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:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... ProVest Insurance Group, a family managed ... Raleigh regions, is organizing an extended charity drive to benefit the family of ... , After struggling since birth with several health challenges, T.J. was later diagnosed ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The International Association ... standards of excellence for the field of eating disorders, announces the opening of ... 2018 in Orlando, Florida at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. , ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... with Alzheimer’s or dementia. However, many long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for ... mean is the 90-day elimination period, when the family pays for care, is often ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... viewers the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which ... current events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many ... sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017 The Rebound mobile ... the struggle to reverse the tide of prescription drug addiction. ... regulating their medicine intake and stepping down their dosage in ... to launch in December 2017; the first 100,000 people to ... more at http://www.rebound-solution.com/ ...
(Date:9/27/2017)...  Commended for their devotion to personalized service, SMP Pharmacy ... one in the South Florida Business Journal,s 50 Fastest-Growing Companies, ... list, the national specialty pharmacy has found its niche.  To ... soon be honored by SFBJ as the 2017 Power Leader ... to receive his award in October, Bardisa said of the ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... 25, 2017  EpiVax, Inc., a leader in ... immune-engineering today announced the launch of EpiVax Oncology ... personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax has provided $500,000 ... to enabling technologies to the new precision immunotherapy ... EpiVax Oncology as Chief Executive Officer. Gad brings ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: