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    ABSTRACT: Not only committing errors, but also observing errors has been shown to activate the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex, particularly BA 8 and adjacent rostral cingulate zone (RCZ). Currently, there is a debate on whether this activity reflects a response to the incorrectness of the committed action or to its unexpectedness. This article reports two studies investigating whether activity in BA 8/RCZ is due to the unexpectedness of observed errors or the incorrectness of the specific observed action. Both studies employed an action observation paradigm reliant on the observation of an actor tying sailing knots. The reported behavioral experiment delivered evidence that the paradigm successfully induced the expectation of incorrect actions as well as the expectation of correct actions. The functional magnetic resonance imaging study revealed that unexpectedly correct as well as unexpectedly incorrect actions activate the BA 8/RCZ. The same result was confirmed for a coordinate in the vicinity that has been previously reported to be activated in separate studies either by the error observation or by the unexpectedness of committed errors, and has been associated with the error-related negativity. The present results suggest that unexpectedness has an impact on the medial prefrontal correlate of observed errors. Hum Brain Mapp, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Human Brain Mapping
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    ABSTRACT: Many children with specific language impairment (SLI) have persisting problems in the correct use of verb tense, but there has been disagreement as to the underlying reason. When we take into account studies using receptive as well as expressive language tasks, the data suggest that the difficulty for children with SLI is in knowing when to inflect verbs for tense, rather than how to do so. This is perhaps not surprising when we consider that tense does not have a transparent semantic interpretation, but depends on complex relationships between inflections and hierarchically organized clauses. An explanation in terms of syntactic limitations contrasts with a popular morpho-phonological account, the Words and Rules model. This model, which attributes problems to difficulties with applying a rule to generate regular inflected forms, has been widely applied to adult-acquired disorders. There are striking similarities in the pattern of errors in adults with anterior aphasia and children with SLI, suggesting that impairments in appreciation of when to mark tense may apply to acquired as well as developmental disorders.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Lexical skills are a crucial component of language comprehension and production. This paper reviews evidence for lexical-level deficits in children and young people with developmental language impairment (LI). Across a range of tasks, LI is associated with reduced vocabulary knowledge in terms of both breadth and depth and difficulty with learning and retaining new words; evidence is emerging from on-line tasks to suggest that low levels of language skill are associated with differences in lexical competition in spoken word recognition. The role of lexical deficits in understanding the nature of LI is also discussed.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences
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