learning. Here we show that these different mechanisms can have the same results, demonstrating that the transmission of frequency distributions over variants of linguistic forms by Bayesian learners is equivalent to the Wright-Fisher model of genetic drift. This simple learning mechanism thus provides a justification for the use of models of genetic drift in studying language evolution. In addition to providing an explicit connection between biological and cultural evolution, this allows us to define a 'neutral' model that indicates how languages can change in the absence of selection at the level of linguistic variants. We demonstrate that this neutral model can account for three phenomena: the s-shaped curve of language change, the distribution of word frequencies, and the relationship between word frequencies and extinction rates.

  19. The Continuing Evolution of Languages for Specific Purposes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grosse, Christine Uber; Voght, Geoffrey M.

    2012-01-01

    This overview to "The Modern Language Journal"'s Focus Issue on Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) takes a fresh look at issues examined in a 1991 article by Grosse and Voght. Reflecting on change drivers and growth in LSP, the authors comment on current challenges to the field and future research needs. Their remarks are based on new insights…

  20. How Does Evolution Design a Brain Capable of Learning Language?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savage-Rumbaugh, E. Sue

    1993-01-01

    Discusses methods of assessing language comprehension in apes. Considers the possible effect of brain physiology on the differences between productive and receptive language skills. Examines the possibility that differences between synaptic transmission and volume transmission, or transmission across extracellular spaces, of neurological impulses…

  1. Novel methodology to examine cognitive and experiential factors in language development: combining eye-tracking and LENA technology

    PubMed Central

    Odean, Rosalie; Nazareth, Alina; Pruden, Shannon M.

    2015-01-01

    Developmental systems theory posits that development cannot be segmented by influences acting in isolation, but should be studied through a scientific lens that highlights the complex interactions between these forces over time (Overton, 2013a). This poses a unique challenge for developmental psychologists studying complex processes like language development. In this paper, we advocate for the combining of highly sophisticated data collection technologies in an effort to move toward a more systemic approach to studying language development. We investigate the efficiency and appropriateness of combining eye-tracking technology and the LENA (Language Environment Analysis) system, an automated language analysis tool, in an effort to explore the relation between language processing in early development, and external dynamic influences like parent and educator language input in the home and school environments. Eye-tracking allows us to study language processing via eye movement analysis; these eye movements have been linked to both conscious and unconscious cognitive processing, and thus provide one means of evaluating cognitive processes underlying language development that does not require the use of subjective parent reports or checklists. The LENA system, on the other hand, provides automated language output that describes a child’s language-rich environment. In combination, these technologies provide critical information not only about a child’s language processing abilities but also about the complexity of the child’s language environment. Thus, when used in conjunction these technologies allow researchers to explore the nature of interacting systems involved in language development. PMID:26379591

  2. Morphological features of the neonatal brain support development of subsequent cognitive, language, and motor abilities.

    PubMed

    Spann, Marisa N; Bansal, Ravi; Rosen, Tove S; Peterson, Bradley S

    2014-09-01

    Knowledge of the role of brain maturation in the development of cognitive abilities derives primarily from studies of school-age children to adults. Little is known about the morphological features of the neonatal brain that support the subsequent development of abilities in early childhood, when maturation of the brain and these abilities are the most dynamic. The goal of our study was to determine whether brain morphology during the neonatal period supports early cognitive development through 2 years of age. We correlated morphological features of the cerebral surface assessed using deformation-based measures (surface distances) of high-resolution MRI scans for 33 healthy neonates, scanned between the first to sixth week of postmenstrual life, with subsequent measures of their motor, language, and cognitive abilities at ages 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. We found that morphological features of the cerebral surface of the frontal, mesial prefrontal, temporal, and occipital regions correlated with subsequent motor scores, posterior parietal regions correlated with subsequent language scores, and temporal and occipital regions correlated with subsequent cognitive scores. Measures of the anterior and middle portions of the cingulate gyrus correlated with scores across all three domains of ability. Most of the significant findings were inverse correlations located bilaterally in the brain. The inverse correlations may suggest either that a more protracted morphological maturation or smaller local volumes of neonatal brain tissue supports better performance on measures of subsequent motor, language, and cognitive abilities throughout the first 2 years of postnatal life. The correlations of morphological measures of the cingulate with measures of performance across all domains of ability suggest that the cingulate supports a broad range of skills in infancy and early childhood, similar to its functions in older children and adults.

  3. Morphological features of the neonatal brain support development of subsequent cognitive, language, and motor abilities

    PubMed Central

    Spann, Marisa N.; Bansal, Ravi; Rosen, Tove S.; Peterson, Bradley S.

    2014-01-01

    Knowledge of the role of brain maturation in the development of cognitive abilities derives primarily from studies of school-age children to adults. Little is known about the morphological features of the neonatal brain that support the subsequent development of abilities in early childhood, when maturation of the brain and these abilities are the most dynamic. The goal of our study was to determine whether brain morphology during the neonatal period supports early cognitive development through two years of age. We correlated morphological features of the cerebral surface assessed using deformation-based measures (surface distances) of high-resolution MRI scans for 33 healthy neonates, scanned between the first to sixth week of postmenstrual life, with subsequent measures of their motor, language, and cognitive abilities at ages 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. We found that morphological features of the cerebral surface of the frontal, mesial prefrontal, temporal, and occipital regions correlated with subsequent motor scores, posterior parietal regions correlated with subsequent language scores, and temporal and occipital regions correlated with subsequent cognitive scores. Measures of the anterior and middle portions of the cingulate gyrus correlated with scores across all three domains of ability. Most of the significant findings were inverse correlations located bilaterally in the brain. The inverse correlations may suggest either that a more protracted morphological maturation or smaller local volumes of neonatal brain tissue supports better performance on measures of subsequent motor, language, and cognitive abilities throughout the first two years of postnatal life. The correlations of morphological measures of the cingulate with measures of performance across all domains of ability suggest that the cingulate supports a broad range of skills in infancy and early childhood, similar to its functions in older children and adults. PMID:24615961

  4. Cognitive load of navigating without vision when guided by virtual sound versus spatial language.

    PubMed

    Klatzky, Roberta L; Marston, James R; Giudice, Nicholas A; Golledge, Reginald G; Loomis, Jack M

    2006-12-01

    A vibrotactile N-back task was used to generate cognitive load while participants were guided along virtual paths without vision. As participants stepped in place, they moved along a virtual path of linear segments. Information was provided en route about the direction of the next turning point, by spatial language ("left," "right," or "straight") or virtual sound (i.e., the perceived azimuth of the sound indicated the target direction). The authors hypothesized that virtual sound, being processed at direct perceptual levels, would have lower load than even simple language commands, which require cognitive mediation. As predicted, whereas the guidance modes did not differ significantly in the no-load condition, participants showed shorter distance traveled and less time to complete a path when performing the N-back task while navigating with virtual sound as guidance. Virtual sound also produced better N-back performance than spatial language. By indicating the superiority of virtual sound for guidance when cognitive load is present, as is characteristic of everyday navigation, these results have implications for guidance systems for the visually impaired and others.

  5. Non-genetic transmission of information: Candidate cognitive processes and the evolution of culture.

    PubMed

    Plotkin, H C

    1995-12-01

    The evolution of dual-inheritance systems, specifically the evolution of human culture, are considered as evolutionary events of profound significance. In this paper I adopt the view commonly held amongst biologists in recent years that human cultural change can be fruitfully understood as cultural evolution. Such an approach does not deny the possibility of understanding cultural change from other viewpoints. It does, however, have the advantage of having to be couched in explicitly psychological terms. Using the replicator-interactor theory of Dawkins and Hull I explore what cognitive mechanisms might be identified as having the properties of a replicator, and how reconstructions of human evolution may help in identifying such mechanisms.

  6. Growth in literacy, cognition, and working memory in English language learners.

    PubMed

    Lee Swanson, H; Orosco, Michael J; Lussier, Catherine M

    2015-04-01

    This cohort sequential study explored the components of working memory that underlie English reading and language acquisition in elementary school children whose first language is Spanish. To this end, children (N=410) in Grades 1, 2, and 3 at Wave 1 were administered a battery of cognitive (short-term memory [STM], working memory [WM], rapid naming, phonological processing, and random letter and number generation), vocabulary, and reading measures in both Spanish and English. These same measures were administered 1 and 2 years later. The results showed that (a) a three-factor structure (phonological STM, visual-spatial WM, and verbal WM) captured the data within both language systems, (b) growth in both the executive and STM storage components was uniquely related to growth in second language (L2) reading and language acquisition, and (c) the contribution of growth in the executive component of WM to growth in L2 processing was independent of growth in storage, phonological knowledge, inhibition, and rapid naming speed. The results suggested that growth in the phonological storage system does not supersede growth of the executive component of WM as a major contributor to growth in children's L2 reading and language. PMID:25731085

  7. Growth in literacy, cognition, and working memory in English language learners.

    PubMed

    Lee Swanson, H; Orosco, Michael J; Lussier, Catherine M

    2015-04-01

    This cohort sequential study explored the components of working memory that underlie English reading and language acquisition in elementary school children whose first language is Spanish. To this end, children (N=410) in Grades 1, 2, and 3 at Wave 1 were administered a battery of cognitive (short-term memory [STM], working memory [WM], rapid naming, phonological processing, and random letter and number generation), vocabulary, and reading measures in both Spanish and English. These same measures were administered 1 and 2 years later. The results showed that (a) a three-factor structure (phonological STM, visual-spatial WM, and verbal WM) captured the data within both language systems, (b) growth in both the executive and STM storage components was uniquely related to growth in second language (L2) reading and language acquisition, and (c) the contribution of growth in the executive component of WM to growth in L2 processing was independent of growth in storage, phonological knowledge, inhibition, and rapid naming speed. The results suggested that growth in the phonological storage system does not supersede growth of the executive component of WM as a major contributor to growth in children's L2 reading and language.

  8. The Cognitive Advantages of Counting Specifically: A Representational Analysis of Verbal Numeration Systems in Oceanic Languages.

    PubMed

    Bender, Andrea; Schlimm, Dirk; Beller, Sieghard

    2015-10-01

    The domain of numbers provides a paradigmatic case for investigating interactions of culture, language, and cognition: Numerical competencies are considered a core domain of knowledge, and yet the development of specifically human abilities presupposes cultural and linguistic input by way of counting sequences. These sequences constitute systems with distinct structural properties, the cross-linguistic variability of which has implications for number representation and processing. Such representational effects are scrutinized for two types of verbal numeration systems-general and object-specific ones-that were in parallel use in several Oceanic languages (English with its general system is included for comparison). The analysis indicates that the object-specific systems outperform the general systems with respect to counting and mental arithmetic, largely due to their regular and more compact representation. What these findings reveal on cognitive diversity, how the conjectures involved speak to more general issues in cognitive science, and how the approach taken here might help to bridge the gap between anthropology and other cognitive sciences is discussed in the conclusion.

  9. Children's Comprehension Problems in Oral and Written Language: A Cognitive Perspective. Challenges in Language and Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cain, Kate, Ed.; Oakhill, Jane, Ed.

    2007-01-01

    Comprehension is the ultimate aim of reading and listening. How do children develop the ability to comprehend written and spoken language, and what can be done to help those who are having difficulties? This book presents cutting-edge research on comprehension problems experienced by children without any formal diagnosis as well as those with…

  10. Language between Bodies: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding Linguistic Politeness in American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roush, Daniel R.

    2011-01-01

    This article proposes an answer to the primary question of how the American Sign Language (ASL) community in the United States conceptualizes (im)politeness and its related notions. It begins with a review of evolving theoretical issues in research on (im)politeness and related methodological problems with studying (im)politeness in natural…

  11. Stone tools, language and the brain in human evolution.

    PubMed

    Stout, Dietrich; Chaminade, Thierry

    2012-01-12

    Long-standing speculations and more recent hypotheses propose a variety of possible evolutionary connections between language, gesture and tool use. These arguments have received important new support from neuroscientific research on praxis, observational action understanding and vocal language demonstrating substantial functional/anatomical overlap between these behaviours. However, valid reasons for scepticism remain as well as substantial differences in detail between alternative evolutionary hypotheses. Here, we review the current status of alternative 'gestural' and 'technological' hypotheses of language origins, drawing on current evidence of the neural bases of speech and tool use generally, and on recent studies of the neural correlates of Palaeolithic technology specifically.

  12. Tone Language Speakers and Musicians Share Enhanced Perceptual and Cognitive Abilities for Musical Pitch: Evidence for Bidirectionality between the Domains of Language and Music

    PubMed Central

    Bidelman, Gavin M.; Hutka, Stefanie; Moreno, Sylvain

    2013-01-01

    Psychophysiological evidence suggests that music and language are intimately coupled such that experience/training in one domain can influence processing required in the other domain. While the influence of music on language processing is now well-documented, evidence of language-to-music effects have yet to be firmly established. Here, using a cross-sectional design, we compared the performance of musicians to that of tone-language (Cantonese) speakers on tasks of auditory pitch acuity, music perception, and general cognitive ability (e.g., fluid intelligence, working memory). While musicians demonstrated superior performance on all auditory measures, comparable perceptual enhancements were observed for Cantonese participants, relative to English-speaking nonmusicians. These results provide evidence that tone-language background is associated with higher auditory perceptual performance for music listening. Musicians and Cantonese speakers also showed superior working memory capacity relative to nonmusician controls, suggesting that in addition to basic perceptual enhancements, tone-language background and music training might also be associated with enhanced general cognitive abilities. Our findings support the notion that tone language speakers and musically trained individuals have higher performance than English-speaking listeners for the perceptual-cognitive processing necessary for basic auditory as well as complex music perception. These results illustrate bidirectional influences between the domains of music and language. PMID:23565267

  13. Tone language speakers and musicians share enhanced perceptual and cognitive abilities for musical pitch: evidence for bidirectionality between the domains of language and music.

    PubMed

    Bidelman, Gavin M; Hutka, Stefanie; Moreno, Sylvain

    2013-01-01

    Psychophysiological evidence suggests that music and language are intimately coupled such that experience/training in one domain can influence processing required in the other domain. While the influence of music on language processing is now well-documented, evidence of language-to-music effects have yet to be firmly established. Here, using a cross-sectional design, we compared the performance of musicians to that of tone-language (Cantonese) speakers on tasks of auditory pitch acuity, music perception, and general cognitive ability (e.g., fluid intelligence, working memory). While musicians demonstrated superior performance on all auditory measures, comparable perceptual enhancements were observed for Cantonese participants, relative to English-speaking nonmusicians. These results provide evidence that tone-language background is associated with higher auditory perceptual performance for music listening. Musicians and Cantonese speakers also showed superior working memory capacity relative to nonmusician controls, suggesting that in addition to basic perceptual enhancements, tone-language background and music training might also be associated with enhanced general cognitive abilities. Our findings support the notion that tone language speakers and musically trained individuals have higher performance than English-speaking listeners for the perceptual-cognitive processing necessary for basic auditory as well as complex music perception. These results illustrate bidirectional influences between the domains of music and language.

  14. Specific aspects of cognitive and language proficiency account for variability in neural indices of semantic and syntactic processing in children

    PubMed Central

    Wray, Amanda Hampton; Weber-Fox, Christine

    2013-01-01

    The neural activity mediating language processing in young children is characterized by large individual variability that is likely related in part to individual strengths and weakness across various cognitive abilities. The current study addresses the following question: How does proficiency in specific cognitive and language functions impact neural indices mediating language processing in children? Thirty typically developing seven- and eight-year-olds were divided into high-normal and low-normal proficiency groups based on performance on nonverbal IQ, auditory word recall, and grammatical morphology tests. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were elicited by semantic anomalies and phrase structure violations in naturally spoken sentences. The proficiency for each of the specific cognitive and language tasks uniquely contributed to specific aspects (e.g., timing and/or resource allocation) of neural indices underlying semantic (N400) and syntactic (P600) processing. These results suggest that distinct aptitudes within broader domains of cognition and language, even within the normal range, influence the neural signatures of semantic and syntactic processing. Furthermore, the current findings have important implications for the design and interpretation of developmental studies of ERPs indexing language processing, and they highlight the need to take into account cognitive abilities both within and outside the classic language domain. PMID:23557881

  15. Cognitive Control of Language Production in Bilinguals Involves a Partly Independent Process within the Domain-General Cognitive Control Network: Evidence from Task-switching and Electrical Brain Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magezi, David A.; Khateb, Asaid; Mouthon, Michael; Spierer, Lucas; Annoni, Jean-Marie

    2012-01-01

    In highly proficient, early bilinguals, behavioural studies of the cost of switching language or task suggest qualitative differences between language control and domain-general cognitive control. By contrast, several neuroimaging studies have shown an overlap of the brain areas involved in language control and domain-general cognitive control.…

  16. Extending network approach to language dynamics and human cognition. Comment on "Approaching human language with complex networks" by Cong and Liu

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Tao; Shuai, Lan; Wu, Yicheng

    2014-12-01

    By analyzing complex networks constructed from authentic language data, Cong and Liu [1] advance linguistics research into the big data era. The network approach has revealed many intrinsic generalities and crucial differences at both the macro and micro scales between human languages. The axiom behind this research is that language is a complex adaptive system [2]. Although many lexical, semantic, or syntactic features have been discovered by means of analyzing the static and dynamic linguistic networks of world languages, available network-based language studies have not explicitly addressed the evolutionary dynamics of language systems and the correlations between language and human cognition. This commentary aims to provide some insights on how to use the network approach to study these issues.

  17. Examining Differences between Students with Specific Learning Disabilities and Those with Specific Language Disorders on Cognition, Emotions and Psychopathology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Filippatou, Diamanto; Dimitropoulou, Panagiota; Sideridis, Georgios

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to investigate the differences between students with LD and SLI on emotional psychopathology and cognitive variables. In particular, the study examined whether cognitive, emotional, and psychopathology variables are significant discriminatory variables of speech and language disordered groups versus those…

  18. A nonlinear model with latent process for cognitive evolution using multivariate longitudinal data.

    PubMed

    Proust, Cécile; Jacqmin-Gadda, Hélène; Taylor, Jeremy M G; Ganiayre, Julien; Commenges, Daniel

    2006-12-01

    Cognition is not directly measurable. It is assessed using psychometric tests, which can be viewed as quantitative measures of cognition with error. The aim of this article is to propose a model to describe the evolution in continuous time of unobserved cognition in the elderly and assess the impact of covariates directly on it. The latent cognitive process is defined using a linear mixed model including a Brownian motion and time-dependent covariates. The observed psychometric tests are considered as the results of parameterized nonlinear transformations of the latent cognitive process at discrete occasions. Estimation of the parameters contained both in the transformations and in the linear mixed model is achieved by maximizing the observed likelihood and graphical methods are performed to assess the goodness of fit of the model. The method is applied to data from PAQUID, a French prospective cohort study of ageing.

  19. From action to language: comparative perspectives on primate tool use, gesture and the evolution of human language

    PubMed Central

    Steele, James; Ferrari, Pier Francesco; Fogassi, Leonardo

    2012-01-01

    The papers in this Special Issue examine tool use and manual gestures in primates as a window on the evolution of the human capacity for language. Neurophysiological research has supported the hypothesis of a close association between some aspects of human action organization and of language representation, in both phonology and semantics. Tool use provides an excellent experimental context to investigate analogies between action organization and linguistic syntax. Contributors report and contextualize experimental evidence from monkeys, great apes, humans and fossil hominins, and consider the nature and the extent of overlaps between the neural representations of tool use, manual gestures and linguistic processes. PMID:22106422

  20. The Effects of Cognitive: Linguistic Variables and Language Experience on Behavioural and Kinematic Performances in Nonword Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sasisekaran, Jayanthi; Weisberg, Sanford

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of cognitive-linguistic variables and language experience on behavioral and kinematic measures of nonword learning in young adults. Group 1 consisted of thirteen participants who spoke American English as the first and only language. Group 2 consisted of seven participants with varying…

  1. The Co-Emergence of Cognition, Language, and Speech Motor Control in Early Development: A Longitudinal Correlation Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nip, Ignatius S. B.; Green, Jordan R.; Marx, David B.

