Session Detail


Talk Session 2-2: Language Processing

Sep. 2, 2017 13:00 PM - 14:30 PM

Room: Alexander Room
Session chair: Chin Lung Yang
Age of Language Acquisition Influences the Cortical Language Organization in Multilingual patients Undergoing Awake Brain Mapping

Presentation Number:212.01Time:13:00 - 13:15Abstract Number:0075
Viktoria Havas
1Language Acquisition and Language Processing Lab, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
2University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Objectives. Most knowledge regarding the anatomical organization of multilingualism is based on aphasiology and functional imaging studies. However, the results have still to be validated by the gold standard approach, namely electrical stimulation mapping (ESM) during awake neurosurgical procedures. In this ESM study we describe language representation in a highly specific group of 13 multilinguals, focusing on how age of acquisition may influence the cortical organization of language. Methods. Thirteen highly proficient multilingual patients harboring lesions within the dominant, left hemisphere underwent ESM while being operated on under awake conditions. Demographic and language data were recorded in relation to age of acquisition (native language/early/late acquired languages), neuropsychological pre/postoperative language tests, number and location of language sites, and overlapping distribution in terms of language acquisition time. Analysis included lesion growth pattern/histopathology, location, and size. Results The functional language-related sites were distributed in the frontal (55%), temporal (29%), and parietal lobes (16%). Of these sites, 38% were located outside the areas predicted by classical models. The total number of native language sites was 47. Early acquired languages (including native) were represented in 97 sites (55 overlapped) and late acquired languages in 70 sites (45 overlapped). The overlapping distribution was 20% for early-early, 71% for early-late, and 9% for late-late acquired languages. Average lesion size was 3.3 cm, comprising five fast and seven slow growing lesions. Conclusions. Cortical language distribution in multilingual patients is not homogeneous, and it is influenced by age of acquisition. Early acquired languages are represented across a larger anatomical region than are those acquired later. The prevalent early acquired languages are largely represented within classical areas. Late acquired languages are less represented and mostly overlapped with the former. A large percentage of cortical, functional language sites are located away from the theoretical anatomical location and are not overlapped.

Bilingual Proficiency in Text Comprehension Processes: Electrophysiological Evidence From Reading English as a Second Language Bilinguals

Presentation Number:212.03Time:13:15 - 13:30Abstract Number:0081
Chin Lung Yang1, Charles A Perfetti2
1Linguistic and Modern Languages, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Psycholinguistic studies that examine the effect of bilingual proficiency have largely focused on the lexical, semantic and syntactic processing whereas those at the text level have received relatively little attention). We conducted an event-related potentials (EPRs) study to examine the proficiency effect on the bilingual processing of text comprehension. Four-eight English as the second language learners (L2/ESL: high vs. low proficiency, 24 each), read two-sentences passages in English where the “referent-matching” relation of the target word (“The explosion..”), to the text matches with the three levels of text representation[1]: A surface-level match as in “…exploded... The explosion…”; a textbase match as in “…blew up... The explosion…”; and a situation-model match as in “…bomb…dropped. The explosion…”. Additionally, a non-sensible baseline “…bomb was stored safely… The explosion…” was used to compare the ease of integration processing among conditions. We analyzed the N400 (250-500ms post-target onset) and late positivity component (LPC, 500-700ms) to assess the proficiency effect on the semantic integration [2] and the mental-model construction processes [3,4] respectively. The results indicate robust proficiency effect when processing textbase match: the amplitude of both N400 and LPC was reduced for high-proficient L2/ESL while enhanced for low-proficient L2/ESL. No reliable proficiency effect was observed when integrating the target word with the text relied on a surface-match and a demanding conceptual processing (i.e., inference-drawing when processing the situation match): both groups showed reduced N400 while enhanced LPC effect. The results, overall, underline the importance of the L2 semantic/conceptual processing in modulating the ease of both meaning integration and mental-model construction processes during L2 text comprehension; and also suggest the high resource constraints in bilinguals’ mental-model construction processes due to their non-native lexico-semantic processing (as compared to monolinguals [3,5]). References: [1] Kintsch (1998), CambUnivPress; [2] Kutas&Hillyard (1980), Science; [3] Burkhardt (2007), NeuroReport; [4] Brouwer et al. (2012), BrainResearch; [5] Yang et al. (2007), JEP: LMC.

