How do we follow the rhythm of language? The answer depends on our brain's path

Medical Xpress | March 04, 2019

How is our speech shaped by what we hear? The answer varies, depending on the make-up of our brain's pathways, a team of neuroscientists has found. The research, which maps how we synchronize our words with the rhythm of the sounds we hear, offers potential methods for diagnosing speech-related afflictions and evaluating cognitive-linguistic development in children. "Some people spontaneously synchronize the pace of their speech to match the rhythm of the speech they are hearing, while others do not," explains Florencia Assaneo, a post-doctoral researcher in New York University's Department of Psychology and the lead author of the study, which appears in the journal Nature Neuroscience. "Whether you synchronize or not predicts functional and structural aspects of our language brain network as well as our ability to learn new words." "These discoveries result from a novel behavioral test, which reveals how individual differences are predictive of audio-motor synchronization and neurophysiological function, among other phenomena," adds David Poeppel, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at NYU and director of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt and the study's senior author. "The potency of such a test as a tool may lead to new discoveries in language research and perhaps help to spot afflictions such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, or multiple sclerosis." Extensive research has been done on how we synchronize our body movements to sound input, such as tapping our foot to the rhythm of a song. But less understood is how our brain functions in a similar speech scenario, such as singing along to a favorite tune.

Spotlight

The use of microbial fermentation to make biologics is growing rapidly. A manufacturing platform is an increasingly popular way to speed up process development stages and get a biologic to market faster. High-throughput systems can speed up the optimization of each of these platform steps. Single-use, disposable technologies are starting to replace stainless steel to streamline biologic manufacturing, reduce costs, minimize contamination risks and allow rapid expansion of capacity.

Spotlight

The use of microbial fermentation to make biologics is growing rapidly. A manufacturing platform is an increasingly popular way to speed up process development stages and get a biologic to market faster. High-throughput systems can speed up the optimization of each of these platform steps. Single-use, disposable technologies are starting to replace stainless steel to streamline biologic manufacturing, reduce costs, minimize contamination risks and allow rapid expansion of capacity.

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