Immediate integration of prosodic information from speech and visual information from pictures in the absence of focused attention: a mismatch negativity study.

State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 4A Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, PR China.
Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 3.12). 07/2009; 161(1):59-66. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.01.070
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Language is often perceived together with visual information. Recent experimental evidences indicated that, during spoken language comprehension, the brain can immediately integrate visual information with semantic or syntactic information from speech. Here we used the mismatch negativity to further investigate whether prosodic information from speech could be immediately integrated into a visual scene context or not, and especially the time course and automaticity of this integration process. Sixteen Chinese native speakers participated in the study. The materials included Chinese spoken sentences and picture pairs. In the audiovisual situation, relative to the concomitant pictures, the spoken sentence was appropriately accented in the standard stimuli, but inappropriately accented in the two kinds of deviant stimuli. In the purely auditory situation, the speech sentences were presented without pictures. It was found that the deviants evoked mismatch responses in both audiovisual and purely auditory situations; the mismatch negativity in the purely auditory situation peaked at the same time as, but was weaker than that evoked by the same deviant speech sounds in the audiovisual situation. This pattern of results suggested immediate integration of prosodic information from speech and visual information from pictures in the absence of focused attention.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Chinese language possesses linguistic properties that are distinct from those of the most widely studied European languages. Given such uniqueness, research on the neurocognitive processing of Chinese not only contributes to our understanding of language-specific cognitive processes but also sheds light on the universality of psycholinguistic models developed on the basis of these European languages. In this Introduction, we briefly review neurocognitive studies on the processing of Chinese in the past ten years, summarizing existing findings concerning lexical, sentential, and discourse processing in Chinese.
    Language and Cognitive Processes 12/2009; 24(7/8):929-946. · 1.54 Impact Factor


1 Download
Available from