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Associative vocabulary learning: development and testing of two paradigms for the (re-) acquisition of action- and object-related words.

Freundlieb N, Ridder V, Dobel C, Enriquez-Geppert S, Baumgaertner A, Zwitserlood P, Gerloff C, Hummel FC, Liuzzi G - PLoS ONE (2012)

Bottom Line: Here, we tested the efficiency of two paradigms for vocabulary (re-) acquisition, and compared the learning of novel words for actions and objects.Performance during acquisition did not differ between action-related and object-related words (time*word category: p = 0.01), but the translation rate was clearly better for object-related (79%) than for action-related words (53%, p = 0.002).In combination with neuroimaging, neuro-stimulation or pharmacological intervention, they may well advance the understanding of language learning to optimize therapeutic strategies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neurology, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Despite a growing number of studies, the neurophysiology of adult vocabulary acquisition is still poorly understood. One reason is that paradigms that can easily be combined with neuroscientfic methods are rare. Here, we tested the efficiency of two paradigms for vocabulary (re-) acquisition, and compared the learning of novel words for actions and objects. Cortical networks involved in adult native-language word processing are widespread, with differences postulated between words for objects and actions. Words and what they stand for are supposed to be grounded in perceptual and sensorimotor brain circuits depending on their meaning. If there are specific brain representations for different word categories, we hypothesized behavioural differences in the learning of action-related and object-related words. Paradigm A, with the learning of novel words for body-related actions spread out over a number of days, revealed fast learning of these new action words, and stable retention up to 4 weeks after training. The single-session Paradigm B employed objects and actions. Performance during acquisition did not differ between action-related and object-related words (time*word category: p = 0.01), but the translation rate was clearly better for object-related (79%) than for action-related words (53%, p = 0.002). Both paradigms yielded robust associative learning of novel action-related words, as previously demonstrated for object-related words. Translation success differed for action- and object-related words, which may indicate different neural mechanisms. The paradigms tested here are well suited to investigate such differences with neuroscientific means. Given the stable retention and minimal requirements for conscious effort, these learning paradigms are promising for vocabulary re-learning in brain-lesioned people. In combination with neuroimaging, neuro-stimulation or pharmacological intervention, they may well advance the understanding of language learning to optimize therapeutic strategies.

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Design of Paradigm A.A Paradigm A single trial layout. Each trial is composed of one pseudoword in connection with a picture. 200 ms after onset of sound, the picture is shown and remains on the screen for 1400 ms representing the response window. After each stimulus pair is a pause of 2000 ms. B Paradigm A trial sequence during a learning session. Pseudowords are coupled with different pictures of actions. Correct couplings appear more often than incorrect couplings (for details see text). C Timeline of Paradigm A Four learning sessions are followed by the translation test and three reassessment sessions. NP: neuropsychological evaluation AWL: action word learning T: translation B: BlockISI: Interstimulus Interval.
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pone-0037033-g002: Design of Paradigm A.A Paradigm A single trial layout. Each trial is composed of one pseudoword in connection with a picture. 200 ms after onset of sound, the picture is shown and remains on the screen for 1400 ms representing the response window. After each stimulus pair is a pause of 2000 ms. B Paradigm A trial sequence during a learning session. Pseudowords are coupled with different pictures of actions. Correct couplings appear more often than incorrect couplings (for details see text). C Timeline of Paradigm A Four learning sessions are followed by the translation test and three reassessment sessions. NP: neuropsychological evaluation AWL: action word learning T: translation B: BlockISI: Interstimulus Interval.

Mentions: Each selected action and object was coupled with pseudowords, presented repeatedly as “correct” or “incorrect” pairs, using the following schemes: For Paradigm A, 76 actions (depicted by four different photos) were each randomly assigned to a pseudoword (“correct” coupling) (Fig 2A). During one learning session, each individual photo was presented once with the correct pseudoword, and once with an incorrect one. Each action was thus presented eight times, four times with the “correct” pseudoword, and twice with two different “incorrect” pseudowords (4∶2 correct-incorrect ratio) (Fig 2B). A session with 76×8 = 608 trials was divided into two blocks of 304 trials each (Fig 2C). After each session, one of the two incorrect pseudowords was replaced by another incorrect one, while the correct coupling remained unchanged. This procedure ensured that each pseudoword and each picture was shown with the same frequency.


