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The interpreter's brain during rest - Hyperconnectivity in the frontal lobe


Klein, Carina; Metz, Silvana Iris; Elmer, Stefan; Jäncke, Lutz (2018). The interpreter's brain during rest - Hyperconnectivity in the frontal lobe. PLoS ONE, 13(8):e0202600.

Abstract

Language in its highest complexity is a unique human faculty with simultaneous translation being among the most demanding language task involving both linguistic and executive functions. In this context, bilingually grown up individuals as well as simultaneous interpreters (SIs) represent appropriate groups for studying expertise-related neural adaptations in the human brain. The present study was performed to examine if a domain-specific neural network activation pattern, constituted by brain regions involved in speech processing as well as cognitive control mechanisms can be detected during a task-free resting state condition. To investigate this, electroencephalographic (EEG) data were recorded from 16 SIs and 16 age and gender-matched multilingual control subjects. Graph-theoretical network analyses revealed interhemispheric hyperconnectivity between the ventral part of the prefrontal cortex (pars opercularis and pars triangularis) and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in language experts compared to multilingual controls in the alpha frequency range. This finding suggests that the high cognitive demands placed on simultaneous interpreting lead to an increased neural communication between prefrontal brain regions essentially engaged in supporting executive control-a neural fingerprint that is even detectable during rest.

Abstract

Language in its highest complexity is a unique human faculty with simultaneous translation being among the most demanding language task involving both linguistic and executive functions. In this context, bilingually grown up individuals as well as simultaneous interpreters (SIs) represent appropriate groups for studying expertise-related neural adaptations in the human brain. The present study was performed to examine if a domain-specific neural network activation pattern, constituted by brain regions involved in speech processing as well as cognitive control mechanisms can be detected during a task-free resting state condition. To investigate this, electroencephalographic (EEG) data were recorded from 16 SIs and 16 age and gender-matched multilingual control subjects. Graph-theoretical network analyses revealed interhemispheric hyperconnectivity between the ventral part of the prefrontal cortex (pars opercularis and pars triangularis) and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in language experts compared to multilingual controls in the alpha frequency range. This finding suggests that the high cognitive demands placed on simultaneous interpreting lead to an increased neural communication between prefrontal brain regions essentially engaged in supporting executive control-a neural fingerprint that is even detectable during rest.

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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
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:08 Oct 2018 14:18
Last Modified:01 Nov 2018 01:14
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0202600
PubMed ID:30138477

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