Browsing by Subject "Phonological processing"

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  • Tamminen, Henna; Kujala, Teija; Näätänen, Risto; Peltola, Maija S. (2021)
    Cognitive decline is evident in the elderly and it affects speech perception and foreign language learning. A listen-and-repeat training with a challenging speech sound contrast was earlier found to be effective in young monolingual adults and even in advanced L2 university students at the attentive and pre-attentive levels. This study investigates foreign language speech perception in the elderly with the same protocol used with the young adults. Training effects were measured with attentive behavioural measures (N = 9) and with electroencephalography measuring the pre-attentive mismatch negativity (MMN) response (N = 10). Training was effective in identification, but not in discrimination and there were no changes in the MMN. The most attention demanding perceptual functions which benefit from experience-based linguistic knowledge were facilitated through training, whereas pre-attentive processing was unaffected. The elderly would probably benefit from different training types compared to younger adults.
  • Holopainen, Leena; Kofler, Doris; Koch, Arno; Hakkarainen, Airi; Bauer, Kristin; Taverna, Livia (2020)
    The aim of this study was to use path modelling to establish how rapid automatized naming (RAN), verbal short-term memory (VSTM), letter-sound connection (LSC), phoneme blending (PHB), and Raven tasks predict reading in Finnish and German. Students (N = 769) from Finland, Germany, and Italy (German-speaking children from South Tyrol) were followed from first grade until the end of second grade. Firstly, in all countries, LSC was found to be the strongest predictor for reading in first grade. Secondly, Finnish students' word-reading skills were better than those of German and Italian students throughout the follow-up period, but word-reading level in first grade predicted word-reading level after one year only for Italian and German students. Thirdly, rapid automatized naming (RAN) and verbal short-term memory (VSTM) predicted reading skills in each orthography and country with a different power and at different phases, implying that the educational system also has a role in predicting reading skills.
  • Sihvonen, Aleksi J.; Virtala, Paula; Thiede, Anja; Laasonen, Marja; Kujala, Teija (2021)
    Current views on the neural network subserving reading and its deficits in dyslexia rely largely on evidence derived from functional neuroimaging studies. However, understanding the structural organization of reading and its aberrations in dyslexia requires a hodological approach, studies of which have not provided consistent findings. Here, we adopted a whole brain hodological approach and investigated relationships between structural white matter connectivity and reading skills and phonological processing in a cross-sectional study of 44 adults using individual local connectome matrix from diffusion MRI data. Moreover, we performed quantitative anisotropy aided differential tractography to uncover structural white matter anomalies in dyslexia (23 dyslexics and 21 matched controls) and their correlation to reading-related skills. The connectometry analyses indicated that reading skills and phonological processing were both associated with corpus callosum (tapetum), forceps major and minor, as well as cerebellum bilaterally. Furthermore, the left dorsal and right thalamic pathways were associated with phonological processing. Differential tractography analyses revealed structural white matter anomalies in dyslexics in the left ventral route and bilaterally in the dorsal route compared to the controls. Connectivity deficits were also observed in the corpus callosum, forceps major, vertical occipital fasciculus and corticostriatal and thalamic pathways. Altered structural connectivity in the observed differential tractography results correlated with poor reading skills and phonological processing. Using a hodological approach, the current study provides novel evidence for the extent of the reading-related connectome and its aberrations in dyslexia. The results conform current functional neuroanatomical models of reading and developmental dyslexia but provide novel network-level and tract-level evidence on structural connectivity anomalies in dyslexia, including the vertical occipital fasciculus.