Neural predictors of auditory word learning
The present fMRI study aimed to identify neurofunctional predictors of auditory word learning. Twenty-four native Chinese speakers were trained to learn a logographic artificial language (LAL) for 2 weeks and their behavioral performance was recorded. Participants were also scanned before and after the training while performing a passive listening task. Results showed that, compared to 'poor' learners (those whose performance was below average during the training), 'good' (i.e. above-average) learners showed more activation in the left MTG/STS and less activation in the right IFG during the pretraining scan. These results confirmed the hypothesis that preexisting individual differences in neural activities can predict the efficiency in learning words in a new language.