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Psy1302 Psychology of Language

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Title: Psy1302 Psychology of Language


1
Psy1302 Psychology of Language
  • Lectures 3 ( 4)
  • Language and the Brain

2
Review
Last lecture
  • We discussed animal communication systems.
  • We compared human language to animal
    communication systems, and noted features that
    were shared and that were unique.

3
Review
Last lecture
  • What are some of the features that are unique to
    human languages?

4
Chomsky
Biology
  • If an animal had a capacity as biologically
    advantageous as language but somehow hadnt used
    it until now, it would be an evolutionary
    miracle, like finding an island of humans who
    could be taught to fly.

5
Preprogrammed for Language?
This week
(digression)
  • Teaching animals language
  • How much of language learning is contributed by
    culture? How much of it is by the learner?
  • Language in the brain
  • If we are genetically preprogrammed for language,
    are there dedicated areas of the brain for
    processing language?

6
Languages around the world
Biology Environment
  • Human language product of biology
    culture/environment.

7
Can Animals Learn Language?
Ape Language
  • Culture or biology?
  • Can nonhuman primates (or other animals) learn
    language-like communication systems?

8
Non-Primates
Ape Language
Rocky
Akeakamai Phoenix
Alex co.
Click to view If they could only speak. PBS
Animal Einstein show.
9
Non-Human Primates
Ape Language
sarah co.
washoe louslis
washoe
vicki
koko
nim chimsky
lana co.
kanzi co.
10
Research Questions.
Ape Language
  • Suppose you are the experimenter, what questions
    would you ask about the animals competence in
    learning language?
  • Arbitrariness (of word form to meaning)
  • Vocabulary Size
  • Displacement
  • Creativity Spontaneous Novel Uses
  • Evidence of Syntax
  • Amount of signing within the community
  • Transmission of Language to others within the
    community

11
Washoe
Ape Language
  • June 1965 born
  • 1-yr-old Begins training
  • 6-months 4 signs
  • 2-yrs-old 13 signs
  • 3-yrs-old 34 signs
  • 4-yrs-old 85
  • 5-yrs-old 132
  • 27-yrs-old 240
  • Findings (though controversial)
  • New extensions
  • e.g., dirty, red
  • New word combination syntax
  • e.g., water bird, baby in my drink.
  • Transmitted 50 signs to Louslis (adopted son).

12
Nim Chimsky
Ape Language
  • Goal To extend findings of Washoe, to
    communicate with chimps.
  • 2-wks. old Begin training 3-y.o. Learned about
    125 signs.
  • Findings
  • Limited vocabulary
  • Little evidence of creativity
  • Rudimentary syntax (word order)
  • Lack of appropriate conversational skills

13
Conversation with Koko
Ape Language
  • Moderator Koko are you going to have a baby in
    the future?
  • Koko Pink.
  • Dr. Patterson Weve had earlier discussion about
    colors today.
  • Koko Listen! Koko loves eat.
  • .
  • Moderator What are the names of your kittens?
    (and dogs?)
  • Koko foot
  • Dr. Patterson Foot isnt the name of your kitty.
  • Moderator Koko, what s the name of your cat?
  • Koko no
  • ....
  • Moderator Do you like to chat with other people?
  • Koko fine nipple
  • Dr. Patterson Nipple rhymes with people, she
    doesnt sign people per se, she was trying to do
    a sounds like ...

14
Lana Friends
Ape Language
  • The Lana Project (or LANguage Analog) established
    in 1971.
  • Yerkish Artificial language

LEXIGRAMS
http//www.greatapetrust.org/player/video.php?vid
16
15
Kanzi
Ape Language
  • 6 m.o. exposed to spoken English and lexigrams.
  • 25 spontaneous use of lexigrams
  • Findings
  • Production (2006) 348 words
  • Evidence of word combination
  • Syntactic rule (Savage-Rumbaugh 1994)
  • verbs before nouns.
  • Hide peanut
  • Bite tomato
  • Estimate know 3000 English words

16
Comprehension vs. Production Asymmetry
Ape Language
17
Kanzi (bonobo) vs. Alia (human child)
Ape Language
  • Task Compare language development in a normal
    child (Alia 20) and normal bonobo (Kanzi 80),
    based on responses to 660 spoken instructions.
  • Alia (the child)
  • Exposed to spoken English from birth and
    lexigrams from 3 mo.
  • Spontaneous use of lexigrams at 11 mo.