    2011-01-01

    Although the development of spoken language is dependent on the emergence of cognitive, language, and speech motor skills, knowledge about how these domains interact during the early stages of communication development is currently limited. This exploratory investigation examines the strength of associations between longitudinal changes in…

  2. Disentangling the Relationship between Working Memory and Language: The Roles of Short-Term Storage and Cognitive Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engel de Abreu, Pascale Marguerite Josiane; Gathercole, Susan Elizabeth; Martin, Romain

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates the relationship between working memory and language in young children growing up in a multilingual environment. The aim is to explore whether mechanisms of short-term storage and cognitive control hold similar relations to emerging language skills and to investigate if potential links are mediated by related cognitive…

  3. Bilingual Cognitive Control in Language Switching: An fMRI Study of English-Chinese Late Bilinguals

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Hengfen; Hu, Jiehui; Xi, Jie; Shen, Wen; Ge, Jianqiao; Geng, Feng; Wu, Yuntao; Guo, Jinjin; Yao, Dezhong

    2014-01-01

    The present study explored the bilingual cognitive control mechanism by comparing Chinese-English bilinguals’ language switching in a blocked picture naming paradigm against three baseline conditions, namely the control condition (a fixation cross, low-level baseline), single L1 production (Chinese naming, high-level baseline), and single L2 production (English naming, high-level baseline). Different activation patterns were observed for language switching against different baseline conditions. These results indicate that different script bilingual language control involves a fronto-parietal-subcortical network that extends to the precentral gyrus, the Supplementary Motor Area, the Supra Marginal Gyrus, and the fusiform. The different neural correlates identified across different comparisons supported that bilingual language switching involves high-level cognitive processes that are not specific to language processing. Future studies adopting a network approach are crucial in identifying the functional connectivity among regions subserving language control. PMID:25180974

  4. Networks uncover hidden lexical borrowing in Indo-European language evolution

    PubMed Central

    Nelson-Sathi, Shijulal; List, Johann-Mattis; Geisler, Hans; Fangerau, Heiner; Gray, Russell D.; Martin, William; Dagan, Tal

    2011-01-01

    Language evolution is traditionally described in terms of family trees with ancestral languages splitting into descendent languages. However, it has long been recognized that language evolution also entails horizontal components, most commonly through lexical borrowing. For example, the English language was heavily influenced by Old Norse and Old French; eight per cent of its basic vocabulary is borrowed. Borrowing is a distinctly non-tree-like process—akin to horizontal gene transfer in genome evolution—that cannot be recovered by phylogenetic trees. Here, we infer the frequency of hidden borrowing among 2346 cognates (etymologically related words) of basic vocabulary distributed across 84 Indo-European languages. The dataset includes 124 (5%) known borrowings. Applying the uniformitarian principle to inventory dynamics in past and present basic vocabularies, we find that 1373 (61%) of the cognates have been affected by borrowing during their history. Our approach correctly identified 117 (94%) known borrowings. Reconstructed phylogenetic networks that capture both vertical and horizontal components of evolutionary history reveal that, on average, eight per cent of the words of basic vocabulary in each Indo-European language were involved in borrowing during evolution. Basic vocabulary is often assumed to be relatively resistant to borrowing. Our results indicate that the impact of borrowing is far more widespread than previously thought. PMID:21106583

  5. Impact of cognitive function and dysarthria on spoken language and perceived speech severity in multiple sclerosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feenaughty, Lynda

    Purpose: The current study sought to investigate the separate effects of dysarthria and cognitive status on global speech timing, speech hesitation, and linguistic complexity characteristics and how these speech behaviors impose on listener impressions for three connected speech tasks presumed to differ in cognitive-linguistic demand for four carefully defined speaker groups; 1) MS with cognitive deficits (MSCI), 2) MS with clinically diagnosed dysarthria and intact cognition (MSDYS), 3) MS without dysarthria or cognitive deficits (MS), and 4) healthy talkers (CON). The relationship between neuropsychological test scores and speech-language production and perceptual variables for speakers with cognitive deficits was also explored. Methods: 48 speakers, including 36 individuals reporting a neurological diagnosis of MS and 12 healthy talkers participated. The three MS groups and control group each contained 12 speakers (8 women and 4 men). Cognitive function was quantified using standard clinical tests of memory, information processing speed, and executive function. A standard z-score of ≤ -1.50 indicated deficits in a given cognitive domain. Three certified speech-language pathologists determined the clinical diagnosis of dysarthria for speakers with MS. Experimental speech tasks of interest included audio-recordings of an oral reading of the Grandfather passage and two spontaneous speech samples in the form of Familiar and Unfamiliar descriptive discourse. Various measures of spoken language were of interest. Suprasegmental acoustic measures included speech and articulatory rate. Linguistic speech hesitation measures included pause frequency (i.e., silent and filled pauses), mean silent pause duration, grammatical appropriateness of pauses, and interjection frequency. For the two discourse samples, three standard measures of language complexity were obtained including subordination index, inter-sentence cohesion adequacy, and lexical diversity. Ten listeners

  6. Evo-devo, deep homology and FoxP2: implications for the evolution of speech and language

    PubMed Central

    Scharff, Constance; Petri, Jana

    2011-01-01

    The evolution of novel morphological features, such as feathers, involves the modification of developmental processes regulated by gene networks. The fact that genetic novelty operates within developmental constraints is the central tenet of the ‘evo-devo’ conceptual framework. It is supported by findings that certain molecular regulatory pathways act in a similar manner in the development of morphological adaptations, which are not directly related by common ancestry but evolved convergently. The Pax6 gene, important for vision in molluscs, insects and vertebrates, and Hox genes, important for tetrapod limbs and fish fins, exemplify this ‘deep homology’. Recently, ‘evo-devo’ has expanded to the molecular analysis of behavioural traits, including social behaviour, learning and memory. Here, we apply this approach to the evolution of human language. Human speech is a form of auditory-guided, learned vocal motor behaviour that also evolved in certain species of birds, bats and ocean mammals. Genes relevant for language, including the transcription factor FOXP2, have been identified. We review evidence that FoxP2 and its regulatory gene network shapes neural plasticity in cortico-basal ganglia circuits underlying the sensory-guided motor learning in animal models. The emerging picture can help us understand how complex cognitive traits can ‘descend with modification’. PMID:21690130

  7. Animal asymmetry and human heredity: dextrality, tool use and language in evolution--10 years after Walker (1980).

    PubMed

    Bradshaw, J L

    1991-02-01

    At the time of the last major review on this subject in the British Journal of Psychology (Walker, 1980) there was, with a few notable exceptions, little evidence of anatomical or behavioural asymmetries in non-human species at all comparable to our own. In the past decade the picture has changed dramatically, and now includes invertebrates from the Cambrian formations of half a billion years ago, many species of birds, rats and mice, antelopes, cats, dogs, whales, and primates. Asymmetries may differ as a function of sex (including hormone status-females of many species including humans appearing more lateralized at a motor level), developmental status and environmental influences. Effects may be manifest anatomically (limb or brain dimensions), or at a sensory, cognitive or motor level (paw preference, turning biases). A recurring observation across species is that the right hemisphere seems to be weakly specialized for spatial and emotional roles, and the left for learning, discriminatory and communicatory functions. Three million years ago our hominid ancestors were more or less fully bipedal, developed the first stone tools and were dextral in manipulating them. However, tool use seems not to have driven the evolution of language, our other strongly lateralized capacity. Evolutionary scenarios for bipedalism, tool use and language are discussed, together with the question of whether human language is continuous, in an evolutionary sense, with earlier primate call systems.

  8. Comparative primate neurobiology and the evolution of brain language systems.

    PubMed

    Rilling, James K

    2014-10-01

    Human brain specializations supporting language can be identified by comparing human with non-human primate brains. Comparisons with chimpanzees are critical in this endeavor. Human brains are much larger than non-human primate brains, but human language capabilities cannot be entirely explained by brain size. Human brain specializations that potentially support our capacity for language include firstly, wider cortical minicolumns in both Broca's and Wernicke's areas compared with great apes; secondly, leftward asymmetries in Broca's area volume and Wernicke's area minicolumn width that are not found in great apes; and thirdly, arcuate fasciculus projections beyond Wernicke's area to a region of expanded association cortex in the middle and inferior temporal cortex involved in processing word meaning.

  9. Maternal Education Level Predicts Cognitive, Language, and Motor Outcome in Preterm Infants in the Second Year of Life.

    PubMed

    Patra, Kousiki; Greene, Michelle M; Patel, Aloka L; Meier, Paula

    2016-07-01

    Objective To evaluate the relative impact of maternal education level (MEL) on cognitive, language, and motor outcomes at 20 months' corrected age (CA) in preterm infants. Study Design A total of 177 preterm infants born between 2008 and 2010 were tested at 20 months' CA using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-III. Multiple regression analyses were done to determine the relative impact of MEL on cognitive, language, and motor scores. Results Infants born to mothers with high school MEL were 3.74 times more likely to have a subnormal motor index, while those born to mothers with some college and graduate school MEL had reduced odds (0.36 and 0.12, respectively) of having subnormal language index at 20 months. In linear regression, MEL was the strongest predictor of cognitive, language, and motor scores, and graduate school MEL was associated with increases in cognitive, motor, and language scores of 8.49, 8.23, and 15.74 points, respectively. Conclusions MEL is the most significant predictor of cognitive, language, and motor outcome at 20 months' CA in preterm infants. Further research is needed to evaluate if targeted interventions that focus on early childhood learning and parenting practices can ameliorate the impact of low MEL.

  10. Maternal Education Level Predicts Cognitive, Language, and Motor Outcome in Preterm Infants in the Second Year of Life.

    PubMed

    Patra, Kousiki; Greene, Michelle M; Patel, Aloka L; Meier, Paula

    2016-07-01

    Objective To evaluate the relative impact of maternal education level (MEL) on cognitive, language, and motor outcomes at 20 months' corrected age (CA) in preterm infants. Study Design A total of 177 preterm infants born between 2008 and 2010 were tested at 20 months' CA using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-III. Multiple regression analyses were done to determine the relative impact of MEL on cognitive, language, and motor scores. Results Infants born to mothers with high school MEL were 3.74 times more likely to have a subnormal motor index, while those born to mothers with some college and graduate school MEL had reduced odds (0.36 and 0.12, respectively) of having subnormal language index at 20 months. In linear regression, MEL was the strongest predictor of cognitive, language, and motor scores, and graduate school MEL was associated with increases in cognitive, motor, and language scores of 8.49, 8.23, and 15.74 points, respectively. Conclusions MEL is the most significant predictor of cognitive, language, and motor outcome at 20 months' CA in preterm infants. Further research is needed to evaluate if targeted interventions that focus on early childhood learning and parenting practices can ameliorate the impact of low MEL. PMID:26890439

  11. Maternal Education Level Predicts Cognitive, Language, and Motor Outcome in Preterm Infants in the Second Year of Life

    PubMed Central

    Patra, Kousiki; Greene, Michelle M.; Patel, Aloka L.; Meier, Paula

    2016-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the relative impact of maternal education level (MEL) on cognitive, language, and motor outcomes at 20 months’ corrected age (CA) in preterm infants. Study Design A total of 177 preterm infants born between 2008 and 2010 were tested at 20 months’ CA using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-III. Multiple regression analyses were done to determine the relative impact of MEL on cognitive, language, and motor scores. Results Infants born to mothers with high school MEL were 3.74 times more likely to have a subnormal motor index, while those born to mothers with some college and graduate school MEL had reduced odds (0.36 and 0.12, respectively) of having subnormal language index at 20 months. In linear regression, MEL was the strongest predictor of cognitive, language, and motor scores, and graduate school MEL was associated with increases in cognitive, motor, and language scores of 8.49, 8.23, and 15.74 points, respectively. Conclusions MEL is the most significant predictor of cognitive, language, and motor outcome at 20 months’ CA in preterm infants. Further research is needed to evaluate if targeted interventions that focus on early childhood learning and parenting practices can ameliorate the impact of low MEL. PMID:26890439

  12. A Cognitive Neural Architecture Able to Learn and Communicate through Natural Language

    PubMed Central

    Golosio, Bruno; Cangelosi, Angelo; Gamotina, Olesya; Masala, Giovanni Luca

    2015-01-01

    Communicative interactions involve a kind of procedural knowledge that is used by the human brain for processing verbal and nonverbal inputs and for language production. Although considerable work has been done on modeling human language abilities, it has been difficult to bring them together to a comprehensive tabula rasa system compatible with current knowledge of how verbal information is processed in the brain. This work presents a cognitive system, entirely based on a large-scale neural architecture, which was developed to shed light on the procedural knowledge involved in language elaboration. The main component of this system is the central executive, which is a supervising system that coordinates the other components of the working memory. In our model, the central executive is a neural network that takes as input the neural activation states of the short-term memory and yields as output mental actions, which control the flow of information among the working memory components through neural gating mechanisms. The proposed system is capable of learning to communicate through natural language starting from tabula rasa, without any a priori knowledge of the structure of phrases, meaning of words, role of the different classes of words, only by interacting with a human through a text-based interface, using an open-ended incremental learning process. It is able to learn nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns and other word classes, and to use them in expressive language. The model was validated on a corpus of 1587 input sentences, based on literature on early language assessment, at the level of about 4-years old child, and produced 521 output sentences, expressing a broad range of language processing functionalities. PMID:26560154

  13. Longitudinal cerebral diffusion changes reflect progressive decline of language and cognition.

    PubMed

    Frings, Lars; Dressel, Katharina; Abel, Stefanie; Mader, Irina; Glauche, Volkmar; Weiller, Cornelius; Hüll, Michael

    2013-12-30

    Language deficits are regularly found in cortical neurodegenerative diseases. The progression of language deficits shows a considerable inter-individual variability even within one diagnostic group. We aimed at detecting patterns of altered diffusion as well as atrophy of cerebral gray and white matter which underlie ongoing language-related deterioration in patients with cortical neurodegenerative diseases. Diffusion tensor imaging and T1-weighted MRI data of 26 patients with clinically diagnosed neurodegenerative disorders were acquired at baseline and 14 months later in this prospective study. Language functions were assessed with a confrontation naming test and the Token Test. Diffusion and voxel-based morphometric measures were calculated and correlates of language performance were evaluated. Across all patients, the naming impairment was related to diffusion (false discovery rate-corrected P<0.05 at baseline) and atrophy abnormalities (family-wise error (FWE)-corrected P<0.05 at follow-up) primarily in the left temporal lobe. Deficits in the Token Test were correlated with predominantly left frontal MRI abnormalities (FWE-corrected P<0.05). The Token Test performance decline over 14 months was accompanied by further increasing abnormalities in the frontal cortex, left caudate, parietal cortex (all FWE-corrected P<0.05), and posterior callosal body (FWE-corrected P=0.055). Both diffusion and structural MRI were apt to elucidate the underpinnings of inter-individual differences in language-related deficits and to detect longitudinal changes that accompanied ongoing cognition and language decline, with mean diffusivity appearing most sensitive. This might indicate the usefulness of diffusion measures as markers for successful intervention in therapy studies. PMID:24144508

  14. Animal Foraging and the Evolution of Goal-Directed Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hills, Thomas T.

    2006-01-01

    Foraging-and feeding-related behaviors across eumetazoans share similar molecular mechanisms, suggesting the early evolution of an optimal foraging behavior called area-restricted search (ARS), involving mechanisms of dopamine and glutamate in the modulation of behavioral focus. Similar mechanisms in the vertebrate basal ganglia control motor…

  15. Development and application of cognitive-pragmatic language ability assessment protocol for traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Lee, Mi Sook; Kim, HyangHee

    2016-01-01

    The study aim was to introduce a newly-developed multifaceted cognitive-pragmatic language assessment protocol. This study was also designed to assess the reliability and validity of the assessment protocol in the discrimination between mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and normal control. Individuals in this study were 25 to 64 years old. Ten mTBIs and twenty-two control group were recruited for the preliminary study. Their mean ages were 45.20 and 41.23, respectively. For the main study, we recruited 39 mTBIs and 100 healthy individuals whose mean ages were 44.67 and 40.84, respectively. The newly-developed protocol was completed through a systematic review based on an item analysis. We administered the CAPTBI based on nine domains, 22 subcategories, and 57 items. All nine domains of the CAPTBI were found to be significant variables by which mTBI individuals can be distinguished from normal individuals (p < .001). We also presented the cut-off points by education level to maximize the validity of differentiating the two groups. This study is the first attempt to evaluate mTBI by means of the cognitive-linguistic protocol with multiple domains. The CAPTBI is an appropriate tool for differentiating the cognitive-pragmatic language abilities between mTBI and control group.

  16. IV. NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB): measuring language (vocabulary comprehension and reading decoding).

    PubMed

    Gershon, Richard C; Slotkin, Jerry; Manly, Jennifer J; Blitz, David L; Beaumont, Jennifer L; Schnipke, Deborah; Wallner-Allen, Kathleen; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick; Gleason, Jean Berko; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy; Adams, Marilyn Jager; Weintraub, Sandra

    2013-08-01

    Mastery of language skills is an important predictor of daily functioning and health. Vocabulary comprehension and reading decoding are relatively quick and easy to measure and correlate highly with overall cognitive functioning, as well as with success in school and work. New measures of vocabulary comprehension and reading decoding (in both English and Spanish) were developed for the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB). In the Toolbox Picture Vocabulary Test (TPVT), participants hear a spoken word while viewing four pictures, and then must choose the picture that best represents the word. This approach tests receptive vocabulary knowledge without the need to read or write, removing the literacy load for children who are developing literacy and for adults who struggle with reading and writing. In the Toolbox Oral Reading Recognition Test (TORRT), participants see a letter or word onscreen and must pronounce or identify it. The examiner determines whether it was pronounced correctly by comparing the response to the pronunciation guide on a separate computer screen. In this chapter, we discuss the importance of language during childhood and the relation of language and brain function. We also review the development of the TPVT and TORRT, including information about the item calibration process and results from a validation study. Finally, the strengths and weaknesses of the measures are discussed. PMID:23952202

  17. Processing structure in language and music: a case for shared reliance on cognitive control.

    PubMed

    Slevc, L Robert; Okada, Brooke M

    2015-06-01

    The relationship between structural processing in music and language has received increasing interest in the past several years, spurred by the influential Shared Syntactic Integration Resource Hypothesis (SSIRH; Patel, Nature Neuroscience, 6, 674-681, 2003). According to this resource-sharing framework, music and language rely on separable syntactic representations but recruit shared cognitive resources to integrate these representations into evolving structures. The SSIRH is supported by findings of interactions between structural manipulations in music and language. However, other recent evidence suggests that such interactions also can arise with nonstructural manipulations, and some recent neuroimaging studies report largely nonoverlapping neural regions involved in processing musical and linguistic structure. These conflicting results raise the question of exactly what shared (and distinct) resources underlie musical and linguistic structural processing. This paper suggests that one shared resource is prefrontal cortical mechanisms of cognitive control, which are recruited to detect and resolve conflict that occurs when expectations are violated and interpretations must be revised. By this account, musical processing involves not just the incremental processing and integration of musical elements as they occur, but also the incremental generation of musical predictions and expectations, which must sometimes be overridden and revised in light of evolving musical input.

  18. IV. NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB): measuring language (vocabulary comprehension and reading decoding).

    PubMed

    Gershon, Richard C; Slotkin, Jerry; Manly, Jennifer J; Blitz, David L; Beaumont, Jennifer L; Schnipke, Deborah; Wallner-Allen, Kathleen; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick; Gleason, Jean Berko; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy; Adams, Marilyn Jager; Weintraub, Sandra

    2013-08-01

    Mastery of language skills is an important predictor of daily functioning and health. Vocabulary comprehension and reading decoding are relatively quick and easy to measure and correlate highly with overall cognitive functioning, as well as with success in school and work. New measures of vocabulary comprehension and reading decoding (in both English and Spanish) were developed for the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB). In the Toolbox Picture Vocabulary Test (TPVT), participants hear a spoken word while viewing four pictures, and then must choose the picture that best represents the word. This approach tests receptive vocabulary knowledge without the need to read or write, removing the literacy load for children who are developing literacy and for adults who struggle with reading and writing. In the Toolbox Oral Reading Recognition Test (TORRT), participants see a letter or word onscreen and must pronounce or identify it. The examiner determines whether it was pronounced correctly by comparing the response to the pronunciation guide on a separate computer screen. In this chapter, we discuss the importance of language during childhood and the relation of language and brain function. We also review the development of the TPVT and TORRT, including information about the item calibration process and results from a validation study. Finally, the strengths and weaknesses of the measures are discussed.

  19. Cognitive Approaches to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: The Evolution of Multirepresentational Theorizing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dalgleish, Tim

    2004-01-01

    The evolution of multirepresentational cognitive theorizing in psychopathology is illustrated by detailed discussion and analysis of a number of prototypical models of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Network and schema theories, which focus on a single, explicit aspect/format of mental representation, are compared with theories that focus on…

  20. The Evolution of Language Acquisition in Immigrant Students in Catalonia: The Role of the Home Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sansó, Clara; Navarro, José Luis; Huguet, Ángel

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: The development of immigrant students' language proficiency is one of the main challenges facing education professionals today. Our study was a longitudinal analysis of Catalan and Spanish language acquisition. Method: Participants were 72 immigrant students (27 Spanish speakers and 45 non-Spanish speakers) enrolled in compulsory…

  1. The interrelationships between motor, cognitive, and language development in children with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    PubMed

    Houwen, Suzanne; Visser, Linda; van der Putten, Annette; Vlaskamp, Carla

    2016-01-01

    It is generally agreed that cognitive and language development are dependent on the emergence of motor skills. As the literature on this issue concerning children with developmental disabilities is scarce, we examined the interrelationships between motor, cognitive, and language development in children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and compared them to those in children without IDD. In addition, we investigated whether these relationships differ between children with different levels of cognitive delay. Seventy-seven children with IDD (calendar age between 1;0 and 9;10 years; mean developmental age: 1;8 years) and 130 typically developing children (calendar age between 0;3 and 3;6 years; mean developmental age: 1;10 years) were tested with the Dutch Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition, which assesses development across three domains using five subscales: fine motor development, gross motor development (motor), cognition (cognitive), receptive communication, and expressive communication (language). Results showed that correlations between the motor, cognitive, and language domains were strong, namely .61 to .94 in children with IDD and weak to strong, namely .24 to .56 in children without IDD. Furthermore, the correlations showed a tendency to increase with the severity of IDD. It can be concluded that both fine and gross motor development are more strongly associated with cognition, and consequently language, in children with IDD than in children without IDD. The findings of this study emphasize the importance of early interventions that boost both motor and cognitive development, and suggest that such interventions will also enhance language development.

