Computational protocol: Neuro-cognitive foundations of word stress processing - evidence from fMRI

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[…] Reaction time (RT) analysis was based on correct trials only. Furthermore, response latencies faster than 200 ms were not considered and in a second step responses outside the interval of +/-3 standard deviations around the individual mean were excluded. This resulted in a total loss of 12.0% of the data. Error rates were arcsine-transformed prior to statistical analyses. RT and error rates (ER) were analyzed using a 2 × 2 × 2 within-participant repeated measures ANOVA comprising the factors identity (identical vs. non-identical pairs), phonological manipulation (stress vs. vowel condition), and stress pattern of the second item (penultimate vs. final stress).The anatomical scans were normalized and averaged in SPM8 http://www.fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk/spm. The fMRI time series was corrected for movement and unwarped in SPM8. Images were motion corrected and realigned to each participant's first image. Data were normalized into standard stereotaxic MNI space. Images were resampled every 2.5 mm using trilinear interpolation and smoothed with a 5 mm FWHM Gaussian kernel to accommodate inter-subject variation in brain anatomy and to increase signal-to-noise ratio in the images. The data were high-pass filtered (128 s) to remove low-frequency signal drifts and corrected for autocorrelation assuming an AR(1) process. Brain activity was convolved over all experimental trials with the canonical haemodynamic response function (HRF). For activation, which was evaluated at an uncorrected p-value of < .001, cluster threshold correction was applied as a threshold larger than 12 voxels corresponded to a corrected alpha level < .05 with our parameters given. Localization of activation peaks was determined using the anatomic automatic labling tool (AAL, http://www.cyceron.fr/web/aal__anatomical_automatic_labeling.html) as well as the SPM Anatomy Toolbox [], available with all published cytoarchitectonic maps from http://www2.fz-juelich.de/inm/index.php?index=194). Complex contrasts were masked inclusively to prevent that e.g. subtraction of a strong from a less strong deactivation suggests activation while in fact there is an underactivation. […]

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