Kyle R Almryde

The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United States

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Publications (5)10.16 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: For the majority of the population, language is a left-hemisphere lateralized function. During childhood, a pattern of increasing left lateralization for language has been described in brain imaging studies, suggesting that this trait develops. This development could reflect change due to brain maturation or change due to skill acquisition, given that children acquire and refine language skills as they mature. We test the possibility that skill acquisition, independent of age-associated maturation can result in shifts in language lateralization in classic language cortex. We imaged adults exposed to an unfamiliar language during three successive fMRI scans. Participants were then asked to identify specific words embedded in Norwegian sentences. Exposure to these sentences, relative to complex tones, resulted in consistent activation in the left and right superior temporal gyrus. Activation in this region became increasingly left-lateralized with repeated exposure to the unfamiliar language. These results demonstrate that shifts in lateralization can be produced in the short term within a learning context, independent of maturation.
    Laterality 10/2014; · 1.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we present a novel application, 3D+Time Brain View, for the stereoscopic visualization of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) data gathered from participants exposed to unfamiliar spoken languages. An analysis technique based on Independent Component Analysis (ICA) is used to identify statistically significant clusters of brain activity and their changes over time during different testing sessions. That is, our system illustrates the temporal evolution of participants' brain activity as they are introduced to a foreign language through displaying these clusters as they change over time. The raw fMRI data is presented as a stereoscopic pair in an immersive environment utilizing passive stereo rendering. The clusters are presented using a ray casting technique for volume rendering. Our system incorporates the temporal information and the results of the ICA into the stereoscopic 3D rendering, making it easier for domain experts to explore and analyze the data.
    Proceedings of SPIE. 02/2014; 9011.
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    ABSTRACT: Attention is crucial for encoding information into memory, and current dual-process models seek to explain the roles of attention in both recollection memory and incidental-perceptual memory processes. The present study combined an incidental memory paradigm with event-related functional MRI to examine the effect of attention at encoding on the subsequent neural activation associated with unintended perceptual memory for spoken words. At encoding, we systematically varied attention levels as listeners heard a list of single English nouns. We then presented these words again in the context of a recognition task and assessed the effect of modulating attention at encoding on the BOLD responses to words that were either attended strongly, weakly, or not heard previously. MRI revealed activity in right-lateralized inferior parietal and prefrontal regions, and positive BOLD signals varied with the relative level of attention present at encoding. Temporal analysis of hemodynamic responses further showed that the time course of BOLD activity was modulated differentially by unintentionally encoded words compared to novel items. Our findings largely support current models of memory consolidation and retrieval, but they also provide fresh evidence for hemispheric differences and functional subdivisions in right frontoparietal attention networks that help shape auditory episodic recall.
    International Journal of Biomedical Imaging 01/2012; 2012:579786.
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    ABSTRACT: A common explanation for the interference effect in the classic visual Stroop test is that reading a word (the more automatic semantic response) must be suppressed in favor of naming the text color (the slower sensory response). Neuroimaging studies also consistently report anterior cingulate/medial frontal, lateral prefrontal, and anterior insular structures as key components of a network for Stroop-conflict processing. It remains unclear, however, whether automatic processing of semantic information can explain the interference effect in other variants of the Stroop test. It also is not known if these frontal regions serve a specific role in visual Stroop conflict, or instead play a more universal role as components of a more generalized, supramodal executive-control network for conflict processing. To address these questions, we developed a novel auditory Stroop test in which the relative dominance of semantic and sensory feature processing is reversed. Listeners were asked to focus either on voice gender (a more automatic sensory discrimination task) or on the gender meaning of the word (a less automatic semantic task) while ignoring the conflicting stimulus feature. An auditory Stroop effect was observed when voice features replaced semantic content as the "to-be-ignored" component of the incongruent stimulus. Also, in sharp contrast to previous Stroop studies, neural responses to incongruent stimuli studied with functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed greater recruitment of conflict loci when selective attention was focused on gender meaning (semantic task) over voice gender (sensory task). Furthermore, in contrast to earlier Stroop studies that implicated dorsomedial cortex in visual conflict processing, interference-related activation in both of our auditory tasks was localized ventrally in medial frontal areas, suggesting a dorsal-to-ventral separation of function in medial frontal cortex that is sensitive to stimulus context.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 01/2011; 4:236. · 2.90 Impact Factor
  • NeuroImage 07/2009; 47. · 6.13 Impact Factor