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Motor excitability during visual perception of known and unknown spoken languages

Swaminathan, S; MacSweeney, M; Boyles, R; Waters, D; Watkins, KE; Moettoenen, R; (2013) Motor excitability during visual perception of known and unknown spoken languages. Brain and Language , 126 (1) pp. 1-7. 10.1016/j.bandl.2013.03.002. Green open access

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Abstract

It is possible to comprehend speech and discriminate languages by viewing a speaker’s articulatory movements. Transcranial magnetic stimulation studies have shown that viewing speech enhances excitability in the articulatory motor cortex. Here, we investigated the specificity of this enhanced motor excitability in native and non-native speakers of English. Both groups were able to discriminate between speech movements related to a known (i.e., English) and unknown (i.e., Hebrew) language. The motor excitability was higher during observation of a known language than an unknown language or non-speech mouth movements, suggesting that motor resonance is enhanced specifically during observation of mouth movements that convey linguistic information. Surprisingly, however, the excitability was equally high during observation of a static face. Moreover, the motor excitability did not differ between native and non-native speakers. These findings suggest that the articulatory motor cortex processes several kinds of visual cues during speech communication.

Type: Article
Title: Motor excitability during visual perception of known and unknown spoken languages
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.bandl.2013.03.002
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2013.03.002
Language: English
Additional information: Crown Copyright © 2013 Published by Elsevier Inc. Open access under CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Bilingualism; Lipreading; Motor cortex; Action observation; Motor evoked potentials; Social cognition; Speech; Speechreading; Transcranial magnetic stimulation
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Physics and Astronomy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1393710
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