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Cortical oscillations and entrainment in speech processing during working memory load

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Hjortkjaer, Jens ; Märcher-Rørsted, Jonatan ; Fuglsang, Søren A ; Dau, Torsten. / Cortical oscillations and entrainment in speech processing during working memory load. In: European Journal of Neuroscience. 2020 ; Vol. 51, No. 5. pp. 1279-1289.

Bibtex

@article{5876f939d82c44dca76f8c1e73a33acd,
title = "Cortical oscillations and entrainment in speech processing during working memory load",
abstract = "Neuronal oscillations are thought to play an important role in working memory (WM) and speech processing. Listening to speech in real-life situations is often cognitively demanding but it is unknown whether WM load influences how auditory cortical activity synchronizes to speech features. Here, we developed an auditory n-back paradigm to investigate cortical entrainment to speech envelope fluctuations under different degrees of WM load. We measured the electroencephalogram, pupil dilations and behavioural performance from 22 subjects listening to continuous speech with an embedded n-back task. The speech stimuli consisted of long spoken number sequences created to match natural speech in terms of sentence intonation, syllabic rate and phonetic content. To burden different WM functions during speech processing, listeners performed an n-back task on the speech sequences in different levels of background noise. Increasing WM load at higher n-back levels was associated with a decrease in posterior alpha power as well as increased pupil dilations. Frontal theta power increased at the start of the trial and increased additionally with higher n-back level. The observed alpha–theta power changes are consistent with visual n-back paradigms suggesting general oscillatory correlates of WM processing load. Speech entrainment was measured as a linear mapping between the envelope of the speech signal and low-frequency cortical activity (< 13 Hz). We found that increases in both types of WM load (background noise and n-back level) decreased cortical speech envelope entrainment. Although entrainment persisted under high load, our results suggest a top-down influence of WM processing on cortical speech entrainment.",
keywords = "Journal Article, n-back task, EEG, alpha and theta oscillations, pupillometry, speech entrainment",
author = "Jens Hjortkjaer and Jonatan M{\"a}rcher-R{\o}rsted and Fuglsang, {S{\o}ren A} and Torsten Dau",
note = "{\circledC} 2018 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.",
year = "2020",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1111/ejn.13855",
language = "English",
volume = "51",
pages = "1279--1289",
journal = "European Journal of Neuroscience",
issn = "0953-816X",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd",
number = "5",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cortical oscillations and entrainment in speech processing during working memory load

AU - Hjortkjaer, Jens

AU - Märcher-Rørsted, Jonatan

AU - Fuglsang, Søren A

AU - Dau, Torsten

N1 - © 2018 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

PY - 2020/3

Y1 - 2020/3

N2 - Neuronal oscillations are thought to play an important role in working memory (WM) and speech processing. Listening to speech in real-life situations is often cognitively demanding but it is unknown whether WM load influences how auditory cortical activity synchronizes to speech features. Here, we developed an auditory n-back paradigm to investigate cortical entrainment to speech envelope fluctuations under different degrees of WM load. We measured the electroencephalogram, pupil dilations and behavioural performance from 22 subjects listening to continuous speech with an embedded n-back task. The speech stimuli consisted of long spoken number sequences created to match natural speech in terms of sentence intonation, syllabic rate and phonetic content. To burden different WM functions during speech processing, listeners performed an n-back task on the speech sequences in different levels of background noise. Increasing WM load at higher n-back levels was associated with a decrease in posterior alpha power as well as increased pupil dilations. Frontal theta power increased at the start of the trial and increased additionally with higher n-back level. The observed alpha–theta power changes are consistent with visual n-back paradigms suggesting general oscillatory correlates of WM processing load. Speech entrainment was measured as a linear mapping between the envelope of the speech signal and low-frequency cortical activity (< 13 Hz). We found that increases in both types of WM load (background noise and n-back level) decreased cortical speech envelope entrainment. Although entrainment persisted under high load, our results suggest a top-down influence of WM processing on cortical speech entrainment.

AB - Neuronal oscillations are thought to play an important role in working memory (WM) and speech processing. Listening to speech in real-life situations is often cognitively demanding but it is unknown whether WM load influences how auditory cortical activity synchronizes to speech features. Here, we developed an auditory n-back paradigm to investigate cortical entrainment to speech envelope fluctuations under different degrees of WM load. We measured the electroencephalogram, pupil dilations and behavioural performance from 22 subjects listening to continuous speech with an embedded n-back task. The speech stimuli consisted of long spoken number sequences created to match natural speech in terms of sentence intonation, syllabic rate and phonetic content. To burden different WM functions during speech processing, listeners performed an n-back task on the speech sequences in different levels of background noise. Increasing WM load at higher n-back levels was associated with a decrease in posterior alpha power as well as increased pupil dilations. Frontal theta power increased at the start of the trial and increased additionally with higher n-back level. The observed alpha–theta power changes are consistent with visual n-back paradigms suggesting general oscillatory correlates of WM processing load. Speech entrainment was measured as a linear mapping between the envelope of the speech signal and low-frequency cortical activity (< 13 Hz). We found that increases in both types of WM load (background noise and n-back level) decreased cortical speech envelope entrainment. Although entrainment persisted under high load, our results suggest a top-down influence of WM processing on cortical speech entrainment.

KW - Journal Article

KW - n-back task

KW - EEG

KW - alpha and theta oscillations

KW - pupillometry

KW - speech entrainment

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85082147232&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/ejn.13855

DO - 10.1111/ejn.13855

M3 - Journal article

VL - 51

SP - 1279

EP - 1289

JO - European Journal of Neuroscience

JF - European Journal of Neuroscience

SN - 0953-816X

IS - 5

ER -

ID: 52644669