During the study at Queen’s University, the researchers changed the vowel sounds that the participants heard over headphones as they talked. They found that while the adults and young children changed their vowel sounds in response to this altered feedback, the toddlers did not.
“We were very surprised to find that the two-year-olds do not monitor their own voice when speaking in the same way as adults do,” says Ewen MacDonald, a former Queen’s research associate and now associate professor at the Technical University of Denmark. "As they play music, violinists will listen to the notes they produce to ensure they are in tune. If they aren't, they will adjust the position of their fingers to bring the notes back in tune. When we speak, we do something very similar. We subconsciously listen to vowel and consonant sounds in our speech to ensure we are producing them correctly.”
The researchers have proven that toddlers use a different strategy to control speech than adults. They still have not pinpointed the exact method children under two use when learning to control speech. Future studies are being developed to determine what strategy toddlers are using.
“Understanding the development of speech is a complex and challenging problem. Using novel techniques, such as the ones used in this experiment, we can isolate and better understand how the different components of speech develop,” says Dr MacDonald. One possibility is that toddlers rely on the interaction with the person they are talking to in order to judge the accuracy of their speech sounds.
Other researchers on the study include Queen’s psychology professor Kevin Munhall and Elizabeth Johnson, an assistant professor in the department of psychology at the University of Toronto.
The research was recently published in Current Biology.
Anne Craig | EurekAlert!
Mass spectrometry sheds new light on thallium poisoning cold case
14.12.2018 | University of Maryland
Protein involved in nematode stress response identified
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy