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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 B.A Paradigm B single trial layout. Like in Paradigm A each trial is composed of one pseudoword in connection with a picture. Important change in Paradigm B is the occurrence of objects intermixed with actions (50% objects). B Paradigm B trial sequence during a learning session. Pseudowords are coupled with different pictures of actions and objects. Correct couplings appear more often than incorrect couplings (for details see text). C Timeline of Paradigm B Paradigm B consists of one single session, divided into five blocks and followed by the translation test. NP: neuropsychological evaluation OAWL: object and action word learning T: translation B: Block ISI: Interstimulus Interval.
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pone-0037033-g003: Design of Paradigm B.A Paradigm B single trial layout. Like in Paradigm A each trial is composed of one pseudoword in connection with a picture. Important change in Paradigm B is the occurrence of objects intermixed with actions (50% objects). B Paradigm B trial sequence during a learning session. Pseudowords are coupled with different pictures of actions and objects. Correct couplings appear more often than incorrect couplings (for details see text). C Timeline of Paradigm B Paradigm B consists of one single session, divided into five blocks and followed by the translation test. NP: neuropsychological evaluation OAWL: object and action word learning T: translation B: Block ISI: Interstimulus Interval.

Mentions: For Paradigm B (Fig 3A), 17 objects and 17 actions, each represented by two different photos, were assigned to one of 34 pseudowords (“correct” coupling) (Fig 3A). During learning, the correct coupling was presented ten times, whereas each object and action was also presented once with a total of ten different pseudowords (“incorrect” couplings, correct-incorrect ratio 10∶1) (Fig 3B). This resulted in a total of 680 trials for the single-session training, divided into 5 blocks of 136 trials each. There was a pause of 2 min between blocks.


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 B.A Paradigm B single trial layout. Like in Paradigm A each trial is composed of one pseudoword in connection with a picture. Important change in Paradigm B is the occurrence of objects intermixed with actions (50% objects). B Paradigm B trial sequence during a learning session. Pseudowords are coupled with different pictures of actions and objects. Correct couplings appear more often than incorrect couplings (for details see text). C Timeline of Paradigm B Paradigm B consists of one single session, divided into five blocks and followed by the translation test. NP: neuropsychological evaluation OAWL: object and action word learning T: translation B: Block ISI: Interstimulus Interval.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3368912&req=5

pone-0037033-g003: Design of Paradigm B.A Paradigm B single trial layout. Like in Paradigm A each trial is composed of one pseudoword in connection with a picture. Important change in Paradigm B is the occurrence of objects intermixed with actions (50% objects). B Paradigm B trial sequence during a learning session. Pseudowords are coupled with different pictures of actions and objects. Correct couplings appear more often than incorrect couplings (for details see text). C Timeline of Paradigm B Paradigm B consists of one single session, divided into five blocks and followed by the translation test. NP: neuropsychological evaluation OAWL: object and action word learning T: translation B: Block ISI: Interstimulus Interval.
Mentions: For Paradigm B (Fig 3A), 17 objects and 17 actions, each represented by two different photos, were assigned to one of 34 pseudowords (“correct” coupling) (Fig 3A). During learning, the correct coupling was presented ten times, whereas each object and action was also presented once with a total of ten different pseudowords (“incorrect” couplings, correct-incorrect ratio 10∶1) (Fig 3B). This resulted in a total of 680 trials for the single-session training, divided into 5 blocks of 136 trials each. There was a pause of 2 min between blocks.

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