Cortical motor systems are involved in second-language comprehension: Evidence from rapid mu-rhythm desynchronisation
Understanding neurocognitive mechanisms supporting the use of multiple languages is a key question in language science. Recent neuroimaging studies in monolinguals indicated that core language areas in human neocortex together with sensorimotor structures form a highly interactive system underpinning native language comprehension. While the experience of a native speaker promotes the establishment of strong action-perception links in the comprehension network, this may not necessarily be the case for L2 where, as it has been argued, the most a typical L2 speaker may get is a link between an L2 wordform and its L1 translation equivalent. Therefore, we investigated, whether the motor cortex of bilingual subjects shows differential involvement in processing action semantics of native and non-native words. We used high-density EEG to dynamically measure changes in the cortical motor system's activity, indexed by event-related desynchronisation (ERD) of the mu-rhythm, in response to passively reading L1 (German) and L2 (English) action words. Analysis of motor-related EEG oscillations at the sensor level revealed an early (starting ~150ms) and left-lateralised coupling between action and semantics during both L1 and L2 processing. Crucially, source-level activation in the motor areas showed that mu-rhythm ERD, while present for both languages, is significantly stronger for L1 words. This is the first neurophysiological evidence of rapid motor-cortex involvement during L2 action-semantic processing. Our results both strengthen embodied cognition evidence obtained previously in monolinguals and, at the same time, reveal important quantitative differences between L1 and L2 sensorimotor brain activity in language comprehension.
Increasing evidence suggests that neuronal communication is a defining property of functionally specialized brain networks and that it is implemented through synchronization between population activities of distinct brain areas. The detection of long-range coupling in electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) data using conventional metrics (such as coherence or phase-locking value) is by definition contaminated by spatial leakage. Methods such as imaginary coherence, phase-lag index or orthogonalized amplitude correlations tackle spatial leakage by ignoring zero-phase interactions. Although useful, these metrics will by construction lead to false negatives in cases where true zero-phase coupling exists in the data and will underestimate interactions with phase lags in the vicinity of zero. Yet, empirically observed neuronal synchrony in invasive recordings indicates that it is not uncommon to find zero or close-to-zero phase lag between the activity profiles of coupled neuronal assemblies. Here, we introduce a novel method that allows us to mitigate the undesired spatial leakage effects and detect zero and near zero phase interactions. To this end, we propose a projection operation that operates on sensor-space cross-spectrum and suppresses the spatial leakage contribution but retains the true zero-phase interaction component. We then solve the network estimation task as a source estimation problem defined in the product space of interacting source topographies. We show how this framework provides reliable interaction detection for all phase-lag values and we thus refer to the method as Phase Shift Invariant Imaging of Coherent Sources (PSIICOS). Realistic simulations demonstrate that PSIICOS has better detector characteristics than existing interaction metrics. Finally, we illustrate the performance of PSIICOS by applying it to real MEG dataset recorded during a standard mental rotation task. Taken together, using analytical derivations, data simulations and real brain data, this study presents a novel source-space MEG/EEG connectivity method that overcomes previous limitations and for the first time allows for the estimation of true zero-phase coupling via non-invasive electrophysiological recordings.
The collected papers contain articles by famous and young scientists on actual problems of philology (cognitive linguistics, lexical semantics, semiotics, pragmatics, text linguistics, stylistics; poetics, literary criticism; translation, intercultural communication). The issue also presents research on foreign language teaching methods. The edition is addressed to linguists, translators, teachers, postgraduates, students and a wide readership.
Reading utilises at least two neural pathways. The temporal lexical route visually maps whole words to their lexical entries, whilst the nonlexical route decodes words phonologically via parietal cortex. Readers typically employ the lexical route for familiar words, but poor comprehension plus precocity at mechanically 'sounding out' words suggests that differences might exist in autism. Combined MEG/EEG recordings of adults with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC) and controls while reading revealed preferential recruitment of temporal areas in controls and additional parietal recruitment in ASC. Furthermore, a lack of differences between semantic word categories was consistent with previous suggestion that people with ASC may lack a 'default' lexical-semantic processing mode. These results are discussed with reference to dual-route models of reading.
