Document Detail

Infant ability to tell voices apart rests on language experience.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21884316     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
A visual fixation study tested whether 7-month-olds can discriminate between different talkers. The infants were first habituated to talkers producing sentences in either a familiar or unfamiliar language, then heard test sentences from previously unheard speakers, either in the language used for habituation, or in another language. When the language at test mismatched that in habituation, infants always noticed the change. When language remained constant and only talker altered, however, infants detected the change only if the language was the native tongue. Adult listeners with a different native tongue from the infants did not reproduce the discriminability patterns shown by the infants, and infants detected neither voice nor language changes in reversed speech; both these results argue against explanation of the native-language voice discrimination in terms of acoustic properties of the stimuli. The ability to identify talkers is, like many other perceptual abilities, strongly influenced by early life experience.
Elizabeth K Johnson; Ellen Westrek; Thierry Nazzi; Anne Cutler
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2011-04-25
Journal Detail:
Title:  Developmental science     Volume:  14     ISSN:  1467-7687     ISO Abbreviation:  Dev Sci     Publication Date:  2011 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-09-02     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9814574     Medline TA:  Dev Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1002-11     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Mississauga, Canada  Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands  Université Paris Descartes (Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, CNRS UMR 8158), France  MARCS Auditory Laboratories, University of Western Sydney, Australia.
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