Postersession 1
Poster #: 40
Topic: Development (infancy, childhood, adolescence, and aging)
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2015
1st floor

Emotional prosodic deviance-detection in school-age children

Judith Charpentier1, Sylvie Roux2, Emmanuelle Houy-Durand3, Mathieu Lemaire3, Joëlle Malvy3, Frédérique Bonnet-Brilhault3, Agathe Saby4, & Marie Gomot2

1UMR930_ Equipe1, UMR 930 INSERM Université François-Rabelais de Tours, TOURS, France
2UMR 930 INSERM Université François-Rabelais de Tours, TOURS, France
3UMR 930 INSERM Université François-Rabelais de Tours, Centre Universitaire de Pédopsychiatrie, CHRU de Tours, TOURS, France
4Centre Universitaire de Pédopsychiatrie, CHRU de Tours, TOURS, France

Prosody conveys key information about the emotional state of a speaker and thus is a crucial clue that one’s has to detect early to develop an efficient social communication. Mismatch negativity (MMN) is an effective way to study automatic detection of such clue. Larger amplitude for emotional MMN (eMMN) compared to neutral MMN (nMMN) has been reported in adults while in school-age children, the few studies showed a biphasic fronto-central eMMN but without any comparison with nMMN to assess the specific effect of emotional deviancy. This study addressed direct comparison of automatic change detection of neutral and emotional deviants with strictly controlled acoustic parameters across development. To this end, oddball and equiprobable sequences were presented to 8-year-old children (n=10), 11-year-old children (n=10) and adults (n=11).

A biphasic response was found for nMMN in all groups and for eMMN in children. Latency of eMMN was shorter than latency of nMMN in adults and in 11-year-old children whereas no significant difference was observed in the youngest children. Similar amplitude was found between groups and conditions but MMN topographies appeared more posterior in children indicating a non-mature organization of the brain response to prosody deviancy.

Faster deviancy detection for emotional stimuli was found in adults and in older children but not in 8-year-old children. This is congruent with young children’s behavioral preference for speech content over prosody when they are facing contradictory clues. Altogether, these results indicate a late maturation of emotional prosody discrimination.