Browsing by Subject "BRAIN POTENTIALS"

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  • Kimppa, Lilli; Shtyrov, Yury; Hut, Suzanne C. A.; Hedlund, Laura; Leminen, Miika; Leminen, Alina (2019)
    Learning a new language requires the acquisition of morphological units that enable the fluent use of words in different grammatical contexts. While accumulating research has elucidated the neural processing of native morphology, much less is known about how second-language (L2) learners acquire and process morphology in their L2. To address this question, we presented native speakers as well as beginning and advanced learners of Finnish with spoken (1) derived words, (2) inflected words, (3) novel derivations (novel combinations of existing stem + suffix), and (4) pseudo-suffixed words (existing stem + pseudo-suffix) in a passive listening EEG experiment. An early (60 msec after suffix deviation point) positive ERP response showed no difference between inflections and derivations, suggesting similar early parsing of these complex words. At 130 msec, derivations elicited a lexical ERP pattern of full-form memory-trace activation, present in the L2 beginners and advanced speakers to different degrees, implying a shift from lexical processing to more dual parsing and lexical activation of the complex forms with increasing proficiency. Pseudo-suffixed words produced a syntactic pattern in a later, 170 240 msec time-window, exhibiting enhanced ERPs compared to well-formed inflections, indicating second-pass syntactic parsing. Overall, the L2 learners demonstrated a gradual effect of proficiency towards L1-like responses. Advanced L2 learners seem to have developed memory traces for derivations and their neurolinguistic system is capable of early automatic parsing. This suggests that advanced learners have already developed sensitivity to morphological information, while such knowledge is weak in beginners. Discrepancies in ERP dynamics and topographies indicate partially differing recruitment of the language network in L1 and L2. In beginners, response differences between existing and novel morphology were scarce, implying that representations for complex forms are not yet well-established. The results suggest successful development of brain mechanisms for automatic processing of L2 morphology, capable of gradually attaining L1-like functionality with increasing proficiency. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Price, D.; Tyler, L. K.; Henriques, R. Neto; Campbell, K. L.; Williams, N.; Treder, M. S.; Taylor, J. R.; Henson, R. N. A.; Cam-CAN (2017)
    Slowing is a common feature of ageing, yet a direct relationship between neural slowing and brain atrophy is yet to be established in healthy humans. We combine magnetoencephalo-graphic (MEG) measures of neural processing speed with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures of white and grey matter in a large population-derived cohort to investigate the relationship between age-related structural differences and visual evoked field (VEF) and auditory evoked field (AEF) delay across two different tasks. Here we use a novel technique to show that VEFs exhibit a constant delay, whereas AEFs exhibit delay that accumulates over time. White-matter (WM) microstructure in the optic radiation partially mediates visual delay, suggesting increased transmission time, whereas grey matter (GM) in auditory cortex partially mediates auditory delay, suggesting less efficient local processing. Our results demonstrate that age has dissociable effects on neural processing speed, and that these effects relate to different types of brain atrophy.
  • Rämä, Pia; Leminen, Alina; Koskenoja-Vainikka, Satu; Leminen, Miika; Alho, Kimmo; Kujala, Teija (2018)
    Dual language experience has typically been shown to improve various executive control functions. We investigated with event-related brain potentials (ERPs) recorded from early (natively) bilingual speakers and control participants whether it also affects auditory selective attention. We delivered to our participants two tone streams, one to the left and one to the right ear. Both streams consisted of standard tones and two types of infrequent deviant tones which had either an enhanced duration or intensity. The participants were instructed to attend either to the right or left stream and to detect longer-duration deviants in the attended stream. The results showed that the early bilinguals did not outperform the controls in target detection accuracy or speed. However, the late portion of the attention-related ERP modulation (the negative difference, Nd) was larger over the left hemisphere in the early bilinguals than in the controls, suggesting that the maintenance of selective attention or further processing of selectively attended sounds is enhanced in the bilinguals. Moreover, the late reorienting negativity (RON) in response to intensity-deviant tones was larger in the bilinguals, suggesting more efficient disengagement of attention from distracting auditory events. Hence, our results demonstrate that brain responses associated with certain aspects of auditory attention are enhanced in the bilingual adults, indicating that early dual language exposure modulates the neuronal responsiveness of auditory modality.
  • Bosch, Sina; Leminen, Alina (2018)
    The aim of this review is to provide a selective overview of priming studies which have employed the event-related brain potential (ERP) technique in order to investigate bilingual language processing. The priming technique can reveal an implicit memory effect in which exposure to one stimulus influences the processing of another stimulus. Behavioral approaches, such as measuring reaction times, may not always be enough for providing a full view on the exact mechanisms and the time-course of language comprehension. Instead, ERPs have a time-resolution of a millisecond and hence they offer a precise temporal overview of the underlying neural processes involved in language processing. In our review, we summarize experimental research that has combined priming with ERP measurements, thus creating a valuable tool for examining the neurophysiological correlates of language processing in the bilingual brain.
  • Bosseler, Alexis N.; Teinonen, Tuomas; Tervaniemi, Mari; Huotilainen, Minna (2016)
    Statistical learning and the social contexts of language addressed to infants are hypothesized to play important roles in early language development. Previous behavioral work has found that the exaggerated prosodic contours of infant-directed speech (IDS) facilitate statistical learning in 8-month-old infants. Here we examined the neural processes involved in on-line statistical learning and investigated whether the use of IDS facilitates statistical learning in sleeping newborns. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while newborns were exposed to 12 pseudo-words, six spoken with exaggerated pitch contours of IDS and six spoken without exaggerated pitch contours (ADS) in ten alternating blocks. We examined whether ERP amplitudes for syllable position within a pseudo-word (word-initial vs. word-medial vs. word-final, indicating statistical word learning) and speech register (ADS vs. IDS) would interact. The ADS and IDS registers elicited similar ERP patterns for syllable position in an early 0-100 ms component but elicited different ERP effects in both the polarity and topographical distribution at 200-400 ms and 450-650 ms. These results provide the first evidence that the exaggerated pitch contours of IDS result in differences in brain activity linked to on-line statistical learning in sleeping newborns.
  • Haapala, Sini; Niemitalo-Haapola, Elina; Raappana, Antti; Kujala, Tiia; Suominen, Kalervo; Jansson-Verkasalo, Eira; Kujala, Teija (2016)
    Background: A large group of young children are exposed to repetitive middle ear infections but the effects of the fluctuating hearing sensations on immature central auditory system are not fully understood. The present study investigated the consequences of early childhood recurrent acute otitis media (RAOM) on involuntary auditory attention switching. Methods: By utilizing auditory event-related potentials, neural mechanisms of involuntary attention were studied in 22-26 month-old children (N = 18) who had had an early childhood RAOM and healthy controls (N = 19). The earlier and later phase of the P3a (eP3a and lP3a) and the late negativity (LN) were measured for embedded novel sounds in the passive multi-feature paradigm with repeating standard and deviant syllable stimuli. The children with RAOM had tympanostomy tubes inserted and all the children in both study groups had to have clinically healthy ears at the time of the measurement assessed by an otolaryngologist. Results: The results showed that lP3a amplitude diminished less from frontal to central and parietal areas in the children with RAOM than the controls. This might reflect an immature control of involuntary attention switch. Furthermore, the LN latency was longer in children with RAOM than in the controls, which suggests delayed reorientation of attention in RAOM. Conclusions: The lP3a and LN responses are affected in toddlers who have had a RAOM even when their ears are healthy. This suggests detrimental long-term effects of RAOM on the neural mechanisms of involuntary attention.
  • Tervaniemi, Mari; Huotilainen, Minna; Brattico, Elvira (2014)
  • Putkinen, Vesa; Tervaniemi, Mari; Huotilainen, Minna (2019)
    The influence of musical experience on brain development has been mostly studied in school-aged children with formal musical training while little is known about the possible effects of less formal musical activities typical for preschool-aged children (e.g., before the age of seven). In the current study, we investigated whether the amount of musical group activities is reflected in the maturation of neural sound discrimination from toddler to preschool-age. Specifically, we recorded event-related potentials longitudinally (84 recordings from 33 children) in a mismatch negativity (MMN) paradigm to different musically relevant sound changes at ages 2-3, 4-5 and 6-7 years from children who attended a musical playschool throughout the follow-up period and children with shorter attendance to the same playschool. In the first group, we found a gradual positive to negative shift in the polarities of the mismatch responses while the latter group showed little evidence of age-related changes in neural sound discrimination. The current study indicates that the maturation of sound encoding indexed by the MMN may be more protracted than once thought and provides first longitudinal evidence that even quite informal musical group activities facilitate the development of neural sound discrimination during early childhood.
  • Virtala, P.; Huotilainen, M.; Partanen, E.; Tervaniemi, Mari (2014)