  2. The interrelationships between motor, cognitive, and language development in children with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    PubMed

    Houwen, Suzanne; Visser, Linda; van der Putten, Annette; Vlaskamp, Carla

    2016-01-01

    It is generally agreed that cognitive and language development are dependent on the emergence of motor skills. As the literature on this issue concerning children with developmental disabilities is scarce, we examined the interrelationships between motor, cognitive, and language development in children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and compared them to those in children without IDD. In addition, we investigated whether these relationships differ between children with different levels of cognitive delay. Seventy-seven children with IDD (calendar age between 1;0 and 9;10 years; mean developmental age: 1;8 years) and 130 typically developing children (calendar age between 0;3 and 3;6 years; mean developmental age: 1;10 years) were tested with the Dutch Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition, which assesses development across three domains using five subscales: fine motor development, gross motor development (motor), cognition (cognitive), receptive communication, and expressive communication (language). Results showed that correlations between the motor, cognitive, and language domains were strong, namely .61 to .94 in children with IDD and weak to strong, namely .24 to .56 in children without IDD. Furthermore, the correlations showed a tendency to increase with the severity of IDD. It can be concluded that both fine and gross motor development are more strongly associated with cognition, and consequently language, in children with IDD than in children without IDD. The findings of this study emphasize the importance of early interventions that boost both motor and cognitive development, and suggest that such interventions will also enhance language development. PMID:26851384

  3. Punctuated equilibrium in the large-scale evolution of programming languages.

    PubMed

    Valverde, Sergi; Solé, Ricard V

    2015-06-01

    The analogies and differences between biological and cultural evolution have been explored by evolutionary biologists, historians, engineers and linguists alike. Two well-known domains of cultural change are language and technology. Both share some traits relating the evolution of species, but technological change is very difficult to study. A major challenge in our way towards a scientific theory of technological evolution is how to properly define evolutionary trees or clades and how to weight the role played by horizontal transfer of information. Here, we study the large-scale historical development of programming languages, which have deeply marked social and technological advances in the last half century. We analyse their historical connections using network theory and reconstructed phylogenetic networks. Using both data analysis and network modelling, it is shown that their evolution is highly uneven, marked by innovation events where new languages are created out of improved combinations of different structural components belonging to previous languages. These radiation events occur in a bursty pattern and are tied to novel technological and social niches. The method can be extrapolated to other systems and consistently captures the major classes of languages and the widespread horizontal design exchanges, revealing a punctuated evolutionary path.

  4. Vocal Development as a Guide to Modeling the Evolution of Language.

    PubMed

    Oller, D Kimbrough; Griebel, Ulrike; Warlaumont, Anne S

    2016-04-01

    Modeling of evolution and development of language has principally utilized mature units of spoken language, phonemes and words, as both targets and inputs. This approach cannot address the earliest phases of development because young infants are unable to produce such language features. We argue that units of early vocal development-protophones and their primitive illocutionary/perlocutionary forces-should be targeted in evolutionary modeling because they suggest likely units of hominin vocalization/communication shortly after the split from the chimpanzee/bonobo lineage, and because early development of spontaneous vocal capability is a logically necessary step toward vocal language, a root capability without which other crucial steps toward vocal language capability are impossible. Modeling of language evolution/development must account for dynamic change in early communicative units of form/function across time. We argue for interactive contributions of sender/infants and receiver/caregivers in a feedback loop involving both development and evolution and propose to begin computational modeling at the hominin break from the primate communicative background. PMID:26932662

  5. Vocal Development as a Guide to Modeling the Evolution of Language.

    PubMed

    Oller, D Kimbrough; Griebel, Ulrike; Warlaumont, Anne S

    2016-04-01

    Modeling of evolution and development of language has principally utilized mature units of spoken language, phonemes and words, as both targets and inputs. This approach cannot address the earliest phases of development because young infants are unable to produce such language features. We argue that units of early vocal development-protophones and their primitive illocutionary/perlocutionary forces-should be targeted in evolutionary modeling because they suggest likely units of hominin vocalization/communication shortly after the split from the chimpanzee/bonobo lineage, and because early development of spontaneous vocal capability is a logically necessary step toward vocal language, a root capability without which other crucial steps toward vocal language capability are impossible. Modeling of language evolution/development must account for dynamic change in early communicative units of form/function across time. We argue for interactive contributions of sender/infants and receiver/caregivers in a feedback loop involving both development and evolution and propose to begin computational modeling at the hominin break from the primate communicative background.

  6. The Co-evolution of Situated Language and Physics Knowing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roth, Wolff-Michael

    1996-01-01

    Explores evolutionary changes in students' (n=46) motion-related language mediated by computer-based Newtonian microworlds. Documents how ways of talking emerge and how the convergence of meaning arises from the affordances provided by the interpretive flexibility of the microworld, conversations with the teacher, and the microworld which assures…

  7. Cognitive abilities underlying second-language vocabulary acquisition in an early second-language immersion education context: a longitudinal study.

    PubMed

    Nicolay, Anne-Catherine; Poncelet, Martine

    2013-08-01

    First-language (L1) and second-language (L2) lexical development has been found to be strongly associated with phonological processing abilities such as phonological short-term memory (STM), phonological awareness, and speech perception. Lexical development also seems to be linked to attentional and executive skills such as auditory attention, flexibility, and response inhibition. The aim of this four-wave longitudinal study was to determine to what extent L2 vocabulary acquired through the particular school context of early L2 immersion education is linked to the same cognitive abilities. A total of 61 French-speaking 5-year-old kindergartners who had just been enrolled in English immersion classes were administered a battery of tasks assessing these three phonological processing abilities and three attentional/executive skills. Their English vocabulary knowledge was measured 1, 2, and 3 school years later. Multiple regression analyses showed that, among the assessed phonological processing abilities, phonological STM and speech perception, but not phonological awareness, appeared to underlie L2 vocabulary acquisition in this context of an early L2 immersion school program, at least during the first steps of acquisition. Similarly, among the assessed attentional/executive skills, auditory attention and flexibility, but not response inhibition, appeared to be involved during the first steps of L2 vocabulary acquisition in such an immersion school context.

  8. Exploration as a Mediator of the Relation between the Attainment of Motor Milestones and the Development of Spatial Cognition and Spatial Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oudgenoeg-Paz, Ora; Leseman, Paul P. M.; Volman, M. J. M.

    2015-01-01

    The embodied-cognition approach views cognition and language as grounded in daily sensorimotor child-environment interactions. Therefore, the attainment of motor milestones is expected to play a role in cognitive-linguistic development. Early attainment of unsupported sitting and independent walking indeed predict better spatial cognition and…

  9. Modeling language and cognition with deep unsupervised learning: a tutorial overview

    PubMed Central

    Zorzi, Marco; Testolin, Alberto; Stoianov, Ivilin P.

    2013-01-01

    Deep unsupervised learning in stochastic recurrent neural networks with many layers of hidden units is a recent breakthrough in neural computation research. These networks build a hierarchy of progressively more complex distributed representations of the sensory data by fitting a hierarchical generative model. In this article we discuss the theoretical foundations of this approach and we review key issues related to training, testing and analysis of deep networks for modeling language and cognitive processing. The classic letter and word perception problem of McClelland and Rumelhart (1981) is used as a tutorial example to illustrate how structured and abstract representations may emerge from deep generative learning. We argue that the focus on deep architectures and generative (rather than discriminative) learning represents a crucial step forward for the connectionist modeling enterprise, because it offers a more plausible model of cortical learning as well as a way to bridge the gap between emergentist connectionist models and structured Bayesian models of cognition. PMID:23970869

  10. Dynamic Engagement of Cognitive Control Modulates Recovery From Misinterpretation During Real-Time Language Processing.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Nina S; Novick, Jared M

    2016-04-01

    Speech unfolds swiftly, yet listeners keep pace by rapidly assigning meaning to what they hear. Sometimes, though, initial interpretations turn out to be wrong. How do listeners revise misinterpretations of language input moment by moment to avoid comprehension errors? Cognitive control may play a role by detecting when processing has gone awry and then initiating behavioral adjustments accordingly. However, no research to date has investigated a cause-and-effect interplay between cognitive-control engagement and the overriding of erroneous interpretations in real time. Using a novel cross-task paradigm, we showed that Stroop-conflict detection, which mobilizes cognitive-control procedures, subsequently facilitates listeners' incremental processing of temporarily ambiguous spoken instructions that induce brief misinterpretation. When instructions followed incongruent Stroop items, compared with congruent Stroop items, listeners' eye movements to objects in a scene reflected more transient consideration of the false interpretation and earlier recovery of the correct one. Comprehension errors also decreased. Cognitive-control engagement therefore accelerates sentence-reinterpretation processes, even as linguistic input is still unfolding. PMID:26957521

  11. Parallel language activation and cognitive control during spoken word recognition in bilinguals

    PubMed Central

    Blumenfeld, Henrike K.; Marian, Viorica

    2013-01-01

    Accounts of bilingual cognitive advantages suggest an associative link between cross-linguistic competition and inhibitory control. We investigate this link by examining English-Spanish bilinguals’ parallel language activation during auditory word recognition and nonlinguistic Stroop performance. Thirty-one English-Spanish bilinguals and 30 English monolinguals participated in an eye-tracking study. Participants heard words in English (e.g., comb) and identified corresponding pictures from a display that included pictures of a Spanish competitor (e.g., conejo, English rabbit). Bilinguals with higher Spanish proficiency showed more parallel language activation and smaller Stroop effects than bilinguals with lower Spanish proficiency. Across all bilinguals, stronger parallel language activation between 300–500ms after word onset was associated with smaller Stroop effects; between 633–767ms, reduced parallel language activation was associated with smaller Stroop effects. Results suggest that bilinguals who perform well on the Stroop task show increased cross-linguistic competitor activation during early stages of word recognition and decreased competitor activation during later stages of word recognition. Findings support the hypothesis that cross-linguistic competition impacts domain-general inhibition. PMID:24244842

  12. Parallel language activation and cognitive control during spoken word recognition in bilinguals.

    PubMed

    Blumenfeld, Henrike K; Marian, Viorica

    2013-01-01

    Accounts of bilingual cognitive advantages suggest an associative link between cross-linguistic competition and inhibitory control. We investigate this link by examining English-Spanish bilinguals' parallel language activation during auditory word recognition and nonlinguistic Stroop performance. Thirty-one English-Spanish bilinguals and 30 English monolinguals participated in an eye-tracking study. Participants heard words in English (e.g., comb) and identified corresponding pictures from a display that included pictures of a Spanish competitor (e.g., conejo, English rabbit). Bilinguals with higher Spanish proficiency showed more parallel language activation and smaller Stroop effects than bilinguals with lower Spanish proficiency. Across all bilinguals, stronger parallel language activation between 300-500ms after word onset was associated with smaller Stroop effects; between 633-767ms, reduced parallel language activation was associated with smaller Stroop effects. Results suggest that bilinguals who perform well on the Stroop task show increased cross-linguistic competitor activation during early stages of word recognition and decreased competitor activation during later stages of word recognition. Findings support the hypothesis that cross-linguistic competition impacts domain-general inhibition. PMID:24244842

  13. The neurophysiology of language processing shapes the evolution of grammar: evidence from case marking.

    PubMed

    Bickel, Balthasar; Witzlack-Makarevich, Alena; Choudhary, Kamal K; Schlesewsky, Matthias; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina

    2015-01-01

    Do principles of language processing in the brain affect the way grammar evolves over time or is language change just a matter of socio-historical contingency? While the balance of evidence has been ambiguous and controversial, we identify here a neurophysiological constraint on the processing of language that has a systematic effect on the evolution of how noun phrases are marked by case (i.e. by such contrasts as between the English base form she and the object form her). In neurophysiological experiments across diverse languages we found that during processing, participants initially interpret the first base-form noun phrase they hear (e.g. she…) as an agent (which would fit a continuation like … greeted him), even when the sentence later requires the interpretation of a patient role (as in … was greeted). We show that this processing principle is also operative in Hindi, a language where initial base-form noun phrases most commonly denote patients because many agents receive a special case marker ("ergative") and are often left out in discourse. This finding suggests that the principle is species-wide and independent of the structural affordances of specific languages. As such, the principle favors the development and maintenance of case-marking systems that equate base-form cases with agents rather than with patients. We confirm this evolutionary bias by statistical analyses of phylogenetic signals in over 600 languages worldwide, controlling for confounding effects from language contact. Our findings suggest that at least one core property of grammar systematically adapts in its evolution to the neurophysiological conditions of the brain, independently of socio-historical factors. This opens up new avenues for understanding how specific properties of grammar have developed in tight interaction with the biological evolution of our species.

  14. The Neurophysiology of Language Processing Shapes the Evolution of Grammar: Evidence from Case Marking

    PubMed Central

    Bickel, Balthasar; Witzlack-Makarevich, Alena; Choudhary, Kamal K.; Schlesewsky, Matthias; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina

    2015-01-01

    Do principles of language processing in the brain affect the way grammar evolves over time or is language change just a matter of socio-historical contingency? While the balance of evidence has been ambiguous and controversial, we identify here a neurophysiological constraint on the processing of language that has a systematic effect on the evolution of how noun phrases are marked by case (i.e. by such contrasts as between the English base form she and the object form her). In neurophysiological experiments across diverse languages we found that during processing, participants initially interpret the first base-form noun phrase they hear (e.g. she…) as an agent (which would fit a continuation like … greeted him), even when the sentence later requires the interpretation of a patient role (as in … was greeted). We show that this processing principle is also operative in Hindi, a language where initial base-form noun phrases most commonly denote patients because many agents receive a special case marker ("ergative") and are often left out in discourse. This finding suggests that the principle is species-wide and independent of the structural affordances of specific languages. As such, the principle favors the development and maintenance of case-marking systems that equate base-form cases with agents rather than with patients. We confirm this evolutionary bias by statistical analyses of phylogenetic signals in over 600 languages worldwide, controlling for confounding effects from language contact. Our findings suggest that at least one core property of grammar systematically adapts in its evolution to the neurophysiological conditions of the brain, independently of socio-historical factors. This opens up new avenues for understanding how specific properties of grammar have developed in tight interaction with the biological evolution of our species. PMID:26267884

  15. The impact of hearing loss on language performance in older adults with different stages of cognitive function

    PubMed Central

    Lodeiro-Fernández, Leire; Lorenzo-López, Laura; Maseda, Ana; Núñez-Naveira, Laura; Rodríguez-Villamil, José Luis; Millán-Calenti, José Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Purpose The possible relationship between audiometric hearing thresholds and cognitive performance on language tests was analyzed in a cross-sectional cohort of older adults aged ≥65 years (N=98) with different degrees of cognitive impairment. Materials and methods Participants were distributed into two groups according to Reisberg’s Global Deterioration Scale (GDS): a normal/predementia group (GDS scores 1–3) and a moderate/moderately severe dementia group (GDS scores 4 and 5). Hearing loss (pure-tone audiometry) and receptive and production-based language function (Verbal Fluency Test, Boston Naming Test, and Token Test) were assessed. Results Results showed that the dementia group achieved significantly lower scores than the predementia group in all language tests. A moderate negative correlation between hearing loss and verbal comprehension (r=−0.298; P<0.003) was observed in the predementia group (r=−0.363; P<0.007). However, no significant relationship between hearing loss and verbal fluency and naming scores was observed, regardless of cognitive impairment. Conclusion In the predementia group, reduced hearing level partially explains comprehension performance but not language production. In the dementia group, hearing loss cannot be considered as an explanatory factor of poor receptive and production-based language performance. These results are suggestive of cognitive rather than simply auditory problems to explain the language impairment in the elderly. PMID:25914528

  16. Technical evolutions of the french multipurpose instruments for cognitive neurosciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bois, JM; Legrand, G.; Matsakis, Y.; Venet, M.; McIntyre, J.; Shulenin, A.

    Since the first French flight in space in 1982, the CNES has developed a wide range of instruments, especially in the field of Neurosciences. The design of these instruments has considerably evolved from rather simple equipment up to much more sophisticated tools that are being specially tayloried for these missions. Four major phases can be identified: - a simple adaptation of an echographe leading to the first neurosciences experiments (the ARAGATZ'88 mission), - the ILLUSIONS and VIMINAL instruments used during the ANTARES'92 and ALTAIR'93 missions, - the COGNILAB instrument developed for the CASSIOPEE'96 mission, to be re-used in 1997 and in 1999, - a preliminary design of the 1999 mission payload, including virtual reality concepts, in a modular design to adapt to the European COF. Aside from the evolution of scientific requirements, the experience gained during the flights led to progressive improvements in the different technical parts, including visual system, body restraint systems, accessories, such as a force feedback joystick, computer and software, etc. This paper describes the technical evolutions in the CNES Neurosciences program.

  17. The Evolution of English Language Teaching during Societal Transition in Finland--A Mutual Relationship or a Distinctive Process?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jaatinen, Riitta; Saarivirta, Toni

    2014-01-01

    This study describes the evolution of English language teaching in Finland and looks into the connections of the societal and educational changes in the country as explanatory factors in the process. The results of the study show that the language teaching methodology and the status of foreign languages in Finland are clearly connected to the…

  18. Impact of cognitive function and dysarthria on spoken language and perceived speech severity in multiple sclerosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feenaughty, Lynda

    Purpose: The current study sought to investigate the separate effects of dysarthria and cognitive status on global speech timing, speech hesitation, and linguistic complexity characteristics and how these speech behaviors impose on listener impressions for three connected speech tasks presumed to differ in cognitive-linguistic demand for four carefully defined speaker groups; 1) MS with cognitive deficits (MSCI), 2) MS with clinically diagnosed dysarthria and intact cognition (MSDYS), 3) MS without dysarthria or cognitive deficits (MS), and 4) healthy talkers (CON). The relationship between neuropsychological test scores and speech-language production and perceptual variables for speakers with cognitive deficits was also explored. Methods: 48 speakers, including 36 individuals reporting a neurological diagnosis of MS and 12 healthy talkers participated. The three MS groups and control group each contained 12 speakers (8 women and 4 men). Cognitive function was quantified using standard clinical tests of memory, information processing speed, and executive function. A standard z-score of ≤ -1.50 indicated deficits in a given cognitive domain. Three certified speech-language pathologists determined the clinical diagnosis of dysarthria for speakers with MS. Experimental speech tasks of interest included audio-recordings of an oral reading of the Grandfather passage and two spontaneous speech samples in the form of Familiar and Unfamiliar descriptive discourse. Various measures of spoken language were of interest. Suprasegmental acoustic measures included speech and articulatory rate. Linguistic speech hesitation measures included pause frequency (i.e., silent and filled pauses), mean silent pause duration, grammatical appropriateness of pauses, and interjection frequency. For the two discourse samples, three standard measures of language complexity were obtained including subordination index, inter-sentence cohesion adequacy, and lexical diversity. Ten listeners

  19. DUF1220 domains, cognitive disease, and human brain evolution.

    PubMed

    Dumas, L; Sikela, J M

    2009-01-01

    We have established that human genome sequences encoding a novel protein domain, DUF1220, show a dramatically elevated copy number in the human lineage (>200 copies in humans vs. 1 in mouse/rat) and may be important to human evolutionary adaptation. Copy-number variations (CNVs) in the 1q21.1 region, where most DUF1220 sequences map, have now been implicated in numerous diseases associated with cognitive dysfunction, including autism, autism spectrum disorder, mental retardation, schizophrenia, microcephaly, and macrocephaly. We report here that these disease-related 1q21.1 CNVs either encompass or are directly flanked by DUF1220 sequences and exhibit a dosage-related correlation with human brain size. Microcephaly-producing 1q21.1 CNVs are deletions, whereas macrocephaly-producing 1q21.1 CNVs are duplications. Similarly, 1q21.1 deletions and smaller brain size are linked with schizophrenia, whereas 1q21.1 duplications and larger brain size are associated with autism. Interestingly, these two diseases are thought to be phenotypic opposites. These data suggest a model which proposes that (1) DUF1220 domain copy number may be involved in influencing human brain size and (2) the evolutionary advantage of rapidly increasing DUF1220 copy number in the human lineage has resulted in favoring retention of the high genomic instability of the 1q21.1 region, which, in turn, has precipitated a spectrum of recurrent human brain and developmental disorders. PMID:19850849

  20. The parental antagonism theory of language evolution: preliminary evidence for the proposal.

    PubMed

    Brown, William M

    2011-04-01

    not maternally silenced Alu elements are positively correlated with language diversity. Furthermore, there is a much higher than expected frequency of Alu elements inserted into the protein-coding machinery of imprinted and X-chromosomal language loci compared with nonimprinted language loci. Taken together these findings provide some support for parental antagonism theory. Unlike previous theories for language evolution, parental antagonism theory generates testable predictions at the proximate (e.g., neurocognitive areas important for social transmission and language capacities), ontogenetic (e.g., the function of language at different points of development), ultimate (e.g., inclusive fitness), and phylogenetic levels (e.g., the spread of maternally derived brain components in mammals, particularly in the hominin lineage), thus making human capacities for culture more tractable than previously thought.

  1. The Role of Individual Differences in the Study Abroad Context: Cognitive Capacity and Language Development during Short-Term Intensive Language Exposure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grey, Sarah; Cox, Jessica G.; Serafini, Ellen J.; Sanz, Cristina

    2015-01-01

    While research suggests that study abroad (SA) benefits second language (L2) oral fluency, its benefits for other domains are less clear, especially for shorterterm programs, which are becoming more common. Additionally, studies investigating the relationship between cognitive capacity and benefits of SA report inconsistent patterns. In light of…

  2. Modeling Coevolution between Language and Memory Capacity during Language Origin.

    PubMed

    Gong, Tao; Shuai, Lan

    2015-01-01

    Memory is essential to many cognitive tasks including language. Apart from empirical studies of memory effects on language acquisition and use, there lack sufficient evolutionary explorations on whether a high level of memory capacity is prerequisite for language and whether language origin could influence memory capacity. In line with evolutionary theories that natural selection refined language-related cognitive abilities, we advocated a coevolution scenario between language and memory capacity, which incorporated the genetic transmission of individual memory capacity, cultural transmission of idiolects, and natural and cultural selections on individual reproduction and language teaching. To illustrate the coevolution dynamics, we adopted a multi-agent computational model simulating the emergence of lexical items and simple syntax through iterated communications. Simulations showed that: along with the origin of a communal language, an initially-low memory capacity for acquired linguistic knowledge was boosted; and such coherent increase in linguistic understandability and memory capacities reflected a language-memory coevolution; and such coevolution stopped till memory capacities became sufficient for language communications. Statistical analyses revealed that the coevolution was realized mainly by natural selection based on individual communicative success in cultural transmissions. This work elaborated the biology-culture parallelism of language evolution, demonstrated the driving force of culturally-constituted factors for natural selection of individual cognitive abilities, and suggested that the degree difference in language-related cognitive abilities between humans and nonhuman animals could result from a coevolution with language.

  3. Modeling Coevolution between Language and Memory Capacity during Language Origin

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Tao; Shuai, Lan

    2015-01-01

    Memory is essential to many cognitive tasks including language. Apart from empirical studies of memory effects on language acquisition and use, there lack sufficient evolutionary explorations on whether a high level of memory capacity is prerequisite for language and whether language origin could influence memory capacity. In line with evolutionary theories that natural selection refined language-related cognitive abilities, we advocated a coevolution scenario between language and memory capacity, which incorporated the genetic transmission of individual memory capacity, cultural transmission of idiolects, and natural and cultural selections on individual reproduction and language teaching. To illustrate the coevolution dynamics, we adopted a multi-agent computational model simulating the emergence of lexical items and simple syntax through iterated communications. Simulations showed that: along with the origin of a communal language, an initially-low memory capacity for acquired linguistic knowledge was boosted; and such coherent increase in linguistic understandability and memory capacities reflected a language-memory coevolution; and such coevolution stopped till memory capacities became sufficient for language communications. Statistical analyses revealed that the coevolution was realized mainly by natural selection based on individual communicative success in cultural transmissions. This work elaborated the biology-culture parallelism of language evolution, demonstrated the driving force of culturally-constituted factors for natural selection of individual cognitive abilities, and suggested that the degree difference in language-related cognitive abilities between humans and nonhuman animals could result from a coevolution with language. PMID:26544876

  4. The evolution of sex differences in language, sexuality, and visual-spatial skills.

    PubMed

    Joseph, R

    2000-02-01

    The evolutionary neurological and physical foundations for human sex differences in language, sexuality, and visual spatial skills are detailed and primate and human studies are reviewed. Trends in the division of labor were established early in evolution and became amplified with the emergence of the "big brained" Homo erectus. A bigger brain necessitated a size increase in the birth canal and female pelvis. These and other physical changes, e.g., the swelling of the breasts and buttocks, may have paralleled the evolution of full-time sexual receptivity, the establishment of the home base, and exaggerated sex differences in the division of labor (hunting vs. gathering), which in turn promoted innate sex differences in visual spatial vs. language skills. For example, female primates produce more social and emotional vocalizations and engage in more tool use and gathering activities, whereas males tend to hunt and kill. Similar labor divisions are evident over the course of human evolution. "Woman's work" such as child rearing, gathering, and domestic tool construction and manipulation contributed to the functional evolution of Broca's speech area and the angular gyrus--which injects temporal sequences and complex concepts into the stream of language and thought. These activities gave rise, therefore, to a female superiority in grammatical (temporal sequential) vocabulary-rich language. Hunting as a way of life does not require speech but requires excellent visual-spatial skills and, thus, contributed to a male visual-spatial superiority and sex difference in the brain. Over the course of evolution males acquired modern human speech through genetic inheritance and because they had mothers who taught them language.

  5. The Evolution of a Connectionist Model of Situated Human Language Understanding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayberry, Marshall R.; Crocker, Matthew W.

    The Adaptive Mechanisms in Human Language Processing (ALPHA) project features both experimental and computational tracks designed to complement each other in the investigation of the cognitive mechanisms that underlie situated human utterance processing. The models developed in the computational track replicate results obtained in the experimental track and, in turn, suggest further experiments by virtue of behavior that arises as a by-product of their operation.

  6. DUF1220 Domains, Cognitive Disease, and Human Brain Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Dumas, L.; Sikela, J.M.

    2010-01-01

    We have established that human genome sequences encoding a novel protein domain, DUF1220, show a dramatically elevated copy number in the human lineage (>200 copies in humans vs. 1 in mouse/rat) and may be important to human evolutionary adaptation. Copy-number variations (CNVs) in the 1q21.1 region, where most DUF1220 sequences map, have now been implicated in numerous diseases associated with cognitive dysfunction, including autism, autism spectrum disorder, mental retardation, schizophrenia, microcephaly, and macrocephaly. Although the data are only correlative at this point, we report here that these disease-related 1q21.1 CNVs either encompass or are directly flanked by DUF1220 sequences and exhibit a dosage-related correlation with human brain size. Microcephaly-producing 1q21.1 CNVs are deletions, whereas macrocephaly-producing 1q21.1 CNVs are duplications. Similarly, 1q21.1 deletions and smaller brain size are linked with schizophrenia, whereas 1q21.1 duplications and larger brain size are associated with autism. Interestingly, these two diseases are thought to be phenotypic opposites. These data suggest a model which proposes that (1) DUF1220 domain copy number may be involved in influencing human brain size and (2) the evolutionary advantage of rapidly increasing DUF1220 copy number in the human lineage has resulted in favoring retention of the high genomic instability of the 1q21.1 region, which, in turn, has precipitated a spectrum of recurrent human brain and developmental disorders. PMID:19850849

  7. The science of language and the evolution of mind: Max Müller's quarrel with Darwinism.

    PubMed

    Knoll, E

    1986-01-01

    For Darwinism to succeed as a general theory of the development of life, it had to account for at least the rudiments of all human characteristics. Thus Darwin and his colleague G. J. Romanes had to make "mental evolution" the basis for scientific psychology. F. Max Müller, Oxford's professor of comparative philology, drew on Kant's work, Romantic Naturphilosophie, and his views on the history of language and the relation of language to thought to maintain that language showed a difference not in degree but in kind between man and the lower primates. In his debate with Romanes, he argued that the study of language, not Darwinist natural history, should be the basis for a science of human psychology. However, the two authors had such different definitions of the key terms in their discussion that their differences were not only unresolved but irresolvable.

  8. A cognitive neuroscience perspective on embodied language for human-robot cooperation.

    PubMed

    Madden, Carol; Hoen, Michel; Dominey, Peter Ford

    2010-03-01

    This article addresses issues in embodied sentence processing from a "cognitive neural systems" approach that combines analysis of the behavior in question, analysis of the known neurophysiological bases of this behavior, and the synthesis of a neuro-computational model of embodied sentence processing that can be applied to and tested in the context of human-robot cooperative interaction. We propose a Hybrid Comprehension Model that links compact propositional representations of sentences and discourse with their temporal unfolding in situated simulations, under the control of grammar. The starting point is a model of grammatical construction processing which specifies the neural mechanisms by which language is a structured inventory of mappings from sentence to meaning. This model is then "embodied" in a perceptual-motor system (robot) which allows it access to sentence-perceptual representation pairs, and interaction with the world providing the basis for language acquisition. We then introduce a "simulation" capability, such that the robot has an internal representation of its interaction with the world. The control of this simulator and the associated representations present a number of interesting "neuro-technical" issues. First, the "simulator" has been liberated from real-time. It can run without being connected to current sensory motor experience. Second, "simulations" appear to be represented at different levels of detail. Our paper provides a framework for beginning to address the questions: how does language and its grammar control these aspects of simulation, what are the neurophysiological bases, and how can this be demonstrated in an artificial yet embodied cognitive system. PMID:19665218

  9. Language skills and nonverbal cognitive processes associated with reading comprehension in deaf children.

    PubMed

    Daza, María Teresa; Phillips-Silver, Jessica; Ruiz-Cuadra, María del Mar; López-López, Francisco

    2014-12-01

    The main aim of this study was to examine the relationship between language skills (vocabulary knowledge and phonological awareness), nonverbal cognitive processes (attention, memory and executive functions) and reading comprehension in deaf children. Participants were thirty prelingually deaf children (10.7 ± 1.6 years old; 18 boys, 12 girls), who were classified as either good readers or poor readers by their scores on two reading comprehension tasks. The children were administered a rhyme judgment task and seven computerized neuropsychological tasks specifically designed and adapted for deaf children to evaluate vocabulary knowledge, attention, memory and executive functions in deaf children. A correlational approach was also used to assess the association between variables. Although the two groups did not show differences in phonological awareness, good readers showed better vocabulary and performed significantly better than poor readers on attention, memory and executive functions measures. Significant correlations were found between better scores in reading comprehension and better scores on tasks of vocabulary and non-verbal cognitive processes. The results suggest that in deaf children, vocabulary knowledge and nonverbal cognitive processes such as selective attention, visuo-spatial memory, abstract reasoning and sequential processing may be especially relevant for the development of reading comprehension.

  10. Time, space, and events in language and cognition: a comparative view.

    PubMed

    Sinha, Chris; Gärdenfors, Peter

    2014-10-01

    We propose an event-based account of the cognitive and linguistic representation of time and temporal relations. Human beings differ from nonhuman animals in entertaining and communicating elaborate detached (as opposed to cued) event representations and temporal relational schemas. We distinguish deictically based (D-time) from sequentially based (S-time) representations, identifying these with the philosophical categories of A-series and B-series time. On the basis of cross-linguistic data, we claim that all cultures employ both D-time and S-time representations. We outline a cognitive model of event structure, emphasizing that this does not entail an explicit, separate representation of a time dimension. We propose that the notion of an event-independent, metric "time as such" is not universal, but a cultural and historical construction based on cognitive technologies for measuring time intervals. We critically examine claims that time is universally conceptualized in terms of spatial metaphors, and hypothesize that systematic space-time metaphor is only found in languages and cultures that have constructed the notion of time as a separate dimension. We emphasize the importance of distinguishing what is universal from what is variable in cultural and linguistic representations of time, and speculate on the general implications of an event-based understanding of time. PMID:25098724

  11. Time, space, and events in language and cognition: a comparative view.

    PubMed

    Sinha, Chris; Gärdenfors, Peter

    2014-10-01

    We propose an event-based account of the cognitive and linguistic representation of time and temporal relations. Human beings differ from nonhuman animals in entertaining and communicating elaborate detached (as opposed to cued) event representations and temporal relational schemas. We distinguish deictically based (D-time) from sequentially based (S-time) representations, identifying these with the philosophical categories of A-series and B-series time. On the basis of cross-linguistic data, we claim that all cultures employ both D-time and S-time representations. We outline a cognitive model of event structure, emphasizing that this does not entail an explicit, separate representation of a time dimension. We propose that the notion of an event-independent, metric "time as such" is not universal, but a cultural and historical construction based on cognitive technologies for measuring time intervals. We critically examine claims that time is universally conceptualized in terms of spatial metaphors, and hypothesize that systematic space-time metaphor is only found in languages and cultures that have constructed the notion of time as a separate dimension. We emphasize the importance of distinguishing what is universal from what is variable in cultural and linguistic representations of time, and speculate on the general implications of an event-based understanding of time.

  12. The evolution of hyperactivity, impulsivity and cognitive diversity

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Jonathan; Taylor, Eric

    2005-01-01

    The evolutionary status of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is central to assessments of whether modern society has created it, either physically or socially; and is potentially useful in understanding its neurobiological basis and treatment. The high prevalence of ADHD (5–10%) and its association with the seven-repeat allele of DRD4, which is positively selected in evolution, raise the possibility that ADHD increases the reproductive fitness of the individual, and/or the group. However, previous suggestions of evolutionary roles for ADHD have not accounted for its confinement to a substantial minority. Because one of the key features of ADHD is its diversity, and many benefits of population diversity are well recognized (as in immunity), we study the impact of groups' behavioural diversity on their fitness. Diversity occurs along many dimensions, and for simplicity we choose unpredictability (or variability), excess of which is a well-established characteristic of ADHD. Simulations of the Changing Food group task show that unpredictable behaviour by a minority optimizes results for the group. Characteristics of such group exploration tasks are risk-taking, in which costs are borne mainly by the individual; and information-sharing, in which benefits accrue to the entire group. Hence, this work is closely linked to previous studies of evolved altruism. We conclude that even individually impairing combinations of genes, such as ADHD, can carry specific benefits for society, which can be selected for at that level, rather than being merely genetic coincidences with effects confined to the individual. The social benefits conferred by diversity occur both inside and outside the ‘normal’ range, and these may be distinct. This view has the additional merit of offering explanations for the prevalence, sex and age distribution, severity distribution and heterogeneity of ADHD. PMID:16849269

  13. New method to study DNA sequences: the languages of evolution.

    PubMed

    Spinelli, Gino; Mayer-Foulkes, David

    2008-04-01

    Recently, several authors have reported statistical evidence for deterministic dynamics in the flux of genetic information, suggesting that evolution involves the emergence and maintenance of a fractal landscape in DNA chains. Here we examine the idea that motif repetition lies at the origin of these statistical properties of DNA. To analyse repetition patterns we apply a modification of the BDS statistic, devised to analyze complex economic dynamics and adapted here to DNA sequence analysis. This provides a new method to detect structured signals in genetic information. We compare naturally occurring DNA sequences along the evolutionary tree with randomly generated sequences and also with simulated sequences with repetition motifs. For easier understanding, we also define a new statistic for a DNA sequence that constitutes a specific fingerprint. The new methods are applied to exon and intron DNA sequences, finding specific statistical differences. Moreover, by analysing DNA sequences of different species from Bacteria to Man, we explore the evolution of these linguistic DNA features along the evolutionary tree. The results are consistent with the idea that all the flux of DNA information need not be random, but may be structured along the evolutionary tree. The implications for evolutionary theory are discussed.

  14. Infant Reactivity and Reliance on Mother during Emotion Challenges: Prediction of Cognition and Language Skills in a Low-Income Sample.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, JoAnn L.; Acevedo, Marcela C.

    2001-01-01

    Examined association between infants' emotional reactivity and reliance on mother and cognitive and language development at 2 years. Found that infants with high reactivity and reliance on mother during emotion challenges had higher cognitive and language skills than infants with low reactivity and reliance. Poor developmental outcomes were…

  15. Assessment of Cognition and Language in the Early Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Usefulness of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Torras-Mañá, M.; Gómez-Morales, A.; González-Gimeno, I.; Fornieles-Deu, A.; Brun-Gasca, C.

    2016-01-01

    Background: The aim of this study was to test the usefulness of the Cognitive and Language scales Bayley-III in the early assessment of cognitive and language functions in the context of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis. This paper focuses on the application of the Bayley-III and studies the predictive value of the test result in…

  16. Experimental evidence for the co-evolution of hominin tool-making teaching and language.

    PubMed

    Morgan, T J H; Uomini, N T; Rendell, L E; Chouinard-Thuly, L; Street, S E; Lewis, H M; Cross, C P; Evans, C; Kearney, R; de la Torre, I; Whiten, A; Laland, K N

    2015-01-13

    Hominin reliance on Oldowan stone tools-which appear from 2.5 mya and are believed to have been socially transmitted-has been hypothesized to have led to the evolution of teaching and language. Here we present an experiment investigating the efficacy of transmission of Oldowan tool-making skills along chains of adult human participants (N=184) using five different transmission mechanisms. Across six measures, transmission improves with teaching, and particularly with language, but not with imitation or emulation. Our results support the hypothesis that hominin reliance on stone tool-making generated selection for teaching and language, and imply that (i) low-fidelity social transmission, such as imitation/emulation, may have contributed to the ~700,000 year stasis of the Oldowan technocomplex, and (ii) teaching or proto-language may have been pre-requisites for the appearance of Acheulean technology. This work supports a gradual evolution of language, with simple symbolic communication preceding behavioural modernity by hundreds of thousands of years.

  17. Relaxation of selection, niche construction, and the Baldwin effect in language evolution.

    PubMed

    Yamauchi, Hajime; Hashimoto, Takashi

    2010-01-01

    Deacon has suggested that one of the key factors of language evolution is not characterized by an increase in genetic contribution, often known as the Baldwin effect, but rather by a decrease. This process effectively increases linguistic learning capability by organizing a novel synergy of multiple lower-order functions previously irrelevant to the process of language acquisition. Deacon posits that this transition is not caused by natural selection. Rather, it is due to the relaxation of natural selection. While there are some cases in which relaxation caused by some external factors indeed induces the transition, we do not know what kind of relaxation has worked in language evolution. In this article, a genetic-algorithm-based computer simulation is used to investigate how the niche-constructing aspect of linguistic behavior may trigger the degradation of genetic predisposition related to language learning. The results show that agents initially increase their genetic predisposition for language learning—the Baldwin effect. They create a highly uniform sociolinguistic environment—a linguistic niche construction. This means that later generations constantly receive very similar inputs from adult agents, and subsequently the selective pressure to retain the genetic predisposition is relaxed.

  18. Evolution of Climate Science Modelling Language within international standards frameworks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowe, Dominic; Woolf, Andrew

    2010-05-01

    The Climate Science Modelling Language (CSML) was originally developed as part of the NERC Data Grid (NDG) project in the UK. It was one of the first Geography Markup Language (GML) application schemas describing complex feature types for the metocean domain. CSML feature types can be used to describe typical climate products such as model runs or atmospheric profiles. CSML has been successfully used within NDG to provide harmonised access to a number of different data sources. For example, meteorological observations held in heterogeneous databases by the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC) and Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) were served uniformly as CSML features via Web Feature Service. CSML has now been substantially revised to harmonise it with the latest developments in OGC and ISO conceptual modelling for geographic information. In particular, CSML is now aligned with the near-final ISO 19156 Observations & Measurements (O&M) standard. CSML combines the O&M concept of 'sampling features' together with an observation result based on the coverage model (ISO 19123). This general pattern is specialised for particular data types of interest, classified on the basis of sampling geometry and topology. In parallel work, the OGC Met Ocean Domain Working Group has established a conceptual modelling activity. This is a cross-organisational effort aimed at reaching consensus on a common core data model that could be re-used in a number of met-related application areas: operational meteorology, aviation meteorology, climate studies, and the research community. It is significant to note that this group has also identified sampling geometry and topology as a key classification axis for data types. Using the Model Driven Architecture (MDA) approach as adopted by INSPIRE we demonstrate how the CSML application schema is derived from a formal UML conceptual model based on the ISO TC211 framework. By employing MDA tools which map consistently between UML and GML we

  19. Functional plasticity in Alzheimer's disease: effect of cognitive training on language-related ERP components.

    PubMed

    Spironelli, Chiara; Bergamaschi, Susanna; Mondini, Sara; Villani, Daniele; Angrilli, Alessandro

    2013-07-01

    Starting from the observation of a reduced gray matter in the inferior temporal regions of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, the present study hypothesized an altered language-related functional activity in left occipito-temporal areas in AD, and the possibility of a plastic change of these regions induced by an intensive cognitive training. To this aim, eleven mild/moderate AD underwent to a 5-week cognitive training (40 h). Before and after the training, evoked potentials were recorded from 26 scalp electrodes during a lexical decision task which required word/no-word discrimination. Stimuli included high- and low-frequency words and non-words, and the recognition potential (RP) together with the N400 have been analyzed and compared with those collected from a matched healthy control group. Results comparing controls and patients before training showed a normal RP in AD patients with a clear peak over left occipito-temporal sites. In addition, controls exhibited a left anterior lateralization of N400 component to words and an inverted pattern for non-words, whereas an altered N400 with bilateral distribution at both word and non-word conditions was found in AD patients. After the cognitive training, AD patients did not show changes in the N400, but revealed a significant enhanced amplitude of RP to high-frequency words. Behavioral responses to the lexical decision task and scores from neuropsychological tests did not evidence improvements nor worsening after training. These data point to an intact functionality of left posterior linguistic networks in mild/moderate AD, and the possibility to increase plastically their activity after a cognitive training.

  20. The origins of language and the evolution of music: A comparative perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masataka, Nobuo

    2009-03-01

    According to Darwin [Darwin, CR. The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. London: John Murray; 1871], the human musical faculty ‘must be ranked amongst the most mysterious with which he is endowed’. Music is a human cultural universal that serves no obvious adaptive purpose, making its evolution a puzzle for evolutionary biologists. This review examines Darwin's hypothesis of similarities between language and music indicating a shared evolutionary history. In particular, the fact that both are human universals, have phrase structure, and entail learning and cultural transmission, suggests that any theory of the evolution of language will have implications for the evolution of music, and vice versa. The argument starts by describing variable predispositional musical capabilities and the ontogeny of prosodic communication in human infants and young children, presenting comparative data regarding communication systems commonly present in living nonhuman primate species. Like language, the human music faculty is based on a suite of abilities, some of which are shared with other primates and some of which appear to be uniquely human. Each of these subcomponents may have a different evolutionary history, and should be discussed separately. After briefly considering possible functions of human music for language acquisition, the review ends by discussing the phylogenetic history of music. It concludes that many strands of evidence support Darwin's hypothesis of an intermediate stage of human evolutionary history, characterized by a communication system that resembled music more closely than language, but was identical to neither. This pre-linguistic system, which could probably referred to as “prosodic protolanguage”, provided a precursor for both modern language and music.

  1. The origins of language and the evolution of music: A comparative perspective.

    PubMed

    Masataka, Nobuo

    2009-03-01

    According to Darwin [Darwin, CR. The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. London: John Murray; 1871], the human musical faculty 'must be ranked amongst the most mysterious with which he is endowed'. Music is a human cultural universal that serves no obvious adaptive purpose, making its evolution a puzzle for evolutionary biologists. This review examines Darwin's hypothesis of similarities between language and music indicating a shared evolutionary history. In particular, the fact that both are human universals, have phrase structure, and entail learning and cultural transmission, suggests that any theory of the evolution of language will have implications for the evolution of music, and vice versa. The argument starts by describing variable predispositional musical capabilities and the ontogeny of prosodic communication in human infants and young children, presenting comparative data regarding communication systems commonly present in living nonhuman primate species. Like language, the human music faculty is based on a suite of abilities, some of which are shared with other primates and some of which appear to be uniquely human. Each of these subcomponents may have a different evolutionary history, and should be discussed separately. After briefly considering possible functions of human music for language acquisition, the review ends by discussing the phylogenetic history of music. It concludes that many strands of evidence support Darwin's hypothesis of an intermediate stage of human evolutionary history, characterized by a communication system that resembled music more closely than language, but was identical to neither. This pre-linguistic system, which could probably referred to as "prosodic protolanguage", provided a precursor for both modern language and music.

