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Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Language Processing in

Natives and Non-Natives

Non Natives

Angela D. Friederici

Max Planck Institute

for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Crucial research questions in second language

learning:

1. Are L 1 and L 2 processing based on the same

mechanisms?

2. Do L 1 and L 2 processing share the same

brain basis?

3. Are semantic and syntactic processes

differentially affected during L 2 learning?

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Different methods have been applied to investigate

these questions.

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Functional magnetic resonance tomography

(fMRT) allowing a high spatial resolution

Event-related potential (ERP) registration

allowing a high temporal resolution

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Overview of the Talk

1. Natural Language

• ERP evidence

• fMRI evidence

2. Artifical Language

• ERP evidence

• fMRI evidence

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


ERP Method

AUDITORY

STIMULUS

(S)

amplifier

Signal

averager

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

AUDITORY EVENT-RELATED POTENTIAL

-6 µV

+6 µV

STIMULUS

ONSET

ONGOING EEG

S S S S

one sec

ELAN

P200

N400

P600

200 400 600 800 1000

Time (ms)

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

ERP Experiment

Stimuli

correct Das Baby wurde gefüttert.

The baby was fed.

semantically incorrect Das Lineal wurde gefüttert.

The ruler was fed.

syntactically incorrect Die Gans wurde im gefüttert.

Source: Hahne & Friederici, Cognitive Brain Research, 2002

The goose was in the fed.

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives

Method

Presentation: Auditory presentation via headphones

Participants: 17 right-handed, native speakers of German,

12 female, 25 years (range 19-35 years)

Material: 40 sentences correct without prepositional phrase

40 sentences correct with prepositional phrase

40 sentences semantically incorrect

40 sentences syntactically incorrect

Task: Judgment of correctness

Design: Pseudorandomized order

Source: Hahne & Friederici, Cognitive Brain Research, 2002

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


semantic violation

correct:

"Das Baby wurde gefüttert"

"The baby was fed"

incorrect:

"Das Lineal wurde gefüttert"

"The ruler was fed"

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives

-5

5

Cz

µV

Source: Hahne & Friederici, Cognitive Brain Research, 2002

correct

incorrect

N400

CZ

0 0.5 1 sec

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


semantic

violation

condition

correct

incorrect

N400

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives

F7

BL

WL

-5 µV

0

CZ

O1 O2

550 ms

FZ

PZ

0.5 1

sec

1.5

F8

BR

WR

-3.0 3.0 µV

Source: Hahne & Friederici, Cognitive Brain Research, 2002

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


syntactic violation

correct:

"Das Baby wurde gefüttert"

"The baby was fed"

incorrect:

"Die Gans wurde im gefüttert"

"The goose was in the fed"

correct

incorrect

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives

Source: Hahne & Friederici, Cognitive Brain Research, 2002

F7

PZ

-5

F7

µV

ELAN

5

0 0.5 1 sec

Pz

-5

µV

5

0 0.5 1 sec

P600

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


syntactic

violation

condition

correct

incorrect

ELAN -2.0 2.0 µV P600

-3.0 3.0 µV

160 ms

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives

F7

BL

WL

O1

-5 µV

0

FZ

CZ

PZ

0.5 1

sec

1.5

700 ms

BR

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

F8

WR

O2

Source: Hahne & Friederici, Cognitive Brain Research, 2002


Time

Neurochronometry of Language Comprehension

3. P600

700 ms

2. N400

550 ms

1. ELAN

160 ms

Source: 3-Phases Model by Friederici, Brain & Language, 1995; Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2002

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

-3.0

3.0 µV

-3.0

3.0 µV

-2.0

2.0 µV

reanalysis or

repair

lexical

integration

initial

structure

building

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Japanese Natives Learning German

Stimuli

correct Das Brot wurde gegessen.

The bread was eaten.

semantically incorrect Der Vulkan wurde gegessen.

The volcano was eaten.

syntactically incorrect Das Eis wurde im gegessen.

The ice cream was in-the eaten.

