Date of Graduation

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Education

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Bowers, Andrew

Reader

Hagstrom, Fran

Second Reader

Aslin, Larry W.

Abstract

The comprehension and understanding of language depends upon two critical things: first, the acoustic integrity of the linguistic signal that is sent and received as well as the knowledge of the phonology and meaning that is in a given language. However, little is known about how brain rhythms that track these properties involved in comprehension and understanding. A 14 channel telemetric headset measuring electroencephalography (EEG) was used in this study to track the brain’s response at both high (30-50Hz) and low frequencies (3-30Hz) while language samples at varying levels of intelligibility were presented to a native Spanish speaker under the following listening conditions: Arabic forward, Arabic reversed, Portuguese forward, Portuguese reversed, Spanish forward and Spanish reversed. Results showed that conditions in which language was comprehended were associated with differences at both high and low frequencies in left and right hemisphere electrodes. A condition in which participants partially understood the intended message (i.e., Portuguese) showed differences from native language listening at high frequencies. Findings are discussed with respect to current theoretical accounts of oscillatory function in speech and language processing along with recent findings.

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