How prenatal experience shapes speech perception

2:00pm-4:00pm, Jun 19, 2019

Suedfeld Lounge (room 2510), Douglas T. Kenny Building, 2136 West Mall, Vancouver
Language Science Talks
Dr. Judit Gervain

Experience with language starts in the womb. The prenatal speech signal is filtered by maternal tissues, preserving the rhythm and melody of speech, i.e. prosody, but suppressing fine details needed for the identification of individual speech sounds. Join Language Sciences for this talk by CNRS senior research scientist Dr. Judit Gervain, who will examine the hypothesis that this prenatal experience with speech prosody might already shape how newborns perceive speech. In a series of NIRS and EEG experiments, Dr. Gervain will show that basic auditory mechanisms such as envelope tracking are immune to prenatal influence, while more language-specific mechanisms, such as prosodic grouping, are already modulated at birth. She will discuss how these mechanisms lay the foundations for later language acquisition. More information is available here and you can RSVP here.