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  Mismatch response to polysyllabic nonwords: A neurophysiological signature of language learning capacity

Barry, J. G., Hardiman, M. J., & Bishop, D. (2009). Mismatch response to polysyllabic nonwords: A neurophysiological signature of language learning capacity. PLoS One, 4(7): e6270. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006270.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-C6ED-7 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-DC44-2
Genre: Journal Article

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Barry_Mismatch.pdf (Publisher version), 320KB
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2009
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© 2009 Barry 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.
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 Creators:
Barry, Johanna G.1, 2, 3, Author              
Hardiman, Mervyn J.1, Author
Bishop, Dorothy1, Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
2Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              
3MRC Institute of Hearing Research, Nottingham Clinical Section, Nottingham, United Kingdom , ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: Background: The ability to repeat polysyllabic nonwords such as ‘‘blonterstaping’’ has frequently been shown to correlate with language learning ability but it is not clear why such a correlation should exist. Three alternative explanations have been offered, stated in terms of differences in: (a) perceptual ability; (b) efficiency of phonological loop functioning; (c) preexisting vocabulary knowledge and/or articulatory skills. In the present study, we used event-related potentials to assess the contributions from these three factors to explaining individual variation in nonword repetition ability. Methodology/Principal Findings: 59 adults who were subdivided according to whether they were good or poor nonwordrepeaters participated. Electrophysiologically measured mismatch responses were recorded to changes in consonants as participants passively listened to a repeating four syllable CV-string. The consonant change could occur in one of four positions along the CV-string and we predicted that: (a) if nonword repetition depended purely on auditory discrimination ability, then reduced mismatch responses to all four consonant changes would be observed in the poor nonword-repeaters, (b) if it depended on encoding or decay of information in a capacity-limited phonological store, then a position specific decrease in mismatch response would be observed, (c) if neither cognitive capacity was involved, then the two groups of participants would provide equivalent mismatch responses. Consistent with our second hypothesis, a position specific difference located on the third syllable was observed in the late discriminative negativity (LDN) window (230–630 ms postsyllable onset). Conclusions/Significance: Our data thus confirm that people who are poorer at nonword repetition are less efficient in early processing of polysyllabic speech materials, but this impairment is not attributable to deficits in low level auditory discrimination. We conclude by discussing the significance of the observed relationship between LDN amplitude and nonword repetition ability and describe how this relatively little understood ERP component provides a biological window onto processes required for successful language learning.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2009-06-082009-07-17
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: eDoc: 458456
Other: P10063
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006270
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Title: PLoS One
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: San Francisco, CA : Public Library of Science
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 4 (7) Sequence Number: e6270 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1932-6203
CoNE: /journals/resource/1000000000277850