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      Language can shape the perception of oriented objects

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          Abstract

          Seeing an object is a natural source for learning about the object’s configuration. We show that language can also shape our knowledge about visual objects. We investigated sign language that enables deaf individuals to communicate through hand movements with as much expressive power as any other natural language. A few signs represent objects in a specific orientation. Sign-language users (signers) recognized visual objects faster when oriented as in the sign, and this match in orientation elicited specific brain responses in signers, as measured by event-related potentials (ERPs). Further analyses suggested that signers’ responsiveness to object orientation derived from changes in the visual object representations induced by the signs. Our results also show that language facilitates discrimination between objects of the same kind (e.g., different cars), an effect never reported before with spoken languages. By focusing on sign language we could better characterize the impact of language (a uniquely human ability) on object visual processing.

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          Most cited references 31

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          The novelty P3: an event-related brain potential (ERP) sign of the brain's evaluation of novelty.

          A review of the literature that examines event-related brain potentials (ERPs) and novelty processing reveals that the orienting response engendered by deviant or unexpected events consists of a characteristic ERP pattern, comprised sequentially of the mismatch negativity (MMN) and the novelty P3 or P3a. A wide variety of evidence suggests that the MMN reflects the detection of deviant events, whereas the P3a is associated more with the evaluation of those events for subsequent behavioral action. On the scalp, the novelty P3a is comprised of at least two aspects, one frontal the other posterior, each with different cognitive (and presumably neurologic) correlates. Intracranial ERP investigations and studies of patients with localized brain lesions (and, to some extent, fMRI data) converge with the scalp-recorded data in suggesting a widespread neural network, the different aspects of which respond differentially to stimulus and task characteristics.
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            Russian blues reveal effects of language on color discrimination.

            English and Russian color terms divide the color spectrum differently. Unlike English, Russian makes an obligatory distinction between lighter blues ("goluboy") and darker blues ("siniy"). We investigated whether this linguistic difference leads to differences in color discrimination. We tested English and Russian speakers in a speeded color discrimination task using blue stimuli that spanned the siniy/goluboy border. We found that Russian speakers were faster to discriminate two colors when they fell into different linguistic categories in Russian (one siniy and the other goluboy) than when they were from the same linguistic category (both siniy or both goluboy). Moreover, this category advantage was eliminated by a verbal, but not a spatial, dual task. These effects were stronger for difficult discriminations (i.e., when the colors were perceptually close) than for easy discriminations (i.e., when the colors were further apart). English speakers tested on the identical stimuli did not show a category advantage in any of the conditions. These results demonstrate that (i) categories in language affect performance on simple perceptual color tasks and (ii) the effect of language is online (and can be disrupted by verbal interference).
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              A solution to the effect of sample size on outlier elimination

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                francesca.peressotti@unipd.it
                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2045-2322
                21 May 2020
                21 May 2020
                2020
                : 10
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1757 3470, GRID grid.5608.b, Dipartimento di Psicologia dello Sviluppo e della Socializzazione, Università di Padova, ; Padova, 35137 Italy
                [2 ]ISNI 0000000419368729, GRID grid.21729.3f, Columbia University, ; New York, 10027 USA
                Article
                65455
                10.1038/s41598-020-65455-6
                7242439
                32439859
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef https://doi.org/10.13039/501100003407, Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca (Ministry of Education, University and Research);
                Award ID: N 20177894ZH
                Award Recipient :
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                © The Author(s) 2020

                Uncategorized

                human behaviour, cognitive neuroscience

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