Journal article

Neural correlates of infant accent discrimination: an fNIRS study

Alejandrina Cristia, Yasuyo Minagawa-Kawai, Natalia Egorova, Judit Gervain, Luca Filippin, Dominique Cabrol, Emmanuel Dupoux

DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE | WILEY-BLACKWELL | Published : 2014

Abstract

The present study investigated the neural correlates of infant discrimination of very similar linguistic varieties (Quebecois and Parisian French) using functional Near InfraRed Spectroscopy. In line with previous behavioral and electrophysiological data, there was no evidence that 3-month-olds discriminated the two regional accents, whereas 5-month-olds did, with the locus of discrimination in left anterior perisylvian regions. These neuroimaging results suggest that a developing language network relying crucially on left perisylvian cortices sustains infants' discrimination of similar linguistic varieties within this early period of infancy.