Plasticity for speech perception changes during childhood and adolescence, resulting in a sensitive period for second-language acquisition. However, the developmental time-course and the underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms of this change are not adequately understood. The proposed research investigates the hypothesis that "entrenchment" of native language perception is one mechanism of such age-limited learning.
Our specific aims are : 1) Examine the influence of age of arrival on perceptual expertise for second-language speech categories. We will study adult native speakers of Japanese who are learning English using a suite of experimental methods including: a) a visual world task that combines psychophysical measures and sensitive eye-tracking measures, b) a "task free" dishabituation paradigm for fMRI to study the functional anatomy of phonetic categorization and c) a dishabituation paradigm for EEG that matches the timecourse of the behavioral results and d) productions tasks to assess the relationship between perception and production development. 2) Examine the development of phonetic categorization in children and adolescents applying the methods developed above to native English speakers age 6-18. 3) Explore the relationship between the emergence of native-language expertise and the decline in plasticity for second-language speech categories in the data from Aims 1and 2.We hypothesize that the decline in plasticity during the sensitive period is associated with increasing perceptual expertise. Data collected with the same paradigms and stimuli for adult native speakers of Japanese, native English speaking children, adolescents and adults will be the basis for a strong test of this hypothesis. This investigation will provide insights into the typical developmental timecourse of speech perception from childhood to adulthood, which provides a model system in which to study the cognitive and neural mechanisms behind a basic failure of learning. The normative data, paradigms, and mechanistic insights may ultimately benefit studies of atypical development in clinical populations (i.e. dyslexia, language impairments, and learning disabilities).

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DC007694-07
Application #
8247795
Study Section
Language and Communication Study Section (LCOM)
Program Officer
Shekim, Lana O
Project Start
2009-01-01
Project End
2013-06-30
Budget Start
2012-01-01
Budget End
2013-06-30
Support Year
7
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$351,681
Indirect Cost
$41,972
Name
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Education
DUNS #
004413456
City
Nashville
State
TN
Country
United States
Zip Code
37212
Yoncheva, Yuliya; Maurer, Urs; Zevin, Jason D et al. (2014) Selective attention to phonology dynamically modulates initial encoding of auditory words within the left hemisphere. Neuroimage 97:262-70
Yoncheva, Yuliya N; Maurer, Urs; Zevin, Jason D et al. (2013) Effects of rhyme and spelling patterns on auditory word ERPs depend on selective attention to phonology. Brain Lang 124:238-43
Emberson, Lauren L; Liu, Ran; Zevin, Jason D (2013) Is statistical learning constrained by lower level perceptual organization? Cognition 128:82-102
Yang, Jianfeng; Wang, Xiaojuan; Shu, Hua et al. (2011) Brain networks associated with sublexical properties of Chinese characters. Brain Lang 119:68-79
Maurer, Urs; Blau, Vera C; Yoncheva, Yuliya N et al. (2010) Development of visual expertise for reading: rapid emergence of visual familiarity for an artificial script. Dev Neuropsychol 35:404-22
Zevin, Jason D; Yang, Jianfeng; Skipper, Jeremy I et al. (2010) Domain general change detection accounts for "dishabituation" effects in temporal-parietal regions in functional magnetic resonance imaging studies of speech perception. J Neurosci 30:1110-7
Yoncheva, Yuliya N; Zevin, Jason D; Maurer, Urs et al. (2010) Auditory selective attention to speech modulates activity in the visual word form area. Cereb Cortex 20:622-32
Yoncheva, Yuliya N; Blau, Vera C; Maurer, Urs et al. (2010) Attentional focus during learning impacts N170 ERP responses to an artificial script. Dev Neuropsychol 35:423-45
Maurer, Urs; Zevin, Jason D; McCandliss, Bruce D (2008) Left-lateralized N170 effects of visual expertise in reading: evidence from Japanese syllabic and logographic scripts. J Cogn Neurosci 20:1878-91
Schlaggar, Bradley L; McCandliss, Bruce D (2007) Development of neural systems for reading. Annu Rev Neurosci 30:475-503

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