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This study aimed at determining how the human brain automatically processes phoneme categories irrespective of the large acoustic inter-speaker variability. Subjects were presented with 450 different speech stimuli, equally distributed across the [a], [i], and [u] vowel categories, and each uttered by a different male speaker. A 306-channel(More)
In autism, severe abnormalities in social behavior coexist with aberrant attention and deficient language. In the attentional domain, attention to people and socially relevant stimuli is impaired the most. Because socially meaningful stimulus events are physically complex, a deficiency in sensory processing of complex stimuli has been suggested to(More)
We investigated the brain mechanisms enabling one automatically discriminate phoneme category irrespective of the large inter-speaker variability in the acoustic features of the voices. For this purpose, subjects were presented with 450 different speech stimuli, each uttered by a different speaker, belonging to three vowel categories, while a 306-channel(More)
As indexed by electrophysiological measures, in native speakers of a language with linguistically significant opposition between short and long phonemes, the pre-attentive detection accuracy of duration changes in speech sounds was tuned in comparison with that in non-speech sounds. This was not observed in advanced second-language users of the same(More)
We recorded magnetic brain activity from healthy human newborns when they heard frequency changes in an otherwise repetitive sound stream. We were able to record the magnetic counterpart of the mismatch negativity (MMN) previously described only with electric recordings in infants. The results show that these recordings are possible, although still(More)
OBJECTIVE In this study, we investigated learning-related changes in auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) of Finnish-speaking 3-6-year-old children caused by learning French language. METHODS Using an oddball paradigm, ERPs to sounds of French language were recorded in the two groups of healthy children: those who were learning French (experimental(More)
Children's long-latency auditory event-related potential (LLAEP) structure differs from that of adults. Functional significance of childhood ERP components is largely unknown. In order to look for the functional correlates in adult and children's LLAEPs, stimulus-complexity effects were investigated in 8-10-year old children. To this end, auditory ERPs to(More)
Some languages, such as Finnish, use speech-sound duration as the primary cue for a phonological quantity distinction. For second-language (L2) learners, quantity is often difficult to master if speech-sound duration plays a less important role in the phonology of their native language (L1). By comparing the categorization performance of native speakers of(More)
The evidence in adults suggests that at a cortical level simple and complex sounds are processed by partly divergent subsystems. In children, central processing of sounds differing in complexity has not been investigated. Therefore, the present study examined preconscious discrimination of the differences in sound frequency and duration as a function of(More)
OBJECTIVES The present study addressed the question of whether location of the auditory stimulation source affects an involuntary attention triggering to the deviant sounds in a passive oddball paradigm in 8-10-year-old children. METHODS Using free-field stimulation two late event-related potentials components were examined: the mismatch negativity (MMN),(More)