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Steve Joordens

OTES: CHAPTER 10 – LANGUAGE SPEECH AND COMPREHENSION Perception of Speech Recognition of Speech Sounds Recognizing audible sounds is recognizing the patterns underlying speech not just the sounds Using fMRI, found some regions of brain responded more when hearing human vocalization than only natural sounds When analyzing detailed information of speech, left hemisphere plays bigger role Analysis of speech begins with phonemes: minimum unit of sound that conveys meaning Voice onset time: delay between initial sound of a consonant and the onset of vibration of the vocal cords Is one distinction of phonemes we can detect, allows for us to distinguish between p and b Delay between p and ah in pa is 0.06seconds Ganong – perception of phoneme affected by what follow it. Computer sound between g and k perceived as g or k if followed by ift or iss. We recognize sounds in larger pieces than phonemes (Morphemes – smallest unit of meaning in language) Recognition of Words in Continuous Speech: The Importance of Learning and Context Sanders, nonsense line of syllabic sounds, people once told to study the “nonsense words” showed electrical signal (N100) response at onset of words Context affects perception of words through top-down processing Context is also non-textual and non-verbal Understanding the Meaning of Speech Syntax Syntactical rules: grammatical rule of a particular language for combining words to form phrases, clauses, and sentences Understanding of syntax is automatic, no more conscious than child is of physics when riding bike fMRI shows as syntax becomes more ambiguous or complex, brain is more active syntactical rules learned implicitly but can be taught to talk about these rules and recognize the applications Knowlton, Ramus and Squire – patients with anterograde amnesia able to learn artificial grammar een though lost ability to form explicit memories Gabrieli, Cohen, Corkin – such patients unable to learn meaning of the words Learning Syntax and word meanings involve different types of memory, and thus, brain mechanisms Syntactical rules signalled by word order, word class, function (preposition, article, or other word that conveys little meaning of sentence but important in grammatical structure) and content (noun, verb, adjective, adverb that contains meaning) words, affixes, word meanings (semantics) and prosody (use of stress, rhythm and pitch) Relation Between Semantics and Syntax Chomsky suggested newly formed sentences are represented in brain as deep structure (meaning without grammatical features) and is spoken in surface Fromkin – Slip of the tongue (usher saying “may i sew you to your sheet”) Conduction Aphasia – difficulty repeating words and phrases but can understand them Knowledge of the World Comprehension of speech also involves knowledge of world and situations we encounter. Schank and Abelson suggested this is organized into scripts: characteristics typical of a particular situation, assists comprehension of verbal discourse Brain Mechanisms of Verbal Behaviour Brain damage studies and PET studies show perceiving, comprehending, and producing speech located in different areas of cerebral cortex Speech Production: Evidence from Broca’s Aphasia To produce meaningful speech, convert perceptions, memories, and thoughts into speech Neural mechanisms that control speech production in frontal lobe(broca’s) Damage to region of motor association cortex in left frontal lobe disrupts ability to speak Broca’s Aphasia: sever difficulty in articulating words, especially function words Broca found this area with the patient Tan (named for only word could say) Lesions to produce Broca’s Aphasia must be centered in vicinity of Broca’s area. If restricted to cortex of Broca’s area will not cause it Wernicke suggested Broca’s area contains motor memories needed to produce speech Damage to lower left frontal lobe disrupts ability to articulate words Damage to Broca’s area often produces agrammatism: language disturbance; difficulty in production and comprehension of grammatical features such as proper use of function words, ord endings and word order People with Broca’s Aphasia do not have normal comprehension: [Schwartz, Saffran, Marin] sentence “the clown applauds the dancer” but didn’t choose that picture, but the picture of dancer applauding the clown Dronkers- examined MRI and CT scans of 25 people. All with damage in area deep in frontal cortex called the insula Also showed middle temporal regions outside Brocas important for comprehension of words, other parts in brain for comprehension of sentences Agrammatism that accompanies Broca’s Aphasia consequence of damage to different area Capalan – interpreting more difficult syntactic sentences produced greater activity in frontal cortex just in front of motor centre Petitto – discovered that sign language and verbal speech uses Capalan’s discovered area importantly with syntactical processing Speech Comprehension: Evidence from Wernicke’s Aphasia Recognition of speech accomplished in upper part of left temporal lobe Wernickes Area Wernickes Aphasia: disorder caused by damage to left temporal and parietal cortex including Wenickes area; characterized by deficits in perception of speech and production of fluent but meaningless speech(characterized as receptive aphasia), also affects ability to convert thoughs into words Comprehension tested by laying items on table and asking to point to an item, show poor comprehension Suggested Wernickes area is location of memories of sequences of sounds that constitute words Damage to Wernickes area causes deficit in recognition, in surrounding temporal and parietal cortex produces deficit in production of meaningful speech and comprehension of others speech Brain damage restricted to Wernickes area: Pure word deafness: ability to hear, speak, and write without being able to comprehend the meaning of speech (caused by bilateral damage
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