OMOTE Akihiro   Faculty of Sociology Department of Sociology   Professor
■ Title
  Successful non-native speech perception is linked to precise auditory neural encoding
■ Outline
  Some people who attempt to learn a second language in adulthood meet with greater success than others. The causes driving these individual differences in second language learning skill continue to be debated. In particular, it remains controversial whether robust auditory perception can provide an advantage for non-native speech perception. Here, we tested English speech perception in native Japanese speakers through the use of frequency following responses, the evoked gamma band response, and behavioral measurements. Participants whose neural responses featured less timing jitter from trial to trial performed better on perception of English consonants than participants with more variable neural timing. Moreover, this neural metric predicted consonant perception to a greater extent than did age of arrival and length of residence in the UK, and neural jitter predicted independent variance in consonant perception after these demographic variables were accounted for. Thus, difficulties with auditory perception may be one source of problems learning second languages in adulthood.
  ◎Akihiro Omote, Kyle Jasmin, Adam Tierney
  Collaboration   Cortex   Elsevier   93,pp.146   2017/08

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