Blog Archives

Cue-dependent interference in comprehension

The role of interference as a primary determinant of forgetting in memory has long been accepted, however its role as a contributor to poor comprehension is just beginning to be understood. The current paper reports two studies, in which speed-accuracy tradeoff and eye-tracking methodologies were used with the same materials to provide converging evidence for the role of syntactic and semantic cues as mediators of both proactive (PI) and retroactive interference (RI) during comprehension. Consistent with previous work (e.g., Van Dyke & Lewis, 2003), we found that syntactic constraints at the retrieval site are among the cues that drive retrieval in comprehension, and that these constraints effectively limit interference from potential distractors with semantic/pragmatic properties in common with the target constituent. The data are discussed in terms of a cue-overload account, in which interference both arises from and is mediated through a direct-access retrieval mechanism that utilizes a linear, weighted cue-combinatoric scheme.

from the Journal of Memory and Language

Advertisements

Conflict resolution strategies in children with normal language development: cooperation or individualism?

CONCLUSION: At 7 and 8 years of age, children with normal language development frequently use unilateral and cooperative strategies to solve problems.

from Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

Effectiveness of a metaphonological and reading remediation program for students with learning difficulties

CONCLUSION: The findings evidence the effectiveness of the computerized metaphonological and reading remediation program developed for this study, since the students with learning difficulties submitted to the remediation program developed the metaphonological abilities required for reading development.

from Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

Morphology in language comprehension, production and acquisitio

This Special Issue on Morphological Processing is based on the sixth MOrphological PROcessing Conference (MOPROC), which was kept in June 2009 in Turku, Finland. The issue contains 13 articles by leading scholars in the field of morphological processing. These articles investigate the role morphemes play in language comprehension, production and acquisition. Specific questions relate to the time course with which morphemes come available, what factors facilitate their use, the role of orthographic and semantic transparency in complex word processing and how morphology should be incorporated in models of word processing. The papers in this issue provide a wealth of empirical results in several languages obtained with state-of-the-art experimental paradigms and will be an inspiration for further studies in morphological processing.

from Language and Cognitive Processes

Scalar reference, contrast and discourse: Separating effects of linguistic discourse from availability of the referent

Listeners expect that a definite noun phrase with a pre-nominal scalar adjective (e.g., the big …) will refer to an entity that is part of a set of objects contrasting on the scalar dimension, e.g., size (Sedivy, Tanenhaus, Chambers, & Carlson, 1999). Two visual world experiments demonstrate that uttering a referring expression with a scalar adjective makes all members of the relevant contrast set more salient in the discourse model, facilitating subsequent reference to other members of that contrast set. Moreover, this discourse effect is caused primarily by linguistic mention of a scalar adjective and not by the listener’s prior visual or perceptual experience. These experiments demonstrate that language processing is sensitive to which information was introduced by linguistic mention, and that the visual world paradigm can be use to tease apart the separate contributions of visual and linguistic information to reference resolution.

from the Journal of Memory and Language

Morphology in language comprehension, production and acquisition

This Special Issue on Morphological Processing is based on the sixth MOrphological PROcessing Conference (MOPROC), which was kept in June 2009 in Turku, Finland. The issue contains 13 articles by leading scholars in the field of morphological processing. These articles investigate the role morphemes play in language comprehension, production and acquisition. Specific questions relate to the time course with which morphemes come available, what factors facilitate their use, the role of orthographic and semantic transparency in complex word processing and how morphology should be incorporated in models of word processing. The papers in this issue provide a wealth of empirical results in several languages obtained with state-of-the-art experimental paradigms and will be an inspiration for further studies in morphological processing.

from Language and Cognitive Processes

Functional near-infrared spectroscopy for the assessment of speech related tasks

Over the past years functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) has substantially contributed to the understanding of language and its neural correlates. In contrast to other imaging techniques, fNIRS is well suited to study language function in healthy and psychiatric populations due to its cheap and easy application in a quiet and natural measurement setting. Its relative insensitivity for motion artifacts allows the use of overt speech tasks and the investigation of verbal conversation. The present review focuses on the numerous contributions of fNIRS to the field of language, its development, and related psychiatric disorders but also on its limitations and chances for the future.

from Brain and Language

Fluency parameters and types of errors in the reading of students with signs of reading and writing difficulties

CONCLUSION: The students with signs of reading and writing difficulties had worse reading fluency performance, and higher number of errors in all the grades studied. The correlations found evidenced the influence of the type of error on reading fluency, according to different patterns for each group.

from Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

Unification of sentence processing via ear and eye: An fMRI study

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

from Cortex

Investigation of self-monitoring in fluent aphasia with jargon

Conclusions: Overall, all five participants with jargon demonstrated severely impaired speech monitoring under both listening conditions across all three production tasks, suggesting that the role of speech-monitoring impairment in jargon cannot be disregarded. The increase in amount of jargon and severity of speech-monitoring failure with increased linguistic demands of the production task (as in picture naming and non-word repetition) raises the possibility of a post-semantic deficit in accessing phonological codes. This possible locus of deficit, and implications for understanding production of jargon, are discussed.

from Aphasiology

Understanding of auditory discourse in older adults: The effects of syntax and working memory

Conclusions: Older adults may be less efficient in forming syntactically complex representations and this may be influenced by limitations in working memory.

from Aphasiology

Movie subtitles reading skills of elementary school children*

BACKGROUND: the abilities of school children for reading static texts have been widely discussed, however little is known about how well they can read dynamic texts and what skills are required for this kind of reading.
AIM: to evaluate the skills involved in reading movie subtitles of 2nd and 4th graders of students at the a public school.
METHOD: analysis of the level and skills needed for movie subtitles reading, through the retelling of a section of a movie watched individually by 60 students, 30 2nd graders and 30 4th graders matched for age and gender, with no sound and with subtitles.
RESULTS: there were no significant differences in the level of school literacy between students of the different school grades. Considering the skills and the subtitles reading level, 4th graders presented a significant better performance when compared to the 2nd graders. Fourth graders presented skills related to the levels of literal comprehension and independent comprehension, whereas 2nd graders where mostly at the decoding level.
CONCLUSION: 2nd graders are at the textual decoding level of movie subtitles, while 4th graders are at the literal comprehension level of movie subtitles. This indicates that schooling has an influence on the reading of movie subtitles. However, the school literacy literacy was not a significant factor for movie subtitles reading.

from Pró-Fono Revista de Atualização Científica

Comprehension of Inferences in Discourse Processing by Adolescents With and Without Language Impairment

Conclusions: Understanding implicit information, particularly when linking distant information, is difficult for adolescents who are deficient in language comprehension, verbal working memory skills, and/or general world knowledge.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

Synthesized Speech Output and Children: A Scoping Review

Conclusions: Overall, there is a paucity of research investigating synthesized speech for use with children. Available evidence suggests that children produce similar trends but lower levels of intelligibility performance when compared with adults. Future areas of applied research are required to adequately define this relationship and the variables that may contribute to improving the intelligibility and comprehension of synthesized speech for children.

from American Journal of Speech Language Pathology

Relationship between comprehension levels and reading strategies used in a therapeutic program by deaf individuals who communicate through sign language

CONCLUSION: The intervention program based on scaffolding technique, enabled deaf students who communicate through sign language to use more elaboration strategies and less monitoring strategies. Therefore, there was a tendency to change from decoding level to literal reading comprehension level.

from Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia