Past tense in the brain’s time: neurophysiological evidence for dual-route processing of past-tense verbs
A controversial issue in neuro- and psycholinguistics is whether regular past-tense forms of verbs are stored lexically or generated productively by the application of abstract combinatorial schemas, for example affixation rules. The success or failure of models in accounting for this particular issue can be used to draw more general conclusions about cognition and the degree to which abstract, symbolic representations and rules are psychologically and neurobiologically real. This debate can potentially be resolved using a neurophysiological paradigm, in which alternative predictions of the brain response patterns for lexical and syntactic processing are put to the test. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to record neural responses to spoken monomorphemic words ('hide'), pseudowords ('smide'), regular past-tense forms ('cried') and ungrammatical (overregularised) past-tense forms ('flied') in a passive listening oddball paradigm, in which lexically and syntactically modulated stimuli are known to elicit distinct patterns of the mismatch negativity (MMN) brain response. We observed an enhanced ('lexical') MMN to monomorphemic words relative to pseudowords, but a reversed ('syntactic') MMN to ungrammatically inflected past tenses relative to grammatical forms. This dissociation between responses to monomorphemic and bimorphemic stimuli indicates that regular past tenses are processed more similarly to syntactic sequences than to lexically stored monomorphemic words, suggesting that regular past tenses are generated productively by the application of a combinatorial scheme to their separately represented stems and affixes. We suggest discrete combinatorial neuronal assemblies, which bind classes of sequentially occurring lexical elements into morphologically complex units, as the neurobiological basis of regular past tense inflection.
Aims and Scope
Earlier empirical studies on valency have looked at the phenomenon either in individual languages or a small range of languages, or have concerned themselves with only small subparts of valency (e.g. transitivity, ditransitive constructions), leaving a lacuna that the present volume aims to fill by considering a wide range of valency phenomena across 30 languages from different parts of the world. The individual-language studies, each written by a specialist or group of specialists on that language and covering both valency patterns and valency alternations, are based on a questionnaire (reproduced in the volume) and an on-line freely accessible database, thus guaranteeing comparability of cross-linguistic results. In addition, introductory chapters provide the background to the project and discuss its main characteristics and selected results, while a series of featured articles by leading scholars who helped shape the field provide an outside perspective on the volume’s approach. The volume is essential reading for anyone interested in valency and argument structure, irrespective of theoretical persuasion, and will serve as a model for future descriptive studies of valency in individual languages.
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.
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 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.
Although cerebral palsy (CP) is among the most common causes of physical disability in early childhood, we know little about the functional and structural changes of this disorder in the developing brain. Here,we investigated with three different neuroimaging modalities [magnetoencephalography (MEG), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and resting-state fMRI] whether spastic CP is associated with functional and anatomical abnormalities in the sensorimotor network. Ten children participated in the study: four with diplegic CP (DCP), three with hemiplegic CP (HCP), and three typically developing (TD) children. Somatosensory (SS)-evoked fields (SEFs) were recorded in response to pneumatic stimuli applied to digits D1, D3, and D5 of both hands. Several parameters of water diffusion were calculated from DTI between the thalamus and the pre-central and post-central gyri in both hemispheres. The sensorimotor resting-state networks (RSNs) were examined by using an independent component analysis method. Tactile stimulation of the fingers elicited the first prominent cortical response at ~50 ms, in all except one child, localized over the primary SS cortex (S1). In five CP children, abnormal somatotopic organization was observed in the affected (or more affected) hemisphere. Euclidean distances were markedly different between the two hemispheres in the HCP children, and between DCP and TD children for both hemispheres. DTI analysis revealed decreased fractional anisotropy and increased apparent diffusion coefficient for the thalamocortical pathways in the more affected compared to less affected hemisphere in CP children. Resting-state functional MRI results indicated absent and/or abnormal sensorimotor RSNs for children with HCP and DCP consistent with the severity and location of their lesions. Our findings suggest an abnormal SS processing mechanism in the sensorimotor network of children with CP possibly as a result of diminished thalamocortical projections.
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.