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  Implicit learning of artificial grammatical structures after inferior frontal cortex lesions

Jarret, T., Stockert, A., Kotz, S. A., & Tillmann, B. (2019). Implicit learning of artificial grammatical structures after inferior frontal cortex lesions. PLoS One, 14(9): e0222385. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0222385.

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Jarret, Tatiana1, Author
Stockert, Anika2, Author
Kotz, Sonja A.3, 4, Author           
Tillmann, Barbara1, Author
1Auditory Cognition and Psychoacoustics Team, Center for Research in Neuroscience Lyon (CRNL), University of Lyon, France, ou_persistent22              
2Language & Aphasia Laboratory, Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              
4Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, the Netherlands, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: Bioassays and physiological analysis; Biology and life sciences; Brain electrophysiology; Brain mapping; Clinical medicine; Clinical neurophysiology; Cognitive impairment; Cognitive neurology; Cognitive neuroscience; Cognitive psychology; Cognitive science; Diagnostic medicine; Electroencephalography; Electrophysiological techniques; Electrophysiology; Grammar; Imaging techniques; Language; Language acquisition; Learning; Learning and memory; Lesions; Linguistics; Medicine and health sciences; Neuroimaging; Neurology; Neurophysiology; Neuroscience; Pathology and laboratory medicine; Physiology; Psychology; Research and analysis methods; Research Article; Signs and symptoms; Social sciences; Syntax
 Abstract: Objective Previous research associated the left inferior frontal cortex with implicit structure learning. The present study tested patients with lesions encompassing the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG; including Brodmann areas 44 and 45) to further investigate this cognitive function, notably by using non-verbal material, implicit investigation methods, and by enhancing potential remaining function via dynamic attending. Patients and healthy matched controls were exposed to an artificial pitch grammar in an implicit learning paradigm to circumvent the potential influence of impaired language processing. Methods Patients and healthy controls listened to pitch sequences generated within a finite-state grammar (exposure phase) and then performed a categorization task on new pitch sequences (test phase). Participants were not informed about the underlying grammar in either the exposure phase or the test phase. Furthermore, the pitch structures were presented in a highly regular temporal context as the beneficial impact of temporal regularity (e.g. meter) in learning and perception has been previously reported. Based on the Dynamic Attending Theory (DAT), we hypothesized that a temporally regular context helps developing temporal expectations that, in turn, facilitate event perception, and thus benefit artificial grammar learning. Results Electroencephalography results suggest preserved artificial grammar learning of pitch structures in patients and healthy controls. For both groups, analyses of event-related potentials revealed a larger early negativity (100–200 msec post-stimulus onset) in response to ungrammatical than grammatical pitch sequence events. Conclusions These findings suggest that (i) the LIFG does not play an exclusive role in the implicit learning of artificial pitch grammars, and (ii) the use of non-verbal material and an implicit task reveals cognitive capacities that remain intact despite lesions to the LIFG. These results provide grounds for training and rehabilitation, that is, learning of non-verbal grammars that may impact the relearning of verbal grammars. © 2019 Jarret et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2018-04-252019-08-292019-09-20
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0222385
PMID: 31539390
PMC: PMC6754135
Other: eCollection 2019
 Degree: -



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Project name : Europe, Brain and Music: New perspectives for stimulating cognitive and sensory processes / EBRAMUS
Grant ID : 238157
Funding program : Funding Programme 7
Funding organization : European Commission (EC)
Project name : -
Grant ID : ANR-10-LABX-60
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Centre Lyonnais d’Acoustique (CeLyA)

Source 1

Title: PLoS One
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: San Francisco, CA : Public Library of Science
Pages: 24 Volume / Issue: 14 (9) Sequence Number: e0222385 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1932-6203
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1000000000277850