- acoustic phonetics¶
The study of speech ‘in the air’.
Said of a connection that reaches inward or towards a central area. Synonym of ascending.
The pivotal verb of ecological psychology, which states the way an aspect of the environment provides the basis for a behavior. The prototypical example is a doorknob, which you can tell that you should grab it with your hand just by looking at it. Thus a doorknob ‘affords’ being grasped by the hand.
The inability to process information in a sensory modality despite the perception of the modality being intact.
A form of receptive aphasia in which the ability to understand written or printed material is lost.
Said of a linguistic form that has more than one interpretation.
The loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities, see for example Anhedonia in Wikipida.
The neurological disruption of language. To be diagnosed with aphasia, the other cognitive abilities of a patient should be intact.
Disorders of prosody, thought to be localized to the right hemisphere.
Said of a connection that reaches inward or towards a central area. Synonym of afferent.
The [h]-like puff of air that follows the release of a voiceless stop in English and some other languages.
- association areas¶
Areas of the neocortex where information from different sensory modalities is associated or combined.
The production of speech.
- articulatory phonetics¶
The study of the production of speech.
The term in the medical sciences for hearing.
- auditory verbal agnosia¶
The inability to understand speech while maintaining normal hearing, speech production, and reading and writing skills.
- auditory phonetics¶
The study of the perception of speech.
- axon hillock¶
A protuberance at the base of a pyramidal neuron from which the axon sprouts.
- basilar membrane¶
The membrane in the cochlea that lies between the vestibular canal and the tympanic canal and so moves in sympathy with vibrations transmitted from the former to the latter. It constitutes the ‘floor’ of the organ of Corti, in which hair cells transduce vibratory motion into neural signals. Its length is organized by tonotopy from high frequencies at its base to low frequencies at its apex.
- cell membrane¶
The double layer of fats (phosopholipids) that separate animal cells from their environment.
- central auditory pathway¶
The roughly spherical structure underneath and at the rear of the cerebrum, usually said to be responsible for fine motor control. Its contribution to language, other than fine control of the muscles of the vocal tract, is unknown.
The large roughly almond-shaped structure that fills most of the skull and that most people take to the ‘brain’.
The tendency of a person with Wernicke’s aphasia to paraphrase or ‘talk around’ a word that he or she cannot recall.
The spiral or snail-shaped bony cavity in the inner ear in which acoustic vibrations are transduced into neural signals.
- complementary distribution¶
A category of speech sounds in which the mouth is partially or completely open or obstructed.
A branch of philosophy that holds that the world is independent of human minds, but knowledge of the world is always a human and social construction.
- contrastive distribution¶
The description of phonemes as appearing in the same contexts, such as oral and nasal vowels in French.
The folds of the neocortex.
- cortical deafness¶
Inability to ‘hear’ sound despite intact peripheral and central auditory pathways, presumably due to bilateral damage to auditory cortex.
A surgical operation in which part of the skull is removed in order to access the brain.
The measurement of a wave from peak to peak.
The neurites that collect the input signals of a neuron.
- diffusion gradient¶
A difference in chemical concentration between two areas that promotes diffusion of the chemical from the area of high concentration to the area of low concentration.
An impairment in the ability to recognize visual (written or printed) words.
- ecological psychology¶
A branch of psychology which holds that a particular behavior can only be understood in the context of an environment. Its founder, James Gibson, is famous for saying “Ask not what’s inside your head, but what your head’s inside of.”
Said of a connection that reaches outward or away from a central area.
- electrical gradient¶
A difference in ionic concentration between two areas that promotes diffusion of the ion from the area of high concentration to the area of low concentration.
- empty speech¶
A synonym of semantic paraphasia.
- evolutionary psychology¶
A branch of psychology which studies behavior as the result of evolutionary pressure.
- hertz (Hz)¶
The measure of frequency as cycles per second.
The bands of energy in a spectrogram that correspond to cavity resonances of the vocal system.