Source: Hahne & Friederici, Bilingualism: L & C, 2001

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Japanese Natives Learning German

Participants

12 native speakers of Japanese all were University

students

• mean age 27 years (range 21 – 33 years)

• 7 female, 5 male

• learned German in a formal setting for 2.5 years

• living in Germany for 1.6 years

• Proficiency rating

(6 = equivalent to native – 1 no knowledge)

auditory comprehension 3.5

reading comprehension 3.5

speaking skills 3.4

writing skills 3.4

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Japanese Natives Learning German

Behavioral Results

Grammaticality Judgement

Source: Hahne & Friederici, Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, 2001

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Semantic

Condition

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Japanese Natives Learning German

Source: Hahne & Friederici, Bilingualism: L & C, 2001

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Japanese Natives Learning German

German natives

400-700 ms

Semantic Violation

-3.6

3.6 µV

Source: Hahne & Friederici, Bilingualism: L & C, 2001

L 2-learners

400-700 ms

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Syntactic

Condition

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Japanese Natives Learning German

Source: Hahne & Friederici, Bilingualism: L & C, 2001

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives vs Japanese Natives

Syntactic Violation

German natives L2-learners 100-250 ms

400-700 ms

700-1100 ms

-2.0

+2.0 µV

-3.6

+3.6 µV

100-250 ms

400-700 ms

700-1100 ms

Source: Hahne & Friederici, Bilingualism: L & C, 2001

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


L 1 vs L 2 German

ERP CONCLUSION I

Natives show

for semantic violations: N400

for syntactic violations: ELAN & P600

L 2 learners show

Japanese natives

for semantic violations: N400 & late right frontal

negativity

for syntactic violations: no ELAN, no P600

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Source: Hahne, JPR, 2001

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Russian Natives Learning German

Stimuli

correct Das Baby wurde gefüttert.

The baby was fed.

semantically incorrect Das Lineal wurde gefüttert.

The ruler was fed.

syntactically incorrect Die Gans wurde im gefüttert.

The goose was in the fed.

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Russian Natives Learning German

Participants

16 native speakers of Russian

12 were University students

• mean age 27 years (range 21 – 34)

• 9 female, 7 male

• learned German in a formal setting for 6 years

• living in Germany for 5 years

• Proficiency rating

(4 = very good – 1 hardly any knowledge)

auditory comprehension 3.6

reading comprehension 3.7

speaking skills 2.9

writing skills 3.3

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Source: Hahne, JPR, 2001

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Russian Natives Learning German

Grammaticality Judgement

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Russian Natives Learning German

Semantic Condition

Source: Hahne, JPR, 2001

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives vs Russian Natives

550 ms

-3.0 3.0 µV

Semantic Violation

N400

German natives L 2-learners

680 ms

-2.5 2.5 µV

Difference Maps: semantically correct - incorrect

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Russian Natives Learning German

Syntactic Condition

Source: Hahne, JPR, 2001

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives vs Russian Natives

Syntactic Violation

ELAN - Time Window

German natives L2-learners 160 ms

-2.0 2.0 µV

160 ms

260 ms

-2.5 2.5 µV

Difference Maps: syntactically correct - incorrect

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


L 1 vs L 2 German

ERP CONCLUSION II

Natives show

for semantic violations: N400

for syntactic violations: ELAN & P600

L 2 learners show

Japanese natives

for semantic violations: N400 & late right frontal

negativity

for syntactic violations: no ELAN, no P600

Russian natives

for semantic violations: N400

for syntactic violations: no ELAN, but P600

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

General Conclusions from ERPs

• Semantic processes with respect to lexical integration

processes as reflected by the N400 in late language learners

are similar to native speakers. However, L2 speakers seem to

additionally activate processes located in the right anterior

cortex, possibly conceptual processes.

• Syntactic processes in late language learners are different

from native speakers. Absence of ELAN indicates that no

automatic phrase structure building processes are yet

established. Absence of P600 effect may be due to large P600

for correct sentences suggesting syntactic integration

problems for correct sentences in less proficient L 2 learners

(Japanese). More proficient L 2 learners (Russian) show a

P600.

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Critical Period versus Proficiency

These findings seem to support the notion of a

critical period for language learning at least for

early, automatic syntactic processes.

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Data from previous ERP studies suggest:

• syntactic processes in particular are altered

when the second language is learned late

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Neville et al., 1992; Weber-Fox & Neville, 1996

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Artificial Grammar Processing

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Artificial Grammar BROCANTO

syntactic structures: word categories:

S : NP VP

NP VP NP

NP : d N

D M N

VP : v

v m

Source: Friederici, Steinhauer & Pfeifer, PNAS, 2002

N :

v :

M :

m :

d :

D :

gum, plox, tok, trul

glif, pel, prez, rix

böke, füne

nöri, rüfi

aaf

aak

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Examples of Stimulus Material

major violations

DMNvvN

phrase order violation

DMNDMNv

within phrase structure violation

DNvDMN

Source: Friederici, Steinhauer & Pfeifer, PNAS, 2002

aak böke tok pel rix trul

aak böke tok pel aaf trul

aak füne plox aak böke trul rix

aak füne plox rix aak böke trul

aak gum prez aak füne tok

aaf gum prez aak füne tok

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Participants

trained group: 28 subjects (15 female)

mean age 24.1 years

untrained group: 31 subjects (18 female)

mean age 23.3 years

Stimuli

488 spoken sentences

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Method

Task

trained group: grammaticality judgment

untrained group: aesthetic judgment of the

auditory sequence

Source: Friederici, Steinhauer & Pfeifer, PNAS, 2002

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives Learning Brocanto

Source: Friederici, Steinhauer & Pfeifer, PNAS, 2002

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives Learning Brocanto

Source: Friederici, Steinhauer & Pfeifer, PNAS, 2002

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives Learning Brocanto

00

Source: Friederici, Steinhauer & Pfeifer, PNAS, 2002

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


• Data challenge the view that second language

learners process language on the basis of brain

mechanisms which are principally different from those

of first language acquisition.

• The data suggest that language proficiency (which

can be archieved more easily in a miniature than in a

full-fledged language) rather than age-of-acquisition

may determine the brain mechanisms used.

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives Learning Brocanto

Conclusion

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives Learning Mini-Japanese

Structure of Mini-Nihongo:

Lexical elements of Mini-Nihongo:

N [noun] : hato (pigeon), kamo (duck), nezumi (mouse), neko (cat)

V [verb] : oikakeru (walk behind), oiharau (chase away),

tobikoeru (jump over), tsukitobasu (push away)

m [modifier] : akai (red)

a [temporal adverbial] : tokoro desu (take place)

n [number] : ichi (one), ni (two)

c [numeral classifier] : wa (bird class), hiki (small mammal class)

p [postposition] : ga (nominative = n.), o (accusative = a.), no (genitive = g.)

Source: Mueller, Hahne, Fujii, Friederici, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 2005

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives Learning Mini-Japanese

Stimuli

Correct condition

Ichi wa no kamo ga ni hiki no neko o tobikoeru tokoro desu.

One [bird-class] [gen.] duck [nom.] two [small-animal-class][gen.] cat [acc.] jump over take place.

Word category violation

Ichi wa no kamo ga ni hiki no tobikoeru tokoro desu.

One [bird-class] [gen.] duck [nom.] two [small-animal-class][gen.] jump over take place.

Case violation

Ichi wa no kamo ga ni hiki no neko ga tobikoeru tokoro desu.

One [bird-class] [gen.] duck [nom.] two [small-animal-class][gen.] cat [nom.] jump over take place.

Gen. = Genitive; nom. = Nominative; acc. = Accusative. Incorrect elements are italicized.

