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Poster A123

Age-Related Alterations in Alpha and Beta Oscillatory Dynamics During Grammar Processing in Youth

Poster Session A - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Dr. Elizabeth Heinrichs-Graham1 (, Allison Macdonald1, Zhiying Shen1, Augusto Diedrich1, Phillip Astorino1, Ryan McCreery1, Elizabeth Walker2; 1Boys Town National Research Hospital, 2University of Iowa

Language processing is served by a series of complex spatiotemporal neural oscillatory dynamics. Unfortunately, research on the development of the network-level oscillatory activity serving language function remains scarce, and this is especially true in the case of morphosyntactic (i.e., grammar) processing. Grammar ability is a crucial skill that has been shown to predict narrative storytelling, reading, and other developmental language milestones. This study sought to determine the effects of age on the neural dynamics of grammaticality judgement in typically-developing youth aged 7-15 years old. Participants performed a grammaticality judgement task during magnetoencephalography (MEG), where they listened to a sentence and were instructed to determine whether the last (target) word was grammatically correct. Artifact-free trials were decomposed into the time-frequency domain and significant neural responses were imaged using beamforming. We found significant age-related improvements in both accuracy and reaction time. While we found significant oscillatory responses in multiple bands, age-related changes were restricted to alpha-beta frequencies. Specifically, we found age-related decreases in parietal alpha activity during target processing (p < .005, corrected). We also found significant age-related decreases in beta activity throughout the left language network during target processing, including inferior frontal, superior temporal, and parietal regions, as well as the anterior cingulate and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (p < .005, corrected). Finally, we found significant decreases in beta activity in the temporoparietal junction during sentence processing with age (p < .005, corrected). These data provide new evidence of the neural dynamics serving age-related improvements in grammar processing in youth.

Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Development & aging


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April 13–16  |  2024