Cortical speech and non-speech discrimination in relation to cognitive measures in preschool children

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Effective speech sound discrimination in preschool age is known to be a prerequisite for the development of language skills and later literacy acquisition. However, the speech-specificity of cortical discrimination skills in small children is currently not known, as previous research has either studied speech functions without comparison to nonspeech sounds, or used much simpler sounds such as harmonic or sinusoidal tones as control stimuli. We investigated cortical discrimination of five syllable features (consonant, vowel, vowel duration, fundamental frequency F0), and intensity), covering both segmental and prosodic phonetic changes, and their acoustically matched nonspeech counterparts in 63 six-year-old typically developed children, using a multi-feature mismatch negativity (MMN) paradigm. Each of the five investigated features elicited a unique pattern of differentiating negativities: an early differentiating negativity (EDN), MMN, and a late discriminative negativity (LDN). All five studied features showed speech-related enhancement of at least one of these responses, suggesting experience-related neural commitment in both phonetic and prosodic speech processing. In addition, the cognitive performance and language skills of the children were tested extensively. The speech-related neural enhancement was positively associated with the level of performance in several neurocognitive tasks, indicating a relationship between successful establishment of cortical memory traces for speech and enhanced cognitive functioning. The results contribute to the understanding of typical developmental trajectories of linguistic versus nonlinguistic auditory skills, and provide a reference for future studies investigating deficits in language-related disorders at preschool age.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Volume43
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)738-750
Number of pages13
ISSN0953-816X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 515 Psychology
  • children
  • event-related brain potential (ERP)
  • mismatch negativity (MMN)
  • late differentiating negativity (LDN)
  • early discriminating negativity (EDN)

Cite this

@article{27b2303ec70c47a3838c50af41c95915,
title = "Cortical speech and non-speech discrimination in relation to cognitive measures in preschool children",
abstract = "Effective speech sound discrimination in preschool age is known to be a prerequisite for the development of language skills and later literacy acquisition. However, the speech-specificity of cortical discrimination skills in small children is currently not known, as previous research has either studied speech functions without comparison to nonspeech sounds, or used much simpler sounds such as harmonic or sinusoidal tones as control stimuli. We investigated cortical discrimination of five syllable features (consonant, vowel, vowel duration, fundamental frequency F0), and intensity), covering both segmental and prosodic phonetic changes, and their acoustically matched nonspeech counterparts in 63 six-year-old typically developed children, using a multi-feature mismatch negativity (MMN) paradigm. Each of the five investigated features elicited a unique pattern of differentiating negativities: an early differentiating negativity (EDN), MMN, and a late discriminative negativity (LDN). All five studied features showed speech-related enhancement of at least one of these responses, suggesting experience-related neural commitment in both phonetic and prosodic speech processing. In addition, the cognitive performance and language skills of the children were tested extensively. The speech-related neural enhancement was positively associated with the level of performance in several neurocognitive tasks, indicating a relationship between successful establishment of cortical memory traces for speech and enhanced cognitive functioning. The results contribute to the understanding of typical developmental trajectories of linguistic versus nonlinguistic auditory skills, and provide a reference for future studies investigating deficits in language-related disorders at preschool age.",
keywords = "515 Psychology, children, event-related brain potential (ERP), mismatch negativity (MMN), late differentiating negativity (LDN), early discriminating negativity (EDN)",
author = "Soila Kuuluvainen and Paavo Alku and Tommi Makkonen and Jari Lipsanen and Teija Kujala",
year = "2016",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1111/ejn.13141",
language = "English",
volume = "43",
pages = "738--750",
journal = "European Journal of Neuroscience",
issn = "0953-816X",
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}

Cortical speech and non-speech discrimination in relation to cognitive measures in preschool children. / Kuuluvainen, Soila; Alku, Paavo; Makkonen, Tommi; Lipsanen, Jari; Kujala, Teija.

In: European Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 43, No. 6, 03.2016, p. 738-750.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cortical speech and non-speech discrimination in relation to cognitive measures in preschool children

AU - Kuuluvainen, Soila

AU - Alku, Paavo

AU - Makkonen, Tommi

AU - Lipsanen, Jari

AU - Kujala, Teija

PY - 2016/3

Y1 - 2016/3

N2 - Effective speech sound discrimination in preschool age is known to be a prerequisite for the development of language skills and later literacy acquisition. However, the speech-specificity of cortical discrimination skills in small children is currently not known, as previous research has either studied speech functions without comparison to nonspeech sounds, or used much simpler sounds such as harmonic or sinusoidal tones as control stimuli. We investigated cortical discrimination of five syllable features (consonant, vowel, vowel duration, fundamental frequency F0), and intensity), covering both segmental and prosodic phonetic changes, and their acoustically matched nonspeech counterparts in 63 six-year-old typically developed children, using a multi-feature mismatch negativity (MMN) paradigm. Each of the five investigated features elicited a unique pattern of differentiating negativities: an early differentiating negativity (EDN), MMN, and a late discriminative negativity (LDN). All five studied features showed speech-related enhancement of at least one of these responses, suggesting experience-related neural commitment in both phonetic and prosodic speech processing. In addition, the cognitive performance and language skills of the children were tested extensively. The speech-related neural enhancement was positively associated with the level of performance in several neurocognitive tasks, indicating a relationship between successful establishment of cortical memory traces for speech and enhanced cognitive functioning. The results contribute to the understanding of typical developmental trajectories of linguistic versus nonlinguistic auditory skills, and provide a reference for future studies investigating deficits in language-related disorders at preschool age.

AB - Effective speech sound discrimination in preschool age is known to be a prerequisite for the development of language skills and later literacy acquisition. However, the speech-specificity of cortical discrimination skills in small children is currently not known, as previous research has either studied speech functions without comparison to nonspeech sounds, or used much simpler sounds such as harmonic or sinusoidal tones as control stimuli. We investigated cortical discrimination of five syllable features (consonant, vowel, vowel duration, fundamental frequency F0), and intensity), covering both segmental and prosodic phonetic changes, and their acoustically matched nonspeech counterparts in 63 six-year-old typically developed children, using a multi-feature mismatch negativity (MMN) paradigm. Each of the five investigated features elicited a unique pattern of differentiating negativities: an early differentiating negativity (EDN), MMN, and a late discriminative negativity (LDN). All five studied features showed speech-related enhancement of at least one of these responses, suggesting experience-related neural commitment in both phonetic and prosodic speech processing. In addition, the cognitive performance and language skills of the children were tested extensively. The speech-related neural enhancement was positively associated with the level of performance in several neurocognitive tasks, indicating a relationship between successful establishment of cortical memory traces for speech and enhanced cognitive functioning. The results contribute to the understanding of typical developmental trajectories of linguistic versus nonlinguistic auditory skills, and provide a reference for future studies investigating deficits in language-related disorders at preschool age.

KW - 515 Psychology

KW - children

KW - event-related brain potential (ERP)

KW - mismatch negativity (MMN)

KW - late differentiating negativity (LDN)

KW - early discriminating negativity (EDN)

U2 - 10.1111/ejn.13141

DO - 10.1111/ejn.13141

M3 - Article

VL - 43

SP - 738

EP - 750

JO - European Journal of Neuroscience

JF - European Journal of Neuroscience

SN - 0953-816X

IS - 6

ER -