Núria Sebastián-Gallés

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The present investigation was devoted to unraveling the time-course and brain regions involved in speech segmentation, which is one of the first processes necessary for learning a new language in adults and infants. A specific brain electrical pattern resembling the N400 language component was identified as an indicator of speech segmentation of candidate(More)
Performance-based studies on the psychological nature of linguistic competence can conceal significant differences in the brain processes that underlie native versus nonnative knowledge of language. Here we report results from the brain activity of very proficient early bilinguals making a lexical decision task that illustrates this point. Two groups of(More)
Language-specific differences in the size and distribution of the phonemic repertoire can have implications for the task facing listeners in recognising spoken words. A language with more phonemes will allow shorter words and reduced embedding of short words within longer ones, decreasing the potential for spurious lexical competitors to be activated by(More)
Previous research has shown that French subjects, as opposed to Spanish subjects, have difficulties in distinguishing two words that differ only as far as the location of stress is concerned. In French, stress is not contrastive, and French subjects are 'deaf' to stress contrasts. In Experiment 1, we replicate this finding with a new and more powerful(More)
An ubiquitous phenomenon in psychology is the 'rep-etition effect': a repeated stimulus is perceived better on the second occurrence than on the first. Yet, what counts as a repetition? When a spoken word is repeated, is it the acoustic shape or the linguistic type that matters? In the present study, we contrasted the contribution of acoustic and(More)
When listening to modified speech, either naturally or artificially altered, the human perceptual system rapidly adapts to it. There is some debate about the nature of the mechanisms underlying this adaptation. Although some authors propose that listeners modify their prelexical representations, others assume changes at the lexical level. Recently, Larsson,(More)
Dutch and Spanish differ in how predictable the stress pattern is as a function of the segmental content: it is correlated with syllable weight in Dutch but not in Spanish. In the present study, two experiments were run to compare the abilities of Dutch and Spanish speakers to separately process segmental and stress information. It was predicted that the(More)
Abstract Sebastián-Gallés et al. [The influence of initial exposure on lexical representation: Comparing early and simultaneous bilinguals. Journal of Memory and Language, 52, 240-255, 2005] contrasted highly proficient early Spanish-Catalan and Catalan-Spanish bilinguals, using Catalan materials in a lexical decision task (LDT). They constructed two types(More)
In this paper, the capacity of four-month-old infants from monolingual environments to distinguish between two syllable-timed languages is analysed. Catalan and Spanish are both Romance languages which present differences at the segmental level and at the syllable structure level, but show important similarities concerning prosodic structure at the(More)
Naturally acquiring a language shapes the human brain through a long-lasting learning and practice process. This is supported by previous studies showing that managing more than one language from early childhood has an impact on brain structure and function. However, to what extent bilingual individuals present neuroanatomical peculiarities at the(More)