Effect of maturation on suprasegmental speech processing in full- and preterm infants: a mismatch negativity study.

Anett Ragó, Ferenc Honbolygó, Zsófia Róna, Anna Beke, V. Csépe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Infants born prematurely are at higher risk for later linguistic deficits present in delayed or atypical processing of phonetic and prosodic information. In order to be able to specify the nature of this atypical development, it is important to investigate the role of early experience in language perception. According to the concept of Gonzalez-Gomez and Nazzi (2012) there is a special intrauterine sensitivity to the prosodic features of languages that should have a special role in language acquisition. Therefore, we may also assume that pre- and full-term infants having months difference in intrauterine experience show different maturation patterns of processing prosodic and phonetic information present at word level. The aim of our study was to investigate the effect of these differences on word stress pattern vs. phoneme information processing. Two age groups of infants (6 and 10 month-olds) were included in our study. 21 of 46 of the total of infants investigated were prematurely born with low birth weight. We used the mismatch negativity (MMN) event related brain potential (ERP) component, a widely used electrophysiological correlate of acoustic change detection, for testing the assumed developmental changes of phoneme and word stress discrimination. In a passive oddball paradigm we used a word as standard, a pseudo-word as phoneme deviant, and an illegally uttered word as stress deviant. Our results showed no differences in MMN responses in the phoneme deviant condition between the groups, meaning a relatively intact maturation of phoneme processing of preterm infants as compared to their contemporaries. However, the mismatch responses measured in the stress condition revealed significant between-group differences. These results strengthen the view that the total length of intrauterine experience influences the time of emergence of prosodic processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-202
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume35
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

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Premature Infants
Phonetics
Language
Low Birth Weight Infant
Linguistics
Automatic Data Processing
Evoked Potentials
Acoustics
Age Groups
Brain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Effect of maturation on suprasegmental speech processing in full- and preterm infants : a mismatch negativity study. / Ragó, Anett; Honbolygó, Ferenc; Róna, Zsófia; Beke, Anna; Csépe, V.

In: Research in Developmental Disabilities, Vol. 35, No. 1, 01.2014, p. 192-202.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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