Auditory Processing in Children's Speech Perception Results of Selective Adaptation and Discrimination Tasks Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1993
Auditory Processing in Children's Speech Perception
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joan E. Sussman
    State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Contact author: Joan E. Sussman, PhD, 122 Park Hall, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1993
Auditory Processing in Children's Speech Perception
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1993, Vol. 36, 380-395. doi:10.1044/jshr.3602.380
History: Received December 27, 1991 , Accepted September 15, 1992
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1993, Vol. 36, 380-395. doi:10.1044/jshr.3602.380
History: Received December 27, 1991; Accepted September 15, 1992

Five- to six-year-old children and adults participated in discrimination and selective adaptation speech perception tasks using a synthetic consonant-vowel continuum ranging from [bal to Ida]. In one condition of selective adaptation, attention was focused on the adapting stimulus, the continuum-endpoint ba], with a whispering task. In another condition, attention was focused away from the continuum-endpoint [da] adaptor to contralaterally presented syllables "she" and "see." Results, compared with two more typical adaptation conditions, indicated that focused attention did not augment selective adaptation effects, particularly for children who showed smaller effects with focused attention on the adaptor. In contrast to adults, children did not significantly change labeling responses after exposure to endpoint-[ba] adaptors, results matching those of Sussman and Carney (1989). However, children did significantly change labeling following exposure to endpoint-[da] adaptors. Discrimination findings with five-formant consonant-vowel and single-formant stimuli supported the importance of acoustic processing for the selective adaptation tasks performed. Together, results support hypotheses of sensory processing differences in younger, normally developing children compared with adults and show that such abilities appear to be related to speech perception skills.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Science Foundation grant BNS-9010114. Appreciation is extended to members of the Spoken Language Group section of the Cognitive Science Center at the University at Buffalo for helpful discussions. Parts of the data were presented at the annual convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Atlanta, Georgia, November 1991, and at the Spring 1991 meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Baltimore, Maryland. The author wishes to thank subjects, especially the parents of child subjects, for their dedicated participation; graduate students Sandra Lane and Valerie Lauckner for help with data collection; and three anonymous reviewers for their careful attention and thoughtful comments.
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