The number of repetitions of a phenomenon per some unit of time.
- fundamental frequency¶
The lowest or basic frequency of a sound-emitting object, indicated by \(F_0\).
- frontal lobe¶
The division of the cerebrum along the front, behind the forehead. It is responsible for motor planning and ‘executive functions’.
The units of written language.
- graphemic transcription¶
A transcription into the standard spelling (or orthography) of a language.
- grey matter¶
The mass of cell bodies that lies along the surface of the cerebrum and has a grey or pinkish-grey color. Also known as (neo)cortex.
The peak or upward extent of convolutions.
- hair cells¶
The cells in the organ of Corti whose cilia or ‘hairs’ at the top open ion channels when pressed upon by the tectorial membrane, which can trigger action potentials which are fed into the auditory nerve. They are divided into inner hair cell and outer hair cells.
The higher frequencies that are multiples of the fundamental frequency.
The two side-by-side, mirror-image divisions of the cerebrum.
A representation of the layout of the body from foot to tongue arrayed along the primary motor and somatosensory cortices.
- inner hair cell¶
The hair cells …
- integrative neuroscience¶
An approach to neuroscience that strives to combine descriptions of neural behavior at several scales, from that of the individual neuron to that of a functional brain area.
- ion channels¶
The protein tubes in the cell membrane that allow particular ions to cross between the interior and exterior of a cell.
The acronym of the International Phonetic Alphabet, a standardized representation of speech in which each grapheme corresponds to a single phone, and each phone corresponds to a single grapheme.
- laryngeal system¶
The middle section of the speech production apparatus, which encompasses the larynx which houses the vocal cords.
The view of the hemispheres from the outside.
- lateral inhibition¶
Inhibition (‘turning off’) of units at the same level of a neural hierarchy.
- manner of articulation¶
One of the three characteristics of consonants, which delineates how the constriction takes place.
- membrane potential¶
The electrical potential that builds up inside a neuron due to the electrical gradient between its interior and exterior.
The organization of neocortex into functional units in which a group of nearby neurons exite one another yet inhibit their surrounding neighbors.
The smallest units of language that have meaning, such as ‘cat’, ‘anti-’, or ‘-ish’. Usually understood as the parts of words, though undecomposable words count, too.
The study of morphemes.
Said of segments, usually vowels, that are normally articulated orally but that can have nasal airflow in certain contexts.
The thin layer of cell bodies on the surface of the cerebrum. “Cortex” is the Latin word for the bark of a tree. It is “neo” or new because it expanded tremendously during the evolution of mammals. I usually just call it “cortex”, ignoring the potential for confusion with the cortex of the cerebellum.
The new Stone Age, dating approximately from the invention of agriculture to the invention of metal tools.
- non-primary auditory pathway¶
The pathway that connects the cochlea to non-auditory areas of cortex, which ‘ascends’ from the ear through various subcortical organs.
The process of translating, rotating, scaling, and maybe warping a brain to roughly match a standard template image.
In the context of the central auditory pathway, it is a group of anatomically differentiated neurons in some subcortical structure. It is used in contrast to neocortex, which has a different and more uniform structure.
- organ of Corti¶
The structure running the length of the basilar membrane which houses the hair cells which transduce vibratory motion to neural signals.
- occipital lobe¶
The division of the cerebrum at the back. It is responsible for the initial processing of vision.
To repeat a cycle.
- outer hair cells¶
The hair cells …
The Old Stone Age, dating approximately from the invention of stone tools to the invention of agriculture.
The unit of pressure in the International System of Units, see Pascal (unit) at Wikipedia.
A linguistic error associated with a neurological disorder.
Restated in a different way, usually to bring out a subtle meaning.
- parietal lobe¶
The division of the cerebrum along the top between all the other lobes. It is responsible for touch and sensory association in general.
- part of speech¶
The category of a word. See The Eight Parts of Speech for definitions and examples.
