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ERIC Number: EJ890819
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0093-934X
Language-Dependent Pitch Encoding Advantage in the Brainstem Is Not Limited to Acceleration Rates that Occur in Natural Speech
Krishnan, Ananthanarayan; Gandour, Jackson T.; Smalt, Christopher J.; Bidelman, Gavin M.
Brain and Language, v114 n3 p193-198 Sep 2010
Experience-dependent enhancement of neural encoding of pitch in the auditory brainstem has been observed for only specific portions of native pitch contours exhibiting high rates of pitch acceleration, irrespective of speech or nonspeech contexts. This experiment allows us to determine whether this language-dependent advantage transfers to acceleration rates that extend beyond the pitch range of natural speech. Brainstem frequency-following responses (FFRs) were recorded from Chinese and English participants in response to four, 250-ms dynamic click-train stimuli with different rates of pitch acceleration. The maximum pitch acceleration rates in a given stimulus ranged from low (0.3 Hz/ms; Mandarin Tone 2) to high (2.7 Hz/ms; 2 octaves). Pitch strength measurements were computed from the FFRs using autocorrelation algorithms with an analysis window centered at the point of maximum pitch acceleration in each stimulus. Between-group comparisons of pitch strength revealed that Chinese exhibit more robust pitch representation than English across all four acceleration rates. Regardless of language group, pitch strength was greater in response to acceleration rates within or proximal to natural speech relative to those beyond its range. Though both groups showed decreasing pitch strength with increasing acceleration rates, pitch representations of the Chinese group were more resistant to degradation. FFR spectral data were complementary across acceleration rates. These findings demonstrate that perceptually salient pitch cues associated with lexical tone influence brainstem pitch extraction not only in the speech domain, but also in auditory signals that clearly fall outside the range of dynamic pitch that a native listener is exposed to. (Contains 2 tables, 3 figures, and 4 audios.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A