Submission Date

7-24-2015

Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access

Department

Neuroscience

Faculty Mentor

Joel Bish

Comments

Presented during the 17th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 24, 2015 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

Neurolinguistics is a branch of neuroscience that encompasses the neural processes and mechanisms that underlie the production and understanding of language. In the initial production of language, phonemes, which represent the most fundamental parts of language, begin to be produced and coordinated together into morphemes, and then into words, sentences, and eventually grammatical structuring which defines the language. Inherently, with the multitude of languages across cultures and continents and their varying degrees of similarity and difference, it must be assumed that each language uses phonemes specific to that language and disregards those that are not specific to that language. Using an EEG, the processing of information perceived as language and of that perceived as generalized sound can be differentiated by analyzing the neural correlates following stimulus. During language processing, generalized sound causes increased activity in Heschl’s gyrus on both hemispheres, while language is processed unilaterally in Heschl’s gyrus. In subjecting individuals to a language specific phoneme repetition task (LSPRT), in both visual and auditory representations, the transition of foreign language stimuli from generalized sound to language should be reported in the form of neural correlate data. This habituation of language observed in the form of neural correlates will be compared to the individual’s success in a recognition task post LSPRT which should show that that neural correlate data can be used to predict their accuracy on recall. Determination of the neural correlates of second language acquisition and the speed of habituation are the primary focuses of this research.

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