Savage- Rumbaugh et. al. 1993
http//www.greatapetrust.org/video/av17c.htm
18
In Comprehension
Ape Language
  • Kanzi pays attention to action verbs
  • Take the rock outdoors
  • Get the rock thats outdoors
  • (Both locations had a rock available)
  • Kanzi pays attention to word order
  • Put the hat on your ball
  • Put the ball on the hat
  • Kanzis comprehension at least matches a 2 y.o.
    child.
  • Demonstrates that animals can learn some aspects
    of the grammars of human language
  • word order
  • modifier noun relations

http//www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/76
19
Some Interim Conclusions
Ape Language
  • Small vocabularies
  • Little evidence of grammar
  • Little evidence of productive or innovative
    language
  • Maybe some evidence of displaced reference
  • Maybe some transmission of language to next
    generation

20
Some Linguists Concluding Remarks
Ape Language
  • I do not believe that there has ever been an
    example anywhere of a nonhuman expressing an
    opinion, or asking a question. Not ever, says
    Geoffrey Pullum, a linguist at the University of
    California at Santa Cruz. It would be wonderful
    if animals could say things about the world, as
    opposed to just signaling a direct emotional
    state or need. But they just dont.
  • Source http//www.smithsonianmagazine.com/issues/
    2006/november/speakingbonobo.php

21
Culture vs. Biology
Ape Language
22
Interim Thought Questions (good website
discussion points)
Ape Language
  • What additional studies would you like to see
    with language trained/exposed animals?
  • What are some of the similarities and differences
    between language trained animals and their
    communication systems in the wild?
  • If language trained animals have the abilities of
    mapping arbitrary words/symbols to meaning, or
    combine words, why do they not do this more often
    in the wild?

23
Some Thought Questions for Future Lectures (good
website discussion points)
Ape Language
  • Note some of the language training studies on
    animals were meant to see how animals think, and
    not meant to examine their language learning
    abilities
  • What cognitive prerequisites must the animals
    have in order to support the language training?
  • For next week How would you compare the
    achievement of these language trained animals
    with home-signers, children of pidgin speakers,
    or those Nicaraguan Sign Language signers?

24
Brain and Language
Language in the brain
  • Our ability for language -- Is it the result of
    general intelligence? Or the result of evolved
    special circuitry for language?
  • Double Dissociations
  • Good on language, Poor on intelligence
  • Good on intelligence, Poor on language

25
Williams Syndrome(Bellugi et al.)
Language in the brain
  • Genetic disorder deletion of certain genes on
    chromosome 7
  • Preserved linguistic ability, hypersociability,
  • Even precocious vocabulary, unusual command of
    language
  • Cognitive Deficits, low IQ (35-50)
  • Preoperational in Piagets terms
  • E.g. Fail conversation, Serialization tasks
  • Deficits in spatial abilities

26
Specific Language Impairment (SLI)
Language in the brain
  • Converse of Williams Syndrome
  • Preserved cognitive ability, normal IQ.
  • Linguistic Deficits
  • inflecting nonsense words
  • making grammaticality judgments and correcting
    sentences
  • checking syntactic features (subject/verb
    agreement, tense marking)
  • production of correct derived forms
  • FoxP2 gene on chromosome 7 impairment affecting
    jaw and tongue movement, speech, and grammar
    (tense, number).

