Cross-linguistic gender effects in novice L2 learners

French speakers learned a limited vocabulary in Brazilian Portuguese via computerized games. Learned nouns either shared gender across languages or not. Pre-training, no ERP differences were found in a cross-modal match-mismatch task for match vs. mismatch trials. Post-training, an N400 effect was found for mismatch trials, but only when the grammatical gender of the learned […]

Hippocampal and auditory contributions to speech segmentation

We used frequency-tagging analysis to quantify the neuronal synchronization between the hippocampus and auditory regions, on the one hand, and the temporal structure of words and syllables of an artificial speech stream, on the other hand (A). Intracranial recordings in the hippocampus and auditory cortex (B) show that auditory regions are highly responsive to syllable […]

Temporally resolved neural dynamics underlying handwriting

    EEG time-courses were co-registered with handwriting movements produced on a tablet (top). When participants write words to dictation, a structured and reliable pattern of neural activation is associated with each writing stroke (bottom). The rhythm of handwriting is synchronised to the phase of theta brain oscillations, with a stronger synchronisation when participants write […]


  The students of the Master 1 in Cognitive Sciences have a friendly Christmas tree they call “MaSCoPin”. It is characterized by a mixture of vegetable and cortical elements and by the brilliance of its classic language areas. Thanks for the good mood and thanks for sharing!     L’amical sapin de Noël des étudiant·e·s […]

Linguistic et neuro-physiological comparison of human-human and human-robot conversations

A body of natural conversations helped develop lexical alignment between participants and two types of interlocutors: a human and a robot. fMRI data indicates a negative correlation of this alignment with cingulate cortex activity, suggesting a reduction in internal resource use when the participant’s lexicon is aligned to that of the speaker Hallart, C., Maes, […]

Functionally homologous representation of vocalizations in the auditory cortex of humans and macaques

– Macaques and humans show voice-selective anterior temporal voice areas (aTVA) – Similar representation of sounds are present in primary auditory cortex of both species – Representational similarity analysis (RSA) reveals that aTVAs categorize conspecific vocalizations apart from other sounds – There is a functional homology in the high-level auditory cortex of humans and macaques […]

When written words speak louder than actions…

Some native speakers of French have difficulty distinguishing the English /θ/-/f/ phonemic contrast (e.g. three vs. free). Could articulatory gestures or word spellings help them to learn new English words containing these confusable sounds? (A) Using a picture-word matching paradigm, three learning methods were compared. AUD: auditory forms of new words were presented alone; AUD+ORTHO: […]

When a native contrast is perceived as non-native

Accentual variation at the word level refers to various ways of pronouncing the same lexical item (Figure A). This kind of variation does not have a contrastive role in French, so it should be processed non-linguistically by native French listeners. This hypothesis was tested in an ABX task by manipulating the ear of presentation, where […]