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Cognition ; 171: 95-107, 2018 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29121588


A critical part of infants' ability to acquire any language involves segmenting continuous speech input into discrete word forms. Certain properties of words could provide infants with reliable cues to word boundaries. Here we investigate the potential utility of vowel harmony (VH), a phonological property whereby vowels within a word systematically exhibit similarity ("harmony") for some aspect of the way they are pronounced. We present evidence that infants with no experience of VH in their native language nevertheless actively use these patterns to generate hypotheses about where words begin and end in the speech stream. In two sets of experiments, we exposed infants learning English, a language without VH, to a continuous speech stream in which the only systematic patterns available to be used as cues to word boundaries came from syllable sequences that showed VH or those that showed vowel disharmony (dissimilarity). After hearing less than one minute of the streams, infants showed evidence of sensitivity to VH cues. These results suggest that infants have an experience-independent sensitivity to VH, and are predisposed to segment speech according to harmony patterns. We also found that when the VH patterns were more subtle (Experiment 2), infants required more exposure to the speech stream before they segmented based on VH, consistent with previous work on infants' preferences relating to processing load. Our findings evidence a previously unknown mechanism by which infants could discover the words of their language, and they shed light on the perceptual mechanisms that might be responsible for the emergence of vowel harmony as an organizing principle for the sound structure of words in many languages.

Desenvolvimento Infantil/fisiologia , Psicolinguística , Percepção da Fala/fisiologia , Humanos , Lactente , Desenvolvimento da Linguagem
Am J Physiol Cell Physiol ; 310(3): C233-42, 2016 Feb 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26561640


Calcineurin B homologous proteins (CHP) are N-myristoylated, EF-hand Ca(2+)-binding proteins that bind to and regulate Na(+)/H(+) exchangers, which occurs through a variety of mechanisms whose relative significance is incompletely understood. Like mammals, Caenorhabditis elegans has three CHP paralogs, but unlike mammals, worms can survive CHP loss-of-function. However, mutants for the CHP ortholog PBO-1 are unfit, and PBO-1 has been shown to be required for proton signaling by the basolateral Na(+)/H(+) exchanger NHX-7 and for proton-coupled intestinal nutrient uptake by the apical Na(+)/H(+) exchanger NHX-2. Here, we have used this genetic model organism to interrogate PBO-1's mechanism of action. Using fluorescent tags to monitor Na(+)/H(+) exchanger trafficking and localization, we found that loss of either PBO-1 binding or activity caused NHX-7 to accumulate in late endosomes/lysosomes. In contrast, NHX-2 was stabilized at the apical membrane by a nonfunctional PBO-1 protein and was only internalized following its complete loss. Additionally, two pbo-1 paralogs were identified, and their expression patterns were analyzed. One of these contributed to the function of the excretory cell, which acts like a kidney in worms, establishing an alternative model for testing the role of this protein in membrane transporter trafficking and regulation. These results lead us to conclude that the role of CHP in Na(+)/H(+) exchanger regulation differs between apical and basolateral transporters. This further emphasizes the importance of proper targeting of Na(+)/H(+) exchangers and the critical role of CHP family proteins in this process.

Proteínas de Caenorhabditis elegans/metabolismo , Caenorhabditis elegans/metabolismo , Calcineurina/metabolismo , Membrana Celular/metabolismo , Trocadores de Sódio-Hidrogênio/metabolismo , Sequência de Aminoácidos , Animais , Caenorhabditis elegans/genética , Proteínas de Caenorhabditis elegans/genética , Calcineurina/genética , Endossomos/metabolismo , Regulação da Expressão Gênica , Lisossomos/metabolismo , Dados de Sequência Molecular , Mutação , Estabilidade Proteica , Transporte Proteico , Proteínas Recombinantes de Fusão/metabolismo , Trocadores de Sódio-Hidrogênio/genética
J Chem Phys ; 139(24): 244703, 2013 Dec 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24387384


Liquid-like and liquid water at and near the surface of water-ice and frozen aqueous sodium chloride films were observed using attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy (ATR-IR). The concentration of NaCl ranged from 0.0001 to 0.01 M and the temperature varied from the melting point of water down to 256 K. The amount of liquid brine at the interface of the frozen films with the germanium ATR crystal increased with salt concentration and temperature. Experimental spectra are compared to reflection spectra calculated for a simplified morphology of a uniform liquid layer between the germanium crystal and the frozen film. This morphology allows for the amount of liquid observed in an experimental spectrum to be converted to the thickness of a homogenous layer with an equivalent amount of liquid. These equivalent thickness ranges from a nanometer for water-ice at 260 K to 170 nm for 0.01 M NaCl close to the melting point. The amounts of brine observed are over an order of magnitude less than the total liquid predicted by equilibrium thermodynamic models, implying that the vast majority of the liquid fraction of frozen solutions may be found in internal inclusions, grain boundaries, and the like. Thus, the amount of liquid and the solutes dissolved in them that are available to react with atmospheric gases on the surfaces of snow and ice are not well described by thermodynamic equilibrium models which assume the liquid phase is located entirely at the surface.