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  The basis for language acquisition: Congenitally deaf infants discriminate vowel length in the first months after cochlear implantation

Vavatzanidis, N., Mürbe, D., Friederici, A. D., & Hahne, A. (2015). The basis for language acquisition: Congenitally deaf infants discriminate vowel length in the first months after cochlear implantation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27(12), 2427-2441. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00868.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-6539-8 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-791A-9
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Vavatzanidis, Niki1, 2, Author              
Mürbe, Dirk2, Author
Friederici, Angela D.1, Author              
Hahne, Anja1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              
2TU Dresden, Germany, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: One main incentive for supplying hearing impaired children with a cochlear implant is the prospect of oral language acquisition. Only scarce knowledge exists, however, of what congenitally deaf children actually perceive when receiving their first auditory input, and specifically what speech-relevant features they are able to extract from the new modality. We therefore presented congenitally deaf infants and young children implanted before the age of 4 years with an oddball paradigm of long and short vowel variants of the syllable /ba/. We measured the EEG in regular intervals to study their discriminative ability starting with the first activation of the implant up to 8 months later. We were thus able to time-track the emerging ability to differentiate one of the most basic linguistic features that bears semantic differentiation and helps in word segmentation, namely, vowel length. Results show that already 2 months after the first auditory input, but not directly after implant activation, these early implanted children differentiate between long and short syllables. Surprisingly, after only 4 months of hearing experience, the ERPs have reached the same properties as those of the normal hearing control group, demonstrating the plasticity of the brain with respect to the new modality. We thus show that a simple but linguistically highly relevant feature such as vowel length reaches age-appropriate electrophysiological levels as fast as 4 months after the first acoustic stimulation, providing an important basis for further language acquisition.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2015-08-062015-10-302015-12
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_00868
PMID: 26351863
Other: Epub 2015
 Degree: -

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Title: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Cambridge, MA : MIT Press Journals
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 27 (12) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 2427 - 2441 Identifier: ISSN: 0898-929X
CoNE: /journals/resource/991042752752726