The Perrachione Lab has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study whether formal musical training is associated with enhanced neural processing and perception of sounds, including speech in noisy backgrounds. Music forms an important part of our lives and is one of the few universals shared by all human cultures. This project will test the hypothesis that early musical exposure has benefits that extend beyond music to critical aspects of human communication, such as speech perception in noise.
The Perrachione Lab at BU is one center in an nationwide collaboration pursuing this project, led by Andrew Oxenham at the University of Minnesota, and including other centers at Purdue University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Rochester.
Title: “NeuroDataRR. Collaborative Research: Testing the relationship between musical training and enhanced neural coding and perception in noise.”
Project Number: 1840818
Read more information about this grant at the NSF.
The Perrachione Lab has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study differences in brain anatomy in individuals with dyslexia. This project will study a collection of brain scans from over 1,200 children and adults with dyslexia or typical reading. Using these brain scans, we will determine whether any features of brain anatomy (such as morphology, morphometry, and cortical geometry) are related to reading ability or reading impairment.
Led by the Perrachione Lab at BU, a nation-wide team of collaborators are contributing to this project, including scientists at MIT, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, the University of Delaware, Northwestern University, and the University of Washington. This project is supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
Title: “Cortical development and neuroanatomical anomalies in developmental dyslexia.”
Project Number: R03HD096098
Read more information about this grant on NIH RePORTER
Terri Scott, CNRLab member and PhD candidate in Neuroscience, presented her new research on the brain bases of nonword repetition – an important clinical assessment of language skills – at the recent meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language in Quebec City. Terri discovered that the parts of the brain responsible for nonword repetition are also recruited for both language processing and working memory.
Scott, T.L., Dougherty, S.C., Choi, J.Y. & Perrachione, T.K. (2018). “Nonword repetition recruits distinct and overlapping nodes of language and working memory networks.” 10th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language (Quebec City, August 2018).
Scientists from the CNRLab presented two new research studies on perception and cognition of talker variability at the May 2018 of the Acoustical Society of America in Minneapolis, including the results from a Sargent Senior Thesis for Distinction completed by lab alumna Kristina Furbeck. Download copies of our presentations below:
Lim, S.-J., Tin, J.A.A. Shinn-Cunningham, B.G., & Perrachione, T.K. (2018). “Impact of talker adaptation on speech processing and working memory.” 175th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (Minneapolis, May 2018).
Furbeck, K.T., Thurston, E.J., Tin, J.A.A., & Perrachione, T.K. (2018). “Perceptual similarity judgments of voices: Effects of talker and listener language, vocal source acoustics, and time-reversal.” 175th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (Minneapolis, May 2018).
CNRLab scientists are using the new Siemens 3T Prisma scanner at the BU Cognitive Neuroimaging Center to study how the brain consistently recognizes speech in different contexts. Read more about our experiences with the new imaging center in this article from BU Today.
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.