A critical period for right hemisphere recruitment in American Sign Language processing

  title={A critical period for right hemisphere recruitment in American Sign Language processing},
  author={Aaron J. Newman and Daphn{\'e} Bavelier and David P. Corina and Peter Jezzard and Helen J. Neville},
  journal={Nature Neuroscience},
Signed languages such as American Sign Language (ASL) are natural languages that are formally similar to spoken languages, and thus present an opportunity to examine the effects of language structure and modality on the neural organization for language. Native learners of spoken languages show predominantly left-lateralized patterns of neural activation for language processing, whereas native learners of ASL show extensive right hemisphere (RH) and LH activation. We demonstrate that the RH… 

Prosodic and narrative processing in American Sign Language: An fMRI study

The bimodal bilingual brain: Effects of sign language experience

Language Lateralization in a Bimanual Language

Results indicate that lexicalsemantic processing in production relies upon left-hemisphere regions regardless of the modality in which a language is realized, and that this left- Hemisphere activation is stable, even in the face of conflicting articulatory demands.

Words in the bilingual brain: an fNIRS brain imaging investigation of lexical processing in sign-speech bimodal bilinguals

Converging evidence now suggest that bimodal bilingual experience changes the brain bases of language, including the left temporo-parietal regions known to be critical for sign language processing (Emmorey et al., 2007).

Neurobiology of Sign Languages

Neural stages of spoken, written, and signed word processing in beginning second language learners

It is demonstrated that late lexico-semantic processing utilizes a common substrate, independent of modality, and that proficiency effects in sign language are comparable to those in spoken language.



Hemispheric specialization for English and ASL: left invariance‐right variability

FUNCTIONAL magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to compare the cerebral organization during sentence processing in English and in American sign language (ASL). Classical language areas within

Cerebral organization for language in deaf and hearing subjects: biological constraints and effects of experience.

Results suggest that the early acquisition of a natural language is important in the expression of the strong bias for these areas to mediate language, independently of the form of the language.

Neural Systems Mediating American Sign Language: Effects of Sensory Experience and Age of Acquisition

ERPs were recorded from deaf and hearing native signers and from hearing subjects who acquired ASL late or not at all as they viewed ASL signs that formed sentences to suggest constraints on the organization of the neural systems that mediate formal languages.

The neurobiology of sign language and its implications for the neural basis of language

The linguistic abilities of 23 sign-language users with unilateral brain lesions were examined, and the view that the left-hemisphere dominance for language is not reducible solely to more general sensory or motor processes was supported.

Brain processing of native and foreign languages

Distinct cortical areas associated with native and second languages

Functional magnetic resonance imaging is applied to determine the spatial relationship between native and second languages in the human cortex, and shows that within the frontal-lobe language-sensitive regions (Broca's area), second languages acquired in adulthood are spatially separated from native languages.

Anatomical variability in the cortical representation of first and second language

The hypothesis that first language acquisition relies on a dedicated left-hemispheric cerebral network, while late second language acquisition is not necessarily associated with a reproducible biological substrate is supported.

Mandarin and English Single Word Processing Studied with Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

There are no significant differences in the cortical areas activated for both Mandarin and English at the single word level, irrespective of age of acquisition of either language.

Cerebral organization in bilinguals: a PET study of Chinese-English verb generation.

Positron emission tomography was used to investigate cerebral organization in subjects who had Mandarin Chinese as their native language, and learned English later in life, arguing for shared neural substrates even for such contrasting languages as Mandarin and English.

Maturational Constraints on Functional Specializations for Language Processing: ERP and Behavioral Evidence in Bilingual Speakers

The findings are consistent with the view that maturational changes significantly constrain the development of the neural systems that are relevant for language and, further, that subsystems specialized for processing different aspects of language display different sensitive periods.