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Shinri OHTA Last modified date:2024.05.15



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Homepage
https://kyushu-u.elsevierpure.com/en/persons/shinri-ohta
 Reseacher Profiling Tool Kyushu University Pure
https://ohtalab.org/en/
Lab website. .
https://researchmap.jp/shinriohta/?lang=en
Academic Degree
PhD in Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
No
Field of Specialization
Psycholinguistics, Neuroscience of language
ORCID(Open Researcher and Contributor ID)
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3240-0028
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
01years02months
Outline Activities
I've been exploring the neural foundations of language by examining hypotheses grounded in theoretical linguistics. To do so, I've conducted neuroscientific experiments utilizing techniques like electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography, fMRI, and transcranial electrical stimulation.
Research
Research Interests
  • Elucidation of the neural basis of language using theoretical linguistics and experimental neuroscience
    keyword : Neuroscience of Language, Neurolinguistics, Psycholinguistics
    2016.10.
Current and Past Project
  • Field-based cognitive neuroscientific study of word order in language and order of thinking from the OS language perspective.
  • Establishing language rehabilitation techniques by integrating transcranial electrical stimulation and electroencephalography.
  • Elucidating the neural basis of foreign language learning by integrating transcranial electrical stimulation and electroencephalography.
  • Explorations into the neurocognitive basis of symbolic processing: Focusing on the mediation system between form and meaning of human language.
  • Development of a non-invasive method for mapping brain function using magnetoencephalography.
  • Development of rehabilitation techniques for dyslexia by transcranial temporal interference stimulation.
  • Establishment of a non-invasive brain plasticity induction technique using transcranial temporal interference stimulation and functional brain imaging.
  • Elucidation of the neural mechanisms of language acquisition and language loss using high-density transcranial temporal interference stimulation.
  • Verification of the language processing in the brain through integration of linguistics, information science, and mathematics
  • Elucidation of the neural basis of language through integration of theory, models, and experiments
  • Theoretical Frameworks for Studying the Origins and Evolution of Human Language
Academic Activities
Books
1. Jun Nakajima, Shinri Ohta, (Dis)similarities between semantically transparent and lexicalized nominal suffixation in Japanese: An ERP study using a masked priming paradigm, In Koizumi, M. (Ed.), Issues in Japanese Psycholinguistics from Comparative Perspectives: Interaction between Linguistic and Nonlinguistic Factors (Vol. 2) (The Mouton-NINJAL Library of Linguistics Series), De Gruyter Mouton, https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110778939-008, 2023.11.
Reports
1. Shinri Ohta, Why Only Us: Language and Evolution, Review By Berwick, Robert C. and Noam Chomsky, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2016, vii+224pp, English Linguistics, 2020.09.
2. Shinri Ohta, Naoki Fukui, Kuniyoshi L. Sakai, Computational principles of syntax in the regions specialized for language: Integrating theoretical linguistics and functional neuroimaging, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00204, 2013.12, [URL].
Papers
1. Koki Yamaguchi, Shinri Ohta, Dissociating the processing of empty categories in raising and control sentences: A self-paced reading study in Japanese, Frontiers in Language Sciences, 10.3389/flang.2023.1138749, 2, 1138749-1138749, 2023.06, [URL], Introduction: Theoretical linguistics has proposed different types of empty categories (ECs), i.e., unpronounced words with syntactic characteristics. ECs are a key to elucidating the computational system of syntax, algorithms of language processing, and their neural implementation. Here we examined the distinction between raising and control sentences in Japanese and whether ECs are psychologically real.
Methods: We recruited 254 native speakers of Japanese in the present internet-based experiment. We used a self-paced reading and a probe recognition priming technique. To investigate whether raising and control sentences have different ECs (i.e., Copy and PRO) and whether these ECs cause a reactivation effect, behavioral data were analyzed using linear mixed-effects models.
Results: We found two striking results. First, we demonstrate that the reading times of raising and control sentences in Japanese were better explained by the linear mixed-effects model considering the differences of ECs, i.e., Copy and PRO. Secondly, we found a significant reactivation effect for raising and control sentences, which have ECs, and reflexive sentences without ECs. These results indicate that ECs are processed similarly to reflexive pronouns (e.g., himself ).
Discussion: Based on these results, we conclude that raising and control sentences in Japanese have different ECs, i.e., Copy and PRO, and that ECs have psychological reality. Our results demonstrate that behavioral experiment based on theoretical linguistics, which is the first step for developing linking hypotheses connecting theoretical linguistics and experimental neuroscience, is indeed necessary for testing hypotheses proposed in theoretical linguistics..
2. Ohta, Shinri & Chisaki Iwashita, The effects of phonological features of consonants on sound symbolism in onomatopoeia: A study using semantic differential and factor analysis, Oninkenkyu (Phonological Studies), The Phonological Society of Japan, 26, 43–50, 2023..
3. Kyohei Tanaka, Isso Nakamura, Shinri Ohta, Naoki Fukui, Mihoko Zushi, Hiroki Narita, Kuniyoshi L. Sakai, Merge-generability as the key concept of human language: Evidence from neuroscience, Frontiers in Psychology, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02673, 10, 2673, 2019.11, [URL].
4. Takahiro Osada, Shinri Ohta, Akitoshi Ogawa, Masaki Tanaka, Akimitsu Suda, Koji Kamagata, Masaaki Hori, Shigeki Aoki, Yasushi Shimo, Nobutaka Hattori, Takahiro Shimizu, Hiroyuki Enomoto, Ritsuko Hanajima, Yoshikazu Ugawa, Seiki Konishi, An essential role of the intraparietal sulcus in response inhibition predicted by parcellation-based network, Journal of Neuroscience, 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2244-18.2019, 39, 13, 2509-2521, 2019.01, [URL], The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) features close anatomical and functional relationships with the prefrontal cortex. However, the necessity of the PPC in executive functions has been questioned. The present study used the stop-signal task to examine response inhibition, an executive function that inhibits prepotent response tendency. The brain activity and resting-state functional connectivity were measured to analyze a parcellation-based network that was aimed at identifying a candidate PPC region essential for response inhibition in humans. The intraparietal sulcus (IPS) was activated during response inhibition and connected with the inferior frontal cortex and the presupplementary motor area, the two frontal regions known to be necessary for response inhibition. Next, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was used to test the essential role of the IPS region for response inhibition. TMS over the IPS region prolonged the stop-signal reaction time (SSRT), the standard behavioral index used to evaluate stopping performance, when stimulation was applied 30–0 ms before stopping. On the contrary, stimulation over the temporoparietal junction region, an area activated during response inhibition but lacking connectivity with the two frontal regions, did not show changes in SSRT. These results indicate that the IPS identified using the parcellation-based network plays an essential role in executive functions..
5. Kyohei Tanaka, Shinri Ohta, Ryuta Kinno, Kuniyoshi L. Sakai, Activation changes of the left inferior frontal gyrus for the factors of construction and scrambling in a sentence, Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Series B, 10.2183/pjab.93.031, 93, 7, 511-522, 2017.07, [URL].
6. Shinri Ohta, Masatoshi Koizumi, Kuniyoshi L. Sakai, Dissociating Effects of Scrambling and Topicalization within the Left Frontal and Temporal Language Areas: An fMRI Study in Kaqchikel Maya, Frontiers in Psychology, 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00748, 8, 748, 1-14, 2017.05, [URL].
7. Classification of Japanese compounds based on the frequency of rendaku: A study using the Rendaku Database.
8. Ryuta Kinno, Shinri Ohta, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Takashi Maruyama, Kuniyoshi L. Sakai, Left frontal glioma induces functional connectivity changes in syntax-related networks, SPRINGERPLUS, 10.1186/s40064-015-1104-6, 4, 317, 1-6, 2015.07, [URL].
9. Effects of phonological and semantic factors on rendaku: A study using the rendaku database and logistic regression analyses.
10. Ryuta Kinno, Shinri Ohta, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Takashi Maruyama, Kuniyoshi L. Sakai, Differential reorganization of three syntax-related networks induced by a left frontal glioma, BRAIN, 10.1093/brain/awu013, 137, 4, 1193-1212, 2014.04, [URL].
11. Shinri Ohta, Naoki Fukui, Kuniyoshi L. Sakai, Syntactic Computation in the Human Brain: The Degree of Merger as a Key Factor, PLOS ONE, 10.1371/journal.pone.0056230, 8, e56230, 1-16, 2013.02, [URL].
Presentations
1. Shinri Ohta, Investigating the neural basis of language through non-invasive brain stimulation, SNU Workshop on Empirical and Laboratory Linguistics 2023, 2024.01.