Source: Mueller, Hahne, Fujii, Friederici, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 2005

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives Learning Mini-Japanese

Participants

24 native German speakers

• mean age 23.6 (range 20 - 26)

• 12 female, 12 male

• trained for 8 weeks

• criterion 75% correct

19 native Japanese speakers

• mean age 24.8 (range 19 - 35)

• 13 female, 6 male

Source: Mueller, Hahne, Fujii, Friederici, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 2005

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives Learning Mini-Japanese

Word category violation

Japanese trained untrained

-3.0 µV +3.0 -3.0 µV +3.0 -3.0 µV +3.0

Source: Mueller, Hahne, Fujii, Friederici, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 2005

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives Learning Mini-Japanese

Case violation

Japanese trained untrained

-3.0 µV +3.0 -3.0 µV +3.0 -3.0 µV +3.0

Source: Mueller, Hahne, Fujii, Friederici, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 2005

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives Learning Mini-Japanese

Conclusion

This experiment indicates that an early syntactic

negativity was present for word category

violations, but not for case violations. This

suggests that some aspects of syntax are hard to

acquire during L 2 .

Source: Mueller, Hahne, Fujii, Friederici, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 2005

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Which brain areas support sentence

processing, in particular syntactic and

semantic processes during L 2 processing?

fMRI

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


fMRI Method

• MRT: 3 T Bruker Medspec or 3 T Siemens Trio

Anatom. contrasts: T 1 -weighted 3D MDEFT sequence (128 sagittal slices)

Functional contrasts: T 2 *-weighted EPI sequence; TR = 2 s; TE = 40 ms

• Slices: horizontal slices parallel to the AC-PC line covering the perisylvian

cortex. Thickness = 4 mm; skip = 2 mm; 3 mm 2 in-plane and 7 mm

through-plane resolution.

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Recent fMRI studies are not univocal:

(a) Brain activation is different in L1 & L2 Perani et al., 1996; Dehaene et al., 1997;

Kim et al., 1997

(b) Brain activation is the same in L1 & L2 Klein et al., 1999

(c) Brain activation depends on the level of proficiency

rather than age of acquisition

Perani et al., 1998

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

We have looked at the brain basis of L2 processing (compared to L1 processing) in

fMRI by using the identical stimulus material

as in the ERP studies.

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

fMRI Experiment

Stimuli

correct Das Baby wurde gefüttert.

The baby was fed.

semantically incorrect Das Lineal wurde gefüttert.

The ruler was fed.

syntactically incorrect Die Gans wurde im gefüttert.

The goose was in the fed.

Source: Friederici, Rüschemeyer, Hahne & Fiebach, Cerebral Cortex, 2003

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives

Method

Presentation: Auditory presentation via headphones

Participants: 15 right-handed, native speakers of German,

8 female, 24.8 years (range 23-30 years)

