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Aging and non-native speech perception: A phonetic training study

Julkaisun tekijätTamminen Henna, Kujala Teija, Näätänen Risto, Peltola Maija S.

KustantajaElsevier Ireland Ltd.


JournalNeuroscience Letters




Rinnakkaistallenteen osoite


Cognitive decline is evident in the elderly and it affects speech perception and foreign
language learning. A listen-and-repeat training with a challenging speech sound contrast was
earlier found to be effective in young monolingual adults and even in advanced L2 university
students at the attentive and pre-attentive levels. This study investigates foreign language
speech perception in the elderly with the same protocol used with the young adults. Training
effects were measured with attentive behavioural measures (N=9) and with
electroencephalography measuring the pre-attentive mismatch negativity (MMN) response
(N=10). Training was effective in identification, but not in discrimination and there were no
changes in the MMN. The most attention demanding perceptual functions which benefit from
experience-based linguistic knowledge were facilitated through training, whereas preattentive processing was unaffected. The elderly would probably benefit from different
training types compared to younger adults. 

Keywords: Training; Speech perception; Phonological processing; Aging; Mismatch
negativity (MMN)

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Last updated on 2022-07-04 at 18:41