Browsing by Subject "puheen prosessointi"

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  • Ylinen, Artturi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The present study uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the neural basis of naturalistic audiovisual speech processing. The study focuses on how performing different speech-related tasks affects the neural activation observed in the brain. The neural basis of speech processing has been studied for long, but previous experiments have mainly employed paradigms with simple stimuli, such as single phonemes, syllables, and words, and unnatural tasks, such as discrimination and memory tasks. Moreover, current models of speech processing are mainly based on studies using auditory-only stimuli. In natural situations, however, the aim of speech processing is to understand the meaning of what is being said, speech is most often audiovisual, it is often selectively attended to, and the signal-to-noise ratio of the speech signal varies (due to, for example, background noise). The present study aims to study speech processing in a more naturalistic setting that takes into account the above-mentioned factors. Moreover, it compares a situation where speech is processed naturalistically to a situation where speech is processed sub-lexically, as is often done in studies of speech processing. The participants of the present study were 19 healthy adults. They were presented with audiovisual dialogues where two people discuss everyday matters. In the background of the videos, the voice of a third speaker was always present so that the participants had to selectively attend to the dialogues. The auditory and visual qualities of the dialogues were modulated on two different levels. The participants performed three different tasks: 1) A semantic task, during which the participants focused on the semantic content of the dialogues. 2) A phonological task, during which the participants focused on the phonological structure of the speech. 3) A visual task, during which the participants ignored the dialogues and focused on a fixation cross. Task-dependent effects in the neural activation were found in multiple regions of the brain. Selective attention to speech was found to activate regions in the temporal lobes and the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG), a result consistent with earlier research. The semantic task was found to activate areas associated with semantic and socio-cognitive processing more than either of the other tasks, while the phonological task activated the posterior portion of the LIFG as well as the ventral portion of the left premotor cortex. Interactions between the effects of task and audiovisual quality were also found in many brain areas. These results show that task-dependent effects in speech processing can be seen in widespread regions of the brain, and that audiovisual quality can modulate activation differentially during different tasks. These findings highlight the importance of using naturalistic stimuli and tasks in studies of speech processing.