Matching Items (19)

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Dyslexia, Creativity, and Neural Adaptation

Description

Objective: A recent electroencephalogram (EEG) study of adults with dyslexia showed that individuals with dyslexia have diminished auditory sensory gating compared to typical controls. Previous studies done involving intoxication and

Objective: A recent electroencephalogram (EEG) study of adults with dyslexia showed that individuals with dyslexia have diminished auditory sensory gating compared to typical controls. Previous studies done involving intoxication and its effect on sensory gating and creativity have shown that there is a positive correlation between creativity (divergent thinking problem solving) and sensory gating deficiency. With previous study findings, the link between dyslexia and sensory gating deficiency and the link between sensory gating deficiency and creativity have been shown, but not the link between dyslexia and creativity. This pilot study aims to address this knowledge gap using event-related potentials.

Methods: Two adults with dyslexia and 4 control adults participated in an auditory gating test using tone pairs. Latencies and Amplitudes for the N100 and P200 responses were recorded and analyzed. Participants were also administered the Abbreviated Torrance Test for Adults (ATTA), a test of creative ability designed to evaluate divergent thinking in individuals. Results were averaged and compared.

Results: The averaged difference in measured N100 amplitudes between tone 1 and tone 2 was significantly larger in the control group compared to the difference observed in the dyslexia group. In particular, one participant with dyslexia who had low scores on a task of rapid word recognition also showed no evidence of gating at the N100 component, whereas the other participant with dyslexia with good word recognition scores showed evidence of intact gating. The averaged difference in measured P200 amplitude between tone 1 and tone 2 was larger in the dyslexia group compared to the control group; however, the difference was small enough to be considered insignificant. The total average ATTA score for the control group was higher than the average of the dyslexia group. This difference in total average was less than one point on a 106-point scale.

Conclusions: Neural sensory gating occurs approximately 100 ms after the onset of a stimulus and is diminished in adults with dyslexia who also have deficits in rapid word recognition. There is a difference in creativity, in terms of divergent thinking, between those with dyslexia and those without (controls scored higher on average); however, the difference is not significant (less than one point). Dyslexia scores were more consistent than controls.

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  • 2020-05

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Relationship between formant variability and auditory-motor adaptation

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Previous studies have shown that experimentally implemented formant perturbations result in production of compensatory responses in the opposite direction of the perturbations. In this study, we investigated how participants adapt

Previous studies have shown that experimentally implemented formant perturbations result in production of compensatory responses in the opposite direction of the perturbations. In this study, we investigated how participants adapt to a) auditory perturbations that shift formants to a specific point in the vowel space and hence remove variability of formants (focused perturbations), and b) auditory perturbations that preserve the natural variability of formants (uniform perturbations). We examined whether the degree of adaptation to focused perturbations was different from adaptation to uniform adaptations. We found that adaptation magnitude of the first formant (F1) was smaller in response to focused perturbations. However, F1 adaptation was initially moved in the same direction as the perturbation, and after several trials the F1 adaptation changed its course toward the opposite direction of the perturbation. We also found that adaptation of the second formant (F2) was smaller in response to focused perturbations than F2 responses to uniform perturbations. Overall, these results suggest that formant variability is an important component of speech, and that our central nervous system takes into account such variability to produce more accurate speech output.

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  • 2018-05

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Using Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation to Entrain Cortical Oscillations

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Transcranial Current Stimulation (TCS) is a long-established method of modulating neuronal activity in the brain. One type of this stimulation, transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), is able to entrain endogenous

Transcranial Current Stimulation (TCS) is a long-established method of modulating neuronal activity in the brain. One type of this stimulation, transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), is able to entrain endogenous oscillations and result in behavioral change. In the present study, we used five stimulation conditions: tACS at three different frequencies (6Hz, 12Hz, and 22Hz), transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS), and a no-stimulation sham condition. In all stimulation conditions, we recorded electroencephalographic data to investigate the link between different frequencies of tACS and their effects on brain oscillations. We recruited 12 healthy participants. Each participant completed 30 trials of the stimulation conditions. In a given trial, we recorded brain activity for 10 seconds, stimulated for 12 seconds, and recorded an additional 10 seconds of brain activity. The difference between the average oscillation power before and after a stimulation condition indicated change in oscillation amplitude due to the stimulation. Our results showed the stimulation conditions entrained brain activity of a sub-group of participants.

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  • 2020-05

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Using Acoustic Analysis to Identify Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder in Speakers

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The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between acoustic indicators in speech and the presence of orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD). This study analyzed the first and second

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between acoustic indicators in speech and the presence of orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD). This study analyzed the first and second formant frequencies (F1 and F2) of the four corner vowels [/i/, /u/, /æ/ and /ɑ/] found in the spontaneous speech of thirty participants. It was predicted that speakers with orofacial myofunctional disorder would have a raised F1 and F2 because of habitual low and anterior tongue positioning. This study concluded no significant statistical differences in the formant frequencies. Further inspection of the total vowel space area of the OMD speakers suggested that OMD speakers had a smaller, more centralized vowel space. We concluded that more study of the total vowel space area for OMD speakers is warranted.

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  • 2020-05

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The Effect of Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation on Speech Motor Learning

Description

Speech motor learning is important for learning to speak during childhood and maintaining the speech system throughout adulthood. Motor and auditory cortical regions play crucial roles in speech motor learning.

Speech motor learning is important for learning to speak during childhood and maintaining the speech system throughout adulthood. Motor and auditory cortical regions play crucial roles in speech motor learning. This experiment aimed to use transcranial alternating current stimulation, a neurostimulation technique, to influence auditory and motor cortical activity. In this study, we used an auditory-motor adaptation task as an experimental model of speech motor learning. Subjects repeated words while receiving formant shifts, which made the subjects’ speech sound different from their production. During the adaptation task, subjects received Beta (20 Hz), Alpha (10 Hz), or Sham stimulation. We applied the stimulation to the ventral motor cortex that is involved in planning speech movements. We found that the stimulation did not influence the magnitude of adaptation. We suggest that some limitations of the study may have contributed to the negative results.

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  • 2021-05

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Predicting /r/ Acquisition: A Longitudinal Analysis Using Signal Processing

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The purpose of this longitudinal study was to predict /r/ acquisition using acoustic signal processing. 19 children, aged 5-7 with inaccurate /r/, were followed until they turned 8 or acquired

The purpose of this longitudinal study was to predict /r/ acquisition using acoustic signal processing. 19 children, aged 5-7 with inaccurate /r/, were followed until they turned 8 or acquired /r/, whichever came first. Acoustic and descriptive data from 14 participants were analyzed. The remaining 5 children continued to be followed. The study analyzed differences in spectral energy at the baseline acoustic signals of participants who eventually acquired /r/ compared to that of those who did not acquire /r/. Results indicated significant differences between groups in the baseline signals for vocalic and postvocalic /r/, suggesting that the acquisition of certain allophones may be predictable. Participants’ articulatory changes made during the progression of acquisition were also analyzed spectrally. A retrospective analysis described the pattern in which /r/ allophones were acquired, proposing that vocalic /r/ and the postvocalic variant of consonantal /r/ may be acquired prior to prevocalic /r/, and /r/ followed by low vowels may be acquired before /r/ followed by high vowels, although individual variations exist.

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  • 2021-05

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Utilizing functional MRI to Analyze Differences in the Brain in Response to Speech and Music Stimuli in Persons with Aphasia

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The distinctions between the neural resources supporting speech and music comprehension have long been studied using contexts like aphasia and amusia, and neuroimaging in control subjects. While many models have

The distinctions between the neural resources supporting speech and music comprehension have long been studied using contexts like aphasia and amusia, and neuroimaging in control subjects. While many models have emerged to describe the different networks uniquely recruited in response to speech and music stimuli, there are still many questions, especially regarding left-hemispheric strokes that disrupt typical speech-processing brain networks, and how musical training might affect the brain networks recruited for speech after a stroke. Thus, our study aims to explore some questions related to the above topics. We collected task-based functional MRI data from 12 subjects who previously experienced a left-hemispheric stroke. Subjects listened to blocks of spoken sentences and novel piano melodies during scanning to examine the differences in brain activations in response to speech and music. We hypothesized that speech stimuli would activate right frontal regions, and music stimuli would activate the right superior temporal regions more than speech (both findings not seen in previous studies of control subjects), as a result of functional changes in the brain, following the left-hemispheric stroke and particularly the loss of functionality in the left temporal lobe. We also hypothesized that the music stimuli would cause a stronger activation in right temporal cortex for participants who have had musical training than those who have not. Our results indicate that speech stimuli compared to rest activated the anterior superior temporal gyrus bilaterally and activated the right inferior frontal lobe. Music stimuli compared to rest did not activate the brain bilaterally, but rather only activated the right middle temporal gyrus. When the group analysis was performed with music experience as a covariate, we found that musical training did not affect activations to music stimuli specifically, but there was greater right hemisphere activation in several regions in response to speech stimuli as a function of more years of musical training. The results of the study agree with our hypotheses regarding the functional changes in the brain, but they conflict with our hypothesis about musical expertise. Overall, the study has generated interesting starting points for further explorations of how musical neural resources may be recruited for speech processing after damage to typical language networks.

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  • 2021-05

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Probing the Role of Auditory Feedback in Voice Pitch Control Using Vibrato Perturbation

Description

The objective of this study was to analyze the auditory feedback system and the pitch-shift reflex in relation to vibrato. 11 subjects (female n = 8, male n = 3)

The objective of this study was to analyze the auditory feedback system and the pitch-shift reflex in relation to vibrato. 11 subjects (female n = 8, male n = 3) without speech, hearing, or neurological disorders were used. Compensation magnitude, adaptation magnitude, relative response phase, and passive and active perception were recorded when the subjects were subjected to auditory feedback perturbed by phasic amplitude and F0 modulation, or “vibrato”. “Tremolo,” or phasic amplitude modulation, was used as a control. Significant correlation was found between the ability to perceive vibrato and tremolo in active trials and the ability to perceive in passive trials (p=0.01). Passive perceptions were lower (more sensitive) than active perceptions (p< 0.01). Adaptation vibrato trials showed significant modulation magnitude (p=0.031), while tremolo did not. The two conditions were significantly different (p<0.01). There was significant phase change for both tremolo and vibrato, but vibrato phase change was greater, nearly 180° (p<0.01). In the compensation trials, the modulation change from control to vibrato trials was significantly greater than the change from control to tremolo (p=0.01). Vibrato and tremolo also had significantly different average phase change (p<0.01). It can be concluded that the auditory feedback system tries to cancel out dynamic pitch perturbations by cancelling them out out-of-phase. Similar systems must be used to adapt and to compensate to vibrato. Despite the auditory feedback system’s online monitoring, the passive perception was still better than active perception, possibly because it required only one task (perceiving) rather than two (perceiving and producing). The pitch-shift reflex compensates to the sensitivity of the auditory feedback system, as shown by the increased perception of vibrato over tremolo.

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  • 2018-05

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Corrective Responses to Auditory Feedback Perturbations During Speaking

Description

The brain continuously monitors speech output to detect potential errors between its sensory prediction and its sensory production (Daliri et al., 2020). When the brain encounters an error, it generates

The brain continuously monitors speech output to detect potential errors between its sensory prediction and its sensory production (Daliri et al., 2020). When the brain encounters an error, it generates a corrective motor response, usually in the opposite direction, to reduce the effect of the error. Previous studies have shown that the type of auditory error received may impact a participant’s corrective response. In this study, we examined whether participants respond differently to categorical or non-categorical errors. We applied two types of perturbation in real-time by shifting the first formant (F1) and second formant (F2) at three different magnitudes. The vowel /ɛ/ was shifted toward the vowel /æ/ in the categorical perturbation condition. In the non-categorical perturbation condition, the vowel /ɛ/ was shifted to a sound outside of the vowel quadrilateral (increasing both F1 and F2). Our results showed that participants responded to the categorical perturbation while they did not respond to the non-categorical perturbation. Additionally, we found that in the categorical perturbation condition, as the magnitude of the perturbation increased, the magnitude of the response increased. Overall, our results suggest that the brain may respond differently to categorical and non-categorical errors, and the brain is highly attuned to errors in speech.

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  • 2021-05

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Speech Motor Learning Depends on Relevant Auditory Errors

Description

In the past, researchers have studied the elements of speech and how they work together in the human brain. Auditory feedback, an important aid in speech production, provides information to

In the past, researchers have studied the elements of speech and how they work together in the human brain. Auditory feedback, an important aid in speech production, provides information to speakers and allows them to gain an understanding if the prediction of their speech matches their production. The speech motor system uses auditory goals to determine errors in its auditory output during vowel production. We learn from discrepancies between our prediction and auditory feedback. In this study, we examined error assessment processes by systematically manipulating the correspondence between speech motor outputs and their auditory consequences while producing speech. We conducted a study (n = 14 adults) in which participants’ auditory feedback was perturbed to test their learning rate in two conditions. During the trials, participants repeated CVC words and were instructed to prolong the vowel each time. The adaptation trials were used to examine the reliance of auditory feedback and speech prediction by systematically changing the weight of auditory feedback. Participants heard their perturbed feedback through insert earphones in real time. Each speaker’s auditory feedback was perturbed according to task-relevant and task-irrelevant errors. Then, these perturbations were presented to subjects gradually and suddenly in the study. We found that adaptation was less extensive with task-irrelevant errors, adaptation did not saturate significantly in the sudden condition, and adaptation, which was expected to be extensive and faster in the task-relevant condition, was closer to the rate of adaptation in the task-irrelevant perturbation. Though adjustments are necessary, we found an efficient way for speakers to rely on auditory feedback more than their prediction. Furthermore, this research opens the door to future investigations in adaptation in speech and presents implications for clinical purposes (e.g. speech therapy).

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  • 2020-05