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  The purpose of synchronicity: Neural oscillations align excitability with linguistic informativeness

Meyer, L. (2017). The purpose of synchronicity: Neural oscillations align excitability with linguistic informativeness. Talk presented at Neural Oscillations in Speech and Language Processing. Berlin, Germany. 2017-05-28 - 2017-05-31.

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Meyer, Lars1, Author              
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1Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              

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 Abstract: In auditory neuroscience, there is emerging consensus that neural oscillations phase-synchronize with frequency-isomorphous acoustic and linguistic rhythms in speech. Yet, the tracking of certain rhythms is not language comprehension—which requires the understanding of the syntactic and semantic information that speech actually symbolizes. I will present here evidence that oscillatory synchronicity may indeed facilitate linguistic information processing. First, I will show that delta-band oscillatory phase can drive sentence interpretations that contradict acoustic cues. Second, I will show that oscillatory synchronicity aligns neural excitability (as indexed by delta-band oscillatory phase and ERPs) with linguistic informativeness (as quantified by information-theoretic metrics)—facilitating language comprehension (as measured through a high-level linguistic task). I will argue that phase-synchronization during speech processing is not a self-contained mechanism to ensure high-fidelity rhythm tracking; instead, phase-synchronization serves to optimally align information extraction capacities with linguistic information.

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 Dates: 2017-05-28
 Publication Status: Not specified
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Title: Neural Oscillations in Speech and Language Processing
Place of Event: Berlin, Germany
Start-/End Date: 2017-05-28 - 2017-05-31

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