Research Topic

Brain Oscillations in Human Communication

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About this Research Topic

Brain oscillations, or neural rhythms, reflect widespread functional connections between large-scale neural networks, as well as within cortical networks, in the brain. As such they have been related to many aspects of human behaviour. An increasing number of studies have demonstrated the role of brain ...

Brain oscillations, or neural rhythms, reflect widespread functional connections between large-scale neural networks, as well as within cortical networks, in the brain. As such they have been related to many aspects of human behaviour. An increasing number of studies have demonstrated the role of brain oscillations at distinct frequency bands in cognitive, sensory and motor tasks. Consequentially, those rhythms also affect diverse aspects of human communication.

This research topic aims to promote our understanding of the role of brain oscillations involved in communication and social interaction. On the one hand, this comprises verbal communication; a field where the understanding of neural mechanisms has seen huge advances in recent years. Speech is inherently organised in a rhythmic manner. For example, time scales of phonemes and syllables, but also formal prosodic aspects such as intonation and stress, fall into distinct frequency bands. Likewise, neural rhythms in the brain play a role in speech segmentation and coding of continuous speech at multiple time scales. Another example is spoken word recognition, for example, in a simple lexical decision task, where slow oscillations have been found to orchestrate neural speech processing.

On the other hand, human communication involves widespread and diverse nonverbal aspects where the role of neural rhythms is far less understood. This can be the enhancement of speech processing through visual signals, thought to be guided via brain oscillations, or the conveying of emotion, which results in differential rhythmic modulations in the observer. Additionally, body movements and gestures often have a communicative purpose and are known to modulate sensorimotor rhythms in the observer. Furthermore, any kind of communication is often organised according to overarching rules, for example taking turns. Such quasi-rhythmic turn-taking can also affect brain oscillations in interacting participants.

The main goal of this research topic is to deepen our knowledge of the neural mechanisms that allow successful interpersonal communication using state of the art methods such as EEG, MEG, TMS and tACS. We especially encourage experimental research that aims to identify specific mechanisms of brain oscillations involved in communication. In addition, we welcome primarily methodological papers that present new ways of data analysis.

Abstract Submission Deadline: 06 June 2015
Please send abstracts to: anne.keitel@glasgow.ac.uk

Please note that the deadline for manuscript submissions has been extended to 15. January 2016.

Updates:

06/11/2014
We are delighted that Associate Editor Dr Sophie Molholm has been assigned as adviser to this Research Topic.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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