Preterm and Term Infants' Perception of Temporally Coordinated Syllable–Object Pairings: Implications for Lexical Development PurposeThis experimental study examined term infants (n = 34) and low-risk near-term preterm infants (gestational age 32–36 weeks) at 2 months chronological age (n = 34) and corrected age (n =16). The study investigated whether the preterm infants presented with a delay in their sensitivity to synchronous syllable–object pairings when ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2014
Preterm and Term Infants' Perception of Temporally Coordinated Syllable–Object Pairings: Implications for Lexical Development
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lakshmi Gogate
    Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers
  • Madhavilatha Maganti
    University of Hyderabad, Gachibowli, Hyderabad, India
  • Agnes Perenyi
    SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
  • Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Lakshmi Gogate: gogate.lakshmi@gmail.com
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor and Associate Editor: Rhea Paul×
Article Information
Development / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language
Research Article   |   February 01, 2014
Preterm and Term Infants' Perception of Temporally Coordinated Syllable–Object Pairings: Implications for Lexical Development
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2014, Vol. 57, 187-198. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0403)
History: Received December 18, 2012 , Revised March 27, 2013 , Accepted May 22, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2014, Vol. 57, 187-198. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0403)
History: Received December 18, 2012; Revised March 27, 2013; Accepted May 22, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

PurposeThis experimental study examined term infants (n = 34) and low-risk near-term preterm infants (gestational age 32–36 weeks) at 2 months chronological age (n = 34) and corrected age (n =16). The study investigated whether the preterm infants presented with a delay in their sensitivity to synchronous syllable–object pairings when compared with term infants.

MethodFirst, infants were habituated to a single syllable, [tah] or [gah], spoken in synchrony with the motions of 1 of 4 toy objects, a crab, a porcupine, a star, or a lamb chop. Next, the infants received 2 syllable- and 2 object-change test trials, counterbalanced for order.

ResultsAfter factoring out differential looking time during habituation, the study found that preterm infants showed attenuated looks to the change in the object and the change in the syllable relative to term infants.

ConclusionsThese findings suggest that even near-term preterm infants present with a delay in their sensitivity to synchrony in syllable–object pairings relative to term infants. Given the important role that synchrony plays in word mapping at 6–9 months, this early delay in sensitivity to synchrony might be an indicator of word mapping delays found in older preterm infants.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the Thrasher Research Fund (02819-1); a Dean's Research Initiative award, College of Medicine, SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn; and a March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation grant (12-FY08-155) to Lakshmi Gogate. We thank Stanley Fisher, Eugene Dinkevich, and Joan Hittelman for their support of this research. Our special thanks go to the mothers who participated with their infants. We are especially grateful to Dalit Matatyaho, Divya Awal, Li-Fen Chen, Linda Yoo, Samantha Berkule, and Elsa Lee for their help with data collection and analyses.
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