From Sound to Meaning: Changes in EEG Source-Localized Brain Activity with Foreign-Language Training
Learning a foreign language is a complex human task, involving multiple processes and a dynamic network of brain activity. The present study used 256-channel dense-array electroencephalography (dEEG) and linear-inverse source analysis (sLORETA) to identify changes in brain activity during the early stages of language training. Twenty native English speakers attended two 50-minute sessions of computer-assisted, virtual-reality Dari language instruction. Training-specific changes in neural activity were observed in both articulatory-motor and semantic processing regions, including increases in left posterior inferior temporal gyrus and left lateral inferior frontal regions. Also observed was increasing left lateralization, and an increase in mediotemporal regions suggestive of memory reconsolidation. These findings illustrate the ability to track changes with training in recognized language-processing brain regions using source-localized EEG recorded while listening to continuous, naturalistic speech. Subsequent research will explore individual differences and the development of adaptive training based on neural indices.
Keywordslanguage learning training dense-array EEG linear-inverse source analysis electroencephalography event-related potentials
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