By Tyler Perrachione
Differences in how the brain adapts to sights and sounds could be at the root of reading disorders. Read the full story from Inside Sargent.
Congratulations to the newest CNRLab graduates! They’ve accomplished amazing things in the lab and here at BU, and they’re all off to great things next!
- Cheng (Cissy) Cheng, MS-SLP
Thesis: “Can visual feedback improve English speakers' Mandarin tone production?”
- Sara Dougherty, MEd; Developmental Studies: Literacy & Language Education
- Jennifer Golditch, MS-SLP
- Dana Gordon, BS; Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
- Laura Haenchen, MS-SLP
Thesis: “Noninvasive neurostimulation of sensorimotor adaptation in speech production.”
- Deirdre McLaughlin, MS-SLP
Thesis: “Talker identification is not improved by lexical access in the absence of familiar phonology.”
- Alina Razak, BS; Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
Thesis: “Who's at the cocktail party? Effects of noise on talker identification.”
Our new findings, published today in Neuron, reveal that the brains of children and adults with dyslexia show less rapid neural adaptation than the brains of typical readers. Rapid neural adaptation is a kind of learning that the brain does in just a few seconds to make perception more efficient. A dysfunction of rapid neural adaptation may make it difficult for individuals with dyslexia to coordinate the demanding neural plasticity involved in learning to read.
- BU Research: "The dyslexia paradox"
- MIT News: "Explaining dyslexia"
- The Independent: "Dyslexia: Major cause of learning difficulty may have been discovered by neuroscientists"
- Forbes: "This is your brain on dyslexia"
- The Boston Globe: "Roots of dyslexia may be deeper than previously thought"
- Time: "Why dyslexia is more than a reading disorder"
- WebMD: "'Groundbreaking' research offers dyslexia clues"
- The Times: "Dyslexia hinders more than just reading"
- Perrachione, T.K. et al. (2016). Dysfunction of rapid neural adaptation in dyslexia. Neuron, 92, 1383-1397.
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.