SMACProject reference: 329339
Funded under :
Speech monitoring as action control
Total cost:EUR 202 405,8
EU contribution:EUR 202 405,8
Topic(s):FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IEF - Marie-Curie Action: "Intra-European fellowships for career development"
Call for proposal:FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IEFSee other projects for this call
Funding scheme:MC-IEF - Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)
The ability to produce and understand language is a complex cognitive skill whose intricate processes are often thought to be unique to humans, and it is sometimes selectively impaired following brain damage. Therefore, it has mainly been approached as an isolable faculty within the cognitive system, investigated separately from more basic faculties such as sensori-motor skills that are shared with other species. Nonetheless, recent evidence shows that sensori –motor information forms integral part of how we represent and access words. Building upon such findings, this project aims at testing whether this also holds for other aspects of language processing. In particular, we will test whether speech monitoring makes use of the same processes dedicated to control our motor actions. In the domain of motor control it is widely held that we use internal forward models to predict and correct motor commands before their effective output as physical actions. In particular, it has been proposed that this is done by having motor actions produce expectations of their sensory consequences (i.e., efference copies). These sensory outcome predictions are compared with the actual sensory input; whatever matches the outcome predictions is inhibited (i.e., reafference cancellation). In that way, a means is provided to detect any unpredicted sensorial data that should be attended to. Here we will seek to obtain evidence that efference copies are the basis of speech production error monitoring by (a) examining whether variables known to have an impact on monitoring of language production will modulate reafference cancellation; and (b) investigating the role of the cerebellum –hypothesized center of forward modeling– in the monitoring of speech production. Together the results of this project have the potential of providing strong direct evidence for shared action and language monitoring processes and thus enlarge our understanding of the relationship between humans and other species.
EU contribution: EUR 202 405,8
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