By Tyler Perrachione
A new paper in PNAS, coauthored by Terri Scott, CNRLab doctoral student, and researchers at Harvard (Ev Fedorenko) and MIT (Nancy Kanwisher), explores how the brain extracts meaning as sentences unfold. This work “opens up new avenues for investigating the sequence of neural events that underlie construction of linguistic meaning.”
Citation: Fedorenko E, Scott TL, Brunner P, Coon WG, Pritchett B, Schalk G, & Kanwisher N. (2016). “Neural correlate of the construction of sentence meaning.” Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 113(41), E6256–E6262.
Dr. Perrachione presented work from the CNRLab at the Future of Language Science symposium at Northwestern University. The symposium included alumni presentations in celebration of the Department of Linguistics‘ 50th anniversary.
In his presentation, Dr. Perrachione reported new work conducted at Boston University studying how noninvasive brain stimulation can facilitate foreign language learning, and two ongoing projects with collaborators from MIT investigating how the brain changes as a result of foreign language learning.
Ja Young Choi, former Research Analyst and current doctoral student in the CNRLab, has been awarded the prestigious Kwanjeong Educational Foundation scholarship for doctoral study in the Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology Program at Harvard University. Congratulations, Ja Young!
Elly Hu (CAS ’16) presents her poster on “Stimulus variability in rapid auditory categorization.” Elly used behavioral methods and noninvasive neurostimulation to investigate the factors that affect listeners’ ability to adapt to phonetic consistency in speech.
Tyrone Hou (CAS ’18) presented his e-poster on “Computerized biofeedback for lexical tone learning.” Tyrone developed a computer program that automatically compares a speaker’s lexical tone productions to canonical Mandarin lexical tones, providing second-language learners with feedback to help improve their Mandarin pronunciation.
Inside Sargent profiled the work of CNRLab alumna Elizabeth Petitti, MS-SLP (SAR ’14), who conducted her master’s thesis research on how linguistic experience affects listeners’ bias for hearing the missing fundamental in harmonic complex tones. These results have implications for understanding how lifelong linguistic experiences affect basic auditory processing.
Read the Inside Sargent story:
Read the research study:
Petitti, E., & Perrachione, T.K. (2015). “A fundamental bias for residue pitch perception in tone language speakers.” 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (Glasgow, August 2015).
Congratulations to the members of the CNRLab who graduated this spring! They’ve accomplished amazing things in the lab and here at BU, and they’re off to great things next!
- Rebecca Lember, MS-SLP
MS Thesis: “Lexical effects in talker identification”
- Elizabeth Petitti, MS-SLP
MS Thesis: “A fundamental bias for residue pitch perception in tone language speakers”
- Molly Cleveland, BS; Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
- Deirdre McLaughlin, BS; Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
- Carly Schimmel, BA; Neuroscience
Prof. Tyler Perrachione (Director of the Communication Neuroscience Research Laboratory at BU) has been awarded the 2013 Peter Paul Professorship at BU. This award will allow the CNRLab to pursue cutting-edge research on the role of auditory plasticity in developmental disorders of language and communication. Read more about the award and Dr. Perrachione’s research in the online article from BU Today.
Although dyslexia is well known as a disorder that affects the development of typical reading ability, research from Dr. Tyler Perrachione (Principal Investigator of the Communication Neuroscience Research Laboratory at BU) and colleagues has revealed that individuals with dyslexia also have trouble learning to recognize voices compared to their peers with typical reading ability. Learn more about this research from these sources:
- The New York Times: “Study sheds light on auditory role in dyslexia“
- BBC: “Dyslexia makes voices hard to discern“
- National Science Foundation: “Dissecting dyslexia: Linking reading to voice recognition“
- Listen to Prof. Perrachione discuss this research on the BBC radio program “Word of mouth“
- Read the original research report at the journal Science.