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Slide Slam H15

The trajectory of speech perception development: Investigating event-related potential Mismatch Responses to different speech and non-speech features in infants of 2, 6 and 10 months

Slide Slam Session H, Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 6:00 - 8:00 am PDT Log In to set Timezone

Annika Werwach1, Claudia Männel1,2,3, Hellmuth Obrig1, Angela D. Friederici3, Gesa Schaadt3,4; 1Medical Faculty, University Leipzig, 2Department of Audiology and Phoniatrics, Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 3Department of Neuropsychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, 4Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin

Infants rapidly advance in their speech perception, reflected in the transition from an immature, positive-going to an adult-like, negative-going electrophysiological mismatch response (MMR) in auditory deviancy detection. Since the infant MMR’s characteristics have been linked to inter-individual differences in language development (Gu & Bi, 2020; Volkmer & Schulte-Körne, 2018), it has been discussed as a potential predictor of impending language difficulties. Indeed, various studies reported associations with later language difficulties for MMRs to different types of auditory information at different time-points across development (Leij et al., 2013; Schaadt et al., 2015). However, to reliably utilize the infant MMR as a predictive measure for language development, a systematic investigation of the MMR’s maturation depending on stimulus-type is needed. As a first step, we longitudinally explored the maturation of the infant MMR to deviation in speech and non-speech features. In a multi-feature paradigm, we obtained MMRs to consonant, vowel, vowel-length, and pitch changes, when infants (n = 59) were 2, 6 and 10 months old. To specifically tackle the maturational trajectory of the respective MMRs, we applied separate second-order latent growth curve models for each deviant type. Results showed positive-going MMRs to all deviant types and across all assessment points, typically observed in infants (Dehaene-Lambertz, 2000; Kailaheimo-Lönnqvist et al., 2020). However, MMR amplitudes decreased over time towards a negativity in differently shaped growth curves for each deviant. The pitch and vowel-length MMRs decreased linearly across age, becoming less positive (i.e., more negative); the consonant MMR initially became less positive (i.e., more negative), then stabilized between 6 and 10 months; while the vowel MMR showed a u-shaped trajectory, first increasing (more positive) until 6 months and then declining until 10 months (less positive, i.e., more negative). These results demonstrate that infant speech discrimination matures in different rates and amplitude trajectories across the first year of life, dependent on the studied feature. We thus argue that the MMR’s stimulus-dependent maturational trajectory needs to be considered when aiming for reliably predicting later language development. References Dehaene-Lambertz, G. (2000). Cerebral Specialization for Speech and Non-Speech Stimuli in Infants. J Cogn Neurosci, 12(3), 449–460. Gu, C., & Bi, H.-Y. (2020). Auditory processing deficit in individuals with dyslexia: A meta-analysis of mismatch negativity. Neurosci Biobehav Rev, 116, 396–405. Kailaheimo-Lönnqvist, L. et al. (2020). Infant event-related potentials to speech are associated with prelinguistic development. Dev Cogn Neurosci, 45, 1-10. van der Leij, A. et al. (2013). Precursors of Developmental Dyslexia: An Overview of the Longitudinal Dutch Dyslexia Programme Study. Dyslexia, 19(4). 191-213 Schaadt, G. et al. (2015). Present and past: Can writing abilities in school children be associated with their auditory discrimination capacities in infancy? Res Dev Disabil, 47, 318-333. Volkmer, S., & Schulte-Körne, G. (2018). Cortical responses to tone and phoneme mismatch as a predictor of dyslexia? A systematic review. Schizophr. Res., 191, 148–160.

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