Julia Amunts 1,2 ✉, Julia A. camilleri 1,2 , Simon B. eickhoff 1,2 , Stefan Heim 3,4 & Susanne Weis 1,2 While there is a clear link between impairments of executive functions (EFs), i.e. cognitive control mechanisms that facilitate goal-directed behavior, and speech problems, it is so far unclear exactly which of the complex subdomains of EFs most strongly contribute to speech performance, as measured by verbalfluency (VF) tasks. Furthermore, the impact of intra-individual variability is largely unknown. This study on healthy participants (n = 235) shows that the use of a relevance vector machine approach allows for the prediction of VF performance from EF scores. Based on a comprehensive set of EF scores, results identified cognitive flexibility and inhibition as well as processing speed as strongest predictors for VF performance, but also highlighted a modulatory influence of fluctuating hormone levels. These findings demonstrate that speech production performance is strongly linked to specific EF subdomains, but they also suggest that inter-individual differences should be taken into account.
showed a trend to perform better on the semantic than on the emotional category (p = 0.07). On the second task sequence, performance on both category types was nearly similar. Hence, it could be suspected that more time is needed to perform properly on emotional categories whereas subjects are able to cope with semantic categories directly from the beginning. It appears that the training during the first sequence of the task is especially effective for emotional categories—even if the performance overall decreases in the second sequence. To conclude, although further research is needed to examine the origin of the influence of task sequence on task performance, the existence of an interaction itself underlines the necessity to conduct two or even more task sequences. Furthermore, when employing the task in parallel with traditional verbalfluency tests, this might help to separate the contribution of emotional and executive aspects on task performance. In addition, it may have clinical applicability to investigate if patients that exhibit emotion-processing deficits (e.g., schizophrenic or depressive patients) perform worse than healthy subjects on semantic fluency tasks but even disproportionately poor on the ‗EmoFlu‘ task which explicitly relies on emotional components, this might suggest that the patient‘s emotional disturbances are ―responsible‖ for the differential impairment in semantic and emotional verbalfluency tasks.
Die Forschung befasst sich vermehrt mit den Ursachen und Folgen psychischer Erkrankungen – sowie mit Therapiemöglichkeiten, mithilfe derer die Lebensqualität der Patienten erhöht und ihre Teilhabe am sozialen Leben verbessert werden kann. Seit Beginn der Hirnaktivitätsmessungen zeigte sich, dass psychische Erkrankungen – neben weiteren Einschränkungen – auch mit kognitiven Defiziten einhergehen. Zu diesen bildgebenden Verfahren gehören unter anderem die funktionelle Magnetresonanztomographie (fMRT) (2) und die Positronen-Emissions-Tomographie (PET) (3). Seit 1977 wird auch die Nahinfrarotspektroskopie als Brainmapping- Methode angewandt (4). Sie stellte sich in mehreren Studien, auch an Probanden mit psychischen Erkrankungen, als kostengünstige, leicht anzuwendende und nebenwirkungsarme Alternative heraus (5). Auch mithilfe von psychologischen Testverfahren konnten diese kognitiven Defizite im Vergleich zu gesunden Kontrollprobanden für bestimmte Patientengruppen dargestellt werden. Zu diesen Tests zählt der VerbalFluency Task, mithilfe dessen die Wortflüssigkeit der Probanden gemessen wird. Anhand von bildgebenden Verfahren war es möglich, die für den Test nötigen Hirnareale zu detektieren, und darzulegen, dass die Aktivität dieser regions of
Ein Vorteil unserer Studie war, dass wir uns auf den Pillenwirkstoff Levonorgestrel konzentrierten, was die Interpretation der Ergebnisse erleichtert. Die Datenerhebung zu definierten Messzeitpunkten im Zyklus - wie wir sie in der vorliegenden Studie durchgeführt haben - verringert mögliche Fehlerquellen durch Fluktuationen der Sexualhormone. Die Studiengruppe stellt eine sehr homogene Gruppe gesunder Frauen dar: Sie hatten keine Vorerkrankungen zum Zeitpunkt der Testung und waren hinsichtlich des IQ homogen, was besonders bei der Interpretation der kognitiven Leistungen der Frauen von Vorteil ist. Die Frauen der Experimentalgruppe hatten überwiegend androgene Pillen eingenommen und stellten somit hinsichtlich des vorherigen Pillengebrauchs eine relativ homogene Gruppe dar. Die vorliegende Untersuchung kombinierte den verbalen Task, der schon in einigen Studien im Zusammenhang mit dem Einfluss der Pille verwendet wurde, mit einem neuen Navigations Task. Diese Kombination eines bereits in der vorherigen Forschung zur Auswirkung der Pille verwendeten Task (VerbalFluency Task) und eines neuen Tasks (Navigations Task) ermöglicht, die vorliegende Studie mit vorherigen Untersuchungen zu vergleichen.
