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Dissecting the function of networks underpinning language repetition

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193646 Year: Pages: 134 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-364-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-19 16:29:12
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In the 19th century, ground-breaking observations on aphasia by Broca and Wernicke suggested that language function depends on the activity of the cerebral cortex. At the same time, Wernicke and Lichtheim also elaborated the first large-scale network model of language which incorporated long-range and short-range (transcortical connections) white matter pathways in language processing. The arcuate fasciculus (dorsal stream) was traditionally viewed as the major language pathway for repetition, but scientists also envisioned that white matter tracts travelling through the insular cortex (ventral stream) and transcortical connections may take part in language processing. Modern cognitive neuroscience has provided tools, including neuroimaging, which allow the in vivo examination of short- and long-distance white matter pathways binding cortical areas essential for verbal repetition. However, this state of the art on the neural correlates of language repetition has revealed contradictory findings, with some researchers defending the role of the dorsal and ventral streams, whereas others argue that only cortical hubs (Sylvian parieto-temporal cortex [Spt]) are crucially relevant. An integrative approach would conceive that the interaction between these structures is essential for verbal repetition. For instance, different sectors of the cerebral cortex (e.g., Spt, inferior frontal gyrus/anterior insula) act as hubs dedicated to short-term storage of verbal information or articulatory planning and these areas in turn interact through forward and backward white matter projections. Importantly, white matter pathways should not be considered mere cable-like connections as changes in their microstructural properties correlate with focal cortical activity during language processing tasks. Despite considerable progress, many outstanding questions await response. The articles in this Research Topic tackle many different and critical new questions, including: (1) how white matter pathways instantiate dialogues between different cortical language areas; (2) what are the specific roles of different white matter pathways in language functions in normal and pathological conditions; (3) what are the language consequences of discrete damage to branches of the dorsal and ventral streams; 4) what are the consequences (e.g., release from inhibition) of damage to the left white matter pathways in contralateral ones and viceversa; (5) how these pathways are reorganised after brain injury; (5) can the involvement/sparing of white matter pathways be used in outcome prediction and treatment response; and (5) can the microstructure of white matter pathways be remodelled with intensive rehabilitation training or biological approaches.This Research Topic includes original studies, and opinion and review articles which describe new data as well as provocative and insightful interpretations of the recent literature on the role of white matter pathways in verbal repetition in normal and pathological conditions. A brief highlight summary of each is provided below.

Language beyond Words: The Neuroscience of Accent

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451074 Year: Pages: 174 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-107-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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Language learning also implies the acquisition of a set of phonetic rules and prosodic contours which define the accent in that language. While often considered as merely accessory, accent is an essential component of psychological identity as it embodies information on origin, culture, and social class. Speaking with a non-standard (foreign) accent is not inconsequential because it may negatively impact communication and social adjustment. Nevertheless, the lack of a formal definition of accent may explain that, as compared with other aspects of language, it has received relatively little attention until recently. During the past decade there has been increasing interest in the analysis of accent from a neuroscientific perspective. This e-book integrates data from different scientific frameworks. The reader will find fruitful research on new models of accent processing, how learning a new accent proceeds, and the role of feedback on accent learning in healthy subjects. In addition, information on accent changes in pathological conditions including developmental and psychogenic foreign accent syndromes as well as the description of a new variant of foreign accent syndrome is also included. It is anticipated that the articles in this e-book will enhance the understanding of accent as a linguistic phenomenon, the neural networks supporting it and potential interventions to accelerate acquisition or relearning of native accents.

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