Presentation Title

The Role of Memory in Language Processing: Oscillatory Evidence

Faculty Mentor

Eleonora Rossi, Ph.D

Start Date

23-11-2019 8:45 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 9:30 AM

Location

22

Session

poster 2

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Previous psycholinguistic literature has investigated grammatical processing in populations that range from late Spanish learners to native speakers of the same language. Rossi and Prystauka (under review) investigated pronoun processing in these two populations via electroencephalography (EEG). When processing grammar, the late (L2) learners were found to have alpha and beta oscillations that declined earlier in time, in contrast to the native speakers. Alpha and beta frequency bands (oscillations) have been frequently linked to the prediction of incoming sensory input (Terporten, Schoffelen, Dai, Hagoort, & Koem, 2018). More specifically, alpha bands have also been linked to multiple neural processes that underlie working memory (Wianda & Ross, 2019). This may suggest that when individuals are processing linguistic information under taxing conditions (e.g.: in their second language), the individual may not have sufficient memory resources to support the continuous processing of linguistic information in their non-native language. The present study adopts a similar hypothesis and design to the previous study, but manipulates the taxing environment in which language speakers process linguistic information. By manipulating working memory, we predict a change in the oscillatory behavior of our participants (heritage speakers of Spanish), similar to what was observed in the previous study by Rossi and Prystauka. Through the use of EEG and the adoption of a between-subjects design, participants will complete a series of linguistic tasks. Following a similar paradigm presented in Vos, Gunter, Kolk, & Mulder (2011), one participant group will complete the linguistic task with an additional working memory component, while the second group will complete the same linguistic task with the absence of the working memory component. We predict that the oscillatory behavior of the participant group with the additional working memory component will show a decrease in their alpha and beta oscillations, as previously seen in the literature.

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Nov 23rd, 8:45 AM Nov 23rd, 9:30 AM

The Role of Memory in Language Processing: Oscillatory Evidence

22

Previous psycholinguistic literature has investigated grammatical processing in populations that range from late Spanish learners to native speakers of the same language. Rossi and Prystauka (under review) investigated pronoun processing in these two populations via electroencephalography (EEG). When processing grammar, the late (L2) learners were found to have alpha and beta oscillations that declined earlier in time, in contrast to the native speakers. Alpha and beta frequency bands (oscillations) have been frequently linked to the prediction of incoming sensory input (Terporten, Schoffelen, Dai, Hagoort, & Koem, 2018). More specifically, alpha bands have also been linked to multiple neural processes that underlie working memory (Wianda & Ross, 2019). This may suggest that when individuals are processing linguistic information under taxing conditions (e.g.: in their second language), the individual may not have sufficient memory resources to support the continuous processing of linguistic information in their non-native language. The present study adopts a similar hypothesis and design to the previous study, but manipulates the taxing environment in which language speakers process linguistic information. By manipulating working memory, we predict a change in the oscillatory behavior of our participants (heritage speakers of Spanish), similar to what was observed in the previous study by Rossi and Prystauka. Through the use of EEG and the adoption of a between-subjects design, participants will complete a series of linguistic tasks. Following a similar paradigm presented in Vos, Gunter, Kolk, & Mulder (2011), one participant group will complete the linguistic task with an additional working memory component, while the second group will complete the same linguistic task with the absence of the working memory component. We predict that the oscillatory behavior of the participant group with the additional working memory component will show a decrease in their alpha and beta oscillations, as previously seen in the literature.