27
Phrenology
Language in the brain
28
Language Faculty
Language in the brain
Outline
  • Processing language is complex
  • Are there dedicated areas of the brain for
    processing language?
  • Areas of the Brain
  • Broca and Wernickes Areas (Loc.)
  • Left vs. Right Hemisphere (Lat.)
  • Time Course and Brain Plasticity

29
Language Faculty
Language in the brain
Outline
  • Processing language is complex
  • Are there dedicated areas of the brain for
    processing language?
  • Draw evidence from
  • Patients with brain damage (Aphasics)
  • Patients with operations
  • Commissurotomy
  • Hemispherectomy
  • Normal Population (Spoken Sign)

30
Areas associated with language
Language in the brain
31
In Search for Language Center
Language in the brain
Localization Broca
  • Broca (1861)
  • Patient "Tan"
  • Complete Aphasic Behavior
  • Right-side motor/sensation deficit.
  • Post-mortem Autopsy Cyst in Left Hemisphere.
  • Next Eight Cases of Aphasics
  • Lesion in Left Hemisphere (8 of 8).
  • on parle avec lhemisphere gauche

32
Brocas Aphasia
Language in the brain
Localization Broca
Parietal Lobe
Frontal Lobe
Occipital Lobe
33
Brocas Aphasia
Language in the brain
Localization Broca
Patient Peter Hogan. Worked in paper
mill. "What brings you to the hospital?" Yes...
ah....Monday...ah...Dad and Peter Hogan... and
dad...ah...hospital...and ah...Wednesday...Wednesd
ay nine o'clock... What was your job? Lower
falls... Maine....Paper...Four hundred tons a
day! And ah... sulfur machines....wood...

34
Brocas Aphasia and Grammatical Processing
Language in the brain
Localization Broca
  • Terrible Speech
  • Relatively Good Comprehension
  • Can understand sentences like
  • The dog bit the woman.
  • The apple that the boy is eating is red.

35
Brocas Aphasia and Grammatical Processing
Language in the brain
Localization Broca
  • Caplan (1982)
  • Please Act Out Sentences like
  • The car is pushed by the truck.
  • The girl whom the boy is pushing is tall.
  • These Sentences can only be understood by use of
    syntax.
  • Broca Aphasics do poorly.
  • ? Broca Area Grammar

36
Brocas Aphasia and Grammatical Processing
Language in the brain
Localization Broca
  • http//www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid157
    4 (from 258-616)

A lawyer who had a stroke and became aphasic.
37
Another language center
Language in the brain
Localization Wernicke
  • Wernicke (1874)
  • Studied effects of brain disease on speech
  • Discovered another area besides Brocas Area
    creates speech disorders.

38
Wernickes Aphasia
Language in the brain
Localization Wernicke
  • Patients with posterior lesions in the left
    hemisphere
  • Speech is fluent
  • But comprehension is impaired

Frontal Lobe
Occipital Lobe
39
Wernickes Aphasia
Language in the brain
Localization Wernicke
From Howard Gardner's Research "What brings you
to the hospital?" I asked the 72 year old
retired butcher, four weeks after his admission
to the hospital. "Boy, I'm sweating, I'm awful
nervous, you know, once in a while I get caught
up, I can't mention the tarrapoi, ... " I
attempted several times to break in, but was
unable to do so against this relentlessly steady
and rapid outflow...

40
Wernickes Aphasia
Language in the brain
Localization Wernicke
  • Fluent Grammatical Speech.
  • But, speech makes no sense.
  • word substitutions
  • "table" -gt "chair"
  • "elbow" -gt "knee"
  • Little Comprehension.
  • Wernicke's area seems to look up words and send
    them to on to Broca's area for grammatical
    structuring.

