Differential oscillatory encoding of foreign speech

Alejandro Pérez, Manuel Carreiras, Margaret Gillon Dowens, Jon Andoni Duñabeitia

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Neuronal oscillations play a key role in auditory perception of verbal input, with the oscillatory rhythms of the brain showing synchronization with specific frequencies of speech. Here we investigated the neural oscillatory patterns associated with perceiving native, foreign, and unknown speech. Spectral power and phase synchronization were compared to those of a silent context. Power synchronization to native speech was found in frequency ranges corresponding to the theta band, while no synchronization patterns were found for the foreign speech context and the unknown language context. For phase synchrony, the native and unknown languages showed higher synchronization in the theta-band than the foreign language when compared to the silent condition. These results suggest that neural synchronization patterns are markedly different for native and foreign languages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-57
Number of pages7
JournalBrain and Language
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • Bilingualism
  • Foreign language
  • Language
  • Oscillations
  • Speech
  • Synchrony

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing


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