The influence of music training in speech processing
In this project, we plan to combine two strands of research in speech processing: (a) the impact of prosody on speech processing and (b) the impact of musical training on speech processing. In our project we will test 8 year-old children with different degrees of musical training: (a) primary school children without musical instrument training; (b) children learning to play an instrument at a communal music-school; (c) children who receive advanced musical instrument training at the conservatorium in The Hague.
- 2016 - 2017
- Lisa Cheng
The presence of subliminal pauses (prosodic cues) invited rule-learning in participants. In other words, the acquisition of structural generalisations in language depends on prosodic cues - and not just on statistical ones. In the second strand of research, François et al (2013) tested the influence of musical training on the ability of 8 year-olds to find word-like units in an artificial language. They found that the group of children who had received two years of musical training did much better in the word segmentation task than the group without musical training. In this study, the rule-learning ability of the children was not tested, and the stimuli did not contain prosodic cues.
In our project, we will use the same stimuli as in Peña et al (2002), and we will test 8 year-old children with different degrees of musical training: (a) primary school children without musical instrument training; (b) children learning to play an instrument at a communal music-school; (c) children who receive advanced musical instrument training at the conservatorium in The Hague. We expect the children with musical instrument training to be more sensitive to the prosodic cues that drive rule, and thus to perform better. Our research questions are: (a) Do 8-year olds benefit from musical instrument training in their rulelearning abilities? (b) Does the intensity of musical training influence the sensitivity to prosodic cues? Our results might show that musical training boosts the language learning abilities of children.
François, Clément, Julie Chobert, Mireille Besson and Daniele Schön (2013). Music Training for the Development of Speech Segmentation. Cerebral Cortex 23: 2038-2043.
Peña, Marcela, Luca Bonatti, Marina Nespor, and Jacques Mehler (2002). Signal-driven computations in speech processing. Science vol. 298 (5593), 604-607.