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Intensive language training and attention modulate the involvement of fronto-parietal regions during a non-verbal auditory discrimination task


Elmer, S; Meyer, Martin; Marrama, L; Jäncke, Lutz (2011). Intensive language training and attention modulate the involvement of fronto-parietal regions during a non-verbal auditory discrimination task. European Journal of Neuroscience, 34(1):165-75.

Abstract

This event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was designed in such a manner so as to contribute to the present debate on behavioural and functional transfer effects associated with intensive language training. To address this novel issue, we measured professional simultaneous interpreters and control subjects while they performed a non-verbal auditory discrimination task that primarily relies on attention and categorization functions. The fMRI results revealed that the discrimination of the target stimuli was associated with differential blood oxygen level-dependent responses in fronto-parietal regions between the two groups, even though in-scanner behavioural results did not show significant group differences. These findings are in line with previous observations showing the contribution of fronto-parietal regions to auditory attention and categorization functions. Our results imply that language training modulates brain activity in regions involved in the top-down regulation of auditory functions.

This event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was designed in such a manner so as to contribute to the present debate on behavioural and functional transfer effects associated with intensive language training. To address this novel issue, we measured professional simultaneous interpreters and control subjects while they performed a non-verbal auditory discrimination task that primarily relies on attention and categorization functions. The fMRI results revealed that the discrimination of the target stimuli was associated with differential blood oxygen level-dependent responses in fronto-parietal regions between the two groups, even though in-scanner behavioural results did not show significant group differences. These findings are in line with previous observations showing the contribution of fronto-parietal regions to auditory attention and categorization functions. Our results imply that language training modulates brain activity in regions involved in the top-down regulation of auditory functions.

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16 citations in Web of Science®
14 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
150 Psychology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:08 Nov 2011 13:17
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:05
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0953-816X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-9568.2011.07728.x
PubMed ID:21649758

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