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The present study investigated the role of proficiency in late second-language (L2) processing using comparable stimuli in German and Italian. Both sets of stimuli consisted of simple active sentences including a word category violation, a morphosyntactic agreement violation, or a combination of the two. Four experiments were conducted to study high- and(More)
Understanding the rapidly developing building blocks of speech perception in infancy requires a close look at the auditory prerequisites for speech sound processing. Pioneering studies have demonstrated that hemispheric specializations for language processing are already present in early infancy. However, whether these computational asymmetries can be(More)
In two experiments we investigate how repeated exposure to native and non-native phonotactic regularities alters the N400, an event-related potential related to lexico-semantic access. Participants underwent a Passive Listening (Experiment 1) or a Categorization Training (Experiment 2) for monosyllabic pseudowords over 3 days. During Passive Listening(More)
The present study investigated the relationship between two different syntactic information types, namely word category and morphosyntax. The event-related brain potential (ERP) pattern of acoustically presented sentences containing two syntactic anomalies (word category and subject-verb agreement) was compared to the ERP response to sentences containing a(More)
Spoken word recognition is achieved via competition between activated lexical candidates that match the incoming speech input. The competition is modulated by prelexical cues that are important for segmenting the auditory speech stream into linguistic units. One such prelexical cue that listeners rely on in spoken word recognition is phonotactics.(More)
During language acquisition in infancy and when learning a foreign language, the segmentation of the auditory stream into words and phrases is a complex process. Intuitively, learners use "anchors" to segment the acoustic speech stream into meaningful units like words and phrases. Regularities on a segmental (e.g., phonological) or suprasegmental (e.g.,(More)
Speech perception requires rapid extraction of the linguistic content from the acoustic signal. The ability to efficiently process rapid changes in auditory information is important for decoding speech and thereby crucial during language acquisition. Investigating functional networks of speech perception in infancy might elucidate neuronal ensembles(More)
Response inhibition is an attention function which develops relatively early during childhood. Behavioral data suggest that by the age of 3, children master the basic task requirements for the assessment of response inhibition but performance improves substantially until the age of 7. The neuronal mechanisms underlying these developmental processes,(More)
Investigating the neuronal network underlying language processing may contribute to a better understanding of how the brain masters this complex cognitive function with surprising ease and how language is acquired at a fast pace in infancy. Modern neuroimaging methods permit to visualize the evolvement and the function of the language network. The present(More)
BACKGROUND Hippocampal/parahippocampal structural changes accompany major depressive disorders in the elderly, but whether subthreshold depression (StD) at an advanced age is also accompanied by similar changes in hippocampal/parahippocampal volumes is still unknown. By using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis of the gray matter, we explored whether(More)