The paper continues research into words denoting everyday life objects in the Russian language. This research is conducted for developing a new encyclopedic thesaurus of Russian everyday life terminology. Working on this project brings up linguistic material which leads to discovering new trends and phenomena not covered by the existing dictionaries. We discuss derivation models which gain polularity: clipped forms (komp < komp’juter ‘computer’, nout < noutbuk ‘notebook computer’, vel < velosiped ‘bicycle’, mot<motocikl ‘motorbike’), competing masculine and feminine con- tracted nouns derived from adjectival noun phrases (mobil’nik (m.) / mo- bilka (f.) < mobil’nyj telefon (m.) ‘mobile phone’, zarjadnik (m.) / zarjadka (f.) < zarjadnoe ustrojstvo (n.) ‘AC charger’), hybrid compounds (plat’e- sviter ‘sweater dress’, jubka-brjuki ‘skirt pants’, shapkosharf ‘scarf hat’, vilkolozhka ‘spork, foon’). These words vary in spelling and syntactic behav- iour. We describe a newly formed series of words denoted multifunctional objects: mfushkaZ< MFU < mnogofunkcional’noe ustrojstvo ‘MFD, multi- function device’, mul’titul ‘multitool’, centr ‘unit, set’. Explaining the need to compose frequency lists of word meanings rather than just words, we of- fer a technique for gathering such lists and provide a sample produced from our own data. We also analyze existing dictionaries and perform various experiments to study the changes in word meanings and their comparative importance for speakers. We believe that, apart from the practical usage for our lexicographic project, our results might prove interesting for research in the evolution of the Russian lexical system.
The Abstract book contains the abstracts of the posters presentations of the participants of the Methodological school: Methods of data processing in EEg and MEG, Moscow, 16-30th of April, 2013. The School was devoted to the theoretical and practical aspects of the contemporary methods of the dynamic mapping of brain activity by analysis of multichannel MEG and EEG.
The Abstract book contains the abstracts of the posters presentations of the participants of the Methodological school: Methods of data processing in EEG and MEG, Moscow, 16-30th of April, 2013. The School was devoted to the theoretical and practical aspects of the contemporary methods of the dynamic mapping of brain activity by analysis of multichannel MEG and EEG.
The problem of non-invasive preoperative localization of motor areas in human cortex has not been solved yet. In clinical practice, localization of the hand representation in the primary motor cortex often becomes one of the main goals of the pre-surgical evaluation. In healthy subjects the area of the motor hand representation usually corresponds to certain standard anatomical landmarks (hand knob in the precentral gyrus), which can be easily found in sMRI images. Unfortunately, in patients with various brain lesions these landmarks may be absent or not corresponding to the area of the motor cortex. In such cases, location of irreplacable areas must be determined according to their functional and/or temporal dynamical characteristics.
It might become a promising method of localizing primary motor area by way of taking into account the characteristic properties of the primary motor cortex temporal dynamics during movement preparation.
Students' internet usage attracts the attention of many researchers in different countries. Differences in internet penetration in diverse countries lead us to ask about the interaction of medium and culture in this process. In this paper we present an analysis based on a sample of 825 students from 18 Russian universities and discuss findings on particularities of students' ICT usage. On the background of the findings of the study, based on data collected in 2008-2009 year during a project "A сross-cultural study of the new learning culture formation in Germany and Russia", we discuss the problem of plagiarism in Russia, the availability of ICT features in Russian universities and an evaluation of the attractiveness of different categories of ICT usage and gender specifics in the use of ICT.
The distractive effects on attentional task performance in different paradigms are analyzed in this paper. I demonstrate how distractors may negatively affect (interference effect), positively (redundancy effect) or neutrally (null effect). Distractor effects described in literature are classified in accordance with their hypothetical source. The general rule of the theory is also introduced. It contains the formal prediction of the particular distractor effect, based on entropy and redundancy measures from the mathematical theory of communication (Shannon, 1948). Single- vs dual-process frameworks are considered for hypothetical mechanisms which underpin the distractor effects. Distractor profiles (DPs) are also introduced for the formalization and simple visualization of experimental data concerning the distractor effects. Typical shapes of DPs and their interpretations are discussed with examples from three frequently cited experiments. Finally, the paper introduces hierarchical hypothesis that states the level-fashion modulating interrelations between distractor effects of different classes.
The results of cross-cultural research of implicit theories of innovativeness among students and teachers, representatives of three ethnocultural groups: Russians, the people of the North Caucasus (Chechens and Ingushs) and Tuvinians (N=804) are presented. Intergroup differences in implicit theories of innovativeness are revealed: the ‘individual’ theories of innovativeness prevail among Russians and among the students, the ‘social’ theories of innovativeness are more expressed among respondents from the North Caucasus, Tuva and among the teachers. Using the structural equations modeling the universal model of values impact on implicit theories of innovativeness and attitudes towards innovations is constructed. Values of the Openness to changes and individual theories of innovativeness promote the positive relation to innovations. Results of research have shown that implicit theories of innovativeness differ in different cultures, and values make different impact on the attitudes towards innovations and innovative experience in different cultures.