Project: Research project

Project Details


The overall purpose of this proposal is to examine the effects of
early auditory input on the acquisition of normal speech and
language, and how alterations in this input can contribute to
language impairment. A child~s hearing status, auditory history
(i.e., history of otitis media with effusion), ability of the child to
process nonspeech auditory signals (i.e., simple and complex
tones), ability to process speech signals without attached meaning,
ability to process meaningful language, and exposure to a second
language all can affect normal language development. To
understand language and its disorders it is necessary to examine
the levels of auditory processing (acoustic-phonetic-linguistic) in a
systematic fashion. Four interrelated projects will examine these
issues. Project 1 will investigate auditory processing at peripheral
and central levels using behavioral, psychoacoustic, physiologic
and electrophysiologic measures. Project 2 uses an event-related
potential (ERP) mismatch negativity (MMN) to assess pre-
attentive, automatic processing of acoustic events. Project 3
employs both behavioral and electrophysiological measures to
determine whether the deficits seen in SLI are at the level of
discrimination of acoustic-phonetic distinctions or at the level of
categorization of these distinctions into language (i.e., phonemic
categories). Project 4 extends the investigations from the
acoustic/phonetic to the lexical (word) level processing using
behavioral and electrophysiologic measures. Project 5 examines
the effects of training or alteration of auditory input on spoken
language. The study populations will be 1) children with specific
language impairment; 2) children with history of otitis media with
effusion that results in mild fluctuation hearing loss at a critical
time in language acquisition; 3) children with congenital mild to
moderate-severe cochlear (sensory hearing loss; 4) infants with
"paradoxical" early auditory status findings (abnormal brainstem
response in the presence of normal otoacoustic emissions); 5)
bilingual children; and 6) normally developing children.
Effective start/end date7/1/926/30/02


  • Speech and Hearing
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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