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Lecture 13

lecture 13.doc

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Biology (Sci)
Course Code
BIOL 469
Rex Brynen

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Speech and ComprehensionPsycholinguisticsbranch of psychology devoted to study verbal behaviour Speech is social it is learned and used in interaction with othersWe extract words from a stream of speechOur auditory systems recognize patterns underlying speechBelin Zatorre and Ahadused fMRI scans to find that some regions of the brain responded more to human vocalizations rather than just other natural soundsLeft hemisphere showed larger contrast and thus it plays a larger role in analyzing speechPhonemeselements smallest units of speechEgpin is three phonemes pinoVoiceonset timea way in which we discriminate among phonemes It is the delay between the initial consonant sound and vibrating vocal chords voicingEgthere is a delay in voicing for pa compared to ba although the initial sound made with the mouth is the sameoPhonemic discriminations initially occur in both hemispheresSome areas of the brain in the left hemisphere respond solely to intelligible speech even if it is highly distortedoOur ability to recognize highly distorted speech supports that our perception of a phoneme is affected by the sounds that follow it GanongWe recognize speech sounds in larger chunks such as syllablesSanders Newport and Nevilleplayed a continuous string of nonsense syllables to listenersChunks of this stream were given to participants to study as wordsWhen the string was played once again the N100 response electrical signal that occurs when a word is first recognized showed upContext affects word perception through topdown processingSyntaxgrammarall languages follow certain principles called syntactical rulesgrammatical rules for combining words to form phrases clauses and sentencesoSyntax is learned implicitly and is automatic Involves different brain mechanisms than learning word meaningsoSyntactical clues are designed byWord ordertell us who does what do whom in English for example A Xs the BA does something to BWord classgrammatical categories such as noun and verb Function wordsadds little meaning but conveys important information about the sentences structure such as prepositions and articlesWhen they are omitted we can often guess at function wordsContent wordsexpress meaning such as nouns and verbsContent words express meaning and function words express the relationships between the content wordsAffixesSounds we add to beginning prefix or ends suffix of wordsAdding affixes to nonsense words make them seems more like sentences EpsteinSemanticsthe meaning represented by words Prosodyusing changes in intonation and emphasis to convey meaning in speechImportant for emotionIn writing syntactical clues and interfere with prosody producing brain activity similar to that of unexpected experiencesSyntax is necessary but not sufficient for semanticsThings can make syntactical sense but we may not extract meaning from itLikewise semantics requires syntax for the entire picture We remember what is meant in sentences but quickly forget their form Chomsky linguist suggested a modeloDeep structure is the essential meanings of a sentenceIt is converted to speech by adding surface structure grammatical featuresoThis model is not generally accepted by psychologistsAphasialoss of language recognition or comprehension or bothoConduction aphasiadifficulty repeating words and phrases but they are comprehendedRetain deep structure but not surface structurePragmatics is knowledge of the worldUsed in conversations and is involved in speech comprehensionScriptscharacteristics of typical situations that assist in comprehending a verbal discourseA conversation can bring up certain scripts in the listener so the speaker can convey information without all the gritty detailsAreas important for speechoBrocas areamotor association cortex in left frontal lobe Speech production occurs hereSign language users also show activity in this area meaning it is for more than just speech productionDamage here extending to underlying white matter causes Brocas aphasia which involves severe difficulty articulating words especially function wordsAgrammatisminability to properly use or comprehend function words and grammatical featuresComprehension of word order for example is affected in Brocas aphasiaDeficit in comprehension parallels their deficit in production grammatical and syntactical lossWernicke suggested that Brocas area contains memories of sequences of muscle movements needed to articulate words Brocas area is located just in front of the primary motor cortex oWernickes areaupper part of the left temporal lobe involved in the recognition of speech
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