Explanation Type Preference of Action Verb; Social Relations of Arguments

Presentation Number:212.04Time:13:30 - 13:45Abstract Number:0030
Kwanghyeon Yoo1, Kyung Soo Do1
Psychology, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea,

It has been proposed that the domain of the explanandum (e.g., artifact, animate being) which is specified by the subject of sentence, is the main factor that determines which type of explanation people prefer, mechanistic or teleological. In our previous study (Yoo & Do, 2016), we proposed that the predicate of sentence, i.e., verb type, which describes explanandum’s action or state, have greater effect on people’s explanation type preference. To examine our hypothesis, we asked participants to generate an explanation after they read a sentence describing either the action of an actor/artifact or the state of an actor/artifact. The domain of the objects to be explained and the properties to be explained (verb type) were factorially combined. Most of the explanations generated for the state verbs were mechanistic explanations, whereas the two types of explanation were about equally generated for the action verbs. The effect of the domain was not significant. However, the social relations of arguments were not controlled in the previous study. Through reanalysis of our 2016 data, we found the possibility that social relations of arguments in the sentence with action verb can yield different patterns of explanation type preference. In the current research, we will propose a new hypothesis that can explain how the social relations of arguments work as the factor which modulates the explanation type preference of action verb.

Grapheme-color Synesthesia in Chinese Characters: What Determines the Similarity in Synesthetic Color?

Presentation Number:212.05Time:13:45 - 14:00Abstract Number:0173
Huan-Wei Lin1, Su-Ling Yeh1,2,3
1Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
2Graduate Institute of Brain and Mind sciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
3Neurobiology and Cognitive Science Center, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

Grapheme-color synesthetes perceive unusual color perception when seeing colorless letters or digits. Previous studies of grapheme-color synesthesia used mostly alphabetic languages, and found certain rule-based linguistic mechanisms related to the perceived synesthetic color. However, whether similar mechanisms exist in logographic languages such as Chinese remain largely unknown. We examined whether meaning and shared radical of Chinese characters influence color mapping of Taiwanese grapheme-color synesthetes. Seven synesthetes with grapheme-color synesthesia of Chinese characters passed the synesthesia consistency test and were included in this study. Three sets of Chinese characters were used to clarify the role of meaning and radical on the color perception of Chinese grapheme-color synesthesia. The first set contained binding words (e.g., "蝴蝶 butterfly”, the two characters always appear together), and characters in these binding words tended to have similar colors in all synesthetes. Because the two characters of binding words usually have the same meaning and share common radicals, we further tested the color perception of the synesthetes using the second character sets in which their semantic relationships were defined by semantic association (strong, weak) or categorical relatedness (high, low). However, no clear mapping of semantic and perceived color was found across synesthetes. We then used the third sets of characters, including characters pairs that shared same radicals but with either a transparent or opaque radical in terms of conveying the meaning to the whole character. We found that hue difference was smaller when the two characters had same radicals and the radicals were both transparent, compared to when one character had a transparent radical and the other had an opaque radical. Taken together, our results indicated that both meaning and radical in Chinese characters affect the perceived color of Taiwanese grapheme color synethetes.

The Brainnetome Atlas of Language

Presentation Number:212.06Time:14:00 - 14:15Abstract Number:0012
Lingzhong Fan1,2, Jiaojian Wang3, Tianzi Jiang1,2,3,4,5
1Brainnetome Center, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
2National Laboratory of Pattern Recognition, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
3School of Life Science and Technology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, China
4CAS Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
5The Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

The human brain atlas plays a central role in neuroscience and clinical practice, and is a prerequisite for studying brain networks and cognitive functions at the macroscale. Using non-invasive multimodal neuroimaging techniques, we have designed a connectivity-based parcellation framework to build the human Brainnetome Atlas, which identifies the subdivisions of the entire human brain, revealing the in vivo connectivity profiles. This new brain atlas has the following four features: (A) It establishes a fine-grained brain parcellation scheme for 210 cortical and 36 subcortical regions with a coherent pattern of anatomical connections; (B) It supplies a detailed map of anatomical and functional connections; (C) it decodes brain functions using a meta-analytical approach; and (D) It will be an open resource for researchers to use for the analysis of whole brain parcellations, connections, and functions. The human Brainnetome Atlas could constitute a major breakthrough in the study of human brain atlas and provides the basis for new lines of inquiry about the brain organization and functions. It could be regarded as a start point, which will enable the generation of future brain atlases that are more finely, defined and that will advance from single anatomical descriptions to an integrated atlas that includes structure, function, and connectivity, along with other potential sources of information. Therefore, with human Brainnetome atlas, we could get some entirely new knowledge on how the brain works. Firstly, we defined a convergent posterior anatomical border for Wernicke’s area and indicated that the brain’s functional subregions can be identified on the basis of its specific structural and functional connectivity patterns. Secondly, we revealed a detailed parcellation of Broca’s region on the basis of heterogeneity in intrinsic brain activity, and investigated cross-cultural consistency and diversity in intrinsic functional organization of Broca’s Region.