Material: 48 sentences correct without prepositional phrase

48 sentences correct with prepositional phrase

48 sentences semantically incorrect

48 sentences syntactically incorrect

Task: Judgment of correctness

Design: Pseudorandomized order

Source: Friederici, Rüschemeyer, Hahne & Fiebach, Cerebral Cortex, 2003

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Semantic

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives

correct semantic incorrect

Processing 3.09

left superior temporal gyrus

Source: Friederici, Rüschemeyer, Hahne & Fiebach, Cerebral Cortex, 2003

5.2

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Syntactic

Processing

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives

correct syntactic incorrect

left superior temporal gyrus

Source: Friederici, Rüschemeyer, Hahne & Fiebach, Cerebral Cortex, 2003

3.09

4.5

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives

correct syntactic incorrect

anterior left superior temporal gyrus

Syntactic Processing

3.09

4.5

Source: Friederici, Rüschemeyer, Hahne & Fiebach, Cerebral Cortex, 2003

correct syntactic incorrect

left deep frontal operculum

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Neurotopography of

Syntactic and Semantic Processes

left

hemisphere

auditory

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

integration

access to

lexical-semantic info &

thematic role assignment

access to

syntactic category info &

phrase structure building

INTERPRE

ACOUSTIC

PHON

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Neurotopography of

Syntactic and Semantic Processes

left

hemisphere

early syntactic

auditory

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

integration

access to

lexical-semantic info &

thematic role assignment

access to

syntactic category info &

phrase structure building

INTERPRE

ACOUSTIC

PHON

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Neurotopography of

Syntactic and Semantic Processes

left

hemisphere

semantic

early syntactic

auditory

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

integration

access to

lexical-semantic info &

thematic role assignment

access to

syntactic category info &

phrase structure building

INTERPRE

ACOUSTIC

PHON

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Neurotopography of

Syntactic and Semantic Processes

left

hemisphere

late syntactic

semantic

early syntactic

auditory

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Broca’s area

integration

access to

lexical-semantic info &

thematic role assignment

access to

syntactic category info &

phrase structure building

INTERPRE

ACOUSTIC

PHON

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Russian Natives Learning German

Method

Presentation: Auditory presentation via headphones

Participants: 14 right-handed, native speakers of German,

11 female, 25.6 years (range 23-30 years)

Material: 48 sentences correct without prepositional phrase

48 sentences correct with prepositional phrase

48 sentences semantically incorrect

48 sentences syntactically incorrect

Task: Judgment of correctness

Design: Pseudorandomized order

Source: Rüschemeyer, Fiebach, Kempe & Friederici, Human Brain Mapping, 2005

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


correct centences

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Russian Natives Learning German

semantic error syntactic error

native speakers

Inferior Frontal Gyrus

L 2 -learners

Source: Rüschemeyer, Fiebach, Kempe & Friederici, Human Brain Mapping, 2005

IFG t(-50,12,18)

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Russian Natives Learning German

native speakers

Superior Temporal Gyrus

Source: Rüschemeyer, Fiebach, Kempe & Friederici, Human Brain Mapping, 2005

L2-learners STG t(-53,-18,12)

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

L 2 vs L 1

correct syntactic semantic

A B A B A B

A = L 2 > L 1

B = L 1 > L 2

Source: Rüschemeyer, Fiebach, Kempe & Friederici, Human Brain Mapping, 2005

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


L 1 vs L 2 German

fMRI CONCLUSION

The neural network during L1 and L2 processing

appears to be the same in principle, but

whereas activation of the STG is increased in L1 the activation in Broca’s area is clearly

increased during L2 processing .

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Why does Broca‘s area increase?

What is the function of Broca‘s area in native

language processing?

Broca‘s area may come into play with

increasing demands on syntactic processing.

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Metaanalyse A

syntactic violations: ungrammatical > grammatical

Source: Friederici, 2004

In: Grazzaniga (ed.) The Cognitive Neuroscience

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Metaanalyse B

syntactic complexity/working memory high > low

Source: Friederici, 2004

In: Grazzaniga (ed.) The Cognitive Neuroscience

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


left

hemisphere

semantic & syntactic

semantic

syntactic

syntactic complexity

auditory

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Conclusion

Broca’s area, in particular

BA44, supports the

processing of syntactically

complex sentences.

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


fMRI Experiment 3

Stimuli: Variation of grammatical complexity

canonical (S-IO-DO)

Heute hat der Opa dem Jungen den Lutscher geschenkt.

Today has the grandfather(nominative) the boy (dative) the lollipop(accusative)

given (as a present).

medium complexity (IO-S-DO)

Heute hat dem Jungen der Opa ___ den Lutscher geschenkt.

Today has the boy the grandfather the lollipop given.

high complexity (IO-DO-S)

Heute hat dem Jungen den Lutscher der Opa ___ ___ geschenkt.

Today has the boy the lollipop the grandfather given.

ungrammatical

Heute hat der Opa * geschenkt dem Jungen den Lutscher.

Today has the grandfather given the boy the lollipop.

