Browsing by Subject "Speech perception"

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  • Tamminen, Henna; Kujala, Teija; Näätänen, Risto; Peltola, Maija S. (2021)
    Cognitive decline is evident in the elderly and it affects speech perception and foreign language learning. A listen-and-repeat training with a challenging speech sound contrast was earlier found to be effective in young monolingual adults and even in advanced L2 university students at the attentive and pre-attentive levels. This study investigates foreign language speech perception in the elderly with the same protocol used with the young adults. Training effects were measured with attentive behavioural measures (N = 9) and with electroencephalography measuring the pre-attentive mismatch negativity (MMN) response (N = 10). Training was effective in identification, but not in discrimination and there were no changes in the MMN. The most attention demanding perceptual functions which benefit from experience-based linguistic knowledge were facilitated through training, whereas pre-attentive processing was unaffected. The elderly would probably benefit from different training types compared to younger adults.
  • Koskinen, Miika; Kurimo, Mikko; Gross, Joachim; Hyvärinen, Aapo; Hari, Riitta (2020)
    Natural speech builds on contextual relations that can prompt predictions of upcoming utterances. To study the neural underpinnings of such predictive processing we asked 10 healthy adults to listen to a 1-h-long audiobook while their magnetoencephalographic (MEG) brain activity was recorded. We correlated the MEG signals with acoustic speech envelope, as well as with estimates of Bayesian word probability with and without the contextual word sequence (N-gram and Unigram, respectively), with a focus on time-lags. The MEG signals of auditory and sensorimotor cortices were strongly coupled to the speech envelope at the rates of syllables (4-8 Hz) and of prosody and intonation (0.5-2 Hz). The probability structure of word sequences, independently of the acoustical features, affected the
  • Näätänen, Risto; Petersen, Bjorn; Torppa, Ritva; Lonka, Eila; Vuust, Peter (2017)
    In the present article, we review the studies on the use of the mismatch negativity (MMN) as a tool for an objective assessment of cochlear-implant (CI) functioning after its implantation and as a function of time of CI use. The MMN indexes discrimination of different sound stimuli with a precision matching with that of behavioral discrimination and can therefore be used as its objective index. Importantly, these measurements can be reliably carried out even in the absence of attention and behavioral responses and therefore they can be extended to populations that are not capable of behaviorally reporting their perception such as infants and different clinical patient groups. In infants and small children with CI, the MMN provides the only means for assessing the adequacy of the CI functioning, its improvement as a function of time of CI use, and the efficiency of different rehabilitation procedures. Therefore, the MMN can also be used as a tool in developing and testing different novel rehabilitation procedures. Importantly, the recently developed multi-feature MMN paradigms permit the objective assessment of discrimination accuracy for all the different auditory dimensions (such as frequency, intensity, and duration) in a short recording time of about 30 min. Most recently, such stimulus paradigms have been successfully developed for an objective assessment of music perception, too. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.