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The capacity to represent the world in terms of numerically distinct objects (i.e., object individuation) is a milestone in early cognitive development and forms the foundation for more complex thought and behavior. Over the past 10 to 15 yr, infant researchers have expended a great deal of effort to identify the origins and development of this capacity. In(More)
Learners of a second language practice their pronunciation by listening to and imitating utterances from native speakers. Recent research has shown that choosing a well-matched native speaker to imitate can have a positive impact on pronunciation training. Here we propose a voice-transformation technique that can be used to generate the (arguably) ideal(More)
Sensitivity to spoken language is an integral part of infants' formative development, yet relatively little is known about the neural mechanisms that underlie the emerging ability to perceive and process speech. This is in large part because there are a limited number of non-invasive techniques available to measure brain functioning in human infants.(More)
We investigate the utility of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) as an alternative technique for studying infant speech processing. NIRS is an optical imaging technology that uses relative changes in total hemoglobin concentration and oxygenation as an indicator of neural activation. Procedurally, NIRS has the advantage over more common methods (e.g., fMRI)(More)
Measurements of human brain function in children are of increasing interest in cognitive neuroscience. Many techniques for brain mapping used in children, including functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), use probes placed on or near the scalp. The(More)
Cochlear implants (CI) are commonly used to treat deafness in young children. While many factors influence the ability of a deaf child who is hearing through a CI to develop speech and language skills, an important factor is that the CI has to stimulate the auditory cortex. Obtaining behavioral measurements from young children with CIs can often be(More)
In a series of studies, we examined how mothers naturally stress words across multiple mentions in speech to their infants and how this marking influences infants' recognition of words in fluent speech. We first collected samples of mothers' infant-directed speech using a technique that induced multiple repetitions of target words. Acoustic analyses(More)
The primary goal of most cochlear implant procedures is to improve a patient's ability to discriminate speech. To accomplish this, cochlear implants are programmed so as to maximize speech understanding. However, programming a cochlear implant can be an iterative, labor-intensive process that takes place over months. In this study, we sought to determine(More)
Over the past 30 years researchers have learned a great deal about the development of object processing in infancy. In contrast, little is understood about the neural mechanisms that underlie this capacity, in large part because there are few techniques available to measure brain functioning in human infants. The present research examined the extent to(More)
This is the first report to demonstrate quantitative monitoring of infant brain development with frequency-domain near-infrared spectroscopy (FD-NIRS). Regionally specific increases in blood volume and oxygen consumption were measured in healthy infants during their first year. The results agree with prior PET and SPECT reports; but, unlike these methods,(More)