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Morisseau T.,Institute des science Cognitives | Davies C.,University of Leeds | Matthews D.,University of Sheffield
Journal of Pragmatics | Year: 2013

As children learn their native languages, they come to have detailed expectations about how to refer to things. These expectations and the detection of their violations are key to inference-making processes. But what do children do when their expectations are not met? Using reaction-time measures and gaze-direction monitoring in a referential communication task, we investigated whether 3- and 5-year-olds notice the infelicity of under- and over-informative utterances and then seek out further information in order to recover the speaker's intended meaning. We tested how children resolve under-informative instructions such as "Find the orange" when there is more than one orange in view. We also tested whether instructions such as "Find the cat with a tail", in a context where there is only one, normal-looking cat, would lead them to question why the speaker was over-informative and to seek out further information. Both age groups were sensitive to the ambiguous instructions. Only 5-year-olds were significantly delayed and more likely to check their interlocutor's gaze when responding to over-informative expressions. We discuss how children's spontaneous motivation to resolve violations of expectation, coupled with increased speed of linguistic processing, drives language learning. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Silva S.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Silva S.,Toulouse 1 University Capitole | Loubinoux I.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Olivier M.,Toulouse 1 University Capitole | And 6 more authors.
Anesthesiology | Year: 2011

Background: Perceptual illusions described in healthy subjects undergoing regional anesthesia (RA) are probably related to short-term plastic brain changes. We addressed whether performance on an implicit mental rotation task reflects these RA-induced changes in body schema brain representations. Studying these changes in healthy volunteers may shed light on normal function and the central mechanisms of pain. Methods: Performance pattern was studied in upper limb-anesthetized subjects on a left/right hand judgment task, which is known to involve motor imagery processes relating to hand posture. Three conditions were used: control (i.e., absence of deafferentation), RA (i.e., deafferentation), and vision (i.e., deafferentated limb exposed to view). To limit potential bias such as order effect, the control state was recorded in a randomized manner. Results: All subjects described perceptual illusions of their anesthetized limb. They were slower and less accurate on the task during RA compared with control. Response patterns were similar in all conditions, suggesting sensitivity of performance to arm/hand biomechanical constraints. Vision was associated with an increase in the proportion of correct responses and a reduction of the response times in hand judgment and was accompanied by disappearance of the lateralization of the underlying mental representations, which was identified during RA. Conclusions: These results suggest the following: (1) the right/left judgment task involves mental simulation of hand movements, (2) underlying mental representations and their neural substrates are subject to acute alterations after RA, and (3) the proprioceptive deficit induced by RA is influenced by the subject's ability to see the anesthetized limb. © 2010, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Dezecache G.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Dezecache G.,Ecole Normale Superieure de Paris | Mercier H.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Mercier H.,Institute des science Cognitives | Scott-Phillips T.C.,University of Edinburgh
Journal of Pragmatics | Year: 2013

The study of pragmatics is typically concerned with ostensive communication (especially through language), in which we not only provide evidence for our intended speaker meaning, but also make manifest our intention to do so. This is not, however, the only way in which humans communicate. We also communicate in many non-ostensive ways, and these expressions often interplay with and complement ostensive communication. For example, fear, embarrassment, surprise and other emotions are often expressed with linguistic expressions, which they complement through changes in prosodic cues, facial and bodily muscular configuration, pupil dilatation and skin colouration, among others. However, some basic but important questions about non-ostensive communication, in particular those concerned with evolutionary stability, are unaddressed. Our objective is to address, albeit tentatively, this issue, focusing our discussion on one particular class of non-ostensive communication: emotional expressions. We argue that existing solutions to the problem of stability of emotional communication are problematic and we suggest introducing a new class of mechanisms-mechanisms of emotional vigilance-that, we think, more adequately accounts for the stability of emotional communication. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Gautreau A.,Institute des science Cognitives | Gautreau A.,University of Lyon | Hoen M.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Hoen M.,French National Center for Scientific Research | And 3 more authors.
Speech Communication | Year: 2015

This research examines the nature of the interference that occurs during speech-in-speech processing for late bilingual listeners. Native French-speaking listeners with Italian as their L2 performed a lexical decision task with French target words presented amid background speech (i.e., 4-talker babble) and nonspeech background noise (i.e., speech-shaped fluctuating noise). We compared the masking effects of babble generated in the listeners' L1 (French), their L2 (Italian), or an unknown language (Irish) to the masking effects of corresponding fluctuating noise. The fluctuating noise contained spectro-temporal information similar to babble but lacked linguistic information. This design allowed us to compare lexical decision times obtained with the 2 kinds of background noise in each language and thus to assess the linguistic interference caused by babble. Results revealed that babble spoken in the known languages (French and Italian) produced both linguistic and acoustic interference and that babble spoken in the unknown language (Irish) produced acoustic interference only. Furthermore, the L1-French L2-Italian listeners were more strongly affected by the L2 babble than by the L1 babble. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Christel M.I.,Free University of Berlin | Jeannerod M.,Institute des science Cognitives | Weiss P.H.,Kognitive Neurologie | Weiss P.H.,Julich Research Center
Experimental Brain Research | Year: 2012

To examine the mechanisms of functional bimanual synchronization in goal-directed movements, we studied the movement kinematics of motorically unimpaired subjects while they performed repetitive prehension movements (either unimanually or bimanually) to small food items. Compared to unimanual conditions, bimanual movement execution yielded a significantly prolonged mouth contact phase. We hypothesized that this threefold prolongation led to a proper functional synchronization of the movement onsets of both hands at the beginning of each new movement cycle. That these temporal adjustments occurred in the movement phase with maximal haptic input points to the importance of sensory feedback for bimanual coordination. These results are discussed with respectto the important role of sensory feedback in the timing of coordinated bimanual movements. Furthermore, we propose that timebased coordinating schemas, which are implemented by the cerebellum and the posterior parietal cortex using sensory feedback, underlie functional inter-limb coordination. © Springer-Verlag 2011.

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