Individual Differences in the Discrimination of Novel Speech Sounds: Effects of Sex, Temporal Processing, Musical and Cognitive Abilities



Kempe, Vera and Thoresen, John C. and Kirk, Neil W. and Schaeffler, Felix and Brooks, Patricia J. (2012) Individual Differences in the Discrimination of Novel Speech Sounds: Effects of Sex, Temporal Processing, Musical and Cognitive Abilities. PLoS ONE, 7 (11). ISSN 1932-6203, ESSN: 1932-6203

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Abstract

This study examined whether rapid temporal auditory processing, verbal working memory capacity, non-verbal intelligence, executive functioning, musical ability and prior foreign language experience predicted how well native English speakers (N = 120) discriminated Norwegian tonal and vowel contrasts as well as a non-speech analogue of the tonal contrast and a native vowel contrast presented over noise. Results confirmed a male advantage for temporal and tonal processing, and also revealed that temporal processing was associated with both non-verbal intelligence and speech processing. In contrast, effects of musical ability on non-native speech-sound processing and of inhibitory control on vowel discrimination were not mediated by temporal processing. These results suggest that individual differences in non-native speech-sound processing are to some extent determined by temporal auditory processing ability, in which males perform better, but are also determined by a host of other abilities that are deployed flexibly depending on the characteristics of the target sounds.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: School of Health Sciences > Clinical Audiology, Speech and Language Research Centre
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2012 10:00
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2014 13:00
URI: http://eresearch.qmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2980

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