Neural auditory processing and prelinguistic communication build the foundation for later language development, but how these two are associated is not well known. The current study investigated how neural speech processing is associated with the level and development of prelinguistic skills in 102 infants. We recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) in 6-months-olds to assess the neural detection of a pseudoword (obligatory responses), as well as the neural discrimination of changes in the pseudoword (mismatch responses, MMRs). Prelinguistic skills were assessed at 6 and 12 months of age with a parental questionnaire (Infant-Toddler Checklist). The association between the ERPs and prelinguistic skills was examined using latent change score models, a method specifically constructed for longitudinal analyses and explicitly modeling intra-individual change. The results show that a large obligatory P1 at 6 months of age predicted strong improvement in prelinguistic skills between 6 and 12 months of age. The MMR to a frequency change was associated with the concurrent level of prelinguistic skills, but not with the improvement of the skills. Overall, our results highlight the strong association between ERPs and prelinguistic skills, possibly offering opportunities for early detection of atypical linguistic and communicative development.
- 515 Psykologia
- 6162 Kognitiotiede