Can lexical tone perception be “seen” in the brain?
Refereed conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings


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AbstractBackground: Brain is the most fascinating and complex organ in human body. With the advancement of technology, different types of neuroimaging evolved. fMRI is the most widely used neuroimaging technique to study the change of deoxygenated blood level (haemodynamics) in the area of the brain during activities.
Mandarin and Cantonese are two major tone languages in the world. A change in tone in the same syllable can change the lexical meaning of the syllable. Thus, the ability of tone language speakers in perceiving lexical tones affects the accuracy of language understanding.
Methodology: Literature search was performed by using PubMed® with search of “lexical tone”, “Cantonese” or “Mandarin”, “fMRI” or “EEG”.
Results: 374 articles with keyword, “lexical tone” were identified since 1976 to August, 2016. There are more number of publications in Mandarin than Cantonese speakers (Mandarin: 71.4% vs. Cantonese: 28.6%). More studies used electroencephalography (EEG) than functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) (EEG: 32 vs. fMRI: 24). After reviewing the publications which focused on using fMRI as tool, it was found that the cortical location for lexical tone perception is inconclusive.
Conclusion: Aiming at filling the research gap of past studies, the present presentation discusses and summarizes the results of different researches in finding the cortical area(s) responsible for lexical tone perception in the brain. A methodological design that can enable us to ‘see’ tone perception in tone language speakers will be proposed.
The present presentation is supported by Lui Che Woo Institute of Innovative Medicine (Brain Reseaerch And Innovative Neuroscience) with project account number: 8303403
All Author(s) ListWong R. W. M., Lee K. Y. S., Law T., Yu W. S., van Hasselt C. A., Tong M. C. F.
Name of ConferenceHong Kong Speech and Hearing Symposium 2016
Start Date of Conference22/10/2016
End Date of Conference23/10/2016
Place of ConferenceHong Kong
Country/Region of ConferenceHong Kong
Proceedings TitleHong Kong Speech and Hearing Symposium 2016
Year2016
Month10
Place of PublicationHong Kong
Pages32
LanguagesEnglish-United States
Keywordsspeech therapy, brain

Last updated on 2018-22-01 at 05:58