ACLC Seminar | Tineke Snijders: Neural tracking of speech in infants and their later language development
juni 2 @ 4:15 pm - 5:30 pm
Organized by the Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication! (ACLC)
- Speaker: Tineke Snijders
- Location: PC Hoofthuis
- Room: 5.60
- Title: Neural tracking of speech in infants and their later language development
- Abstract: Neuronal groups in the brain process information in a rhythmical way, and can also track the speech rhythm. Using EEG, the coherence between the speech amplitude envelope and the electrophysiological response can be identified. This rhythmical neural tracking enables forming temporal predictions about salient events in the input, ensuring the brain is most excitable at times when the speech signal carries the most information. This helps in grouping information in analyzable units such as words and phrases, and this facilitates speech processing. I will discuss research showing that just like in adults, neural oscillations in the infant brain track the rhythm of speech at different frequencies. I will report results of our studies relating speech-brain coherence in infants to word segmentation and further language development, both in typically developing infants and in infants with a family history of autism. I will argue that rhythmic neural speech tracking reflects infants’ attention to specific parts of the speech signal (e.g. stressed syllables), and simultaneously acts as a core mechanism for maximizing temporal attention onto those parts.