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Near-Infrared Spectroscopy: Recent Advances in Infant Speech Perception and Language Acquisition Research

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194155 Year: Pages: 118 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-415-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-10 11:59:06
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Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) is a novel and increasingly popular optical imaging technique that has revolutionarized brain research in the youngest developmental populations. After nearly a decade of technological development, NIRS has become a reliable, easy-to-use and efficient tool to explore the linguistic and cognitive abilities of neonates and young infants, opening new vistas for the investigation of language acquisition and cognitive development. This Research Topic covers the latest advances in these areas brought about by NIRS imaging. The main focus is to highlight innovative and foundational studies that go beyond methodological issues and advance our theoretical understanding of infant and child development. Contributions from the pioneers of this method are selected, illustrating how NIRS has allowed developmental researchers to ask theoretically relevant questions that more traditional methods couldn't address. These works further our understanding of language and cognitive development and bring us closer to bridging the gap between brain, mind and behavior at the very beginning of life.

The naïve language expert: How infants discover units and regularities in speech

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193295 Year: Pages: 156 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-329-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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The advent of behavior-independent measures of cognition and major progress in experimental designs have led to substantial advances in the investigation of infant language learning mechanisms. Research in the last two decades has shown that infants are very efficient users of perceptual and statistical cues in order to extract linguistic units and regular patterns from the speech input. This has lent support for learning-based accounts of language acquisition that challenge traditional nativist views. Still, there are many open questions with respect to when and how specific patterns can be learned and the relevance of different types of input cues. For example, first steps have been made to identify the neural mechanisms supporting on-line extraction of words and statistical regularities from speech. Here, the temporal cortex seems to be a major player. How this region works in concert with other brain areas in order to detect and store new linguistic units is a question of broad interest. In this Research Topic of Frontiers in Language Sciences, we bring together experimental and review papers across linguistic domains, ranging from phonology to syntax that address on-line language learning in infancy. Specifically, we focused on papers that explore one of the following or related questions: How and when do infants start to segment linguistic units from the speech input and discover the regularities according to which they are related to each other? What is the role of different linguistic cues during these acquisition stages and how do different kinds of information interact? How are these processes reflected in children’s behavior, how are they represented in the brain and how do they unfold in time? What are the characteristics of the acquired representations as they are established, consolidated and stored in long-term memory?By bringing together behavioral and neurophysiological evidence on language learning mechanisms, we aim to contribute to a more complete picture of the expeditious and highly efficient early stages of language acquisition and their neural implementation.

Perceptual Linguistic Salience: Modeling Causes and Consequences

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451777 Year: Pages: 134 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-177-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-08-28 14:01:09
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Recent years have seen an upsurge of interest in the notion of salience in linguistics and related disciplines. While in top-down salience, perceivers endogenously direct their attention to a certain stimulus, in the bottom-up salience, it is the stimulus itself which attracts attention. In prototypical cases of bottom-up salience, the stimulus stands out because it is incongruous with a given ground by virtue of intrinsic physical characteristics. But a stimulus may also cause surprise by virtue of deviating from a cognitive ground, e.g., when violating social or probabilistic expectations. This has prompted researchers to examine the relationship between expectations and the perceptual salience of linguistic stimuli in new ways. This e-book features contributions from different scientific frameworks. The reader will find commentaries, reviews, and original research articles on models of sociolinguistic and morphological salience, the role of attention, affect, and predictability, and on how salient items are processed, categorized and learned. Taken together, the articles in this volume contribute to our understanding of how the perceptual salience of linguistic forms and variants can be theoretically framed and methodologically operationalized in different areas of linguistic processing.

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