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Perceptual abilities in relation with motor development during the first year of life

Abstract : To better understand the development of perceptuo-motor interactions during the first year of life we designed two studies evaluating the influence of speech production abilities on phonemic categorization. In a first study we use a visual fixation paradigm to evaluate infants’ consonant categorization in different vowel contexts. Auditory stimuli are presented via a loudspeaker located behind a screen. A /d/-/g/ contrast is employed; infants are habituated with one member of the pair associated with different vowels (/do/-/di/-/du/). When reaching the criterion of 60% of the mean looking time (LT) for the first three trials, they are presented with consonants in a new context (/da/ and /ga/). We compare LTs between familiar and novel consonants. Infants who are able to extract the common consonant (here /d/) in the different vocalic contexts should show different LTs for the two test stimuli. In a second study infants’ ability to link auditory and visual information on a consonant category into a single representation will be tested using an intersensory matching procedure. Infants will be familiarized with auditory syllables with different vowel contexts (/bo/-/bi/-/bu). In the test phase, two side-by-side silent videos of faces repeatedly pronouncing consonants in a new vowel context (/ba/ on one side and /da/ on the other) will be presented and LTs to each video will be compared. Infants who are able to extract the common gesture in the audio syllables should be able to relate it to the same gesture in the visual stimuli and show different LTs for the two test stimuli (/ba/ vs /da/). For both studies the speech production abilities of each of the 6- to 12-month-old infants are assessed using a parental questionnaire. We expect better categorization and better auditory-visual association in infants who can produce the target consonants than in those who cannot. These studies will allow us assess the role of motor knowledge in the development of speech perception.
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  • HAL Id : hal-01301013, version 2

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Marjorie Dole, Hélène Loevenbruck, Olivier Pascalis, Jean-Luc Schwartz, Anne Vilain. Perceptual abilities in relation with motor development during the first year of life. 2nd Workshop on Infant Language Development (WILD 2015), Jun 2015, Stockholm, Sweden. ⟨hal-01301013v2⟩

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