Neurophysiological and behavioral responses of mandarin lexical tone processing

Yan H. Yu, Valerie L. Shafer, Elyse S. Sussman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Language experience enhances discrimination of speech contrasts at a behavioral- perceptual level, as well as at a pre-attentive level, as indexed by event-related potential (ERP) mismatch negativity (MMN) responses. The enhanced sensitivity could be the result of changes in acoustic resolution and/or long-term memory representations of the relevant information in the auditory cortex. To examine these possibilities, we used a short (ca. 600 ms) vs. long (ca. 2,600 ms) interstimulus interval (ISI) in a passive, oddball discrimination task while obtaining ERPs. These ISI differences were used to test whether cross-linguistic differences in processing Mandarin lexical tone are a function of differences in acoustic resolution and/or differences in long-term memory representations. Bisyllabic nonword tokens that differed in lexical tone categories were presented using a passive listening multiple oddball paradigm. Behavioral discrimination and identification data were also collected. The ERP results revealed robust MMNs to both easy and difficult lexical tone differences for both groups at short ISIs. At long ISIs, there was either no change or an enhanced MMN amplitude for the Mandarin group, but reduced MMN amplitude for the English group. In addition, the Mandarin listeners showed a larger late negativity (LN) discriminative response than the English listeners for lexical tone contrasts in the long ISI condition. Mandarin speakers outperformed English speakers in the behavioral tasks, especially under the long ISI conditions with the more similar lexical tone pair. These results suggest that the acoustic correlates of lexical tone are fairly robust and easily discriminated at short ISIs, when the auditory sensory memory trace is strong. At longer ISIs beyond 2.5 s language-specific experience is necessary for robust discrimination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number95
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Volume11
Issue numberMAR
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 6 2017

Fingerprint

Acoustics
Long-Term Memory
Evoked Potentials
Language
Speech Perception
Auditory Cortex
Linguistics
Discrimination (Psychology)

Keywords

  • Cross-language speech processing
  • Event-related brain potential
  • Interstimulus interval
  • Late negativity
  • Mandarin lexical tone
  • Mismatch negativity
  • Sensory memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Neurophysiological and behavioral responses of mandarin lexical tone processing. / Yu, Yan H.; Shafer, Valerie L.; Sussman, Elyse S.

In: Frontiers in Neuroscience, Vol. 11, No. MAR, 95, 06.03.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{1e403a21e0d341f98fa2232da4e573ec,
title = "Neurophysiological and behavioral responses of mandarin lexical tone processing",
abstract = "Language experience enhances discrimination of speech contrasts at a behavioral- perceptual level, as well as at a pre-attentive level, as indexed by event-related potential (ERP) mismatch negativity (MMN) responses. The enhanced sensitivity could be the result of changes in acoustic resolution and/or long-term memory representations of the relevant information in the auditory cortex. To examine these possibilities, we used a short (ca. 600 ms) vs. long (ca. 2,600 ms) interstimulus interval (ISI) in a passive, oddball discrimination task while obtaining ERPs. These ISI differences were used to test whether cross-linguistic differences in processing Mandarin lexical tone are a function of differences in acoustic resolution and/or differences in long-term memory representations. Bisyllabic nonword tokens that differed in lexical tone categories were presented using a passive listening multiple oddball paradigm. Behavioral discrimination and identification data were also collected. The ERP results revealed robust MMNs to both easy and difficult lexical tone differences for both groups at short ISIs. At long ISIs, there was either no change or an enhanced MMN amplitude for the Mandarin group, but reduced MMN amplitude for the English group. In addition, the Mandarin listeners showed a larger late negativity (LN) discriminative response than the English listeners for lexical tone contrasts in the long ISI condition. Mandarin speakers outperformed English speakers in the behavioral tasks, especially under the long ISI conditions with the more similar lexical tone pair. These results suggest that the acoustic correlates of lexical tone are fairly robust and easily discriminated at short ISIs, when the auditory sensory memory trace is strong. At longer ISIs beyond 2.5 s language-specific experience is necessary for robust discrimination.",
keywords = "Cross-language speech processing, Event-related brain potential, Interstimulus interval, Late negativity, Mandarin lexical tone, Mismatch negativity, Sensory memory",
author = "Yu, {Yan H.} and Shafer, {Valerie L.} and Sussman, {Elyse S.}",
year = "2017",
month = "3",
day = "6",
doi = "10.3389/fnins.2017.00095",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "11",
journal = "Frontiers in Neuroscience",
issn = "1662-4548",
publisher = "Frontiers Research Foundation",
number = "MAR",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Neurophysiological and behavioral responses of mandarin lexical tone processing

AU - Yu, Yan H.

