Professor, Department of Psychology
Ph.D. Cornell University
M.A. Simon Fraser University
B.A. University of British Columbia
Research Interests: Normal adults; neuroplasticity; development
Overview: Our broad goals are to study biological constraints and the role of input from the environment in the development of the human brain. We characterize the functional specializations of different neural systems in normal adults and take two broad approaches to the study of their development:
We compare cerebral organization in normal hearing, sighted, monolingual adults with that observed in adults who have had auditory or visual deprivation or who have had different language experience (neuroplasticity).
We study the changes in functional cerebral organization that occur as normally and abnormally developing infants and children attain different ages and behavioural milestones. We employ the event-related potential (ERP) techniques and structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in these studies.
Anterior and posterior erp rhyming effects in 3- to 5-year-old children.
Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2018 Mar 06;30:178-190
Authors: Andersson A, Sanders LD, Coch D, Karns CM, Neville HJ
During early literacy skills development, rhyming is an important indicator of the phonological precursors required for reading. To determine if neural signatures of rhyming are apparent in early childhood, we recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) from 3- to 5-year-old, preliterate children (N = 62) in an auditory prime-target nonword rhyming paradigm (e.g., bly-gry, blane-vox). Overall, nonrhyming targets elicited a larger negativity (N450) than rhyming targets over posterior regions. In contrast, rhyming targets elicited a larger negativity than nonrhyming targets over fronto-lateral sites. The amplitude of the two rhyming effects was correlated, such that a larger posterior effect occurred with a smaller anterior effect. To determine whether these neural signatures of rhyming related to phonological awareness, we divided the children into two groups based on phonological awareness scores while controlling for age and socioeconomic status. The posterior rhyming effect was stronger and more widely distributed in the group with better phonological awareness, whereas differences between groups for the anterior effect were small and not significant. This pattern of results suggests that the rhyme processes indexed by the anterior effect are developmental precursors to those indexed by the posterior effect. Overall, these findings demonstrate early establishment of distributed neurocognitive networks for rhyme processing.
PMID: 29554639 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]