Neural processing of changes in phonetic and emotional speech sounds and tones in preterm infants at term age

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Kostilainen , K , Partanen , E , Mikkola , K , Wikström , V , Pakarinen , S , Fellman , V & Huotilainen , M 2020 , ' Neural processing of changes in phonetic and emotional speech sounds and tones in preterm infants at term age ' , International Journal of Psychophysiology , vol. 148 , pp. 111-118 .

Title: Neural processing of changes in phonetic and emotional speech sounds and tones in preterm infants at term age
Author: Kostilainen, Kaisamari; Partanen, Eino; Mikkola, Kaija; Wikström, Valtteri; Pakarinen, Satu; Fellman, Vineta; Huotilainen, Minna
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Medicum
University of Helsinki, Language Acquisition, Representation, and Processing (L.A.R.P.)
University of Helsinki, HUS Children and Adolescents
University of Helsinki, Cognitive Brain Research Unit
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine
University of Helsinki, Clinicum
University of Helsinki, Department of Education

Date: 2020-02
Language: eng
Number of pages: 8
Belongs to series: International Journal of Psychophysiology
ISSN: 0167-8760
Abstract: Objective: Auditory change-detection responses provide information on sound discrimination and memory skills in infants. We examined both the automatic change-detection process and the processing of emotional information content in speech in preterm infants in comparison to full-term infants at term age. Methods: Preterm (n = 21) and full-term infants' (n = 20) event-related potentials (ERP) were recorded at term age. A challenging multi-feature mismatch negativity (MMN) paradigm with phonetic deviants and rare emotional speech sounds (happy, sad, angry), and a simple one-deviant oddball paradigm with pure tones were used. Results: Positive mismatch responses (MMR) were found to the emotional sounds and some of the phonetic deviants in preterm and full-term infants in the multi-feature MMN paradigm. Additionally, late positive MMRs to the phonetic deviants were elicited in the preterm group. However, no group differences to speech-sound changes were discovered. In the oddball paradigm, preterm infants had positive MMRs to the deviant change in all latency windows. Responses to non-speech sounds were larger in preterm infants in the second latency window, as well as in the first latency window at the left hemisphere electrodes (F3, C3). Conclusions: No significant group-level differences were discovered in the neural processing of speech sounds between preterm and full-term infants at term age. Change-detection of non-speech sounds, however, may be enhanced in preterm infants at term age. Significance: Auditory processing of speech sounds in healthy preterm infants showed similarities to full-term infants at term age. Large individual variations within the groups may reflect some underlying differences that call for further studies.
Subject: 515 Psychology
6162 Cognitive science
3112 Neurosciences
1184 Genetics, developmental biology, physiology
Auditory change-detection
Emotion processing
Event-related potential (ERP)
Mismatch negativity (MMN)
Mismatch response (MMR)
Preterm infant

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