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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (6)
Articles by Melody S. Berens in JoVE
Exploring Cognitive Functions in Babies, Children & Adults with Near Infrared Spectroscopy
Mark H. Shalinsky1, Iouila Kovelman1, Melody S. Berens2, Laura-Ann Petitto2
1Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Scarborough
Here we describe a data collection and data analysis method for functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), a novel non-invasive brain imaging system used in cognitive neuroscience, particularly in studying child brain development. This method provides a universal standard of data acquisition and analysis vital to data interpretation and scientific discovery.
Other articles by Melody S. Berens on PubMed
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. Sep, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 14620349
Many modern descriptions of signal detection theory (SDT) are, at best, distorted caricatures of the Gaussian equal-variance model of SDT (G-SDT). The distortions have sometimes led to important, but unwarranted, conclusions about the nature of cognitive processes. Some researchers reject using d' and beta because of concerns about the validity of explicit underlying assumptions (that are shared with most inferential statistics), instead using either the supposedly "nonparametric" measures of A' and B" or measures known to confound ability and bias. The origins, development, and underlying assumptions of SDT are summarized, then contrasted with modern distortions and misconceptions. The nature and interpretation of common descriptive statistics for sensitivity and bias are described along with important pragmatic considerations about use. A deeper understanding of SDT provides researchers with tools that better evaluate both their own findings and the validity of conclusions drawn by others who have utilized SDT measures and analyses.
Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance. Dec, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 14640842
Word recognition, semantic priming, and cognitive impenetrability research have used signal detection theory (SDT) measures to separate perceptual and postperceptual processes. In the D. Norris (1986) checking model and model simulation (D. Norris, 1995), priming alters only postperceptual word decision criteria: Stimulus-related priming reduces uncertainty, increasing sensitivity; stimulus-unrelated priming increases false alarms more than hits, reducing sensitivity. This work is cited as strong evidence that criterion changes can alter perceptual sensitivity and that SDT is inappropriate for investigating complex cognitive processes. The authors' current SDT ideal observer analysis of the model demonstrates that related priming does not directly alter sensitivity and that unrelated priming increases only false-alarm rate, reducing sensitivity. This analysis provides new perspectives on SDT concepts of complex decision processing.
Perception & Psychophysics. Jan, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15912875
How do listeners judge relative duration? There currently are three primary classes of proposed timing mechanisms: interval based (judgments of discrete events), beat based (judgments of beat synchrony), and oscillator based (judgments of relative phase or synchrony). In the present research, these mechanisms were examined in terms of predictions both about how an induction sequence of preceding intervals affects relative temporal duration comparison in a simple, two-interval task and about how a pause (e.g., an interstimulus interval) within the presented sequence affects relative temporal duration judgment. Results indicated that a relative temporal judgment was best when all intervals preceding the to-be-judged interval were equal in duration to the to-be-judged interval. Results also indicated that whereas short pauses significantly impair a relative temporal duration judgment, long pauses generally do not reduce the effectiveness of the induction sequence. The results are not entirely consistent with current conceptualizations of any of the proposed mechanisms but can be fully accommodated with simple modifications to the oscillator-based mechanism.
Shining New Light on the Brain's "bilingual Signature": a Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy Investigation of Semantic Processing
NeuroImage. Feb, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18054251
Decades of research have shown that, from an early age, proficient bilinguals can speak each of their two languages separately (similar to monolinguals) or rapidly switch between them (dissimilar to monolinguals). Thus we ask, do monolingual and bilingual brains process language similarly or dissimilarly, and is this affected by the language context? Using an innovative brain imaging technology, functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), we investigated how adult bilinguals process semantic information, both in speech and in print, in a monolingual language context (one language at a time) or in a bilingual language context (two languages in rapid alternation). While undergoing fNIRS recording, ten early exposed, highly proficient Spanish-English bilinguals completed a Semantic Judgment task in monolingual and bilingual contexts and were compared to ten English monolingual controls. Two hypotheses were tested: the Signature Hypothesis predicts that early, highly proficient bilinguals will recruit neural tissue to process language differently from monolinguals across all language contexts. The Switching Hypothesis predicts that bilinguals will recruit neural tissue to process language similarly to monolinguals, when using one language at a time. Supporting the Signature Hypothesis, in the monolingual context, bilinguals and monolinguals showed differences in both hemispheres in the recruitment of DLPFC (BA 46/9) and IFC (BA 47/11), but similar recruitment of Broca's area (BA 44/45). In particular, in the monolingual context, bilinguals showed greater signal intensity in channels maximally overlaying DLPFC and IFC regions as compared to monolinguals. In the bilingual context, bilinguals demonstrated a more robust recruitment of right DLPFC and right IFC. These findings reveal how extensive early bilingual exposure modifies language organization in the brain-thus imparting a possible "bilingual signature." They further shed fascinating new light on how the bilingual brain may reveal the biological extent of the neural architecture underlying all human language and the language processing potential not fully recruited in the monolingual brain.
Perception & Psychophysics. Aug, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18717395
Auditory backward recognition masking (ABRM) has been argued to reflect interference in the storage and/or processing of a short-lived sensory form of information and has been viewed as a relatively invariant attribute of auditory pitch processing for very brief stimuli that are minimally separated in frequency (DeltaF). In contrast, the present study demonstrates that ABRM reflects interference with several basic principles of auditory processing. Measured in terms of target tone duration, rather than DeltaF, ABRM is demonstrated for target stimuli representing the interval of a musical fifth and masker-target stimulus intervals of a musical third, with thresholds ranging from approximately 22 to 55 msec and psychometric functions that are indicative of more than one contributing factor. On the basis of common underlying principles, the possibility that the threshold for the identification of temporal order of onset reflects ABRM and possible implications for the perception of complex stimuli, including speech, are discussed.
Brain and Language. May-Jun, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 18976807
The brain basis of bilinguals' ability to use two languages at the same time has been a hotly debated topic. On the one hand, behavioral research has suggested that bilingual dual language use involves complex and highly principled linguistic processes. On the other hand, brain-imaging research has revealed that bilingual language switching involves neural activations in brain areas dedicated to general executive functions not specific to language processing, such as general task maintenance. Here we address the involvement of language-specific versus cognitive-general brain mechanisms for bilingual language processing. We study a unique population, bimodal bilinguals proficient in signed and spoken languages, and we use an innovative brain-imaging technology, functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS; Hitachi ETG-4000). Like fMRI, the fNIRS technology measures hemodynamic change, but it is also advanced in permitting movement for unconstrained speech and sign production. Participant groups included (i) hearing ASL-English bilinguals, (ii) ASL monolinguals, and (iii) English monolinguals. Imaging tasks included picture naming in "Monolingual mode" (using one language at a time) and in "Bilingual mode" (using both languages either simultaneously or in rapid alternation). Behavioral results revealed that accuracy was similar among groups and conditions. By contrast, neuroimaging results revealed that bilinguals in Bilingual mode showed greater signal intensity within posterior temporal regions ("Wernicke's area") than in Monolingual mode. Significance: Bilinguals' ability to use two languages effortlessly and without confusion involves the use of language-specific posterior temporal brain regions. This research with both fNIRS and bimodal bilinguals sheds new light on the extent and variability of brain tissue that underlies language processing, and addresses the tantalizing questions of how language modality, sign and speech, impact language representation in the 7 brain.