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Neural representation of binding lexical signs and words in the episodic buffer of working memory
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Cognition, Development and Disability. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Radiation Sciences and Integrative Medical Biology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
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2007 (English)In: Neuropsychologia, ISSN 0028-3932, E-ISSN 1873-3514, Vol. 45, no 10, 2258-2276 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The episodic buffer accommodates formation and maintenance of unitary multidimensional representations based on information in different codes from different sources. Formation, based on submorphemic units, engages posterior brain regions, while maintenance engages frontal regions. Using a hybrid fMRI design, that allows separate analysis of transient and sustained components, an n-back task and an experimental group of 13 hearing native signers, with experience of Swedish Sign Language and Swedish since birth, we investigated binding of lexical signs and words in working memory. Results show that the transient component of these functions is supported by a buffer-specific network of posterior regions including the right middle temporal lobe, possibly relating to binding of phonological loop representations with semantic representations in long-term memory, as well as a loop-specific network, in line with predictions of a functional relationship between loop and buffer. The left hippocampus was engaged in transient and sustained components of buffer processing, possibly reflecting the meaningful nature of the stimuli. Only a minor role was found for executive functions in line with other recent work. A novel representation of the sustained component of working memory for audiovisual language in the right inferior temporal lobe may be related to perception of speech-related facial gestures. Previous findings of sign and speech loop representation in working memory were replicated and extended. Together, these findings support the notion of a module that mediates between codes and sources, such as the episodic buffer, and further our understanding of its nature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 45, no 10, 2258-2276 p.
Keyword [en]
Binding, Episodic buffer, Working memory, Sign language, fMRI
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13355DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2007.02.017OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-13355DiVA: diva2:20474
Note

On the day of the defence date the title of this article was Speach-sign switching in working memory i supported by semantic networks.

Available from: 2005-09-21 Created: 2005-09-21 Last updated: 2017-11-06
In thesis
1. Modalities of Mind: Modality-specific and nonmodality-specific aspects of working memory for sign and speech
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modalities of Mind: Modality-specific and nonmodality-specific aspects of working memory for sign and speech
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Language processing is underpinned by working memory and while working memory for signed languages has been shown to display some of the characteristics of working memory for speech-based languages, there are a range of anomalous effects related to the inherently visuospatial modality of signed languages. On the basis of these effects, four research questions were addressed in a series of studies:

1. Are differences in working memory storage for sign and speech reflected in neural representation?

2. Do the neural networks supporting speech-sign switching during a working memory task reflect executive or semantic processes?

3. Is working memory for sign language enhanced by a spatial style of information presentation?

4. Do the neural networks supporting word reversal indicate tongue-twisting or mind-twisting?

The results of the studies showed that:

1. Working memory for sign and speech is supported by a combination of modality-specific and nonmodality-specific neural networks.

2. Switching between sign and speech during a working memory task is supported by semantic rather than executive processes.

3. Working memory performance in educationally promoted native deaf signers is enhanced by a spatial style of presentation.

4. Word reversal is a matter of mind-twisting, rather than tongue-twisting.

These findings indicate that working memory for sign and speech has modality-specific components as well as nonmodality-specific components. Modality-specific aspects can be explained in terms of Wilson’s (2001) sensorimotor account, which is based on the component model (Baddeley, 2000), given that the functionality of the visuospatial sketchpad is extended to include language processing. Nonmodality-specific working memory processing is predicted by Rönnberg’s (2003) model of cognitive involvement in language processing. However, the modality-free, cross-modal and extra-modal aspects of working memory processing revealed in the present work can be explained in terms of the central executive and the episodic buffer, providing the functionality and neural representation of the episodic buffer are extended.

A functional ontology is presented which ties cognitive processes to their neural representation, along with a model explaining modality-specific findings relating to sign language cognition. Predictions of the ontology and the model are discussed in relation to future work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2005. 118 + papers I-V p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 337Studies from the Swedish Institute for Disability Research, ISSN 1650-1128 ; 18
Keyword
Cognition, sign language, working memory, fMRI, PET, disability research, Korttidsminne, teckenspråk
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-3942 (URN)91-85457-10-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-10-21, Key 1, Key-huset, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Available from: 2005-09-21 Created: 2005-09-21 Last updated: 2017-11-06Bibliographically approved

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Rudner, MaryRönnberg, Jerker

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