Sonja A. Kotz

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Vocal perception is particularly important for understanding a speaker's emotional state and intentions because, unlike facial perception, it is relatively independent of speaker distance and viewing conditions. The idea, derived from brain lesion studies, that vocal emotional comprehension is a special domain of the right hemisphere has failed to receive(More)
Event-related potentials (ERP) were recorded in two experiments to examine the effects of concreteness and emotionality on visual word processing. Concrete and abstract words of negative, neutral or positive valence, as well as pseudowords were presented in a hemifield lexical decision task. Experiment 1 yielded early (P2) and late (N400, late positive(More)
In order to investigate the lateralization of emotional speech we recorded the brain responses to three emotional intonations in two conditions, i.e., "normal" speech and "prosodic" speech (i.e., speech with no linguistic meaning, but retaining the 'slow prosodic modulations' of speech). Participants listened to semantically neutral sentences spoken with a(More)
Speech is inherently tied to time. This fundamental quality has long been deemed secondary, and has consequently not received appropriate recognition in speech processing models. We develop an integrative speech processing framework by synthesizing evolutionary, anatomical and neurofunctional concepts of auditory, temporal and speech processing. These(More)
In speech comprehension, the processing of auditory information and linguistic context are mutually dependent. This functional magnetic resonance imaging study examines how semantic expectancy ("cloze probability") in variably intelligible sentences ("noise vocoding") modulates the brain bases of comprehension. First, intelligibility-modulated activation(More)
Language comprehension can be subdivided into three processing steps: initial structure building, semantic integration, and late syntactic integration. The two syntactic processing phases are correlated with two distinct components in the event-related brain potential, namely an early left anterior negativity (ELAN) and a late centroparietal positivity(More)
Speech comprehension has been shown to be a strikingly bilateral process, but the differential contributions of the subfields of left and right auditory cortices have remained elusive. The hypothesis that left auditory areas engage predominantly in decoding fast temporal perturbations of a signal whereas the right areas are relatively more driven by changes(More)
The role of the basal ganglia in language processing is currently a matter of discussion. Therefore, patients with left frontal cortical and subcortical lesions involving the basal ganglia as well as normal controls were tested in a language comprehension paradigm. Semantically incorrect, syntactically incorrect and correct sentences were presented(More)
In the current study, nine participants were asked to make gender decisions for a set of Spanish nouns while being scanned with functional MRI (fMRI). Words were chosen in which a direct mapping between ending and gender ("transparent" items such as carro(fem) or casa(masc)) is present and those in which there is not a direct relationship ("opaque" items(More)
The current review focuses on recent event-related brain potential (ERPs) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in L2 syntactic processing data. To this end, critical factors influencing both the dynamics of neural mechanisms (ERPs) and critical functional brain correlates (fMRI) are discussed. These entail the critical period hypothesis, levels(More)