41
Language in the brain
Broca Wernicke
Deficits associated with brain damage
  • Brocas Area
  • Disturbance of speech production
  • Agrammatic speech
  • Relatively good comprehension and naming
  • Wernickes Area
  • Disturbances in auditory comprehension
  • Fluent speech

(GRAMMATICAL PROCESSING)
(LEXICAL PROCESSING)
42
Projections between two language areas
Language in the brain
Broca Wernicke

43
Conduction Aphasia
Language in the brain
Broca Wernicke
  • Connection between Wernicke Brocas area is
    severed. (i.e., information is not being
    transmitted from W?B)
  • What are the symptoms?
  • Production fluent?
  • Speech errors (a.k.a. Paraphasis)?
  • Comprehension?
  • Reading?
  • Repetition?

44
Wernicke/Lichtheim/Geschwind Model
Language in the brain
Broca Wernicke
Concept
Broca
Wernicke
Auditory input
Speech output
45
Other kinds of Aphasia
Language in the brain
Broca Wernicke
  • Some examples
  • Global
  • Anomia
  • Transcortical Aphasias

46
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Technology
Language in the brain
Broca Wernicke
  • http//www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid161
    5

47
  • STOPPING POINT FOR TUESDAY.

48
PET Study on non-patients (Normal)
Language in the brain
Broca Wernicke
  • The subjects stared at a crosshair on a computer
    monitor while their brain activity was monitored
    via PET imaging.
  • Common English nouns appeared on the screen
    (visual), or were heard (auditory). The
    presentation rate was 40 words a minute.
  • The subjects were asked to speak the words that
    they saw or heard.
  • The subjects were asked to say aloud a use
    appropriate for the noun they either viewed or
    heard. e.g., if the word was 'hammer' an
    appropriate response would be 'hit
  • The images were generated by subtraction of the
    PET images from each other (i.e., more complex
    minus less complex process)

Petersen, S.E., Fox, P.T., Posner, M.I., Mintun,
M. Raichle, M.E. (1989)
49
Language in the brain
Broca Wernicke
50
English vs. ASL (Neville et al. 1998)
Language in the brain
Broca Wernicke
RIGHT
LEFT
Hearing Ss Reading English Sentences
Deaf Ss watching a signer signing ASL sentences
51
Contralateral Control(as opposed to ipsilateral
control)
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
  • 1860s investigators apply electric currents to
    brains of anesthetized animals and made an
    interesting discovery.

Right Brain
Left Brain
Left Body
Right Body
52
The Wada Test (1949)
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
Juhn A. Wada
53
Rasmussen Milner (1977)
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
(Normal Patients undergoing Wada Test)
54
Hemispheres Visual Field
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
Right Visual Field
Left Visual Field
Right Brain
Left Brain
55
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
Information Flow is as follows LVF ? RH ?
LH RVF ? LH ? RH
56
Language in Left Hemisphere
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
  • Visually Flashed Words

(50 millisecond)
More Accurate on Right Visual Field
57
Language in Left Hemisphere
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
More accurate with Right Ear
58
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
59
Kimura (1973)
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
60
Split-Brain Research(Sperry, Gazzaniga, etc.)
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
  • Surgically Lesioned Corpus Callosum
  • cure for epilepsy
  • Post-surgery
  • Normal Behavior

61

62
Testing Split-Brain Patient
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
General Testing Setup.

63
Name that object (picture in RVF)
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
Patient says Spoon!
64
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
Name that object(picture in LVF)
Patient (says nothing) Researcher Did you see
any thing? Patient Nope.
65
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
Right Visual Field
Left Visual Field
Right Brain
Left Brain
Left Body
Right Body
66
Pick up the object displayed
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
67
Language in the brain
Pick up the object displayed
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
68
LH rationalizing behavior of RH
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere

69
Typical Split Brain Patient
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
  • Left Brain
  • Normal Language Use
  • Speaking and listening
  • No easily detectable deficits.
  • Right Brain
  • Some rudimentary word recognition.

