A1 Journal article – refereed

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

List of Authors: Tamminen Henna, Kujala Teija, Näätänen Risto, Peltola Maija S.

Publisher: Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Publication year: 2021

Journal: Neuroscience Letters

Volume number: 740

eISSN: 1872-7972

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2020.135430


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)

Last updated on 2021-15-09 at 09:21