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Acoustically driven cortical delta oscillations underpin prosodic chunking

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Rimmele,  Johanna Maria
Department of Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck NYU Center for Language, Music and Emotion;

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Poeppel,  David
Department of Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck NYU Center for Language, Music and Emotion;
Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science;

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Ghitza,  Oded
Department of Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Max Planck Society;
Department of Biomedical Engineering & Hearing Research Center;

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Citation

Rimmele, J. M., Poeppel, D., & Ghitza, O. (2021). Acoustically driven cortical delta oscillations underpin prosodic chunking. eNeuro, ENEURO.0562-20.2021. doi:10.1523/ENEURO.0562-20.2021.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-A8BD-6
Abstract
Oscillation-based models of speech perception postulate a cortical computational principle by which decoding is performed within a window structure derived by a segmentation process. Segmentation of syllable-size chunks is realized by a theta oscillator. We provide evidence for an analogous role of a delta oscillator in the segmentation of phrase-sized chunks. We recorded Magnetoencephalography (MEG) in humans, while participants performed a target identification task. Random-digit strings, with phrase-long chunks of two digits, were presented at chunk rates of 1.8 Hz or 2.6 Hz, inside or outside the delta frequency band (defined here to be 0.5 - 2 Hz). Strong periodicities were elicited by chunk rates inside of delta in superior, middle temporal areas and speech-motor integration areas. Periodicities were diminished or absent for chunk rates outside delta, in line with behavioral performance. Our findings show that prosodic chunking of phrase-sized acoustic segments is correlated with acoustic-driven delta oscillations, expressing anatomically specific patterns of neuronal periodicities.