Christopher I. Petkov
Evolutionarily conserved neural signatures involved in sequencing predictions and their relevance for languagedoi.org
Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 21:145-153, 2018
Predicting the occurrence of future events from prior ones is vital for animal perception and cognition. Although how such sequence learning (a form of relational knowledge) relates to particular operations in language remains controversial, recent evidence shows that sequence ...MORE ⇓
Predicting the occurrence of future events from prior ones is vital for animal perception and cognition. Although how such sequence learning (a form of relational knowledge) relates to particular operations in language remains controversial, recent evidence shows that sequence learning is disrupted in frontal lobe damage associated with aphasia. Also, neural sequencing predictions at different temporal scales resemble those involved in language operations occurring at similar scales. Furthermore, comparative work in humans and monkeys highlights evolutionarily conserved frontal substrates and predictive oscillatory signatures in the temporal lobe processing learned sequences of speech signals. Altogether this evidence supports a relational knowledge hypothesis of language evolution, proposing that language processes in humans are functionally integrated with an ancestral neural system for predictive sequence learning.
Auditory and visual sequence learning in humans and monkeys using an artificial grammar learning paradigmdoi.org
Neuroscience 389:104-117, 2018
Language flexibly supports the human ability to communicate using different sensory modalities, such as writing and reading in the visual modality and speaking and listening in the auditory domain. Although it has been argued that nonhuman primate communication abilities are ...MORE ⇓
Language flexibly supports the human ability to communicate using different sensory modalities, such as writing and reading in the visual modality and speaking and listening in the auditory domain. Although it has been argued that nonhuman primate communication abilities are inherently multisensory, direct behavioural comparisons between human and nonhuman primates are scant. Artificial grammar learning (AGL) tasks and statistical learning experiments can be used to emulate ordering relationships between words in a sentence. However, previous comparative work using such paradigms has primarily investigated sequence learning within a single sensory modality. We used an AGL paradigm to evaluate how humans and macaque monkeys learn and respond to identically structured sequences of either auditory or visual stimuli. In the auditory and visual experiments, we found that both species were sensitive to the ordering relationships between elements in the sequences. Moreover, the humans and monkeys produced largely similar response patterns to the visual and auditory sequences, indicating that the sequences are processed in comparable ways across the sensory modalities. These results provide evidence that human sequence processing abilities stem from an evolutionarily conserved capacity that appears to operate comparably across the sensory modalities in both human and nonhuman primates. The findings set the stage for future neurobiological studies to investigate the multisensory nature of these sequencing operations in nonhuman primates and how they compare to related processes in humans.
Birds, primates, and spoken language origins: behavioral phenotypes and neurobiological substratesdoi.orgPDF
Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience 4, 2012
Abstract Vocal learners such as humans and songbirds can learn to produce elaborate patterns of structurally organized vocalizations, whereas many other vertebrates such as non-human primates and most other bird groups either cannot or do so to a very limited ...
On the pursuit of the brain network for proto-syntactic learning in non-human primates: conceptual issues and neurobiological hypothesesdoi.orgPDF
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 367(1598):2077--2088, 2012
Abstract Songbirds have become impressive neurobiological models for aspects of human verbal communication because they learn to sequence their song elements, analogous, in some ways, to how humans learn to produce spoken sequences with syntactic structure. ...
Communication and the primate brain: insights from neuroimaging studies in humans, chimpanzees and macaquesdoi.org
Human Biology 83(2):175, 2011
Abstract Considerable knowledge is available on the neural substrates for speech and language from brain imaging studies in humans, but until recently there was a lack of data for comparison from other animal species on the evolutionarily conserved brain regions ...