2. Sentenceology from neuroscience and linguistics: An invitation to the neuroscience of language.
3. Ohta, S., Elucidating the neural mechanisms of language with theoretical linguistics and experimental neuroscience, Symposium at Doshisha University, Graduate School of Culture and Information Science, Kyoto, Japan (Virtual conference).
4. Ohta, S., Proving linguistic theory through neuroscientific experiments!, Special Seminar on Time Studies, The Research Institute for Time Studies, Yamaguchi, Japan.
5. Shinri Ohta, Selective facilitation of syntactic processing by transcranial electrical stimulation over the left inferior frontal cortex, Seminar at Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, 2022.09, Previous neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that neural activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) correlates with syntactic processing. However, as previous studies have only tested the correlation between left IFG activation and syntactic processing, the causal relationship has remained unclear. Using transcranial electrical stimulation (tES), a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that modulates brain activation, we examine whether higher activation in the left IFG improves sentence comprehension in a native language (Japanese, Experiment 1) and a non-native language (Spanish, Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, the participants performed a sentence comprehension task using two types of Japanese sentences (active sentences: e.g., Taro-ga Hanako-o tataita (Taro hit Hanako); passive sentences: e.g., Hanako-ga Taro-ni tatakareta, (Hanako was hit by Taro)). They showed that reaction times for syntactically more complex passive sentences shortened, but not for simpler active sentences. In Experiment 2, the participants who were naïve to Spanish learned verb conjugations in Spanish during tES and performed verb conjugation and short-term memory tasks. We found higher task accuracy and shorter reaction times on the verb conjugation tasks but not on the short-term memory task. These results elucidate a causal relationship between the left IFG and language processing both in native and non-native languages..
6. Shinri Ohta, Introduction to neurolinguistics II: Aphasia and other language impairments, Seminar at Dongguk University, 2022.08.
7. Shinri Ohta, Electrical stimulation of the brain can help you learn foreign languages!? –An examination of foreign language learning using transcranial electrical stimulation–, Japanese Association of Scholars in Science Meeting, 2022.08.
8. Shinri Ohta, Investigating the neural basis of Merge, Seminar at University of Southern California, 2022.08.
9. Shinri Ohta, Functional and anatomical reorganization of language-related networks caused by a left frontal glioma, Seminar at the University of Georgia, 2022.07.
10. Shinri Ohta, Introduction to neurolinguistics I: Experimental methods in neurolinguistics, Seminar at Dongguk University, 2022.07, Neurolinguistics is an interdisciplinary field of neuroscience and linguistics investigating the neural basis of language. Neurolinguistics emphasizes data from neuroimaging experiments and those from patients with language impairments. In this talk, I will explain experimental methods, including electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and noninvasive brain stimulation techniques (NIBS), primarily focusing on the advantages and disadvantages of each method. Finally, I will introduce our recent neuroimaging and NIBS studies, which target the neural basis of morphological processing and second language learning..
11. Daniel C. Gallagher, Kyosuke Matsumoto, Shinri Ohta, Effects of left inferior prefrontal cortex anodal stimulation on second language acquisition, NEURO2022, 2022.07.
12. Special Symposium: Neuroscience of language opening the way to the future of linguistics.
13. Shinri Ohta, Modulating neural activation in the language areas: A transcranial electrical stimulation study, SNU Linguistic Colloquium, 2022.04, Previous neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that neural activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), the brain region known as Broca’s area, correlates with the hierarchical complexity of a sentence. Based on these results, the left IFG has been proposed as a grammar center. However, as previous studies have only tested the correlation between left IFG activation and structural complexity, the causal relationship has remained unclear. Using transcranial electrical stimulation, a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that modulates neural activation, we examine whether higher activation in the left IFG improves sentence comprehension in a native language (Japanese, Experiment 1) and a non-native language (Spanish, Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, the participants showed shorter reaction times for syntactically more complex passive sentences. Moreover, in Experiment 2, we found higher task accuracy and shorter reaction times on language acquisition tasks, but not on a short-term memory task. These results elucidate a causal relationship between the left IFG and language processing both in native and non-native languages..
14. Shinri Ohta, Wakana Oishi, Selective modulation of sentence comprehension by tACS over the left inferior frontal cortex, Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing, 2021, 2021.09, Previous neuroimaging studies have proposed that the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) was crucial for constructing hierarchical syntactic structures (Ohta et al. 2013, Zaccarella et al. 2017). Moreover, another neuroimaging study has demonstrated the cortical activity of differ-ent frequency bands, which corresponded to syllabic, phrasal, and sentential rates, suggest-ing grammar-based internal construction of the hierarchical linguistic structure (Ding et al. 2016). Using transcranial alternating stimulation (tACS), which can modulate the specific fre-quency band of the cortical activity non-invasively (Antal & Paulus 2013), we examined whether the modulation of the cortical activity that corresponded to sentence structure con-struction changed sentence comprehension. We hypothesize that tACS at the sentential rate disrupts the internal construction of the hierarchical sentence structure, which may increase the difficulty of sentence comprehension.
We recruited 15 right-handed native speakers of Japanese (8 males, mean ± SD = 21.9 ± 0.8 years), who had no history of neurological or psychiatric diseases. The same par-ticipants were tested for both the tACS session and sham session (Fig. 1A). We used 96 Japanese sentences and 96 word-strings (total 192 stimuli). Each sentence stimulus consist-ed of three noun phrases and one verb, immediately followed by a question consisted of a subject and a verb (Fig. 1B). Each word list stimulus consisted of four noun or verb phrases, immediately followed by a pair of words (Fig. 1C). In the present experiment, we used a sen-tence comprehension task and a short-term memory task. In the sentence comprehension task, the participants judged whether the meaning of the sentence matched with the question by pressing one of two buttons, while in the short-term memory task, they judged which of the words in a word pair was included in the word string. We used a double-blinded sham-controlled design. Stimulation was delivered using DC-Stimulator Plus (NeuroConn, Germany). The two electrodes were placed over F7 and Fp2 according to the International 10-20 EEG system, which were right above the left IFG and the right forehead, respectively. For tACS, stimulation was given for 20 minutes (±2 mA, 0.5 Hz, 5 cm * 7 cm saline-soaked sponge elec-trodes, >10 kΩ). We used 0.5-Hz stimulation that corresponded to the sentential rate of the sentence comprehension task. Sham stimulation, which controls for the placebo effect, ramped up to ±2 mA over 10 s, remained at that level for 30 s, ramped back down over 10 s. In the sham session, the participants felt the initial ramp up event, which is the most noticeable in tACS, without receiving an effective stimulation in the tACS. Before and after the tACS and sham sessions, the participants performed the sentence comprehension and short-term memory tasks.
The participants showed high accuracies (>90%) and short reaction times to compre-hension questions (RTs,
15. Shinri Ohta, Selective facilitation of sentence comprehension by tACS over the left inferior frontal region, Neuroscience2021, 2021.07.
16. Examination of the facilitation of sentence processing by transcranial electric stimulation over the left inferior frontal cortex.
17. Shinri OHTA, Selective modulation of syntactic processing by anodal tDCS over the left inferior frontal region, The 34th CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, 2021.03, Previous neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) is critical for syntactic processing. To test the causal relationship between the left IFG activation and syntactic processing, we examined whether anodal (i.e. excitatory) transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a non-invasive brain stimulation technique applicable in humans, over the left IFG facilitates syntactic processing. We hypothesize that behavioral performance of sentences with additional syntactic loads (e.g. passive sentences) is improved by the anodal tDCS.
We recruited 20 right-handed native speakers of Japanese (10 males, mean ± SD = 22.5±0.8 years), who had no history of neurological or psychiatric diseases. The same participants were tested for both anodal stimulation session and sham session (Fig. 1A). We used 30 Japanese sentences for each of active intransitive (e.g., Taro-to Hanako-ga aruita, Taro and Hanako walked), active transitive (Taro-ga Hanako-o tataita, Taro hit Hanako), passive intransitive (Hanako-ga Taro-ni arukareta, Hanako was adversely affected by Taro’s walking), and passive transitive sentences (Hanako-ga Taro-ni tatakareta, Hanako was hit by Taro) (total 120 stimuli). To examine the effect of active/passive voice as well as that of transitivity, we used these four sentence types. Note that the passive intransitive sentences, the so-called indirect passive, are grammatical in Japanese. Each sentence consisted of two noun phrases and one verb, immediately followed by a question consisted of a subject and a verb (e.g., Taro-ga aruita?, Did Taro walk?). In the present experiment, we used a sentence comprehension task, in which the participants were instructed to judge whether the meaning of the sentence matched with the question by pressing one of two buttons. We used a single-blinded sham-controlled design. Stimulation was delivered using DC-Stimulator Plus (NeuroConn GmbH, Germany). The anode and cathode electrodes were placed over F5 and F6 according to the International 10-20 EEG system, which were right above the left and right IFG, respectively. For anodal tDCS, stimulation was given for 20 minutes (1 mA, 5 cm * 7 cm saline-soaked sponge electrodes). Sham stimulation, which controls for the placebo effect, ramped up to 1 mA over 10 s, remained at that level for 30 s, ramped back down over 10 s. In the sham session, the participants felt the initial ramp up event, which is the most noticeable in tDCS, without receiving an effective stimulation in the anodal tDCS. Before and after the anodal and sham stimulations, the participants performed the sentence comprehension task (Pre and Post task).
