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ERIC Number: EJ881812
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0093-934X
Speaking in Multiple Languages: Neural Correlates of Language Proficiency in Multilingual Word Production
Videsott, Gerda; Herrnberger, Barbel; Hoenig, Klaus; Schilly, Edgar; Grothe, Jo; Wiater, Werner; Spitzer, Manfred; Kiefer, Markus
Brain and Language, v113 n3 p103-112 Jun 2010
The human brain has the fascinating ability to represent and to process several languages. Although the first and further languages activate partially different brain networks, the linguistic factors underlying these differences in language processing have to be further specified. We investigated the neural correlates of language proficiency in a homogeneous sample of multilingual native Ladin speakers from a mountain valley in South Tyrol, Italy, who speak Italian as second language at a high level, and English at an intermediate level. In a constrained word production task under functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), participants had to name pictures of objects in Ladin, Italian and English in separate blocks. Overall, multilingual word production activated a common set of brain areas dedicated to known subcomponents of picture naming. In comparison to English, the fluently spoken languages Ladin and Italian were associated with enhanced right prefrontal activity. In addition, the MR signal in right prefrontal cortex correlated with naming accuracy as a measure of language proficiency. Our results demonstrate the significance of right prefrontal areas for language proficiency. Based on the role of these areas for cognitive control, our findings suggest that right prefrontal cortex supports language proficiency by effectively supervising word retrieval. (Contains 1 table and 6 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy