Communication Neuroscience Research Lab @ BU

Communication Neuroscience

Latest Publications

Sensory modality and information domain contribute jointly to dual-task interference between working memory and perceptual processing

Making sense of our environment requires us to extract temporal and spatial information from multiple sensory modalities, particularly audition and vision. Often, we must hold this sensory information in working memory (WM) to guide future actions, while simultaneously processing new sensory inputs as they arise. However, these processes of WM maintenance and perceptual processing can […]

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Efficient functional localization of language regions in the brain

Important recent advances in the cognitive neuroscience of language have been made using functional localizers to demarcate language-selective regions in individual brains. Although single-subject localizers offer insights that are unavailable in classic group analyses, they require additional scan time that imposes costs on investigators and participants. In particular, the unique practical challenges of scanning children […]

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Energetic and informational masking place dissociable demands on listening effort: Evidence from simultaneous electroencephalography and pupillometry

The task of processing speech masked by concurrent speech/noise can pose a substantial challenge to listeners. However, performance on such tasks may not directly reflect the amount of listening effort they elicit. Changes in pupil size and neural oscillatory power in the alpha range (8–12 Hz) are prominent neurophysiological signals known to reflect listening effort; however, […]

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Both stronger and weaker cerebro-cerebellar functional connectivity patterns during processing of spoken sentences in autism spectrum disorder

Cerebellar differences have long been documented in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), yet the extent to which such differences might impact language processing in ASD remains unknown. To investigate this, we recorded brain activity with magnetoencephalography (MEG) while ASD and age-matched typically developing (TD) children passively processed spoken meaningful English and meaningless Jabberwocky sentences. Using a […]

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Diminished repetition suppression reveals selective and systems-level face processing differences in ASD

Repeated exposure to a stimulus results in reduced neural response, or repetition suppression, in brain regions responsible for processing that stimulus. This rapid accommodation to repetition is thought to underlie learning, stimulus selectivity, and strengthening of perceptual expectations. Importantly, reduced sensitivity to repetition has been identified in several neurodevelopmental, learning, and psychiatric disorders, including autism […]

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Atypical cortical processing of bottom-up speech binding cues in children with autism spectrum disorders

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) commonly display speech processing abnormalities. Binding of acoustic features of speech distributed across different frequencies into coherent speech objects is fundamental in speech perception. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the cortical processing of bottom-up acoustic cues for speech binding may be anomalous in ASD. We recorded magnetoencephalography while […]

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Multiple sources of acoustic variation affect speech processing efficiency

Phonetic variability across talkers imposes additional processing costs during speech perception, evident in performance decrements when listening to speech from multiple talkers. However, within-talker phonetic variation is a less well-understood source of variability in speech, and it is unknown how processing costs from within-talker variation compare to those from between-talker variation. Here, listeners performed a […]

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