  2. Effects of Maternal Sensitivity and Cognitive and Linguistic Stimulation on Cochlear Implant Users' Language Development over Four Years

    PubMed Central

    Quittner, Alexandra L.; Cruz, Ivette; Barker, David H.; Tobey, Emily; Eisenberg, Laurie S.; Niparko, John K.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives To examine the effects of observed maternal sensitivity (MS), cognitive stimulation (CS), and linguistic stimulation on the 4-year growth of oral language in young, deaf children receiving a cochlear implant. Previous studies of cochlear implants have not considered the effects of parental behaviors on language outcomes. Study design In this prospective, multisite study, we evaluated parent–child interactions during structured and unstructured play tasks and their effects on oral language development in 188 deaf children receiving a cochlear implant and 97 normal-hearing children as controls. Parent–child interactions were rated on a 7-point scale using the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Early Childcare Study codes, which have well-established psychometric properties. Language was assessed using the MacArthur Bates Communicative Development Inventories, the Reynell Developmental Language Scales, and the Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language. Results We used mixed longitudinal modeling to test our hypotheses. After accounting for early hearing experience and child and family demographics, MS and CS predicted significant increases in the growth of oral language. Linguistic stimulation was related to language growth only in the context of high MS. Conclusion The magnitude of effects of MS and CS on the growth of language was similar to that found for age at cochlear implantation, suggesting that addressing parenting behaviors is a critical target for early language learning after implantation. PMID:22985723

  3. The evolution processes of DNA sequences, languages and carols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauck, Jürgen; Henkel, Dorothea; Mika, Klaus

    2001-04-01

    The sequences of bases A, T, C and G of about 100 enolase, secA and cytochrome DNA were analyzed for attractive or repulsive interactions by the numbers T 1,T 2,T 3; r of nearest, next-nearest and third neighbor bases of the same kind and the concentration r=other bases/analyzed base. The area of possible T1, T2 values is limited by the linear borders T 2=2T 1-2, T 2=0 or T1=0 for clustering, attractive or repulsive interactions and the border T2=-2 T1+2(2- r) for a variation from repulsive to attractive interactions at r⩽2. Clustering is preferred by most bases in sequences of enolases and secA’ s. Major deviations with repulsive interactions of some bases are observed for archaea bacteria in secA and for highly developed animals and the human species in enolase sequences. The borders of the structure map for enthalpy stabilized structures with maximum interactions are approached in few cases. Most letters of the natural languages and some music notes are at the borders of the structure map.

  4. Situating Language Production within the Matrix of Human Cognition: The State of the Art in Language Production Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldrick, Matthew; Costa, Albert; Schiller, Niels O.

    2008-01-01

    A summary of recent work in language production is presented, focusing on the "Third International Workshop on Language Production" (Chicago, USA, August 2006). The articles included in this special issue focus on three overlapping themes: language production in dialogue (Arnold; Costa, Pickering, & Sorace); multilingual language production (Costa…

  5. Exploring Teachers' Knowledge of Second Language Pronunciation Techniques: Teacher Cognitions, Observed Classroom Practices, and Student Perceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Amanda

    2014-01-01

    This study explored some of the intricate connections between the cognitions (beliefs, knowledge, perceptions, attitudes) and pedagogical practices of five English language teachers, specifically in relation to pronunciation-oriented techniques. Integral to the study was the use of semistructured interviews, classroom observations, and stimulated…

  6. Sentence Comprehension in Specific Language Impairment: A Task Designed to Distinguish between Cognitive Capacity and Syntactic Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leonard, Laurence B.; Deevy, Patricia; Fey, Marc E.; Bredin-Oja, Shelley L.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: This study examined sentence comprehension in children with specific language impairment (SLI) in a manner designed to separate the contribution of cognitive capacity from the effects of syntactic structure. Method: Nineteen children with SLI, 19 typically developing children matched for age (TD-A), and 19 younger typically developing…

  7. Direct and mediated effects of language and cognitive skills on comprehension of oral narrative texts (listening comprehension) for children.

    PubMed

    Kim, Young-Suk Grace

    2016-01-01

    We investigated component language and cognitive skills of oral language comprehension of narrative texts (i.e., listening comprehension). Using the construction-integration model of text comprehension as an overarching theoretical framework, we examined direct and mediated relations of foundational cognitive skills (working memory and attention), foundational language skills (vocabulary and grammatical knowledge), and higher-order cognitive skills (inference, theory of mind, and comprehension monitoring) to listening comprehension. A total of 201 first grade children in South Korea participated in the study. Structural equation modeling results showed that listening comprehension is directly predicted by working memory, grammatical knowledge, inference, and theory of mind and is indirectly predicted by attention, vocabulary, and comprehension monitoring. The total effects were .46 for working memory, .07 for attention, .30 for vocabulary, .49 for grammatical knowledge, .31 for inference, .52 for theory of mind, and .18 for comprehension monitoring. These results suggest that multiple language and cognitive skills make contributions to listening comprehension, and their contributions are both direct and indirect.

  8. Cognitive Advantage in Children Enrolled in a Second-Language Immersion Elementary School Program for Three Years

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicolay, Anne-Catherine; Poncelet, Martine

    2013-01-01

    Early bilingualism acquired from home or community is generally considered to positively influence cognitive development. The purpose of the present study was to determine to what extent bilingualism acquired through a second-language immersion education has a similar effect. Participants included a total of 106 French-speaking eight-year-old…

  9. Concept-Based Approach to Second Language Teaching and Learning: Cognitive Lingusitics-Inspired Instruction of English Phrasal Verbs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Hyewon

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, L2 researchers from the sociocultural and cognitive linguistic perspectives have emphasized the importance of properly organized explicit and in-depth grammar instruction for second or foreign language learning. Such instruction is believed to lead learners to systematic understanding of the target features faster and more…

  10. How Neighborhoods Matter for Rural and Urban Children's Language and Cognitive Development at Kindergarten and Grade 4

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lloyd, Jennifer E. V.; Hertzman, Clyde

    2010-01-01

    The authors took a population-based approach to testing how commonly studied neighborhood socioeconomic conditions are associated with the language and cognitive outcomes of residentially stable rural and urban children tracked from kindergarten (ages 5-6) to Grade 4 (ages 9-10). Child-level kindergarten Early Development Instrument (EDI) data…

  11. The Effect of Strategy Instruction Based on the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach over Reading Comprehension and Strategy Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gurses, Meral Ozkan; Adiguzel, Oktay Cem

    2013-01-01

    This study investigates the effects of reading strategies instruction based on the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach over students' skill to comprehend what they read in French and their use of reading strategies. It has an action research design. Eighteen students studying at French Preparatory Program at Eskisehir Osmangazi…

  12. C[superscript 4] (C Quad): Development of the Application for Language Learning Based on Social and Cognitive Presences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yamada, Masanori; Goda, Yoshiko; Matsukawa, Hideya; Hata, Kojiro; Yasunami, Seisuke

    2013-01-01

    This research aims to develop collaborative language learning systems based on social and cognitive presence for learning settings out of class, and evaluate their effects on learning attitude and performance. The main purpose of this system is focusing on the building of a learning community, therefore the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework…

  13. The maps problem and the mapping problem: Two challenges for a cognitive neuroscience of speech and language

    PubMed Central

    Poeppel, David

    2012-01-01

    Research on the brain basis of speech and language faces theoretical and empirical challenges. The majority of current research, dominated by imaging, deficit-lesion, and electrophysiological techniques, seeks to identify regions that underpin aspects of language processing such as phonology, syntax, or semantics. The emphasis lies on localization and spatial characterization of function. The first part of the paper deals with a practical challenge that arises in the context of such a research program. This maps problem concerns the extent to which spatial information and localization can satisfy the explanatory needs for perception and cognition. Several areas of investigation exemplify how the neural basis of speech and language is discussed in those terms (regions, streams, hemispheres, networks). The second part of the paper turns to a more troublesome challenge, namely how to formulate the formal links between neurobiology and cognition. This principled problem thus addresses the relation between the primitives of cognition (here speech, language) and neurobiology. Dealing with this mapping problem invites the development of linking hypotheses between the domains. The cognitive sciences provide granular, theoretically motivated claims about the structure of various domains (the ‘cognome’); neurobiology, similarly, provides a list of the available neural structures. However, explanatory connections will require crafting computationally explicit linking hypotheses at the right level of abstraction. For both the practical maps problem and the principled mapping problem, developmental approaches and evidence can play a central role in the resolution. PMID:23017085

  14. Cognitive and Language Function in Aphasic Patients Assessed With the Korean Version of Mini-Mental Status Examination

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Eun Kyoung; Jeong, Hyun Sun; Moon, Eun Rhan; Lee, Joo Young

    2016-01-01

    Objective To assess the clinical usefulness of the relatively short instrument, the Korean version of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE-K), for testing the association between cognition and language function in subacute post-stroke aphasia patients. Methods Medical charts of 111 post-stroke patients (65 men; age 69.6±10.0 years; 124.6±80.6 days post-onset) were reviewed retrospectively. All patients were assessed longitudinally for aphasia using the validated Korean version of the Western Aphasia Battery (K-WAB) and for cognition using the MMSE-K. Patients were categorized and analyzed according to 3 aphasia-severity clusters. Results All subscales of the K-WAB showed significant improvement in follow-up assessments in all groups (p<0.05 or p<0.01). Only the scores of orientation, language function, and total score of MMSE-K showed significant improvement in all groups (p<0.01). The more severely impaired group showed stronger Pearson correlation coefficients between cognition and language function. Additionally, comparisons between correlation coefficients showed that the association of improvement in orientation with that of fluency and AQ% (aphasia quotient %) was significant in the more severely impaired group. Conclusion Among subacute post-stroke aphasic patients, patients with more severe aphasia showed greater impairments to cognitive function; in addition, recovery of orientation may be related to recovery of language function. PMID:26949682

  15. Awake surgery between art and science. Part II: language and cognitive mapping

    PubMed Central

    Talacchi, Andrea; Santini, Barbara; Casartelli, Marilena; Monti, Alessia; Capasso, Rita; Miceli, Gabriele

    Summary Direct cortical and subcortical stimulation has been claimed to be the gold standard for exploring brain function. In this field, efforts are now being made to move from intraoperative naming-assisted surgical resection towards the use of other language and cognitive tasks. However, before relying on new protocols and new techniques, we need a multi-staged system of evidence (low and high) relating to each step of functional mapping and its clinical validity. In this article we examine the possibilities and limits of brain mapping with the aid of a visual object naming task and various other tasks used to date. The methodological aspects of intraoperative brain mapping, as well as the clinical and operative settings, were discussed in Part I of this review. PMID:24139658

  16. The modern era of research on language evolution: Moving forward. Comment on "Towards a computational comparative neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by Michael A. Arbib

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stout, Dietrich

    2016-03-01

    Twenty-five years ago, Pinker and Bloom [1] helped reinvigorate research on language evolution by arguing that language "shows signs of complex design for the communication of propositional structures, and the only explanation for the origin of organs with complex design is the process of natural selection." Since then, empirical research has tested the assertions of (cross-cultural) universality, (cross-species) uniqueness, and (cross-domain) specificity underpinning this argument from design. Appearances aside, points of consensus have emerged. The existence of a core computational and neural substrate unique to language and/or humans is still debated, but it is widely agreed that: 1) human language performance overlaps with behaviors in other domains and species, and 2) such general, pre-existing capacities provided the context for language-specific evolution (e.g. [2]).

  17. What changes in neural oscillations can reveal about developmental cognitive neuroscience: Language development as a case in point

    PubMed Central

    Maguire, Mandy J.; Abel, Alyson D.

    2013-01-01

    EEG is a primary method for studying temporally precise neuronal processes across the lifespan. Most of this work focuses on Event Related Potentials (ERPs); however, using time-locked time frequency analysis to decompose the EEG signal can identify and distinguish multiple changes in brain oscillations underlying cognition (Bastiaansen et al., 2010). Further this measure is thought to reflect changes in inter-neuronal communication more directly than ERPs (Nunez & Srinivasan, 2006). Although time frequency has elucidated cognitive processes in adults, applying it to cognitive development is still rare. Here, we review the basics of neuronal oscillations, some of what they reveal about adult cognitive function, and what little is known relating to children. We focus on language because it develops early and engages complex cortical networks. Additionally, because time frequency analysis of the EEG related to adult language comprehension has been incredibly informative, using similar methods with children will shed new light on current theories of language development and increase our understanding of how neural processes change over the lifespan. Our goal is to emphasize the power of this methodology and encourage its use throughout developmental cognitive neuroscience. PMID:24060670

  18. Cognitive/Academic Language Proficiency, Linguistic Interdependence, the Optimum Age Question and Some Other Matters. Working Papers on Bilingualism, No. 19.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cummins, Jim

    The existence of a global language proficiency factor is discussed. This factor, cognitive/academic language proficiency (CALP), is directly related to IQ and to other aspects of academic achievement. It accounts for the bulk of reliable variance in a wide variety of language learning measures. Three propositions concerning CALP are reviewed. (1)…

  19. Parental selection of vocal behavior : Crying, cooing, babbling, and the evolution of language.

    PubMed

    Locke, John L

    2006-06-01

    Although all natural languages are spoken, there is no accepted account of the evolution of a skill prerequisite to language-control of the movements of speech. If selection applied at sexual maturity, individuals achieving some command of articulate vocal behavior in previous stages would have enjoyed unusual advantages in adulthood. I offer a parental selection hypothesis, according to which hominin parents apportioned care, in part, on the basis of their infants' vocal behavior. Specifically, it is suggested that persistent or noxious crying reduced care to individuals who would have had difficulty learning complex behaviors, and that cooing and babbling increased social interaction and care as well as control over complex oralmotor activity of the sort required by spoken language. Several different tests of the hypothesis are suggested.

  20. Cognition, Language, and Clinical Pathological Features of Non-Alzheimer’s Dementias: An Overview

    PubMed Central

    Reilly, Jamie; Rodriguez, Amy; Lamy, Martine; Neils-Strunjas, Jean

    2010-01-01

    There are many distinct forms of dementia whose pharmacological and behavioral management differ. Differential diagnosis among the dementia variants currently relies upon a weighted combination of genetic and protein biomarkers, neuroanatomical integrity, and behavior. Diagnostic specificity is complicated by a high degree of overlap in the initial presenting symptoms across dementia subtypes. For this reason, reliable markers are of considerable diagnostic value. Communication disorders have proven to be among the strongest predictors for discriminating among dementia subtypes. As such, Speech-Language Pathologists may be poised to make an increasingly visible contribution to dementia diagnosis and its ongoing management. The value and durability of this potential contribution, however, demands an improved discipline-wide knowledge base about the unique features associated with different dementia variants. To this end we provide an overview of cognition, language, and clinical pathological features of four of the most common non-Alzheimer’s dementias: Frontotemporal Dementia, Vascular Dementia, Lewy Body Disease Dementia, and Parkinson’s Disease Dementia. PMID:20493496

  1. The interpersonal context of client motivational language in cognitive-behavioral therapy.

    PubMed

    Sijercic, Iris; Button, Melissa L; Westra, Henny A; Hara, Kimberley M

    2016-03-01

    Previous research has found that client motivational language (especially arguments against change or counterchange talk; CCT) in early therapy sessions is a reliable predictor of therapy process and outcomes across a broad range of treatments including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Existing studies have considered the general occurrence of CCT, but the present study differentiated 2 types of CCT in early CBT sessions for 37 clients with generalized anxiety disorder: (a) statements that are uttered to express ambivalence regarding change versus (b) statements that are intended to oppose the therapist or therapy. Two process coding systems were used to accomplish this differentiation. Findings indicated that a higher number of CCT statements that occurred in the presence of resistance (opposition to the therapist or therapy) were a substantive and consistent predictor of lower homework compliance and poorer outcomes, up to 1 year posttreatment. Moreover, when both types of CCT were considered together, only opposition CCT was related to outcomes, and ambivalent CCT was not significantly predictive of proximal and distal outcomes. These findings suggest that the interpersonal context in which CCT statements occur may be critically important to their predictive capacity. More broadly, the findings of this study have implications for the future study of client motivational language and underscore the clinical importance of detecting opposition CCT. PMID:26011747

  2. Speech and gesture in spatial language and cognition among the Yucatec Mayas.

    PubMed

    Le Guen, Olivier

    2011-07-01

    In previous analyses of the influence of language on cognition, speech has been the main channel examined. In studies conducted among Yucatec Mayas, efforts to determine the preferred frame of reference in use in this community have failed to reach an agreement (Bohnemeyer & Stolz, 2006; Levinson, 2003 vs. Le Guen, 2006, 2009). This paper argues for a multimodal analysis of language that encompasses gesture as well as speech, and shows that the preferred frame of reference in Yucatec Maya is only detectable through the analysis of co-speech gesture and not through speech alone. A series of experiments compares knowledge of the semantics of spatial terms, performance on nonlinguistic tasks and gestures produced by men and women. The results show a striking gender difference in the knowledge of the semantics of spatial terms, but an equal preference for a geocentric frame of reference in nonverbal tasks. In a localization task, participants used a variety of strategies in their speech, but they all exhibited a systematic preference for a geocentric frame of reference in their gestures.

  3. Reconsidering the evolution of brain, cognition, and behavior in birds and mammals

    PubMed Central

    Willemet, Romain

    2013-01-01

    Despite decades of research, some of the most basic issues concerning the extraordinarily complex brains and behavior of birds and mammals, such as the factors responsible for the diversity of brain size and composition, are still unclear. This is partly due to a number of conceptual and methodological issues. Determining species and group differences in brain composition requires accounting for the presence of taxon-cerebrotypes and the use of precise statistical methods. The role of allometry in determining brain variables should be revised. In particular, bird and mammalian brains appear to have evolved in response to a variety of selective pressures influencing both brain size and composition. “Brain” and “cognition” are indeed meta-variables, made up of the variables that are ecologically relevant and evolutionarily selected. External indicators of species differences in cognition and behavior are limited by the complexity of these differences. Indeed, behavioral differences between species and individuals are caused by cognitive and affective components. Although intra-species variability forms the basis of species evolution, some of the mechanisms underlying individual differences in brain and behavior appear to differ from those between species. While many issues have persisted over the years because of a lack of appropriate data or methods to test them; several fallacies, particularly those related to the human brain, reflect scientists' preconceptions. The theoretical framework on the evolution of brain, cognition, and behavior in birds and mammals should be reconsidered with these biases in mind. PMID:23847570

  4. Electrocorticographic Activation within Human Auditory Cortex during Dialog-Based Language and Cognitive Testing

    PubMed Central

    Nourski, Kirill V.; Steinschneider, Mitchell; Rhone, Ariane E.

    2016-01-01

    Current models of cortical speech and language processing include multiple regions within the temporal lobe of both hemispheres. Human communication, by necessity, involves complex interactions between regions subserving speech and language processing with those involved in more general cognitive functions. To assess these interactions, we utilized an ecologically salient conversation-based approach. This approach mandates that we first clarify activity patterns at the earliest stages of cortical speech processing. Therefore, we examined high gamma (70–150 Hz) responses within the electrocorticogram (ECoG) recorded simultaneously from Heschl’s gyrus (HG) and lateral surface of the superior temporal gyrus (STG). Subjects were neurosurgical patients undergoing evaluation for treatment of medically intractable epilepsy. They performed an expanded version of the Mini-mental state examination (MMSE), which included additional spelling, naming, and memory-based tasks. ECoG was recorded from HG and the STG using multicontact depth and subdural electrode arrays, respectively. Differences in high gamma activity during listening to the interviewer and the subject’s self-generated verbal responses were quantified for each recording site and across sites within HG and STG. The expanded MMSE produced widespread activation in auditory cortex of both hemispheres. No significant difference was found between activity during listening to the interviewer’s questions and the subject’s answers in posteromedial HG (auditory core cortex). A different pattern was observed throughout anterolateral HG and posterior and middle portions of lateral STG (non-core auditory cortical areas), where activity was significantly greater during listening compared to speaking. No systematic task-specific differences in the degree of suppression during speaking relative to listening were found in posterior and middle STG. Individual sites could, however, exhibit task-related variability in the

  5. Adopting a Cultural Portfolio Project in Teaching German as a Foreign Language: Language Teacher Cognition as a Dynamic System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feryok, Anne; Oranje, Jo

    2015-01-01

    Intercultural language teaching and learning has increasingly been adopted in state school systems, yet studies have shown that language teachers struggle to include it in their practice. The aim of this study is to use dynamic systems theory to examine how a German as a foreign language teacher in a New Zealand secondary school adopted a project…

  6. Social and Cognitive Factors in Second Language Acquisition: Selected Proceedings of the 1999 Second Language Research Forum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swierzbin, Bonnie, Ed.; Morris, Frank, Ed.; Anderson, Michael E., Ed.; Klee, Carol A., Ed.; Tarone, Elaine, Ed.

