Cortical thickness and surface area of left anterior temporal areas affects processing of phonological cues to morphosyntax

Mikael Novén, Andrea Schremm, Merle Horne, Mikael Roll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lack of methods to experimentally assess the perceptual processing of sound features and allow one to measure differences in phonological proficiency has been a limitation for speech processing studies in native speakers. Tonal features associated with Swedish word-stems, word accents, which cue grammatical suffixes, constitute, however, such sound features that can be exploited to generate measures of reliance on morphosyntactically relevant phonological information during word processing. Specifically, there is a natural variance between native speakers in response time (RT) difference between phonologically valid and invalid word accent-suffix combinations that can be used to quantify perceptual phonological proficiency. This study uses ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate word accents as phonological cues to morphosyntactic meaning. The study adds to the understanding of the neural basis for both morphosyntactically relevant phonological cues by reporting correlations between differences in listeners’ RT for validly and invalidly cued suffixes and cortical thickness in left anterior and middle temporal gyrus, and the left anterior superior temporal sulcus as well as cortical surface area in the left middle and inferior temporal gyri. The cortical areas studied are known constituents of the ventral speech processing stream, necessary for word and phrase recognition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number147150
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


  • Cortical surface area
  • Cortical thickness
  • Morphology
  • Prosody
  • Speech processing
  • Word accent


Dive into the research topics of 'Cortical thickness and surface area of left anterior temporal areas affects processing of phonological cues to morphosyntax'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this