70
Split-brain patient and Dichotic Listening
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
What does the patient report hearing in all three
cases?
71
A Man with Two Brains
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
  • http//www.pbs.org/perl/media.cgir?twfvirage/sc
    ientific/pbssaf703_220k.asfs173000e780266

With communication between his left and right
hemispheres severed, a patient teaches doctors
about the division of labor within the brain.
72
American Sign Language (ASL)
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
  • Deaf Signers with Left Hemisphere Damage
  • Language Deficit. Aphasic.
  • Deaf Signers with Right Hemisphere Damage
  • Visio-Spatial Deficits.
  • No easily detectable language deficits.
  • Left Hemisphere implicated in Language

Poizner, Klima, Bellugi (1987)
73
Native ASL Signers RH vs. LH damage
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
Hickok et al. (1998)
74
Native ASL Signers RH vs. LH damage
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
  • Comparisons on
  • Production
  • Comprehension
  • Phrase repetition Test
  • Naming Test
  • Rhyming Test
  • Paraphasias/min (speech error/min)

Hickok et al. (1996)
75
Functions of the Hemispheres
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
  • Left Hemisphere
  • Rapid language processing
  • Lexical, syntactic processing
  • Phonemic processing
  • Right Hemisphere
  • Higher level processing
  • Discourse processing
  • Prosodic information

76
Language in the brain
Lateralization Left vs. Right Hemisphere
Summary Brain and modularity
  • Patient data provide evidence that there are
    regions of the brain associated with language
    processing
  • Data from normals corroborate brain damage data
  • The evidence is suggestive of brain modularity
    i.e. specialized areas for processing language.

77
When does lateralization emerge?
Language in the brain
Lateralization Emergence
  • Quickly within the first few years of life.
  • Dichotic listening task (Kimura,1963)
  • 4-6 yr-olds show right-ear advantage
  • EEG/ERP data (Neville et al.)
  • 4-6 yr-olds
  • High-amplitude sucking (Bertoncini et al. 1989)
  • Neonates (4-day-olds)
  • Right-ear advantage for syllable change
  • Left-ear advantage for musical tone change

78
When does lateralization emerge?
Language in the brain
Lateralization Emergence
  • http//www.pbs.org/perl/media.cgir?twfvirage/sc
    ientific/pbssaf703_220k.asfs2677776e3334066
  • Videoclip touches upon
  • EEG/ERP technology
  • Lateralization emergence
  • Critical Period in Second Language Acquisition
  • Issues of Plasticity
  • Competition of processes

79
More to think about
Language in the brain
  • Plasticity and Modularity
  • Evidence for brain plasticity is relevant to the
    question of whether there are dedicated faculties
    for language processing.

80
Question of Plasticity Rasmussen Milner (1977)
Wada test
Language in the brain
Plasticity
Normals
Patients with Left Hemisphere Lesions
81
Where is important
Language in the brain
Plasticity
  • Above data (Rasmussen Milner, 1977) show
  • Shift of laterality occurs to some extent
    (plasticity of brain)
  • Those who are left-handed or mixed have greater
    plasticity than those who are right-handed

82
When is important
Language in the brain
Plasticity
  • Rasmussen Milner (1977)
  • Brain damage after 5-years-old rarely results in
    shift of laterality
  • Severity of aphasia greater for those who suffer
    brain damage later
  • ? The younger, the more plasticity
  • See Carroll (2008), Ch. 13 for cited
    corroborating data comparing hemispherectomy
    children.
  • Under 9, better recovery of language

83
The Power of Half
Language in the brain
Plasticity
  • http//vvi.onstreammedia.com/cgi-bin/visearch?user
    pbs-saftemplateplay220asf.htmlquery2Asquery
    2BClipID3A62BVideoAsset3Apbssaf1302inputFie
    ld20entireNoccstart2959283ccend3285953vid
    eoIDpbssaf1302

A glance into the life of Michelle Mack, a young
woman born with half a brain after suffering a
stroke in utero.
84
  • Next set of lecture notes
  • Continuation w/ ideas on being preprogrammed for
    language
  • Interaction between environment/culture the
    learner
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