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The Temporal Modulation Structure of Infant-Directed Speech

The Temporal Modulation Structure of Infant-Directed Speech The temporal modulation structure of adult-directed speech (ADS) is thought to be encoded by neuronal oscillations in the auditory cortex that fluctuate at different temporal rates. Oscillatory activity is thought to phase-align to amplitude modulations in speech at corresponding rates, thereby supporting parsing of the signal into linguistically relevant units. The temporal modulation structure of infant-directed speech (IDS) is unexplored. Here we compare the amplitude modulation (AM) structure of IDS recorded from mothers speaking, over three occasions, to their 7-, 9-, and 11-month-old infants, and the same mothers speaking ADS. Analysis of the modulation spectrum in each case revealed that modulation energy in the theta band was significantly greater in ADS than in IDS, whereas in the delta band, modulation energy was significantly greater for IDS than ADS. Furthermore, phase alignment between delta- and theta-band AMs was stronger in IDS compared to ADS. This remained the case when IDS and ADS were rate-normalized to control for differences in speech rate. These data indicate stronger rhythmic synchronization and acoustic temporal regularity in IDS compared to ADS, structural acoustic differences that may be important for early language learning. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Open Mind MIT Press

The Temporal Modulation Structure of Infant-Directed Speech

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Publisher
MIT Press
Copyright
Copyright © MIT Press
eISSN
2470-2986
DOI
10.1162/OPMI_a_00008
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The temporal modulation structure of adult-directed speech (ADS) is thought to be encoded by neuronal oscillations in the auditory cortex that fluctuate at different temporal rates. Oscillatory activity is thought to phase-align to amplitude modulations in speech at corresponding rates, thereby supporting parsing of the signal into linguistically relevant units. The temporal modulation structure of infant-directed speech (IDS) is unexplored. Here we compare the amplitude modulation (AM) structure of IDS recorded from mothers speaking, over three occasions, to their 7-, 9-, and 11-month-old infants, and the same mothers speaking ADS. Analysis of the modulation spectrum in each case revealed that modulation energy in the theta band was significantly greater in ADS than in IDS, whereas in the delta band, modulation energy was significantly greater for IDS than ADS. Furthermore, phase alignment between delta- and theta-band AMs was stronger in IDS compared to ADS. This remained the case when IDS and ADS were rate-normalized to control for differences in speech rate. These data indicate stronger rhythmic synchronization and acoustic temporal regularity in IDS compared to ADS, structural acoustic differences that may be important for early language learning.

Journal

Open MindMIT Press

Published: Sep 27, 2017

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