An impairment in the ability to recognize familiar voices.
The production of speech.
The units of the ‘mental’ representation of speech. They do not depend on a specific phonetic context but rather are learned or generalized from many contexts.
- phonemic paraphasia¶
- phonemic transcription¶
The units of the physical manifestation of speech in a particular phonetic context, either heard or articulated.
- phonetic transcription¶
The cells in the retina that transduce light into action potentials.
- place of articulation¶
One of the three characteristics of consonants, which delineates where in the mouth the constriction takes place.
The field of linguistics that deals with the meaning of a form in a specific context.
- primary auditory pathway¶
The pathway that connects the cochlea to primary auditory cortex, which ‘ascends’ from the ear through various subcortical organs.
An impairment in the ability to recognize faces, also known as face blindness.
- press of speech¶
A synonym of logorrhea.
A synonym of supra-segmental.
- pure word deafness¶
An impairment in the ability to comprehend speech. Also known as auditory verbal agnosia.
- rate code¶
A type of neural code in which information is transmitted by the average firing rate of a neuron or group of neurons.
- receptor potential¶
The potential produced by sensory transduction.
The type of photoreceptors that are found concentrated on the outer edge of the retina and are sensitive to black and white.
Refers to the units of phonetics and phonology that are approximated by an alphabet.
Refers to the units of phonetics and phonology that are approximated by a segment.
- semantic paraphasia¶
As a symptom of aphasia, the usage of words incorrectly or the usage of vague or general words like thing for more specific words. Synonym of empty speech.
The field of linguistics that deals with meaning.
- sensorimotor system¶
The body of a neuron.
In neuroscience, it refers to the parts of the cortex responsible for processing touch or tactile information.
The entire range over which some measure can vary.
- speech agnosia¶
An impairment in the ability to recognize speech.
- speech perception¶
The decoding of an acoustic signal as speech.
- speech comprehension¶
The decoding of speech as meaningful communication.
- spike train¶
A sequence of spikes.
The ‘hairs’ on the top of hair cells.
The trough or downward extent of convolutions.
The addition of multiple waves into a single composite wave.
- supralaryngeal system¶
The top section of the speech production apparatus, which encompasses the mouth and nasal cavity.
Refers to the aspects of phonetics and phonology that are not approximated by an alphabet but rather by punctuation. It encompasses how intonation, loudness and duration are used in a language.
The gaps where an axon and a dendrite come together, at which an electrical signal from the axon is transformed into a chemical one which crosses the gap and is transformed back into an electrical signal in the dendrite.
The field of linguistics that deals with word order.
- temporal lobe¶
The oval division of the cerebrum that runs along the bottom center.
The state of being organized by tone or frequency, from low to high or vice versa.
The act of transforming spoken language into a written form.
- traveling wave¶
A wave in which a crest followed by a trough is seen to move across a medium.
Said of phonetic material during which the vocal cords do not vibrate. Synonym of voiceless.
- vestibular canal¶
The fluid-filled canal in the cochlea that receives an incoming acoustic vibration. Also called the scala vestibule.
- visual agnosia¶
An impairment in the ability to recognize familiar (visual) objects.
- vocal cords¶
The twin membranes in the larynx that vibrate when air from the lungs passes through them, creating the human voice.
- vocal tract¶
Said of phonetic material during which the vocal cords vibrate.
Said of phonetic material during which the vocal cords do not vibrate. Synonym of unvoiced.
A category of speech sounds in which the mouth is maximally open or unobstructed.
- Wernicke’s aphasia¶
One of the two main types of aphasia, attendant on damage to Wernicke’s region. Also called receptive or sensory aphasia.
- Wernicke’s region¶
A poorly delimited area of the left lateral posterior temporal lobe which produces the symptoms of Wernicke’s aphasia when damaged.
- word blindness¶
Older term for dyslexia, the loss of the ability to understand written words.
Last edited: Aug 22, 2023