    This edited volume includes the following chapters: "Three Kinds of Sociolinguistics and SLA: A Psycholinguistic Perspective" (Dennis R. Preston); "Getting Serious about Language Play: Language Play, Interlanguage Variation, and Second Language Acquisition" (Elaine Tarone); "Oppositional Talk and the Acquisition of Modality in L2 English" (Tom…

  7. Learning the Language of Evolution: Lexical Ambiguity and Word Meaning in Student Explanations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rector, Meghan A.; Nehm, Ross H.; Pearl, Dennis

    2013-06-01

    Our study investigates the challenges introduced by students' use of lexically ambiguous language in evolutionary explanations. Specifically, we examined students' meaning of five key terms incorporated into their written evolutionary explanations: pressure, select, adapt, need, and must. We utilized a new technological tool known as the Assessment Cascade System (ACS) to investigate the frequency with which biology majors spontaneously used lexically ambiguous language in evolutionary explanations, as well as their definitions and explanations of what they meant when they used such terms. Three categories of language were identified and examined in this study: terms with Dual Ambiguity, Incompatible Ambiguity, and Unintended Ambiguity. In the sample of 1282 initial evolutionary explanations, 81 % of students spontaneously incorporated lexically ambiguous language at least once. Furthermore, the majority of these initial responses were judged to be inaccurate from a scientific point of view. While not significantly related to gender, age, or reading/writing ability, students' use of contextually appropriate evolutionary language ( pressure and adapt) was significantly associated with academic performance in biology. Comparisons of initial responses to follow-up responses demonstrated that the majority of student explanations were not reinterpreted after consideration of the follow-up response; nevertheless, a sizeable minority was interpreted differently. Most cases of interpretation change were a consequence of resolving initially ambiguous responses, rather than a change of accuracy, resulting in an increased understanding of students' evolutionary explanations. We discuss a series of implications of lexical ambiguity for evolution education.

  8. Predicting the outcome of anomia therapy for people with aphasia post CVA: both language and cognitive status are key predictors.

    PubMed

    Lambon Ralph, Matthew A; Snell, Claerwen; Fillingham, Joanne K; Conroy, Paul; Sage, Karen

    2010-04-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether it was possible to predict therapy gain from participants' performance on background tests of language and cognitive ability. To do this, we amalgamated the assessment and therapy results from 33 people with aphasia following cerebral vascular accident (CVA), all of whom had received the same anomia therapy (based on progressive phonemic and orthographic cueing). Previous studies with smaller numbers of participants had found a possible relationship between anomia therapy performance and some language and cognitive assessments. Because this study had access to a larger data set than previous studies, we were able to replicate the previous findings and also to verify two overarching factors which were predictive of therapy gain: a cognitive factor and a phonological factor. The status of these two domains was able to predict both immediate and longer-term therapy gain. Pre-treatment naming ability also predicted gain after the anomia therapy. When combined, both cognitive and language (naming or phonological) skills were found to be independent predictors of therapy outcome.

  9. 15-month-olds' transfer of learning between touch screen and real-world displays: language cues and cognitive loads.

    PubMed

    Zack, Elizabeth; Gerhardstein, Peter; Meltzoff, Andrew N; Barr, Rachel

    2013-02-01

    Infants have difficulty transferring information between 2D and 3D sources. The current study extends Zack, Barr, Gerhardstein, Dickerson & Meltzoff's (2009) touch screen imitation task to examine whether the addition of specific language cues significantly facilitates 15-month-olds' transfer of learning between touch screens and real-world 3D objects. The addition of two kinds of linguistic cues (object label plus verb or nonsense name) did not elevate action imitation significantly above levels observed when such language cues were not used. Language cues hindered infants' performance in the 3D→2D direction of transfer, but only for the object label plus verb condition. The lack of a facilitative effect of language is discussed in terms of competing cognitive loads imposed by conjointly transferring information across dimensions and processing linguistic cues in an action imitation task at this age.

  10. Effect of ethnicity and race on cognitive and language testing at 18 – 22 months in extremely preterm infants

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Andrea Freeman; Watterberg, Kristi L.; Nolen, Tracy L.; Vohr, Betty R.; Adams-Chapman, Ira; Das, Abhik; Lowe, Jean

    2011-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the relationship of race/ethnicity to cognitive and language scores on the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development 3rd edition (BSID-III) in extremely preterm toddlers (<28+0 weeks’ estimated gestational age). Study design Extremely preterm toddlers at NICHD Neonatal Research Network Centers evaluated at 18–22 months adjusted age from 3 race/ethnic groups (White, Black, and Hispanic-White) were included in this cohort study. Multivariable regression modeling was used to identify race/ethnic differences adjusting for medical and psychosocial factors. Results Children included 369 Whites, 352 Blacks and 144 Hispanic-Whites. Cognitive scores differed between groups in unadjusted analysis (p=<0.001), but not after adjusting for medical and psychosocial factors (p=0.13). Language scores differed in adjusted and unadjusted analyses. Whites scored higher than Blacks or Hispanic-Whites, and Blacks scored higher than Hispanic-Whites. Conclusions A combination of medical variables and primary caretaker education accounted for differences in BSID-III cognitive scores between groups. Black and Hispanic-White toddlers had lower language scores than Whites, even after adjustment. Early intervention should be targeted to these identified risk factors. Assessment of early language development among minority groups may be warranted. PMID:22269248

  11. How evolution generates complexity without design: language as an instructional metaphor.

    PubMed

    Gillings, Michael R

    2012-03-01

    One of the major stumbling blocks to understanding evolution is the difficulty in reconciling the emergence of complexity with the apparently undirected forces that drive evolutionary processes. This difficulty was originally framed as the "Watch and Watchmaker" argument and more recently revived by proponents of "intelligent design." Undergraduates in particular often attribute purpose and forethought as the driving force behind biological phenomena, and have difficulty understanding evolutionary processes. To demonstrate that complexity can arise solely through mutations that fix in populations via natural selection or drift, we can use analogies where processes can be observed across short time frames and where the key data are accessible to those without specialized biological knowledge. The evolution of language provides such an example. Processes of natural selection, mutation, genetic drift, acquisition of new functions, punctuated equilibria, and lateral gene transfer can be illustrated using examples of changing spellings, neologism, and acquisition of words from other languages. The examples presented in this article are readily accessible, and demonstrate to students that languages have dynamically increased in complexity, simply driven by the usage patterns of their speakers.

  12. Cognitive Style: Field Dependence-Independence. Lektos: Interdisciplinary Working Papers in Language Sciences, Vol. 2, No. 2.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huteau, Michel

    The nature of the cognitive style of field articulation and its relationship to differentiation of personality are discussed. A short historical summary of research on field dependence-independence is presented, and problems of measurement, stability, and evolution of the dimension of field articulation are discussed. The connections between field…

  13. The Cognitive Neuroscience of Sign Language: Engaging Undergraduate Students' Critical Thinking Skills Using the Primary Literature.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Courtney

    2015-01-01

    This article presents a modular activity on the neurobiology of sign language that engages undergraduate students in reading and analyzing the primary functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) literature. Drawing on a seed empirical article and subsequently published critique and rebuttal, students are introduced to a scientific debate concerning the functional significance of right-hemisphere recruitment observed in some fMRI studies of sign language processing. The activity requires minimal background knowledge and is not designed to provide students with a specific conclusion regarding the debate. Instead, the activity and set of articles allow students to consider key issues in experimental design and analysis of the primary literature, including critical thinking regarding the cognitive subtractions used in blocked-design fMRI studies, as well as possible confounds in comparing results across different experimental tasks. By presenting articles representing different perspectives, each cogently argued by leading scientists, the readings and activity also model the type of debate and dialogue critical to science, but often invisible to undergraduate science students. Student self-report data indicate that undergraduates find the readings interesting and that the activity enhances their ability to read and interpret primary fMRI articles, including evaluating research design and considering alternate explanations of study results. As a stand-alone activity completed primarily in one 60-minute class block, the activity can be easily incorporated into existing courses, providing students with an introduction both to the analysis of empirical fMRI articles and to the role of debate and critique in the field of neuroscience.

  14. The Cognitive Neuroscience of Sign Language: Engaging Undergraduate Students’ Critical Thinking Skills Using the Primary Literature

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Courtney

    2015-01-01

    This article presents a modular activity on the neurobiology of sign language that engages undergraduate students in reading and analyzing the primary functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) literature. Drawing on a seed empirical article and subsequently published critique and rebuttal, students are introduced to a scientific debate concerning the functional significance of right-hemisphere recruitment observed in some fMRI studies of sign language processing. The activity requires minimal background knowledge and is not designed to provide students with a specific conclusion regarding the debate. Instead, the activity and set of articles allow students to consider key issues in experimental design and analysis of the primary literature, including critical thinking regarding the cognitive subtractions used in blocked-design fMRI studies, as well as possible confounds in comparing results across different experimental tasks. By presenting articles representing different perspectives, each cogently argued by leading scientists, the readings and activity also model the type of debate and dialogue critical to science, but often invisible to undergraduate science students. Student self-report data indicate that undergraduates find the readings interesting and that the activity enhances their ability to read and interpret primary fMRI articles, including evaluating research design and considering alternate explanations of study results. As a stand-alone activity completed primarily in one 60-minute class block, the activity can be easily incorporated into existing courses, providing students with an introduction both to the analysis of empirical fMRI articles and to the role of debate and critique in the field of neuroscience. PMID:26557797

  15. Exploring the effect of power law social popularity on language evolution.

    PubMed

    Gong, Tao; Shuai, Lan

    2014-01-01

    We evaluate the effect of a power-law-distributed social popularity on the origin and change of language, based on three artificial life models meticulously tracing the evolution of linguistic conventions including lexical items, categories, and simple syntax. A cross-model analysis reveals an optimal social popularity, in which the λ value of the power law distribution is around 1.0. Under this scaling, linguistic conventions can efficiently emerge and widely diffuse among individuals, thus maintaining a useful level of mutual understandability even in a big population. From an evolutionary perspective, we regard this social optimality as a tradeoff among social scaling, mutual understandability, and population growth. Empirical evidence confirms that such optimal power laws exist in many large-scale social systems that are constructed primarily via language-related interactions. This study contributes to the empirical explorations and theoretical discussions of the evolutionary relations between ubiquitous power laws in social systems and relevant individual behaviors.

  16. Does Formal Complexity Reflect Cognitive Complexity? Investigating Aspects of the Chomsky Hierarchy in an Artificial Language Learning Study

    PubMed Central

    Öttl, Birgit; Jäger, Gerhard; Kaup, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether formal complexity, as described by the Chomsky Hierarchy, corresponds to cognitive complexity during language learning. According to the Chomsky Hierarchy, nested dependencies (context-free) are less complex than cross-serial dependencies (mildly context-sensitive). In two artificial grammar learning (AGL) experiments participants were presented with a language containing either nested or cross-serial dependencies. A learning effect for both types of dependencies could be observed, but no difference between dependency types emerged. These behavioral findings do not seem to reflect complexity differences as described in the Chomsky Hierarchy. This study extends previous findings in demonstrating learning effects for nested and cross-serial dependencies with more natural stimulus materials in a classical AGL paradigm after only one hour of exposure. The current findings can be taken as a starting point for further exploring the degree to which the Chomsky Hierarchy reflects cognitive processes. PMID:25885790

  17. Does formal complexity reflect cognitive complexity? Investigating aspects of the Chomsky Hierarchy in an artificial language learning study.

    PubMed

    Öttl, Birgit; Jäger, Gerhard; Kaup, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether formal complexity, as described by the Chomsky Hierarchy, corresponds to cognitive complexity during language learning. According to the Chomsky Hierarchy, nested dependencies (context-free) are less complex than cross-serial dependencies (mildly context-sensitive). In two artificial grammar learning (AGL) experiments participants were presented with a language containing either nested or cross-serial dependencies. A learning effect for both types of dependencies could be observed, but no difference between dependency types emerged. These behavioral findings do not seem to reflect complexity differences as described in the Chomsky Hierarchy. This study extends previous findings in demonstrating learning effects for nested and cross-serial dependencies with more natural stimulus materials in a classical AGL paradigm after only one hour of exposure. The current findings can be taken as a starting point for further exploring the degree to which the Chomsky Hierarchy reflects cognitive processes. PMID:25885790

  18. Does formal complexity reflect cognitive complexity? Investigating aspects of the Chomsky Hierarchy in an artificial language learning study.

    PubMed

    Öttl, Birgit; Jäger, Gerhard; Kaup, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether formal complexity, as described by the Chomsky Hierarchy, corresponds to cognitive complexity during language learning. According to the Chomsky Hierarchy, nested dependencies (context-free) are less complex than cross-serial dependencies (mildly context-sensitive). In two artificial grammar learning (AGL) experiments participants were presented with a language containing either nested or cross-serial dependencies. A learning effect for both types of dependencies could be observed, but no difference between dependency types emerged. These behavioral findings do not seem to reflect complexity differences as described in the Chomsky Hierarchy. This study extends previous findings in demonstrating learning effects for nested and cross-serial dependencies with more natural stimulus materials in a classical AGL paradigm after only one hour of exposure. The current findings can be taken as a starting point for further exploring the degree to which the Chomsky Hierarchy reflects cognitive processes.

  19. Avian sleep homeostasis: convergent evolution of complex brains, cognition and sleep functions in mammals and birds.

    PubMed

    Rattenborg, Niels C; Martinez-Gonzalez, Dolores; Lesku, John A

    2009-03-01

    Birds are the only taxonomic group other than mammals that exhibit high-amplitude slow-waves in the electroencephalogram (EEG) during sleep. This defining feature of slow-wave sleep (SWS) apparently evolved independently in mammals and birds, as reptiles do not exhibit similar EEG activity during sleep. In mammals, the level of slow-wave activity (SWA) (low-frequency spectral power density) during SWS increases and decreases as a function of prior time spent awake and asleep, respectively, and therefore reflects homeostatically regulated sleep processes potentially tied to the function of SWS. Although birds also exhibit SWS, previous sleep deprivation studies in birds did not detect a compensatory increase in SWS-related SWA during recovery, as observed in similarly sleep-deprived mammals. This suggested that, unlike mammalian SWS, avian SWS is not homeostatically regulated, and therefore might serve a different function. However, we recently demonstrated that SWA during SWS increases in pigeons following short-term sleep deprivation. Herein we summarize research on avian sleep homeostasis, and cast our evidence for this phenomenon within the context of theories for the function of SWS in mammals. We propose that the convergent evolution of homeostatically regulated SWS in mammals and birds was directly linked to the convergent evolution of large, heavily interconnected brains capable of performing complex cognitive processes in each group. Specifically, as has been proposed for mammals, the interconnectivity that forms the basis of complex cognition in birds may also instantiate slow, synchronous network oscillations during SWS that in turn maintain interconnectivity and cognition at an optimal level.

  20. Language Learning in Down Syndrome: The Speech and Language Profile Compared to Adolescents with Cognitive Impairment of Unknown Origin

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapman, Robin S.

    2006-01-01

    Children and adolescents with Down syndrome show an emerging profile of speech and language characteristics that is typical of the syndrome (Chapman & Hesketh, 2000; Chapman, 2003; Abbeduto & Chapman, 2005) and different from typically developing children matched for nonverbal mental age, including expressive language deficits relative to…

  1. Cognitive evolution in hypertensive patients: a six-year follow-up

    PubMed Central

    Vicario, Augusto; del Sueldo, Mildren A; Zilberman, Judith M; Cerezo, Gustavo H

    2011-01-01

    Background: Several studies have examined the links between hypertension, vascular damage, and cognitive impairment. The functions most commonly involved seem to be those associated with memory and executive function. Aims: 1) to report the cognitive evolution in a cohort of hypertensive patients, 2) to identify the affected domains, and 3) to correlate the results obtained with blood pressure measurements. Materials and Methods: Observational 6-year follow-up cohort study including both males and females aged ≥65 and ≤80 years, and hypertensive patients under treatment. Patients with a history of any of the following conditions were excluded: stroke, transient ischemic attack, diabetes mellitus, atrial fibrillation, cardiac surgery, dementia, or depression. Four neurocognitive evaluations were performed (at baseline and every 2 years). The tests used evaluated memory and executive function domain. Blood pressure was measured on every cognitive evaluation. Results: Sixty patients were followed for 76.4 ± 2.8 months. The average age at baseline was 72.5 ± 4.2 and 77.9 ± 4.6 at 6 years (65% were women). Two patients were lost to follow up (3.3%) and 8 patients died (13.3%).The density incidence for dementia was 0.6% patients per year (pt/y) (n = 3) and for depression was 1.6% pt/y (n = 12). No changes were observed in either memory impairment or the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) results (p = ns) during follow-up. A progressive impairment of the executive function was shown regardless of the blood pressure measurements. Conclusion: 1) the incidence of dementia doubled to general population, 2) the initial memory impairment did not change during the evaluation period, 3) cognitive impairment worsened in the areas related to executive function (prefrontal cortex) regardless of the adequacy of anti-hypertensive treatment and blood pressure values. PMID:21603597

  2. Language proficiency modulates the engagement of cognitive control areas in multilinguals.

    PubMed

    Abutalebi, Jubin; Della Rosa, Pasquale A; Ding, Guosheng; Weekes, Brendan; Costa, Albert; Green, David W

    2013-03-01

    Language proficiency should modulate the regions involved in language control in predictable ways during language switching. However, prior studies reveal inconsistent effects on the regions involved in language monitoring [pre-Supplementary Motor Area/Anterior Cingulate Cortex (pre-SMA/ACC)] and language selection (left caudate) conceivably because variations in relative proficiency are confounded with other between-group differences. We circumvented this problem in an fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) study of overt picture naming in trilingual participants. In this case, the difference between a high-proficient and a low-proficient further language can be assessed within subjects with no between-group confound. We also used a monolingual group to assess the neural correlates of switching between two categories of response within the same language. We report a novel result: relative language proficiency dissociates response of the pre-SMA/ACC and left caudate during language switching. Switching between languages increased pre-SMA/ACC response regardless of proficiency differences. By contrast, left caudate response did vary with proficiency differences. Switching from the most to the least proficient language increased the response. Within-language switching, as contrasted with between-language switching, elicited a comparable increase in pre-SMA/ACC response but a decrease in left caudate response. Taken together, our data support a wider role of pre-SMA/ACC in task monitoring and establish the critical role of the left caudate in the selection of the less proficient language in language switching.

  3. The effects of cognitive – linguistic variables and language experience on behavioural and kinematic performances in nonword learning

    PubMed Central

    Sasisekaran, Jayanthi; Weisberg, Sanford

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of cognitive – linguistic variables and language experience on behavioral and kinematic measures of nonword learning in young adults. Group 1 consisted of thirteen participants who spoke American English as the first and only language. Group 2 consisted of seven participants with varying levels of proficiency in a second language. Logistic regression of the percent of correct productions revealed short-term memory to be a significant contributor. The bilingual group showed better performance compared to the monolinguals. Linear regression of the kinematic data revealed that the short – term memory variable contributed significantly to movement coordination. Differences were not observed between the bilingual and the monolingual speakers in kinematic performance. Nonword properties including syllable length and complexity influenced both behavioral and kinematic performance. The findings supported the observation that nonword repetition is multiply determined in adults. PMID:22476630

  4. On the role of context in language evolution. Comment on "Towards a computational comparative neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by M.A. Arbib

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heine, Bernd

    2016-03-01

    Work on the evolution of human languages is associated mainly with two kinds of approaches. On the one hand, there are discipline-based approaches, which exploit the methodology of a particular scientific discipline to gain methodologically coherent access to at least part of language evolution (e.g., [11]). On the other hand, there are what may be called integrating approaches, which combine observations made in different scientific disciplines within one general analytic framework (e.g., [2,5,13]). Each of these approaches has its advantages and disadvantages (see [11]). In discipline-based approaches using linguistics as a tool of reconstruction, one salient goal is to search for elements in modern languages that can be interpreted as fossils of earlier forms of human language or languages [13,14]. An alternative goal is to extrapolate from findings on more recent linguistic changes to reconstruct earlier phases of language development, that is, phases that are not within the scope of the established methodology of historical linguistics.

  5. Preschool Participation and the Cognitive and Social Development of Language-Minority Students. CSE Technical Report 674. UC LMRI Technical Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rumberger, Russell W.; Tran, Loan

    2006-01-01

    This study examined participation in preschool and its relationship with the cognitive and social development of language-minority students. Although there is a large body of research that demonstrates the cognitive and social benefits of attending preschool (Barnett, 1995; Gorey, 2001; National Research Council, Committee on Early Childhood…

  6. Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (Project CALLA), Community School District 2 Special Alternative Instruction Program. Final Evaluation Report, 1992-93. OREA Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lynch, Joanne

    Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (Project CALLA) was a federally funded program serving 960 limited-English-proficient students in 10 Manhattan (New York) elementary schools in 1992-93 its third year of operation. The project provided instruction in English as a Second Language (ESL), mathematics, science, and social studies in…

  7. Elementary School ELLs' Reading Skill Profiles Using Cognitive Diagnosis Modeling: Roles of Length of Residence and Home Language Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jang, Eunice Eunhee; Dunlop, Maggie; Wagner, Maryam; Kim, Youn-Hee; Gu, Zhimei

    2013-01-01

    The study examined differences in reading achievement and mastery skill development among Grade-6 students with different language background profiles, using cognitive diagnosis modeling applied to large-scale provincial reading test performance data. Our analyses revealed that students residing in various home language environments show different…

  8. Gestural and symbolic development among apes and humans: support for a multimodal theory of language evolution.

    PubMed

    Gillespie-Lynch, Kristen; Greenfield, Patricia M; Lyn, Heidi; Savage-Rumbaugh, Sue

    2014-01-01

    What are the implications of similarities and differences in the gestural and symbolic development of apes and humans?This focused review uses as a starting point our recent study that provided evidence that gesture supported the symbolic development of a chimpanzee, a bonobo, and a human child reared in language-enriched environments at comparable stages of communicative development. These three species constitute a complete clade, species possessing a common immediate ancestor. Communicative behaviors observed among all species in a clade are likely to have been present in the common ancestor. Similarities in the form and function of many gestures produced by the chimpanzee, bonobo, and human child suggest that shared non-verbal skills may underlie shared symbolic capacities. Indeed, an ontogenetic sequence from gesture to symbol was present across the clade but more pronounced in child than ape. Multimodal expressions of communicative intent (e.g., vocalization plus persistence or eye-contact) were normative for the child, but less common for the apes. These findings suggest that increasing multimodal expression of communicative intent may have supported the emergence of language among the ancestors of humans. Therefore, this focused review includes new studies, since our 2013 article, that support a multimodal theory of language evolution.

