GARCIA adolfo Martin
congresos y reuniones científicas
Language in reverse: Neurocognitive correlates of expert phonological encoding in backward speakers
TORRES PRIORIS, MARÍA JOSÉ; LÓPEZ-BARROSO, DIANA; CAMARA, ESTELA; FITTIPALDI, SOL; SEDEÑO, LUCAS; IBÁÑEZ, AGUSTÍN; BERTHIER, MARCELO; GARCÍA, ADOLFO M.
Encuentro; Society for the Neurobiology of Language Annual Meeting; 2020
The study of phonemic sequencing has been largely overlooked in neurolinguistic research, especially in models of language expertise. Aware of this gap, we examined cognitive and neural signatures of two expert backward speakers ? characterized by an extraordinary capacity to rapidly rearrange the order of phonemes, such that the result is the reversed rendering of the original utterance. Our approach included behavioral assessments of forward and backward speech and memory capacities, together with voxel-based morphometry, diffusion tensor imaging, and resting-state functional connectivity of both subjects and a matched control group. The two backward speakers significantly outperformed controls in reversing words, pseudowords, and sentences (and this advantage was not explained by memory abilities). Heightened reversing skills were accompanied by greater gray matter volume, greater diffusion over dorsal and ventral tracts, and greater functional connectivity between areas mediating phonological, associative-visual, and domain-general processes. Yet, each subject showed a distinctive neural configuration, suggesting individual variability in the correlates of expert backward speech. Together, these results offer new insights on an underexplored aspect of phonological encoding, potentially illuminating models of language-related neuroplasticity and individual differences.