Linguistic Decoding

When we listen to someone speaking, we are able to quickly and effortlessly understand the content of the spoken language. This ability, however, obscures the complexity of the neural processes that underlie comprehension. One of the first steps that the perceptual system has to accomplish is to break the incoming speech stream into units or segments that can provide the basis for the next processing steps. Very little, however, is known about the neural mechanisms of linguistic decoding, that is, how information about the physical stimulus is mapped onto stored linguistic information in the brain (informally speaking, words). Knowledge about the time course of neuronal processes is crucial to understand the neuronal functional architecture, as the latter is a description of causal structure, and causality is inherently temporal. In this project we apply an approach that focuses on the neural mechanisms and functional networks involved in these processes …