  9. Gestural and symbolic development among apes and humans: support for a multimodal theory of language evolution.

    PubMed

    Gillespie-Lynch, Kristen; Greenfield, Patricia M; Lyn, Heidi; Savage-Rumbaugh, Sue

    2014-01-01

    What are the implications of similarities and differences in the gestural and symbolic development of apes and humans?This focused review uses as a starting point our recent study that provided evidence that gesture supported the symbolic development of a chimpanzee, a bonobo, and a human child reared in language-enriched environments at comparable stages of communicative development. These three species constitute a complete clade, species possessing a common immediate ancestor. Communicative behaviors observed among all species in a clade are likely to have been present in the common ancestor. Similarities in the form and function of many gestures produced by the chimpanzee, bonobo, and human child suggest that shared non-verbal skills may underlie shared symbolic capacities. Indeed, an ontogenetic sequence from gesture to symbol was present across the clade but more pronounced in child than ape. Multimodal expressions of communicative intent (e.g., vocalization plus persistence or eye-contact) were normative for the child, but less common for the apes. These findings suggest that increasing multimodal expression of communicative intent may have supported the emergence of language among the ancestors of humans. Therefore, this focused review includes new studies, since our 2013 article, that support a multimodal theory of language evolution. PMID:25400607

  10. Gestural and symbolic development among apes and humans: support for a multimodal theory of language evolution

    PubMed Central

    Gillespie-Lynch, Kristen; Greenfield, Patricia M.; Lyn, Heidi; Savage-Rumbaugh, Sue

    2014-01-01

    What are the implications of similarities and differences in the gestural and symbolic development of apes and humans?This focused review uses as a starting point our recent study that provided evidence that gesture supported the symbolic development of a chimpanzee, a bonobo, and a human child reared in language-enriched environments at comparable stages of communicative development. These three species constitute a complete clade, species possessing a common immediate ancestor. Communicative behaviors observed among all species in a clade are likely to have been present in the common ancestor. Similarities in the form and function of many gestures produced by the chimpanzee, bonobo, and human child suggest that shared non-verbal skills may underlie shared symbolic capacities. Indeed, an ontogenetic sequence from gesture to symbol was present across the clade but more pronounced in child than ape. Multimodal expressions of communicative intent (e.g., vocalization plus persistence or eye-contact) were normative for the child, but less common for the apes. These findings suggest that increasing multimodal expression of communicative intent may have supported the emergence of language among the ancestors of humans. Therefore, this focused review includes new studies, since our 2013 article, that support a multimodal theory of language evolution. PMID:25400607

  11. Embodied experiences for science learning: A cognitive linguistics exploration of middle school students' language in learning about water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salinas Barrios, Ivan Eduardo

    I investigated linguistic patterns in middle school students' writing to understand their relevant embodied experiences for learning science. Embodied experiences are those limited by the perceptual and motor constraints of the human body. Recent research indicates student understanding of science needs embodied experiences. Recent emphases of science education researchers in the practices of science suggest that students' understanding of systems and their structure, scale, size, representations, and causality are crosscutting concepts that unify all scientific disciplinary areas. To discern the relationship between linguistic patterns and embodied experiences, I relied on Cognitive Linguistics, a field within cognitive sciences that pays attention to language organization and use assuming that language reflects the human cognitive system. Particularly, I investigated the embodied experiences that 268 middle school students learning about water brought to understanding: i) systems and system structure; ii) scale, size and representations; and iii) causality. Using content analysis, I explored students' language in search of patterns regarding linguistic phenomena described within cognitive linguistics: image schemas, conceptual metaphors, event schemas, semantical roles, and force-dynamics. I found several common embodied experiences organizing students' understanding of crosscutting concepts. Perception of boundaries and change in location and perception of spatial organization in the vertical axis are relevant embodied experiences for students' understanding of systems and system structure. Direct object manipulation and perception of size with and without locomotion are relevant for understanding scale, size and representations. Direct applications of force and consequential perception of movement or change in form are relevant for understanding of causality. I discuss implications of these findings for research and science teaching.

  12. Locating Cognition in Second Language Interaction and Learning: Inside the Skull or in Public View?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kasper, Gabriele

    2009-01-01

    A key question in the debate on conversation analysis as an approach to SLA concerns the role of cognition in interaction and learning. Where is cognition located, and how is understanding in interaction achieved? For an empirically grounded answer, I will explore the procedural apparatus that sustains socially shared cognition. Following a brief…

  13. The Evolution of the Exponent of Zipf's Law in Language Ontogeny

    PubMed Central

    Baixeries, Jaume; Elvevåg, Brita; Ferrer-i-Cancho, Ramon

    2013-01-01

    It is well-known that word frequencies arrange themselves according to Zipf's law. However, little is known about the dependency of the parameters of the law and the complexity of a communication system. Many models of the evolution of language assume that the exponent of the law remains constant as the complexity of a communication systems increases. Using longitudinal studies of child language, we analysed the word rank distribution for the speech of children and adults participating in conversations. The adults typically included family members (e.g., parents) or the investigators conducting the research. Our analysis of the evolution of Zipf's law yields two main unexpected results. First, in children the exponent of the law tends to decrease over time while this tendency is weaker in adults, thus suggesting this is not a mere mirror effect of adult speech. Second, although the exponent of the law is more stable in adults, their exponents fall below 1 which is the typical value of the exponent assumed in both children and adults. Our analysis also shows a tendency of the mean length of utterances (MLU), a simple estimate of syntactic complexity, to increase as the exponent decreases. The parallel evolution of the exponent and a simple indicator of syntactic complexity (MLU) supports the hypothesis that the exponent of Zipf's law and linguistic complexity are inter-related. The assumption that Zipf's law for word ranks is a power-law with a constant exponent of one in both adults and children needs to be revised. PMID:23516390

  14. Pre-existing cognitive impairment and post-operative cognitive dysfunction: should we be talking the same language?

    PubMed

    Evered, Lisbeth; Silbert, Brendan; Scott, David A

    2016-07-01

    Changes in cognition are known to follow anesthesia and surgery in older individuals (Evered et al., 2011). Although survival per se was the prime outcome in the 19th and early 20th centuries for invasive procedures, a link was none-the-less observed with adverse cognitive outcomes as far back as 1887 (Savage, 1887). Historical reports of "insanity" or "weak mindedness" after anesthesia appeared within 40 years of the first anesthetic having been administered and anecdotal and retrospective reports have implicated anesthesia ever since. However, it was not until the 1970s that these observations received any sound scientific evaluation, when clinicians became aware of cognitive changes following cardiac surgery. It was assumed that the cardiopulmonary bypass (heart lung machine) must have been the main culprit because it was this factor which so greatly distinguished cardiac surgery from non-cardiac surgery (Shaw et al., 1987). This long held belief entered surgical folklore and was the basis for many publications endeavoring to identify particular aspects of the heart lung machine responsible for this cognitive decline.

  15. Pre-existing cognitive impairment and post-operative cognitive dysfunction: should we be talking the same language?

    PubMed

    Evered, Lisbeth; Silbert, Brendan; Scott, David A

    2016-07-01

    Changes in cognition are known to follow anesthesia and surgery in older individuals (Evered et al., 2011). Although survival per se was the prime outcome in the 19th and early 20th centuries for invasive procedures, a link was none-the-less observed with adverse cognitive outcomes as far back as 1887 (Savage, 1887). Historical reports of "insanity" or "weak mindedness" after anesthesia appeared within 40 years of the first anesthetic having been administered and anecdotal and retrospective reports have implicated anesthesia ever since. However, it was not until the 1970s that these observations received any sound scientific evaluation, when clinicians became aware of cognitive changes following cardiac surgery. It was assumed that the cardiopulmonary bypass (heart lung machine) must have been the main culprit because it was this factor which so greatly distinguished cardiac surgery from non-cardiac surgery (Shaw et al., 1987). This long held belief entered surgical folklore and was the basis for many publications endeavoring to identify particular aspects of the heart lung machine responsible for this cognitive decline. PMID:27145889

  16. Motivational beliefs, cognitive engagement, and achievement in language and mathematics in elementary school children.

    PubMed

    Metallidou, Panagiota; Vlachou, Anastasia

    2007-02-01

    The contextual differences in the patterns of relations among various motivational, cognitive, and metacognitive components of self-regulated learning and performance in two key curriculum subject areas, language and mathematics, were examined in a sample of 263 Greek primary school children of fifth- and sixth-grade classrooms. Age and gender differences were also investigated. Students were asked to complete the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (Pintrich & De Groot, 1990 ), which comprised five factors: (a) Self-efficacy, (b) Intrinsic Value, (c) Test Anxiety, (d) Cognitive Strategy Use, and (e) Self-regulation Strategies. They responded to the statements of the questionnaire on a 7-point Likert scale in terms of their behaviour in mathematics and language classes, respectively. Moreover, their teachers were asked to evaluate each of their students' academic achievement in Greek language and mathematics on a 1- to 20-point comparative scale in relation to the rest of the class. The results of the study indicated very few differences in the pattern of relations among self-regulated components within and across the two subject areas and at the same time revealed a context-specific character of self-regulated components at a mean level differences. Further, the current study (a) confirmed the mediatory role of strategies in the motivation-performance relation, (b) stressed the differential role of cognitive and regulatory strategies in predicting performance in subject areas that differ in their structural characteristics of the content, and (c) pointed out the key motivational role of self-efficacy. In fact, self-efficacy proved the most significant predictor not only of performance but of cognitive and regulatory strategy use as well. Gender differences in motivation and strategy use were not reported, while motivation was found to vary mainly with age. The usefulness of these findings for promoting greater clarity among motivational and

  17. Motivational beliefs, cognitive engagement, and achievement in language and mathematics in elementary school children.

    PubMed

    Metallidou, Panagiota; Vlachou, Anastasia

    2007-02-01

    The contextual differences in the patterns of relations among various motivational, cognitive, and metacognitive components of self-regulated learning and performance in two key curriculum subject areas, language and mathematics, were examined in a sample of 263 Greek primary school children of fifth- and sixth-grade classrooms. Age and gender differences were also investigated. Students were asked to complete the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (Pintrich & De Groot, 1990 ), which comprised five factors: (a) Self-efficacy, (b) Intrinsic Value, (c) Test Anxiety, (d) Cognitive Strategy Use, and (e) Self-regulation Strategies. They responded to the statements of the questionnaire on a 7-point Likert scale in terms of their behaviour in mathematics and language classes, respectively. Moreover, their teachers were asked to evaluate each of their students' academic achievement in Greek language and mathematics on a 1- to 20-point comparative scale in relation to the rest of the class. The results of the study indicated very few differences in the pattern of relations among self-regulated components within and across the two subject areas and at the same time revealed a context-specific character of self-regulated components at a mean level differences. Further, the current study (a) confirmed the mediatory role of strategies in the motivation-performance relation, (b) stressed the differential role of cognitive and regulatory strategies in predicting performance in subject areas that differ in their structural characteristics of the content, and (c) pointed out the key motivational role of self-efficacy. In fact, self-efficacy proved the most significant predictor not only of performance but of cognitive and regulatory strategy use as well. Gender differences in motivation and strategy use were not reported, while motivation was found to vary mainly with age. The usefulness of these findings for promoting greater clarity among motivational and

  18. Cognitive Models of Students' Language Structure: The View from Intelligent Computer Assisted Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Psotka, Joseph; And Others

    Methods and approaches used at the U.S. Army Research Institute to investigate intelligent computer-assisted foreign language instruction are discussed. The research described explores the use of hypertext and natural language processing for improving language training by articulating student knowledge structures and for providing, incidentally, a…

  19. COGNITIVE GAINS IN "DEPRIVED" CHILDREN THROUGH INDIVIDUAL TEACHING OF LANGUAGE FOR ABSTRACT THINKING.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    BLANK, MARION

    THE MOST DISABLING HANDICAP OF YOUNG CHILDREN FROM DEPRIVED SOCIOECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS IS THEIR DIFFICULTY IN USING LANGUAGE ABSTRACTLY. IN THIS STUDY, THEREFORE, IT WAS HYPOTHESIZED THAT IF AN EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTION PROGRAM WAS LIMITED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF ABSTRACT LANGUAGE, THEN NOT ONLY LANGUAGE, BUT MANY OTHER ASPECTS OF THINKING WOULD BE…

  20. Creationism as a Misconception: Socio-cognitive conflict in the teaching of evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, Colin

    2012-09-01

    This position paper argues that students' understanding and acceptance of evolution may be supported, rather than hindered, by classroom discussion of creationism. Parallels are drawn between creationism and other scientific misconceptions, both of the scientific community in the past and of students in the present. Science teachers frequently handle their students' misconceptions as they arise by offering appropriate socio-cognitive conflict, which highlights reasons to disbelieve one idea and to believe another. It is argued that this way of working, rather than outlawing discussion, is more scientific and more honest. Scientific truth does not win the day by attempting to deny its opponents a voice but by engaging them with evidence. Teachers can be confident that evolution has nothing to fear from a free and frank discussion in which claims can be rebutted with evidence. Such an approach is accessible to children of all ages and is ultimately more likely to drive out pre-scientific superstitions. It also models the scientific process more authentically and develops students' ability to think critically.

  1. Language in the aging brain: the network dynamics of cognitive decline and preservation.

    PubMed

    Shafto, Meredith A; Tyler, Lorraine K

    2014-10-31

    Language is a crucial and complex lifelong faculty, underpinned by dynamic interactions within and between specialized brain networks. Whereas normal aging impairs specific aspects of language production, most core language processes are robust to brain aging. We review recent behavioral and neuroimaging evidence showing that language systems remain largely stable across the life span and that both younger and older adults depend on dynamic neural responses to linguistic demands. Although some aspects of network dynamics change with age, there is no consistent evidence that core language processes are underpinned by different neural networks in younger and older adults.

  2. Assessment of cognition and language in the early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder: usefulness of the Bayley Scales of infant and toddler development, third edition

    PubMed Central

    Gómez‐Morales, A.; González‐Gimeno, I.; Fornieles‐Deu, A.; Brun‐Gasca, C.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background The aim of this study was to test the usefulness of the Cognitive and Language scales Bayley‐III in the early assessment of cognitive and language functions in the context of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis. This paper focuses on the application of the Bayley‐III and studies the predictive value of the test result in children with ASD with different levels of verbal ability. Method A sample of 135 children (121 boys, 14 girls) with a confirmed ASD diagnosis at age 4 years were assessed with the Bayley‐III before 42 months of age (m = 36.49, s = 4.46) and later with other rating scales of different psychological and psycholinguistic functions as part of a longitudinal study [McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities (MSCA) (n = 48, 90% boys), Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K‐ABC) (n = 38, 87% boys) or Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities (ITPA) (n = 44, 89% boys)]. Age assessment in months: MSCA (m = 48.80, s = 3.33), K‐ABC (m = 51.80, s = 7.17) and ITPA (m = 54.48, s = 3.34). Results Lower scores on the cognitive and language Bayley‐III scales before 3.5 years of age predicted lower cognitive and oral language levels at 4 years of age. A significant correlation was found between the Cognitive Bayley‐III Scale and the General Cognitive MSCA Scale, and with the Compound K‐ABC Mental Processing. An association between the nonverbal cognitive level and oral language level acquired at 4 years of age was found. Conclusions The Bayley‐III is a useful instrument in cognitive and language assessment of ASD. PMID:27120991

  3. Developmental Language Disorders--A Follow-Up in Later Adult Life. Cognitive, Language and Psychosocial Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clegg, J.; Hollis, C.; Mawhood, L.; Rutter, M.

    2005-01-01

    Background: Little is known on the adult outcome and longitudinal trajectory of childhood developmental language disorders (DLD) and on the prognostic predictors. Method: Seventeen men with a severe receptive DLD in childhood, reassessed in middle childhood and early adult life, were studied again in their mid-thirties with tests of intelligence…

  4. Exploration as a mediator of the relation between the attainment of motor milestones and the development of spatial cognition and spatial language.

    PubMed

    Oudgenoeg-Paz, Ora; Leseman, Paul P M; Volman, M Chiel J M

    2015-09-01

    The embodied-cognition approach views cognition and language as grounded in daily sensorimotor child-environment interactions. Therefore, the attainment of motor milestones is expected to play a role in cognitive-linguistic development. Early attainment of unsupported sitting and independent walking indeed predict better spatial cognition and language at later ages. However, evidence linking these milestones with the development of spatial language and evidence regarding factors that might mediate this relation are scarce. The current study examined whether exploration of spatial-relational object properties (e.g., the possibility of containing or stacking) and exploration of the space through self-locomotion mediate the effect of, respectively, age of sitting and age of walking on spatial cognition and spatial language. Thus, we hypothesized that an earlier age of sitting and walking predicts, respectively, higher levels of spatial-relational object exploration and exploration through self-locomotion, which in turn, predict better spatial cognition and spatial language at later ages. Fifty-nine Dutch children took part in a longitudinal study. A combination of tests, observations, and parental reports was used to measure motor development, exploratory behavior (age 20 months), spatial memory (age 24 months), spatial processing (age 32 months), and spatial language (age 36 months). Results show that attainment of sitting predicted spatial memory and spatial language, but spatial-relational object exploration did not mediate these effects. Attainment of independent walking predicted spatial processing and spatial language, and exploration through self-locomotion (partially) mediated these relations. These findings extend previous work and provide partial support for the hypotheses about the mediating role of exploration.

  5. Exploration as a mediator of the relation between the attainment of motor milestones and the development of spatial cognition and spatial language.

    PubMed

    Oudgenoeg-Paz, Ora; Leseman, Paul P M; Volman, M Chiel J M

    2015-09-01

    The embodied-cognition approach views cognition and language as grounded in daily sensorimotor child-environment interactions. Therefore, the attainment of motor milestones is expected to play a role in cognitive-linguistic development. Early attainment of unsupported sitting and independent walking indeed predict better spatial cognition and language at later ages. However, evidence linking these milestones with the development of spatial language and evidence regarding factors that might mediate this relation are scarce. The current study examined whether exploration of spatial-relational object properties (e.g., the possibility of containing or stacking) and exploration of the space through self-locomotion mediate the effect of, respectively, age of sitting and age of walking on spatial cognition and spatial language. Thus, we hypothesized that an earlier age of sitting and walking predicts, respectively, higher levels of spatial-relational object exploration and exploration through self-locomotion, which in turn, predict better spatial cognition and spatial language at later ages. Fifty-nine Dutch children took part in a longitudinal study. A combination of tests, observations, and parental reports was used to measure motor development, exploratory behavior (age 20 months), spatial memory (age 24 months), spatial processing (age 32 months), and spatial language (age 36 months). Results show that attainment of sitting predicted spatial memory and spatial language, but spatial-relational object exploration did not mediate these effects. Attainment of independent walking predicted spatial processing and spatial language, and exploration through self-locomotion (partially) mediated these relations. These findings extend previous work and provide partial support for the hypotheses about the mediating role of exploration. PMID:26192037

  6. Analyzing the Rate at Which Languages Lose the Influence of a Common Ancestor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rafferty, Anna N.; Griffiths, Thomas L.; Klein, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Analyzing the rate at which languages change can clarify whether similarities across languages are solely the result of cognitive biases or might be partially due to descent from a common ancestor. To demonstrate this approach, we use a simple model of language evolution to mathematically determine how long it should take for the distribution over…

  7. The cerebellum: its role in language and related cognitive and affective functions.

    PubMed

    De Smet, Hyo Jung; Paquier, Philippe; Verhoeven, Jo; Mariën, Peter

    2013-12-01

    The traditional view on the cerebellum as the sole coordinator of motor function has been substantially redefined during the past decades. Neuroanatomical, neuroimaging and clinical studies have extended the role of the cerebellum to the modulation of cognitive and affective processing. Neuroanatomical studies have demonstrated cerebellar connectivity with the supratentorial association areas involved in higher cognitive and affective functioning, while functional neuroimaging and clinical studies have provided evidence of cerebellar involvement in a variety of cognitive and affective tasks. This paper reviews the recently acknowledged role of the cerebellum in linguistic and related cognitive and behavioral-affective functions. In addition, typical cerebellar syndromes such as the cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome (CCAS) and the posterior fossa syndrome (PFS) will be briefly discussed and the current hypotheses dealing with the presumed neurobiological mechanisms underlying the linguistic, cognitive and affective modulatory role of the cerebellum will be reviewed.

