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Bilinguals of Two Spoken Languages Have More Gray Matter Than Monolinguals

A new study suggests people who speak two languages have more gray matter in the executive control region of the brain.

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Syllables That Oscillate in Neuronal Circuits

Speech, emitted or received, produces an electrical activity in neurons that neuroscientists measure in the form of «cortical oscillations». To understand speech, as for other cognitive or sensory processes, the brain breaks down the information it receives to integrate it and give it a coherent meaning. But researchers could not confirm whether oscillations were signs of neuronal activity, or whether these oscillations played an active role in speech processing. Professor Anne-Lise Giraud and her team at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva (UNIGE) reached such conclusions after having created a computerized model of neuronal microcircuits, which highlights the crucial role of neuronal oscillations to decode spoken language, independently of speakers’ pace or accent.

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Autism and Rare Childhood Speech Disorder Often Coincide

Some children with autism should undergo ongoing screenings for apraxia, a rare neurological speech disorder, because the two conditions often go hand-in-hand, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

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All Sounds Made Equal in Melancholy

Psychoacoustics identifies five basic types of emotional speech: angry, fearful, happy, sad and neutral. In order to fully understand what’s happening with speech perception, a research team at the University of Texas at Austin studied how depressed individuals perceive these different kinds of emotional speech in multi-tonal environments. They will present their findings at the 169th ASA meeting, held this week in Pittsburgh.

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At UW-Milwaukee, Students Speak the City’s Native Language

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee gives students the opportunity to study the Anishinaabe language spoken by the Ojibwe, Potawatomi and Odawa tribes.

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Does Growing Up in a Bilingual Home Cause Speech and Language Issues?

“The growing diversity of American households is causing parents to debate on the benefits and detriments of raising their children to be bilingual” says Megan Riordan, speech-language pathologist at Loyola University Health System. “Many respectable medical professionals often suggest that parents refrain from speaking their native language to avoid confusing their child.” Common questions asked by bilingual parents and expert answers.

Life

Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Thinking Alike Changes the Conversation

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As social creatures, we tend to mimic each other’s posture, laughter, and other behaviors, including how we speak. Now a new study shows that people with similar views tend to more closely mirror, or align, each other’s speech patterns. In addition, people who are better at compromising align more closely.

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Good Speech in Kids Leads to Stronger Reading and Writing Skills

“During the preschool period, children see and interact with a variety of print at home, in the community and at daycare or school,” says Kaitlin Vogtner Trainor, speech language-pathologist at Loyola University Health System. “This exposure to print builds phonological awareness skills, the recognition that words are made up of separate speech sounds, which leads to stronger reading and writing skills later in life.”

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Is Baby Talk Bad?

“Sometimes baby talk is associated with nonsense words and sounds and even distorts sounds of words, providing inaccurate models of the infants and developing child, this is not encouraged,” says Kathleen Czuba, speech language therapist, Loyola University Health System. “Research in the field of child development and speech and language acquisition instead recommends the use of ‘parentese.’ This type of speech has been shown to positively support the development of speech and language.”

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Hearing Negatively Impacts Speech Development

“Being aware of the benchmarks of development can help caregivers and parents make sure children in their care are progressing appropriately,” says Kaitlyn Vogtner Trainor, speech-language pathologist at Loyola University Health System. "Lapses in development can also help identify medical conditions.”