The neural correlates underlying lexically-guided perceptual learning

Odette Scharenborg, Jiska Koemans, Cybelle Smith, Mark Hasegawa-Johnson, Kara D. Federmeier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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There is ample evidence showing that listeners are able to quickly adapt their phoneme classes to ambiguous sounds using a process called lexically-guided perceptual learning. This paper presents the first attempt to examine the neural correlates underlying this process. Specifically, we compared the brain’s responses to ambiguous [f/s] sounds in Dutch non-native listeners of English (N=36) before and after exposure to the ambiguous sound to induce learning, using Event-Related Potentials (ERPs). We identified a group of participants who showed lexically-guided perceptual learning in their phonetic categorization behavior as observed by a significant difference in /s/ responses between pretest and posttest and a group who did not. Moreover, we observed differences in mean ERP amplitude to ambiguous phonemes at pretest and posttest, shown by a reliable reduction in amplitude of a positivity over medial central channels from 250 to 550 ms. However, we observed no significant correlation between the size of behavioral and neural pre/posttest effects. Possibly, the observed behavioral and ERP differences between pretest and posttest link to different aspects of the sound classification task. In follow-up research, these differences will be further investigated by assessing their relationship to neural responses to the ambiguous sounds in the exposure phase.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Interspeech 2019
EditorsG. Kubin, T. Hain, B. Schuller, D.E. Zarka, P. Hodl
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventInterspeech 2019
: Crossroads of Speech and Language
- Graz, Austria
Duration: 15 Sep 201919 Sep 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH
ISSN (Print)2308-457X


ConferenceInterspeech 2019


  • Adaptation
  • ERP
  • Human speech processing
  • Lexically-guided perceptual learning
  • Neural correlates


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