Project II takes a "new look" at the role of articulaflon in speech perception ~ and reading. Other theories have proposed that articulatory gestures form the informational basis not just for speech producflon, but also speech perception, either as the basis for special purpose cortical mechanisms (Liberman &Mattingly, 1985), or because as-yet undiscovered information in the speech signal directly specifles articulation (Fowler, 1986).
In Aim 1, we implement a computational model (an attractor network, with interconnectivity among units serving producflon, percepflon, and orthography) in order to concretely formulate the Articulatory Integration Hypothesis (AIH): co-development of speech production, percepflon, and reading should result in pervasive, interactive linkages that shape representations and performance in each domain. In this framework, articulation is not a form of special internal knowledge;it is just additional information available to the system that may especially facilitate speech percepflon under noisy or ambiguous condiflons. We test these predicflons in Aim 2, where we examine how learning to read changes speech production, and in Aim 3, where we examine in what ways the neural bases of speech perception are sensiflve to or organized by gestural informaflon.
These aims will result in the development of perhaps the first unified computational-theoreflcal model of speech production, percepflon, and reading development. Our "new look" at articulaflon has the potenflal to provide new constraints on longstanding, fundamental challenges, in particular, revealing new details about the nature of the funcflonal and neural codes underlying speech perception. Better understanding the bases of speech percepflon wilt allow better theories of and interventions for language impairment.

Public Health Relevance

This program is relevant to the understanding the development of spoken and written language competence, which is crucial for successful academic and life outcomes. The comprehensive computaflonal model and cutting-edge empirical investigaflons in Project II are essential in developing a deeper understanding of perception-producflon-reading links, which will provide new constraints on theories of language development and new insights into the phonological basis of reading.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Program Projects (P01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DSR-H)
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Haskins Laboratories, Inc.
New Haven
United States
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