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Title: Neural encoding of voice pitch and formant structure at birth as revealed by frequency-following responses
Author: Arenillas‑Alcón, Sonia
Costa Faidella, Jordi
Ribas-Prats, Teresa
Gómez Roig, Ma. Dolores
Escera i Micó, Carles
Keywords: Neurociències
Neurobiologia del desenvolupament
To (Fonètica)
Developmental neurobiology
Tone (Phonetics)
Issue Date: 23-Mar-2021
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Abstract: Detailed neural encoding of voice pitch and formant structure plays a crucial role in speech perception, and is of key importance for an appropriate acquisition of the phonetic repertoire in infants since birth. However, the extent to what newborns are capable of extracting pitch and formant structure information from the temporal envelope and the temporal fine structure of speech sounds, respectively, remains unclear. Here, we recorded the frequency-following response (FFR) elicited by a novel two-vowel, rising-pitch-ending stimulus to simultaneously characterize voice pitch and formant structure encoding accuracy in a sample of neonates and adults. Data revealed that newborns tracked changes in voice pitch reliably and no differently than adults, but exhibited weaker signatures of formant structure encoding, particularly at higher formant frequency ranges. Thus, our results indicate a well-developed encoding of voice pitch at birth, while formant structure representation is maturing in a frequency-dependent manner. Furthermore, we demonstrate the feasibility to assess voice pitch and formant structure encoding within clinical evaluation times in a hospital setting, and suggest the possibility to use this novel stimulus as a tool for longitudinal developmental studies of the auditory system.
Note: Reproducció del document publicat a:
It is part of: Scientific Reports, 2021, vol. 11, p. 6660
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ISSN: 2045-2322
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Psicologia Clínica i Psicobiologia)
Articles publicats en revistes (Institut de Neurociències (UBNeuro))
Articles publicats en revistes (BCNatal Fetal Medicine Research Center)

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