S = subject noun phrase, IO = indirect object argument, DO = direct object

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Pre-Study: Speeded Acceptability Rating

Speeded Acceptability Ratings

(scale 1-6; n = 24)

5

4

3

2

1

0

**

**

S-IO-DO IO-S-DO IO-DO-S

Source: Friederici, et al., Cerebral Cortex (2006)

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

1000

900

800

700

600

500

400

Response Times

(in ms; n = 24)

**

S-IO-DO IO-S-DO IO-DO-S

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


• n = 13

• visual presentation (phrase-by-phrase)

40 non-task items per condition (+ 20 % items with task)

• 20 slices measured (4 mm/1 mm) covering the whole brain

repetition time TR = 2000 ms

• parametric analysis of the complexity

manipulation [i.e. acceptability ratings

used to predict neural activity]

Source: Friederici, et al., Cerebral Cortex (2006)

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Methods

5

4

3

2

1

0

S-IO-DO IO-S-DO IO-DO-S

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Broca‘s Area & Syntactic Complexity

Source: Friederici, et al., Cerebral Cortex (2006)

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Experiment 3: Results

Frontal Operculum & Ungrammaticality

posterior frontal

operculum

Source: Friederici, et al., Cerebral Cortex (2006)

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


left

hemisphere

syntactically

complex

sentences

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Conclusion

local syntactic violations



The brain basis of syntactic

processes in the prefrontal

cortex could be the following:

BA 44 comes into play when syntactic

processing demands increase, e.g.

when processing structural hierarchies.

Frontal operculum supports local

syntactic processes: checking the fit

of the incoming information with the

immediate prior syntactic context.

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives Learning Brocanto

The Learning Aspect:

Artificial Grammar Learning

as revealed by fMRI

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives Learning Brocanto

Artificial Grammar BROCANTO I

syntactic structure:

NP: d N

D M N

VP: v

v m

S: NP VP

NP VP NP

word classes:

Noun: gum, trul

Modifier: böke

verb: pel, prez

modifier: rüfi

Determiner: aak

determiner: aaf

Source: Opitz & Friederici, CNS, 2002

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Participants

17 subjects (8 female), mean age 25 years

Stimuli & Procedure

• grammatical and ungrammatical sentences were

presented visually for 7 sec

• grammaticality was judged

• feedback was given for each decision

• 15 triplets of blocks were presented

• each block contained a learning block [70 sec] and

a test block [70 sec]

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives Learning Brocanto

Method

Source: Opitz & Friederici, NeuroImage, 2003

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Performance

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives Learning Brocanto

Performance across participants during learning and the subsequent transfer test.

The performance measure was averaged across the three consecutive learning blocks.

Language aquisition was evidenced by a significant increase in performance during

the experiment (blocks 1-3 vs. blocks 13-15, F 1,13 = 44.8, p < .0001). The performance

of the transfer test after scanning with new sentences conforming to the learned rule is

significantly above chance level (74% correctly classified, t 13 = 4.89, p < .001).

Source: Opitz & Friederici, NeuroImage, 2003

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

German Natives Learning Brocanto

Results

Source: Opitz & Friederici, NeuroImage, 2003

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Conclusion

• Initial language learning is primarily supported

by the hippocampus and there is only a minimal

involvement of the Broca‘s area.

• Once learned more proficient L2 processing is

supported mainly by the Broca‘s area and there

is only a minimal involvement of the

hippocampus.

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Conclusion

left

hemisphere

semantic & syntactic

semantic

syntactic

auditory

Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

• structural hierarchies in L 1

• in L 2 even for processing local structures

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

General Conclusion

The combined data support the notion that the

neural processes underlying proficient L2 performance are similar to those of natives, but

that less proficient L2 listeners involve left Broca‘s

area even for the processing of local phrase

structure violations. For proficient L2 listeners

Broca‘s area only comes into play when processing

long distance dependencies- as in natives whan

processing structural hierarchies.

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Anja Hahne

Christian Fiebach

Jutta Mueller

Bertram Opitz

Erdmut Pfeifer

Shirley-Ann Rueschemeyer

Karsten Steinhauer

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences


Washington, CBBC Workshop, April 7, 2006

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

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