AU - Shafer, Valerie L.

AU - Sussman, Elyse S.

PY - 2017/3/6

Y1 - 2017/3/6

N2 - Language experience enhances discrimination of speech contrasts at a behavioral- perceptual level, as well as at a pre-attentive level, as indexed by event-related potential (ERP) mismatch negativity (MMN) responses. The enhanced sensitivity could be the result of changes in acoustic resolution and/or long-term memory representations of the relevant information in the auditory cortex. To examine these possibilities, we used a short (ca. 600 ms) vs. long (ca. 2,600 ms) interstimulus interval (ISI) in a passive, oddball discrimination task while obtaining ERPs. These ISI differences were used to test whether cross-linguistic differences in processing Mandarin lexical tone are a function of differences in acoustic resolution and/or differences in long-term memory representations. Bisyllabic nonword tokens that differed in lexical tone categories were presented using a passive listening multiple oddball paradigm. Behavioral discrimination and identification data were also collected. The ERP results revealed robust MMNs to both easy and difficult lexical tone differences for both groups at short ISIs. At long ISIs, there was either no change or an enhanced MMN amplitude for the Mandarin group, but reduced MMN amplitude for the English group. In addition, the Mandarin listeners showed a larger late negativity (LN) discriminative response than the English listeners for lexical tone contrasts in the long ISI condition. Mandarin speakers outperformed English speakers in the behavioral tasks, especially under the long ISI conditions with the more similar lexical tone pair. These results suggest that the acoustic correlates of lexical tone are fairly robust and easily discriminated at short ISIs, when the auditory sensory memory trace is strong. At longer ISIs beyond 2.5 s language-specific experience is necessary for robust discrimination.

AB - Language experience enhances discrimination of speech contrasts at a behavioral- perceptual level, as well as at a pre-attentive level, as indexed by event-related potential (ERP) mismatch negativity (MMN) responses. The enhanced sensitivity could be the result of changes in acoustic resolution and/or long-term memory representations of the relevant information in the auditory cortex. To examine these possibilities, we used a short (ca. 600 ms) vs. long (ca. 2,600 ms) interstimulus interval (ISI) in a passive, oddball discrimination task while obtaining ERPs. These ISI differences were used to test whether cross-linguistic differences in processing Mandarin lexical tone are a function of differences in acoustic resolution and/or differences in long-term memory representations. Bisyllabic nonword tokens that differed in lexical tone categories were presented using a passive listening multiple oddball paradigm. Behavioral discrimination and identification data were also collected. The ERP results revealed robust MMNs to both easy and difficult lexical tone differences for both groups at short ISIs. At long ISIs, there was either no change or an enhanced MMN amplitude for the Mandarin group, but reduced MMN amplitude for the English group. In addition, the Mandarin listeners showed a larger late negativity (LN) discriminative response than the English listeners for lexical tone contrasts in the long ISI condition. Mandarin speakers outperformed English speakers in the behavioral tasks, especially under the long ISI conditions with the more similar lexical tone pair. These results suggest that the acoustic correlates of lexical tone are fairly robust and easily discriminated at short ISIs, when the auditory sensory memory trace is strong. At longer ISIs beyond 2.5 s language-specific experience is necessary for robust discrimination.

KW - Cross-language speech processing

KW - Event-related brain potential

KW - Interstimulus interval

KW - Late negativity

KW - Mandarin lexical tone

KW - Mismatch negativity

KW - Sensory memory

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85017128824&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85017128824&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3389/fnins.2017.00095

DO - 10.3389/fnins.2017.00095

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85017128824

VL - 11

JO - Frontiers in Neuroscience

JF - Frontiers in Neuroscience

SN - 1662-4548

IS - MAR

M1 - 95

ER -