Navigation Links
Pitch Patterns Play Greater Role in Speech Perception
Date:2/18/2008

Language experience shapes the way the brain stem works, linguist says

MONDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The pitch of language and sound affects the development of the brain more than previously thought, according to new research.

"Everyone has a brain stem, but it's tuned differently depending on what sounds are behaviorally relevant to a person, for example, the sounds of his or her mother tongue," Jackson T. Gandour, a linguistics professor at Purdue University, said in a prepared statement.

Gandour was to present several of his pitch-processing studies Saturday during the American Association for Advancement of Science's annual meeting, in Boston.

One set of findings comes from a collaboration comparing brain activity in young adult speakers of the tonal language Mandarin with those of speakers of English, a non-tonal language.

Tone languages use inflections of pitch on syllables to indicate a difference between words. For example, in Mandarin the sound "ma" with a level tone means "mother," a rising tone means "hemp," a falling-rising tone means "horse" and a falling tone means "scold."

"By studying brain activity at different stages of processing pitch patterns in tonal languages, we have found that early activity in the brain stem is shaped by a person's language experience, even while the person is asleep, and consequently, we now believe it plays a much greater role in speech perception than we thought before," Gandour said.

The brain stem is located early along the auditory pathway, just 7 to 9 milliseconds from the time the auditory signal enters the ear. This is also near where pitch processing begins in the cochlea and the auditory nerve.

"Never did I expect we would find that language experience would shape the way the brain stem works," Gandour said. "The idea is that this sensory signal undergoes a set of transformations that are far more complicated than we originally thought."

Another study looking at blood flow in the cerebral cortex revealed that the melody of speech is processed in neither a single region nor a specific hemisphere. Instead, it engages multiple areas of the brain comprising large-scale networks that involve both hemispheres.

"And moreover, we find that these networks are not circumscribed to language processes but instead interact with more general sensory-motor and cognitive process in addition to those associated with language," he said.

The findings show that when the melody of speech is processed, a dynamic interplay between the left and right hemispheres of the brain occurs. The processing pitch of information engages neural mechanisms in the brain's right hemisphere, while left hemisphere regions mediate processing of linguistic information, he said.

More information

The National Institute on Aging has more about how the brain works.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: Purdue University, news release, Feb. 16, 2008


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Is Perfect Pitch All in the Genes?
2. How pitching changes little leaguers shoulders
3. Broadband Wireless International Corporation Announces the Commencement of Good Faith Talks with HealthPitch
4. Playing Catch in Winter Could Save Kids Pitching Arms
5. Rates of bipolar diagnosis in youth rapidly climbing, treatment patterns similar to adults
6. Nicotine in breast milk disrupts infants sleep patterns
7. Muscle patterns in women may be linked to at risk positioning for ACL tears
8. Brain patterns of former anorexics reveal clues to disorders lasting impact
9. Studies find stable sleep patterns and regular routines may improve outcomes in bipolar disorder
10. Brain imaging and genetic studies link thinking patterns to addiction
11. Prevalence of COPD Greater Than Thought
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Pitch Patterns Play Greater Role in Speech Perception
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... ... of SweetLeaf® Stevia Sweetener, Michael P. May, Ph.D., recently accepted the distinguished Sun ... Recognition Program selected Wisdom Natural Brands (WNB), and 16 other businesses from Pima, ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... ... John D'Eri, CEO of Rising Tide Car Wash , will accept the ... Autism Society of America 's 49th annual conference to be held this year ... was founded in 2002 as the nation's first autism organization focused exclusively on adults. ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... ... law firm of Momkus McCluskey Roberts LLC congratulates attorney Gerald A. ... Board of Directors. Cassioppi officially took on the leadership role during the DCBA’s Presidents’ ... Roberts LLC attorney Stacey A. McCullough was also installed as the DCBA’s second vice ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... Florida ... rooms this month. These additions will expand the capabilities of the surgical center, ... operating room will be solely dedicated to pediatric operations, while the other will ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... ... announces the general availability of several new and improved features to their ... United Way iGuide data in support of national campaigns. The latest release ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/19/2017)... June 19, 2017  Researchers from DRUGSCAN ® ... will host a live, complimentary webinar titled, "Untangling methods ... to the real world" on Wednesday June 28, 2017 ... This webinar will feature interviews with recreational and ... the manipulation techniques abusers use to prepare opioid tablets ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... N.C. , June 14, 2017  In 2016, ... Creative Startups pitch competition and came away ... reality platform is described by Forbes as "entering the ... American Medical Association as teaching "empathy to medical professionals ... the startup was recently named a finalist for the ...
(Date:6/9/2017)... 2017 AirXpanders, Inc. (ASX: AXP) (AirXpanders or ... manufacture, sale and distribution of the AeroForm® Tissue Expander ... its commercial roll-out in the United States ... one hundred (100) medical institutions and health systems, located ... needle-free alternative for women who choose reconstructive surgery following ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: