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:8/24/2017)... , ... August 24, 2017 , ... ... C. Jordan about the development and advances in Desensitization therapy to improve the ... Dr. Jordan talks about his remarkable journey of his 25 years of research ...
(Date:8/24/2017)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... August 24, ... ... being discharged from hospitals who are not fully recovered, or have a condition ... someone who has a chronic condition that needs monitoring until stable, such as ...
(Date:8/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 23, 2017 , ... The Arc ... developmental disabilities (I/DD), has launched a groundbreaking LGBTQ community organization for people with special ... first organization of its kind in the state of New Jersey – but the ...
(Date:8/23/2017)... Cornelius, NC (PRWEB) , ... August 23, 2017 , ... ... teeth whitening in Cornelius, NC. By taking advantage of this offer, valued ... smiles. With every regular six-month hygiene cleaning from the dentist, patients receive a complimentary ...
(Date:8/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Stevie® Awards have announced the winners of the Best of the IBA ... awards competition. , Nominees in the 2017 IBAs were not able to apply for the ... the total number of awards won in the IBAs with a Gold Stevie win counting ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/4/2017)... Md. , Aug. 4, 2017 The ... or shortly after a physician/patient consult has long been ... and was a notable focus of the largest meeting ... is according to healthcare market research firm Kalorama Information. ... care testing (POCT) offerings or related supplies and software ...
(Date:8/2/2017)...  Life Flight Network and PeaceHealth Oregon Network announced they ... and operational efficiency for patients at hospitals in ... Cottage Grove , and Florence, Oregon ... Flight Network work collaboratively to move patients who require the ... time sensitive emergency exists. ...
(Date:7/31/2017)... , July 31, 2017 7D Surgical, developer ... Medical has purchased the 7D Surgical System to support its ... Washington D.C. and Virginia.  7D Surgical has ... for many of the premier medical facilities within those markets. ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: