Tervaniemi, M., Jacobsen, T., Röttger, S., Kujala, T., Widmann, A., Vainio, M., Näätänen, R., & Schröger, E. (2006). Selective tuning of cortical sound-feature processing by language experience. European Journal of Neuroscience, 23(9), 2538-2541.

Selective tuning of cortical sound-feature processing by language experience

In 'quantity-languages', such as Japanese or Finnish, sound duration is linguistically relevant. We showed that quantity-language speakers were superior to speakers of a non-quantity language in discriminating the duration of even non-speech sounds. In contrast, there was no group difference in the discrimination of sound frequency. This result, obtained both by behavioural and neural indices at attentive and automatic levels of processing, indicates precise feature-specific tuning of the auditory-cortex functions by the mother tongue.


Cognitive and Biological Psychology

University of Leipzig
Faculty of Life Sciences
Institute of Psychology
Neumarkt 9-19
D-04109 Leipzig


Dagmar Schrödl
Phone: +49 341 97-39570
Email: dagmar dot schroedl at uni-leipzig dot de

Dorit Thieme
Phone: +49 341 97-39540
Email: d dot thieme at uni-leipzig dot de

Fax: +49 341 97-39271