The participants showed high accuracies (> 90%) and short reaction times to comprehension questions (RTs, .18). The rANOVA for the RTs also showed significant main effects of Condition (F(3,57)=42, p<.0001 and pre p=".0002)," as well the interaction of these factors results suggest that active intransitive condition was easiest while passive conditions were more demanding. significant main effect also shows learning eff to consider random variabilities participants stimuli we further analyzed rts by using a linear mixed-effect model lmertest packages on r found with stimulation significantly better than simpler without such suggesting anodal tdcs. moreover over left ifg decreased sentences fig in present tdcs study demonstrated facilitated processing syntactically demanding causal relationship between activation syntactic processing.. id="gakkai_happyos10187075" class="qir_handle_link">
18. Shinri Ohta, Kazuki Maeno, Facilitation of syntactic processing by anodal tDCS over the left inferior frontal gyrus, 12th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language (SNL2020), 2020.10.
19. Shinri Ohta, Yohei Oseki, Alec Marantz, Dissociating the effects of morphemes and letters in visual word recognition: An MEG study of Japanese verbs, AMLaP 2019, 2019.09, Previous magnetoencephalography (MEG) studies reported that transition probability between morphemes (morphTP) was correlated with the amplitude of the activation in the left fusiform and inferior temporal gyri (L. FG/ITG) around 170 ms after the onset of visual stimuli (M170). However, it is difficult to examine whether the M170 is modulated by morphTP or transition probability between letters (letterTP). To dissociate the effects of morphTP and letterTP on the L. FG/ITG, we targeted the Japanese verbs, in which morphological boundaries do not always correspond to letter boundaries due to the Japanese kanji and kana writing system.
We recruited 22 right-handed native speakers of Japanese (nine males, 35.5±7.3 yrs.). We used 448 Japanese verbs, as well as the same number of nonwords (total 896 stimuli). The participants performed a visual lexical decision task. We used a 157-channel MEG system (KIT, Japan) for recording, and MEG-Python and Eelbrain packages for the MEG analyses. As our primary target was the M170, the region of interest was anatomically defined as the L. FG/ITG and the analysis time window was restricted to 50-250 ms after word onset.
We examined whether the M170 is modulated by morphTP or letterTP. We found a significant negative correlation of the morphTP (corrected p
20. Shinri Ohta, Yohei Oseki, Alec Marantz, Disentangling morphological processing and letter recognition: An MEG study of Japanese verbs, SNL 2019, 2019.08.
21. Ohta S, Functional neuroimaging as a tool for testing/generating linguistic hypotheses, The Japanese Society for Language Sciences 21st Annual International Conference (JSLS2019), 2019.07, [URL].
22. 太田 真理, 福井 直樹, 辻子 美保子, 成田 広樹, 酒井 邦嘉, Merge-generability as a crucial concept in syntax: An experimental study, First International Symposium on the Physics of Language, 2016.03.
Membership in Academic Society
  • Society for the Neurobiology of Language
  • The Japan Neuroscience Society
  • The Linguistic Society of Japan
  • The Phonological Society of Japan
Educational
Educational Activities
Undergraduate Courses:
Interdisciplinary Collaborative Learning of Social Issues,
Introduction to literature and linguistics: Introduction to Neurolinguistics,
Introduction to Linguistics,
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics (Lecture): Introduction to Neuroscience of Language,
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics (Seminar): Experimental Methods in Neuroscience of Language,
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics (Practice): Graduation Thesis Writing,
The Humanities: Communication and community,
Foundations of the Humanities,

Graduate Courses:
Experimental Linguistics (Lecture): Frontiers of Neuroscience of Language,
Experimental Linguistics (Seminar): Biolinguistics,
Methods in Linguistics,
Tutorial for Master's Students: Master's Thesis Writing,
Seminar for Doctoral Students: Doctoral Thesis Writing,
Studies of Modern Culture: Neurolinguistics Today