Better Phonological Short-Term Memory Is Linked to Improved Cortical Memory Representations for Word Forms and Better Word Learning

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Ylinen , S , Nora , A & Service , E 2020 , ' Better Phonological Short-Term Memory Is Linked to Improved Cortical Memory Representations for Word Forms and Better Word Learning ' , Frontiers in Human Neuroscience , vol. 14 , 209 . https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2020.00209

Title: Better Phonological Short-Term Memory Is Linked to Improved Cortical Memory Representations for Word Forms and Better Word Learning
Author: Ylinen, Sari; Nora, Anni; Service, Elisabet
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Education
University of Helsinki, McMaster University
Date: 2020-06-05
Language: eng
Number of pages: 12
Belongs to series: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
ISSN: 1662-5161
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/316967
Abstract: Language learning relies on both short-term and long-term memory. Phonological short-term memory (pSTM) is thought to play an important role in the learning of novel word forms. However, language learners may differ in their ability to maintain word representations in pSTM during interfering auditory input. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate how pSTM capacity in better and poorer pSTM groups is linked to language learning and the maintenance of pseudowords in pSTM. In particular, MEG was recorded while participants maintained pseudowords in pSTM by covert speech rehearsal, and while these brain representations were probed by presenting auditory pseudowords with first or third syllables matching or mismatching the rehearsed item. A control condition included identical stimuli but no rehearsal. Differences in response strength between matching and mismatching syllables were interpreted as the phonological mapping negativity (PMN). While PMN for the first syllable was found in both groups, it was observed for the third syllable only in the group with better pSTM. This suggests that individuals with better pSTM maintained representations of trisyllabic pseudowords more accurately during interference than individuals with poorer pSTM. Importantly, the group with better pSTM learned words faster in a paired-associate word learning task, linking the PMN findings to language learning.
Subject: 6162 Cognitive science
515 Psychology
magnetoencephalography
phonological short-term memory
language learning
paired-associate word learning
phonological mapping negativity
WORKING-MEMORY
AUDITORY-CORTEX
SPEECH PRODUCTION
REHEARSAL
LOOP
ORGANIZATION
RECOGNITION
ACTIVATION
REPETITION
RESPONSES
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