showed a trend to perform better on the semantic than on the emotional category (p = 0.07). On the second task sequence, performance on both category types was nearly similar. Hence, it could be suspected that more time is needed to perform properly on emotional categories whereas subjects are able to cope with semantic categories directly from the beginning. It appears that the training during the first sequence of the task is especially effective for emotional categories ²even if the performance overall decreases in the second sequence. To conclude, although further research is needed to examine the origin of the influence of task sequence on task performance, the existence of an interaction itself underlines the necessity to conduct two or even more task sequences. Furthermore, when employing the task in parallel with traditional verbalfluency tests, this might help to separate the contribution of emotional and executive aspects on task performance. In addition, it may have clinical applicability to investigate if patients that exhibit emotion-processing deficits (e.g., schizophrenic or depressive patients) perform worse than healthy subjects on semantic fluency tasks but even disproportionately poor on the µ(PR)OX¶ task which explicitly relies on emotional components, this might suggest that the SDWLHQW¶V emotional disturbances are ³UHVSRQVLEOH´ for the differential impairment in semantic and emotional verbalfluency tasks.
There is some evidence that women switch more often between categories, whereas men generate broader clusters than women (Weiss et al. 2006 ; Lanting et al. 2009 ). A large-scale study by Lanting et al. ( 2009 ) indicates that sex differences in strategy use during verbalfluency are stable over a wide age range. However, comparable to sex difference in overall fluency performance some investiga- tions failed to demonstrate sex differences in strategy use (Brucki and Rocha 2004 ; Troyer et al. 1997 ; Troyer 2000 ). Again, age but also education showed an impact on switching and clustering in verbalfluency, at least to a small degree (Brucki and Rocha 2004 ; Sauze´on et al. 2010 ; Troyer et al. 1997 ; Troyer 2000 ). The idea of differential strategy use in men and women is in line with the more consistent observation of sex differences in phonemic tasks, since semantic fluency tasks support the formation of subcategories, i.e., the clustering strategy.
conditions of interest (episodic retrieval: 24-hour delayed recall of a wordlist; semantic retrieval: completing a lexical fluency task) and a low level baseline (listening to MRI noise) in 18 female right-handed BPD patients and 18 non-psychiatric control subjects matched with respect to sex, age, and education. It was hypothesized that BPD patients would show increased regional BOLD responses in prefrontal and limbic brain areas during both memory retrieval conditions. Although BPD patients and control subjects showed comparable performances in verbal episodic and semantic retrieval, important group differences in regional brain activation became evident. During the retrieval of episodic information, BPD patients showed patterns of increased task-specific regional BOLD responses as compared to controls in the posterior cingulate cortex (BA 23, 31) bilaterally, in the left middle (BA 21) and superior temporal (BA 22) gyri, in the right inferior frontal gyrus (BA 45) and in the right angular gyrus (BA 39). Further, control subjects compared with BPD patients did not show areas with increased BOLD responses. During the retrieval of semantic information, BPD patients as compared with control subjects showed areas of task-specific BOLD responses with respect to the right posterior cingulate cortex (BA 31), right fusiform gyrus (BA 37), left postcentral gyrus (BA 1,2,3) and the left anterior cingulate cortex (BA 24). Again, no areas of increased task-specific BOLD responses of control subjects compared with BPD patients could be found. Despite similar neuropsychological performances of BPD patients and control subjects in episodic and semantic memory tasks the day prior to scanning, the BPD patients showed, as hypothesized, patterns of increased brain activation. However, against the hypotheses, increased regional brain activation was not only evident in prefrontal and limbic brain areas but included further parietal areas. The increased regional brain suggests that BPD patients need to recruit additional cortical resources in order to successfully retrieve information. Thus, increased activation of BPD patients during retrieval might serve as compensation (“cognitive reserve capacity”) to perform on a high level comparable to controls. Therefore, increased activation might indicate additional networks for adequate retrieval needed by BPD patients, i.e. increased effort, attention, working memory, or emotional control. However, it has to be noted that the results of the brain imaging study are limited to female patients with BPD since no male were included.
One recent study serves as an example of how verbal instructions alone failed to involve implicit motives to influence the pursuit of experimentally assigned goals. Schultheiss and Brunstein (1999, 2002) conducted a series of studies in which they instructed participants verbally to pursue a goal in the course of the experiment. Participants had to give advice in directive counseling (opportunity to influence and to help; incentive for power motive), try to win a computer game to enter the high-score list (opportunity for fame; incentive for power motive), or present their point of view to someone as convincingly as possible (opportunity to influence someone; incentive for power motive). In all of these tasks, implicit motives failed to predict various measures of participants’ engagement in attaining the goal (e.g., performance on the tasks, ratings about affective involvement) as long as participants were not given the opportunity to engage in a goal imagery exercise (see below). Thus, the availability of the verbally represented information about the goals for itself was not sufficient to arouse implicit motives and to make the invested effort contingent on the implicit needs. However, factors other than the format of response might have been responsible for these null-effects. Thus, although some initial evidence exists, a clear-cut demonstration that purely verbal stimuli are unable to arouse implicit motives is missing.
The current study seeks to examine the non-verbal signals that make up the evaluative component of any given gossip episode. Taking audio-visual recordings of real human conversations between friends as the study material, annotations of mo- ments of gossip have been created and then cate- gorised according to a coding scheme. These form the basis of the gossip episodes, and the sender is the person established to be providing the socially relevant information. The acoustic and visual non- verbal signals given in response to the provision of this information are the material of interest. 5 Stimuli
Aus den oben beschriebenen Manipulationen lassen sich zwei Fragestellungen herleiten. Ein Untersuchungspunkt ist, ob eine Bewegung der Zunge, die nicht willentlich vom Gehirn gesteuert, sondern external verursacht wird, Einfluss auf den Mere-Exposure Effekt ausüben könnte. Zu diesem Zweck wurden den Probanden in der Untersuchungsgruppe zwei Elektroden auf die Zunge geklebt und somit eine elektrostimulierte Bewegung erzeugt. Diese Methode induziert einerseits eine mechanische Einschränkung der Sprachsimulation, was Einfluss auf die Fluency haben könnte. Es wird angenommen, dass die motorische Aktivität der Zunge durch eine vorhandene Bewegung behindert ist, während der Befehlsweg vom Gehirn kommend uneingeschränkt ist. Des Weiteren könnte die Rückmeldung über versuchte Motorsimulationen zum Gehirn eventuell gestört sein. Grund dafür ist die durch Elektrostimulation induzierte Bewegung der Zunge, welche permanent die Information über eine motorische Aktivität über die Afferenz an das Gehirn aussendet. Es könnte demnach sein, dass der Informationsweg an das Gehirn über versuchte Sprachsimulationen von der bereits vorhandenen motorischen Aktivität („motorischer Lärm“) überlagert wird.