  8. The Evolutions of Interest and Beliefs about Arabic as a Foreign Language: A Case Study on Three Western Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rashed, Hazem

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this case study was to investigate the evolutions of interest and beliefs about Arabic as a foreign language among three Western faculty members at an education college in United Arab Emirates. The study used four data resources which were: interviews, field notes, reflective journals and an information form. After four months of…

  9. Widening the lens: what the manual modality reveals about language, learning and cognition.

    PubMed

    Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2014-09-19

    The goal of this paper is to widen the lens on language to include the manual modality. We look first at hearing children who are acquiring language from a spoken language model and find that even before they use speech to communicate, they use gesture. Moreover, those gestures precede, and predict, the acquisition of structures in speech. We look next at deaf children whose hearing losses prevent them from using the oral modality, and whose hearing parents have not presented them with a language model in the manual modality. These children fall back on the manual modality to communicate and use gestures, which take on many of the forms and functions of natural language. These homemade gesture systems constitute the first step in the emergence of manual sign systems that are shared within deaf communities and are full-fledged languages. We end by widening the lens on sign language to include gesture and find that signers not only gesture, but they also use gesture in learning contexts just as speakers do. These findings suggest that what is key in gesture's ability to predict learning is its ability to add a second representational format to communication, rather than a second modality. Gesture can thus be language, assuming linguistic forms and functions, when other vehicles are not available; but when speech or sign is possible, gesture works along with language, providing an additional representational format that can promote learning.

  10. Widening the lens: what the manual modality reveals about language, learning and cognition

    PubMed Central

    Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2014-01-01

    The goal of this paper is to widen the lens on language to include the manual modality. We look first at hearing children who are acquiring language from a spoken language model and find that even before they use speech to communicate, they use gesture. Moreover, those gestures precede, and predict, the acquisition of structures in speech. We look next at deaf children whose hearing losses prevent them from using the oral modality, and whose hearing parents have not presented them with a language model in the manual modality. These children fall back on the manual modality to communicate and use gestures, which take on many of the forms and functions of natural language. These homemade gesture systems constitute the first step in the emergence of manual sign systems that are shared within deaf communities and are full-fledged languages. We end by widening the lens on sign language to include gesture and find that signers not only gesture, but they also use gesture in learning contexts just as speakers do. These findings suggest that what is key in gesture's ability to predict learning is its ability to add a second representational format to communication, rather than a second modality. Gesture can thus be language, assuming linguistic forms and functions, when other vehicles are not available; but when speech or sign is possible, gesture works along with language, providing an additional representational format that can promote learning. PMID:25092663

  11. Individual Cognitive Styles of University Students and Acquisition of Spanish as a Foreign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hokanson, Sonja G.

    2000-01-01

    Varying methodological conditions changed the emphasis of Spanish instruction for 212 English-speaking university students. Evaluation of the cognitive style preferences of first semester students via the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory, Learning Styles Inventory, and a specially-designed questionnaire produced a single cognitive preference score.…

  12. Referential Metonymy across Languages: What Can Cognitive Linguistics and "Contrastive Linguistics" Learn from Each Other?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brdar-Szabó, Rita; Brdar, Mario

    2003-01-01

    The paper demonstrates how contrastive linguistics may receive a fresh breath of life from approaching certain problems from the cognitive linguistic point of view. Cognitive linguistics is not only capable of providing contrastive linguistics with a comprehensive but coherent theoretical backbone the latter has always badly needed for its…

  13. Attention and Other Cognitive Deficits in Aphasia: Presence and Relation to Language and Communication Measures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murray, Laura L.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: This study was designed to further elucidate the relationship between cognition and aphasia, with a focus on attention. It was hypothesized that individuals with aphasia would display variable deficit patterns on tests of attention and other cognitive functions and that their attention deficits, particularly those of complex attention…

  14. Parallels between Spatial Cognition and Spatial Language: Evidence from Williams Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Landau, B.; Hoffman, J.E.

    2005-01-01

    Does the acquisition of spatial language always reflect the characteristics of non-linguistic spatial representation? We explored this question by examining spatial representation and spatial language among children and adults with Williams syndrome, a rare genetic syndrome that gives rise to a pattern of severe spatial impairment together with…

  15. A Study of the Cognitive, Affective and Socio-economic Factors Influencing Second-Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burstall, Clare

    Factors which influence the acquisition of a second language within the framework of the British educational system are examined in this study. An ongoing, 10-year, language experiment (1964-74) involving 18,000 students ranging in age from 8 to 13, concentrates on determining the desirability and practicability of starting modern language…

  16. Evidence for Distinct Cognitive Profiles in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Lauren J.; Maybery, Murray T.; Grayndler, Luke; Whitehouse, Andrew J. O.

    2014-01-01

    Findings that a subgroup of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have linguistic capabilities that resemble specific language impairment (SLI) have led some authors to hypothesise that ASD and SLI have a shared aetiology. While considerable research has explored overlap in the language phenotypes of the two conditions, little research…

  17. Televised Whorf: Cognitive Restructuring in Advanced Foreign Language Learners as a Function of Audiovisual Media Exposure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bylund, Emanuel; Athanasopoulos, Panos

    2015-01-01

    The encoding of goal-oriented motion events varies across different languages. Speakers of languages without grammatical aspect (e.g., Swedish) tend to mention motion endpoints when describing events (e.g., "two nuns walk to a house") and attach importance to event endpoints when matching scenes from memory. Speakers of aspect languages…

  18. Cognitive Style and Achievement in Imperative and Functional Programming Language Courses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Myers, J. Paul, Jr.; Munsinger, Brita

    This paper investigates the relationship between learning style and programming achievement in two paradigms: imperative and functional. An imperative language achieves its effect by changing the value of variables by means of assignment statements while functional languages rely on evaluation of expressions rather than side-effects. Learning…

  19. Phonological Development in Children: Play and Cognition. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, No. 18.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferguson, Charles A.; Macken, Marlys A.

    Sound play is important to child language development in that it contributes to the phonetic substrate, it is a factor in phonological development, and it is something to be learned as part of the socially acceptable use of language. Sound play progresses in three stages: (1) babbling, in which a gradual acquisition of phonetic units is built up…

  20. Child Discourse. Language, Thought, and Culture: Advances in the Study of Cognition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ervin-Tripp, Susan, Ed.; Mitchell-Kernan, Claudia, Ed.

    The following essays on children's spoken language are included in this volume: "Play with Language and Speech" by Catherin Garvey, "'You Fruithead': A Sociolinguistic Approach to Children's Dispute Settlement" by Donald Brenneis and Laura Lein, "From Verbal Play to Talk Story: The Role of Routines in Speech Events among Hawaiian Children" by…

  1. Language Play.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwartz, Judy I.

    This paper discusses kinds and characteristics of language play, explores the relationship of such play to wider domains of language and play, and speculates on the possible contributions of language play for language mastery and cognitive development. Jump rope chants and ritual insults ("Off my case, potato face") and other expressive language…

  2. Relationship of neonatal cerebral blood flow velocity asymmetry with early motor, cognitive and language development in term infants.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ying-Chin; Hsieh, Wu-Shiun; Hsu, Chyong-Hsin; Chiu, Nan-Chang; Chou, Hung-Chieh; Chen, Chien-Yi; Peng, Shinn-Forng; Hung, Han-Yang; Chang, Jui-Hsing; Chen, Wei J; Jeng, Suh-Fang

    2013-05-01

    The objective of this study was to examine the relationships of Doppler cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV) asymmetry measures with developmental outcomes in term infants. Doppler CBFV parameters (peak systolic velocity [PSV] and mean velocity [MV]) of the bilateral middle cerebral arteries of 52 healthy term infants were prospectively examined on postnatal days 1-5, and then their motor, cognitive and language development was evaluated with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition, at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months of age. The left CBFV asymmetry measure (PSV or MV) was calculated by subtracting the right-side value from the left-side value. Left CBFV asymmetry measures were significantly positively related to motor scores at 6 (r = 0.3-0.32, p < 0.05) and 12 (r = 0.35, p < 0.05) months of age, but were not related to cognitive or language outcome. Thus, the leftward hemodynamic status of the middle cerebral arteries, as measured by cranial Doppler ultrasound in the neonatal period, predicts early motor outcome in term infants. PMID:23465137

  3. Cognitive dissonance as an explanation of the genesis, evolution and persistence of Thabo Mbeki's HIV denialism.

    PubMed

    Kenyon, Chris

    2008-05-01

    The ongoing damage that the newer forms of HIV denialism are visiting upon our country is evidenced by the recent firing of Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, the South African Deputy Minister of Health. It is widely believed that the underlying reason for her dismissal was her support of orthodox HIV treatment and prevention strategies and her disdain for HIV denialism. This paper seeks to understand the origins, spread and metamorphosis of President Thabo Mbeki's HIV denialism in South Africa. Using the theory of cognitive dissonance, I argue that, given the structural beliefs of the African National Congress (ANC) and the pattern of emergence of HIV in the 1980s, a degree of scepticism around the putative science of HIV was probable in ANC circles. On assuming the Presidency in 1999, Mbeki tapped into this scepticism to formulate his initial biological version of HIV denialism, which claimed that 'a virus can't cause a syndrome.' The steady erosion of support for this flagrant HIV denialism, together with the rise of neoliberal thinking in the ANC, would lead to the evolution of this biological denialism into a form of treatment denialism. This ideology argued against the widespread provision and use of antiretroviral treatment. Empirical evidence is presented to demonstrate the extent to which ongoing HIV denial in the general population is continuing to fuel the spread of HIV.

  4. An earlier origin for stone tool making: implications for cognitive evolution and the transition to Homo.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Jason E; Harmand, Sonia

    2016-07-01

    The discovery of the earliest known stone tools at Lomekwi 3 (LOM3) from West Turkana, Kenya, dated to 3.3 Ma, raises new questions about the mode and tempo of key adaptations in the hominin lineage. The LOM3 tools date to before the earliest known fossils attributed to Homo at 2.8 Ma. They were made and deposited in a more C3 environment than were the earliest Oldowan tools at 2.6 Ma. Their discovery leads to renewed investigation on the timing of the emergence of human-like manipulative capabilities in early hominins and implications for reconstructing cognition. The LOM3 artefacts form part of an emerging paradigm shift in palaeoanthropology, in which: tool-use and tool-making behaviours are not limited to the genus Homo; cranial, post-cranial and behavioural diversity in early Homo is much wider than previously thought; and these evolutionary changes may not have been direct adaptations to living in savannah grassland environments.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. PMID:27298464

  5. The evolution and devolution of cognitive control: The costs of deliberation in a competitive world

    PubMed Central

    Tomlin, Damon; Rand, David G.; Ludvig, Elliot A.; Cohen, Jonathan D.

    2015-01-01

    Dual-system theories of human cognition, under which fast automatic processes can complement or compete with slower deliberative processes, have not typically been incorporated into larger scale population models used in evolutionary biology, macroeconomics, or sociology. However, doing so may reveal important phenomena at the population level. Here, we introduce a novel model of the evolution of dual-system agents using a resource-consumption paradigm. By simulating agents with the capacity for both automatic and controlled processing, we illustrate how controlled processing may not always be selected over rigid, but rapid, automatic processing. Furthermore, even when controlled processing is advantageous, frequency-dependent effects may exist whereby the spread of control within the population undermines this advantage. As a result, the level of controlled processing in the population can oscillate persistently, or even go extinct in the long run. Our model illustrates how dual-system psychology can be incorporated into population-level evolutionary models, and how such a framework can be used to examine the dynamics of interaction between automatic and controlled processing that transpire over an evolutionary time scale. PMID:26078086

  6. Evolution of the cognitive proteome: from static to dynamic network models.

    PubMed

    Armstrong, J Douglas; Sorokina, Oksana

    2012-01-01

    Integrative analysis of the neuronal synapse proteome has uncovered an evolutionarily conserved signalling complex that underpins the cognitive capabilities of the brain. Highly dynamic, cell type specific and intricately regulated, the synaptic proteome presents many challenges to systems biology approaches, yet this is likely to be the best route to unlock a new generation of neuroscience research and CNS drug development that society so urgently demands. Most systems biology approaches today have focussed on exploiting protein-protein interaction data to their fullest extent within static interaction models. These have revealed structure-function relationships within the protein network, uncovered new candidate genes for genetic studies and drug research and development and finally provided a means to study the evolution of the system. The rapid maturation of medium and high-throughput biochemical technologies means that dissecting the synapse proteome's dynamic complexity is fast becoming a reality. Here we look at these new challenges and explore rule-based modelling as a basis for a new generation of synaptic models.

  7. Language Evolution Can Be Shaped by the Structure of the World

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perfors, Amy; Navarro, Daniel J.

    2014-01-01

    Human languages vary in many ways but also show striking cross-linguistic universals. Why do these universals exist? Recent theoretical results demonstrate that Bayesian learners transmitting language to each other through iterated learning will converge on a distribution of languages that depends only on their prior biases about language and the…

  8. Cognitive architectures and language acquisition: a case study in pronoun comprehension.

    PubMed

    VAN Rij, Jacolien; VAN Rijn, Hedderik; Hendriks, Petra

    2010-06-01

    In this paper we discuss a computational cognitive model of children's poor performance on pronoun interpretation (the so-called Delay of Principle B Effect, or DPBE). This cognitive model is based on a theoretical account that attributes the DPBE to children's inability as hearers to also take into account the speaker's perspective. The cognitive model predicts that child hearers are unable to do so because their speed of linguistic processing is too limited to perform this second step in interpretation. We tested this hypothesis empirically in a psycholinguistic study, in which we slowed down the speech rate to give children more time for interpretation, and in a computational simulation study. The results of the two studies confirm the predictions of our model. Moreover, these studies show that embedding a theory of linguistic competence in a cognitive architecture allows for the generation of detailed and testable predictions with respect to linguistic performance.

  9. [Reason and emotion: integration of cognitive-behavioural and experiential interventions in the treatment of long evolution food disorders].

    PubMed

    Vilariño Besteiro, M P; Pérez Franco, C; Gallego Morales, L; Calvo Sagardoy, R; García de Lorenzo, A

    2009-01-01

    This paper intends to show the combination of therapeutical strategies in the treatment of long evolution food disorders. This fashion of work entitled "Modelo Santa Cristina" is based on several theoretical paradigms: Enabling Model, Action Control Model, Change Process Transtheoretical Model and Cognitive-Behavioural Model (Cognitive Restructuring and Learning Theories). Furthermore, Gestalt, Systemic and Psychodrama Orientation Techniques. The purpose of the treatment is both the normalization of food patterns and the increase in self-knowledge, self-acceptance and self-efficacy of patients. The exploration of ambivalence to change, the discovery of the functions of symptoms and the search for alternative behaviours, the normalization of food patterns, bodily image, cognitive restructuring, decision taking, communication skills and elaboration of traumatic experiences are among the main areas of intervention. PMID:19893873

  10. Temporal evolution of biomarkers and cognitive markers in the asymptomatic, MCI and dementia stage of Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Bertens, Daniela; Knol, Dirk L.; Scheltens, Philip; Visser, Pieter Jelle

    2014-01-01

    Background We investigated the pattern of disease progression in the asymptomatic, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia stage of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Methods We selected 284 subjects with AD pathology, defined as abnormal levels of amyloid beta 1-42 (Aß1-42) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Disease outcome measures included six biomarkers and five cognitive markers. We compared differences in baseline measures and decline over 4 years between the AD stages and tested whether these changes differed from subjects, without AD pathology (N=132). Results CSF Aß1-42 reached the maximum abnormality level in the asymptomatic stage and tau in the MCI stage. The imaging and cognitive markers started to decline in the asymptomatic stage, and decline accelerated with advancing clinical stage. Conclusion This study provides further evidence for a temporal evolution of AD biomarkers. Our findings may be helpful to determine stage specific outcome measures for clinical trials. PMID:25150730

  11. Cognitive control of language production in bilinguals involves a partly independent process within the domain-general cognitive control network: evidence from task-switching and electrical brain activity.

    PubMed

    Magezi, David A; Khateb, Asaid; Mouthon, Michael; Spierer, Lucas; Annoni, Jean-Marie

    2012-07-01

    In highly proficient, early bilinguals, behavioural studies of the cost of switching language or task suggest qualitative differences between language control and domain-general cognitive control. By contrast, several neuroimaging studies have shown an overlap of the brain areas involved in language control and domain-general cognitive control. The current study measured both behavioural responses and event-related potentials (ERPs) from bilinguals who performed picture naming in single- or mixed-language contexts, as well as an alphanumeric categorisation task in single- or mixed-task context. Analysis of switch costs during the mixed-context conditions showed qualitative differences between language control and domain-general cognitive control. A 2 × 2 ANOVA of the ERPs, with domain (linguistic, alphanumeric) and context (single, mixed) as within-participant factors, revealed a significant interaction, which also suggests a partly independent language-control mechanism. Source estimations revealed the neural basis of this mechanism to be in bilateral frontal-temporal areas.

  12. Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gadlin, Barry; Nemanich, Donald

    1974-01-01

    An article and a bibliography constitute this issue of the "Illinois English Bulletin." In "Keep the Natives from Getting Restless," Barry Gadlin examines native language learning by children from infancy through high school and discusses the theories of several authors concerning the teaching of the native language. The "Bibliography of…

  13. Grounded cognition.

    PubMed

    Barsalou, Lawrence W

    2008-01-01

    Grounded cognition rejects traditional views that cognition is computation on amodal symbols in a modular system, independent of the brain's modal systems for perception, action, and introspection. Instead, grounded cognition proposes that modal simulations, bodily states, and situated action underlie cognition. Accumulating behavioral and neural evidence supporting this view is reviewed from research on perception, memory, knowledge, language, thought, social cognition, and development. Theories of grounded cognition are also reviewed, as are origins of the area and common misperceptions of it. Theoretical, empirical, and methodological issues are raised whose future treatment is likely to affect the growth and impact of grounded cognition.

  14. Nature-Inspired Cognitive Evolution to Play MS. Pac-Man

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Tse Guan; Teo, Jason; Anthony, Patricia

    Recent developments in nature-inspired computation have heightened the need for research into the three main areas of scientific, engineering and industrial applications. Some approaches have reported that it is able to solve dynamic problems and very useful for improving the performance of various complex systems. So far however, there has been little discussion about the effectiveness of the application of these models to computer and video games in particular. The focus of this research is to explore the hybridization of nature-inspired computation methods for optimization of neural network-based cognition in video games, in this case the combination of a neural network with an evolutionary algorithm. In essence, a neural network is an attempt to mimic the extremely complex human brain system, which is building an artificial brain that is able to self-learn intelligently. On the other hand, an evolutionary algorithm is to simulate the biological evolutionary processes that evolve potential solutions in order to solve the problems or tasks by applying the genetic operators such as crossover, mutation and selection into the solutions. This paper investigates the abilities of Evolution Strategies (ES) to evolve feed-forward artificial neural network's internal parameters (i.e. weight and bias values) for automatically generating Ms. Pac-man controllers. The main objective of this game is to clear a maze of dots while avoiding the ghosts and to achieve the highest possible score. The experimental results show that an ES-based system can be successfully applied to automatically generate artificial intelligence for a complex, dynamic and highly stochastic video game environment.

  15. A tentative framework for the acquisition of language and modern human cognition.

    PubMed

    Tattersall, Ian

    2016-06-20

    Modern human beings process information symbolically, rearranging mental symbols to envision multiple potential realities. They also express the ideas they form using structured articulate language. No other living creature does either of these things. Yet it is evident that we are descended from a non-symbolic and non-linguistic ancestor. How did this astonishing transformation occur? Scrutiny of the fossil and archaeological records reveals that the transition to symbolic reasoning happened very late in hominid history - indeed, within the tenure of anatomically recognizable Homo sapiens. It was evidently not simply a passive result of the increase in brain size that typified multiple lineages of the genus Homo over the Pleistocene. Instead, a brain exaptively capable of complex symbolic manipulation and language acquisition was acquired in the major developmental reorganization that gave rise to the anatomically distinctive species Homo sapiens. The new capacity it conferred was later recruited through the action of a cultural stimulus, most plausibly the spontaneous invention of language.

  16. Markov chains or the game of structure and chance. From complex networks, to language evolution, to musical compositions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanchard, Ph.; Dawin, J. R.; Volchenkov, D.

    2010-06-01

    Markov chains provide us with a powerful tool for studying the structure of graphs and databases in details. We review the method of generalized inverses for Markov chains and apply it for the analysis of urban structures, evolution of languages, and musical compositions. We also discuss a generalization of Lévy flights over large complex networks and study the interplay between the nonlinearity of diffusion process and the topological structure of the network.

  17. On emotion-cognition integration: The effect of happy and sad moods on language comprehension.

    PubMed

    Egidi, Giovanna

    2015-01-01

    I comment on Pessoa's (2013) idea that the interaction between emotion and cognition cannot be reduced to mutual interference. As an example that bolsters Pessoa's position, I discuss the effects of happy and sad moods on discourse and sentence comprehension. I distinguish between the effects of moods elicited without participants' knowledge (incidental) and moods elicited with participants' contribution (constructed). PMID:26786957

  18. Where Is Cognition If We Talk about the Teaching of English as an International Language?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Falabella, Maria Eugenia

    2011-01-01

    This current piece of writing--placed, in disciplinary terms, between Psychology of learning and Methodology/Didactics--aims mainly at showing, in the light of present and updated authorized works, the unequivocal relation that is existent between the concept of distributed cognitions and task-based learning. The former was coined by Hutchins…

  19. Children's Language Production: How Cognitive Neuroscience and Industrial Engineering Can Inform Public Education Policy and Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leisman, Gerry

    2012-01-01

    Little of 150 years of research in Cognitive Neurosciences, Human Factors, and the mathematics of Production Management have found their way into educational policy and certainly not into the classroom or in the production of educational materials in any meaningful or practical fashion. Whilst more mundane concepts of timing, sequencing, spatial…

  20. Cognitive and Language Skills in Adults with Autism: A 40-Year Follow-Up

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howlin, Patricia; Savage, Sarah; Moss, Philippa; Tempier, Althea; Rutter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Background: It is well established that very few individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and an IQ below 70 are able to live independently as adults. However, even amongst children with an IQ in the normal range, outcome is very variable. Childhood factors that predict later stability, improvement or decline in cognitive functioning…