Category: Popular Media

The language-familiarity effect

June 14th, 2019

Did you know it’s harder to recognize someone by the sound of their voice if they are speaking a foreign language?

In the new issue of The Nerve, the undergraduate journal published by the BU Mind and Brain Society, CNRLab undergraduate Michelle Njoroge writes about her research on the language-familiarity effect in talker identification.

Read Michelle’s article.

Explore our research publications on the language-familiarity effect.

Dyslexia and the brain: A problem with rapid neural adaptation

December 21st, 2016


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.

“An Auditory Illusion: Does how we speak determine how we hear?”

October 5th, 2015


Photo by Michael D. Spencer

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).

CNRLab projects featured on WBUR: “11 Young Neuroscientists Share Their Cutting-Edge Research”

June 17th, 2014

Our ongoing research on the brain bases of language processing and language impairment was recently focused on Boston's NPR station: WBUR 90.9. In this video, Dr. Perrachione describes the lab's research using cutting-edge neuroimaging technologies like fMRI to help unravel the brain bases of language and memory.

See all the videos: 11 Young Neuroscientists Share Their Cutting-Edge Research

Dyslexia also affects the ability to recognize voices

August 1st, 2011

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: