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  Individual alpha power predicts language comprehension

Wang, P., He, Y., Maess, B., Yue, J., Chen, L., Brauer, J., et al. (2021). Individual alpha power predicts language comprehension. bioRxiv. doi:10.1101/2021.10.12.464065.

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Wang, Peng1, Author           
He, Y., Author
Maess, Burkhard1, Author                 
Yue, J., Author
Chen, Luyao2, Author           
Brauer, Jens2, Author           
Friederici, Angela D.2, Author                 
Knösche, Thomas R.1, Author                 
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1Methods and Development Group Brain Networks, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_2205650              
2Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              

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 Abstract: Alpha power attenuation during cognitive task performing has been suggested to reflect a process of release of inhibition, increase of excitability, and thereby benefit the improvement of performance. Here, we hypothesized that changes in individual alpha power during the execution of a complex language comprehension task may correlate with the individual performance in that task. We tested this using magnetoencephalography (MEG) recorded during comprehension of German sentences of different syntactic complexity.

Results showed that neither the frequency nor the power of the spontaneous oscillatory activity at rest were associated with the individual performance. However, during the execution of a sentences processing task, the individual alpha power attenuation did correlate with individual language comprehension performance. Source reconstruction localized effects in temporal-parietal regions of both hemispheres. While the effect of increased task difficulty is localized in the right hemisphere, the difference in power attenuation between tasks of different complexity exhibiting a correlation with performance was localized in left temporal-parietal brain regions known to be associated with language processing.

From our results, we conclude that in-task attenuation of individual alpha power is related to the essential mechanisms of the underlying cognitive processes, rather than merely to general phenomena like attention or vigilance.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-10-13
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1101/2021.10.12.464065
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Title: bioRxiv
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