17.bilingualism - To what extent do electrophysiological...

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To what extent do electrophysiological and neuroimaging data can help to shed a light on general issues in bilingual language comprehension, and to examine to what degree such data support the assumptions of currently available psycholinguistic models of bilingual language processing? But there are problems with such electrophysiological and neuroimaging data to map behavior onto brain activity. What are these problems? Much neuroimaging data cannot be compared to behavioral data because different tests are used. o With behavioral data, tests like lexical decision, masked priming, and translation recognition are used, while with fMRI/PET covert verb or sentence generation or passive listening tasks are used. So a lot of neuroimaging data cannot be compared directly with behavioral data o Neuroimaging studies rely on tasks to determine skill in word or sentence reading, but not word identification as is used in many models o For behavioral tests, different test designs used as compared to neuroimaging tests o Often for neuroimaging studies, no behavioral data is collected The type of neurimaging done o Can use fMRI (more spatial imaging) or ERP (more temporal). Since most research done using fmri, it is done to see whether a bilingual’s brain has distict spatial areas for first and second language. But doing this work has problems because spatial separation does not mean functional separation (they may be overlapping at higher levels even if separate at neuronal level) and no spatial separation does not mean no functional separation (two brain regions can handle different languages differently depending on activation) Cognitive functions cannot be boiled down to certain brain areas – no direct relationship between the two. So mapping psycholinguistic models to brain areas is impossible o However, psycholinguistic models can still formulate predictions about the time course of language processing, which can be evaluated using ERP data because of their high temporal resolution. In addition, psycholinguistic models make assumptions about the interactivity between functional components and the encapsulation of these components, which can also be evaluated using fMRI and ERP data. So why would neuroimaging studies still be important? because they have not been considered much by psycholinguists, they might even be more informative than data obtained by standard techniques may help to evaluate functional behavior-based models because they bring in new measurement techniques and dependent variables. Furthermore, they may also help to clarify and specify functional components in psycholinguistic models of
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This note was uploaded on 02/14/2011 for the course PSYC 532 taught by Professor Shultz during the Fall '10 term at McGill.

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17.bilingualism - To what extent do electrophysiological...

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