While the inclusion of shifting and scalar semantics in se- mantic representations is not limited to lexical items of par- ticular parts-of-speech – we also find shifter adjectives (e.g. devoid) and adverbs (e.g. barely) – we limit our work to ver- bal shifters for several reasons. As shown by the work of Schneider et al. (2016), verbs, together with nouns, are the most important minimal semantic units in text and thus are prime candidates for being tackled first. Verbs are usually the main syntactic predicates of clauses and sentences and thus verbal shifters can be expected to project far-reaching
The investigation of non-verbal vocalisations (NVVs) such as laughter and syllable-like forms like fillers (’filled pauses’) is often based on data elicited in experiments. Another rich source of data to investigate NVVs are corpora of various other speech modes. Although these databases are not recorded with NVVs as explicit research objects they usually take into account that not only words, or verbal vocalisations, can have importance in the speech signal. Breath noises are a typical example of an NVV that occurs in all kinds of speech styles including types of scripted and otherwise prepared speech. However, it is unclear whether and how NVVs like breath noises are annotated in speech corpora.
For both, gestures and pictures, a pre-test has been carried out to evaluate whether the enrichments matched with the linguistic items semantically. To this end, an online study was conducted in which German participants (N = 14) were provided with the gesture video or the picture and the German word. Their task was to judge in how far word and respective gesture/picture were matching on a 7-point Likert scale (1: not at all; 7: perfectly). Ratings of semantic congruence for the two enrichment conditions were comparable [t (13) = 0.792, p = 0.442]. For gestures performed by the virtual human the mean of participants’ ratings was 4.47 (SD = 0.39, min = 3.67, max = 5.67), for pictures the mean of ratings was 4.63 (SD = 0.82, min = 3.0, max = 6.27). The final items used in this study were the following. All non-verbal enrichments-pictures and videos of gestures- can be made available. The gestures can be found in the Supplementary Material (Data Sheet 2). The pictures are available upon request via the contact author.
In a series of experiments, we aim to elucidate the role of phonological processing, serial order retention, and attention capture in the detrimental effect of speech sounds on working memory tasks. In the experiment reported here, we assessed the effects of irrelevant speech on performance in three verbal working memory tasks that were comparable with respect to task structure, but differed in the cognitive processes involved (serial order retention, phoneme comparison, and semantic categorization).
To test the manipulations of the stimuli, a pretest was conducted. The manipulation of the visual part (smiling endorser vs. non smiling endorser) was successfully tested in advance by the supervisor of the author of this thesis, Verena Hofmann, PhD (Department of Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism, University of Innsbruck). Therefore, only the manipulation of the verbal content (tangible cues vs. intangible cues) was tested in this pretest. The manipulated verbal content was displayed using a normal Facebook post containing only the text. The pretest took place online and the participants were contacted via private contacts and Facebook posts. The questionnaire for the pretest was structured in such a way that there was a welcome page indicating which topic this study was investigating. Furthermore, it was pointed out that the survey was anonymous and all data was treated confidentially. The second page stated that the participants should imagine that they were currently using Facebook and had come across the following Facebook post. The third page presented one of the two stimuli and after 30 seconds the participants were automatically redirected to the following items which measured the manipulation and to the questions which queried the demographic data. The data was then analyzed by using IBM SPSS Statistics version 26.
In our analysis, the distribution of PPs reveals the presence of semi- functional heads in verbal structure. However, there is a conceivable alternative analysis, according to which agentivity and causation are contributed by the prepositions themselves. Under such a view, the presence of an agentive or causer PP does not necessarily indicate the presence of an implicit argument and/or a head Voice or vCAUS. In what follows, we investigate the distribution of PPs related to external arguments in Greek. We will see how the behavior of these PPs supports the proposal in AAS (2006) and not the alternative analysis. 2. The distribution of PPs in Greek anticausatives and passives
Table 1 compares Skut and Brants’ tagset and our tagsets. An equation as m(w i ) = m 2 (w i−1 )
reads as ’the mother node of token w at position i is the grandmother node of the preceding token’. The depth of the hierarchical dominance relation m is given by its superscript. i specifies the lin- ear position of a word in a sentence. Punctua- tion is never integrated in the syntactic structure (marked as ’-’). Tokens connected to nodes (e.g. verbal) that were removed from the syntax struc- ture are marked as ’0’. Chunk tag ’x’ indicates chunk boundaries. Figure 2 shows an example of the chunk encoding.