Associative vocabulary learning: development and testing of two paradigms for the (re-) acquisition of action- and object-related words.

Freundlieb N, Ridder V, Dobel C, Enriquez-Geppert S, Baumgaertner A, Zwitserlood P, Gerloff C, Hummel FC, Liuzzi G - PLoS ONE (2012)

Design of Paradigm A.A Paradigm A single trial layout. Each trial is composed of one pseudoword in connection with a picture. 200 ms after onset of sound, the picture is shown and remains on the screen for 1400 ms representing the response window. After each stimulus pair is a pause of 2000 ms. B Paradigm A trial sequence during a learning session. Pseudowords are coupled with different pictures of actions. Correct couplings appear more often than incorrect couplings (for details see text). C Timeline of Paradigm A Four learning sessions are followed by the translation test and three reassessment sessions. NP: neuropsychological evaluation AWL: action word learning T: translation B: BlockISI: Interstimulus Interval.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3368912&req=5

pone-0037033-g002: Design of Paradigm A.A Paradigm A single trial layout. Each trial is composed of one pseudoword in connection with a picture. 200 ms after onset of sound, the picture is shown and remains on the screen for 1400 ms representing the response window. After each stimulus pair is a pause of 2000 ms. B Paradigm A trial sequence during a learning session. Pseudowords are coupled with different pictures of actions. Correct couplings appear more often than incorrect couplings (for details see text). C Timeline of Paradigm A Four learning sessions are followed by the translation test and three reassessment sessions. NP: neuropsychological evaluation AWL: action word learning T: translation B: BlockISI: Interstimulus Interval.
Mentions: Each selected action and object was coupled with pseudowords, presented repeatedly as “correct” or “incorrect” pairs, using the following schemes: For Paradigm A, 76 actions (depicted by four different photos) were each randomly assigned to a pseudoword (“correct” coupling) (Fig 2A). During one learning session, each individual photo was presented once with the correct pseudoword, and once with an incorrect one. Each action was thus presented eight times, four times with the “correct” pseudoword, and twice with two different “incorrect” pseudowords (4∶2 correct-incorrect ratio) (Fig 2B). A session with 76×8 = 608 trials was divided into two blocks of 304 trials each (Fig 2C). After each session, one of the two incorrect pseudowords was replaced by another incorrect one, while the correct coupling remained unchanged. This procedure ensured that each pseudoword and each picture was shown with the same frequency.

Bottom Line: Here, we tested the efficiency of two paradigms for vocabulary (re-) acquisition, and compared the learning of novel words for actions and objects.Performance during acquisition did not differ between action-related and object-related words (time*word category: p = 0.01), but the translation rate was clearly better for object-related (79%) than for action-related words (53%, p = 0.002).In combination with neuroimaging, neuro-stimulation or pharmacological intervention, they may well advance the understanding of language learning to optimize therapeutic strategies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neurology, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Despite a growing number of studies, the neurophysiology of adult vocabulary acquisition is still poorly understood. One reason is that paradigms that can easily be combined with neuroscientfic methods are rare. Here, we tested the efficiency of two paradigms for vocabulary (re-) acquisition, and compared the learning of novel words for actions and objects. Cortical networks involved in adult native-language word processing are widespread, with differences postulated between words for objects and actions. Words and what they stand for are supposed to be grounded in perceptual and sensorimotor brain circuits depending on their meaning. If there are specific brain representations for different word categories, we hypothesized behavioural differences in the learning of action-related and object-related words. Paradigm A, with the learning of novel words for body-related actions spread out over a number of days, revealed fast learning of these new action words, and stable retention up to 4 weeks after training. The single-session Paradigm B employed objects and actions. Performance during acquisition did not differ between action-related and object-related words (time*word category: p = 0.01), but the translation rate was clearly better for object-related (79%) than for action-related words (53%, p = 0.002). Both paradigms yielded robust associative learning of novel action-related words, as previously demonstrated for object-related words. Translation success differed for action- and object-related words, which may indicate different neural mechanisms. The paradigms tested here are well suited to investigate such differences with neuroscientific means. Given the stable retention and minimal requirements for conscious effort, these learning paradigms are promising for vocabulary re-learning in brain-lesioned people. In combination with neuroimaging, neuro-stimulation or pharmacological intervention, they may well advance the understanding of language learning to optimize therapeutic strategies.

Show MeSH