LINGUIST List 15.884

Mon Mar 15 2004

Diss: Neuroling: Reiterer: 'EEG-Coherence...'

Editor for this issue: Takako Matsui <>


  1. Susanne.Reiterer, EEG-Coherence Analysis and Foreign Language Learning

Message 1: EEG-Coherence Analysis and Foreign Language Learning

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 14:24:44 -0500 (EST)
From: Susanne.Reiterer <>
Subject: EEG-Coherence Analysis and Foreign Language Learning

Institution: Vienna University
Program: Department of Psychology, Neuropsychology
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2002

Author: Susanne Maria Reiterer

Dissertation Title: EEG-Coherence Analysis and Foreign Language
Learning: Brain Activation Differences between high and low
proficiency second language speakers

Linguistic Field: Neurolinguistics 

Subject Language: English (code: ENG), German, Standard (code: GER)

Dissertation Director 1: Peter Rappelsberger
Dissertation Director 2: Annemarie Peltzer-Karpf
Dissertation Director 3: Herbert Bauer

Dissertation Abstract:

To investigate the influence of proficiency level on the cortical
organization of foreign language processing, two groups of German
speaking students, differing only in their proficiency in English as a
second language, were subjected to EEG coherence analysis during
foreign and native language processing (news reports, frequency
spectrum investigated: 1 - 32 Hz). In the group with minor experience
with English, coherence increase was observed with all electrode
combinations, with left hemisphere (LH) predominance. In the high
proficiency group, coherence increase was limited to temporal
electrodes over LH. Only in the latter group, coherence between
prefrontal electrodes was significantly lower during the language
tasks than during the baseline task (silence, noisy screen). Both
results were obtained with foreign as well as native language
processing. We suggest that reduced EEG coherence in language experts
reflects a more efficient operating strategy not only for their
second, but also for their native language.

Key words 
language proficiency, second language, bilingualism,
EEG-coherence, cortical efficiency, cortical networks
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue