Neural correlates of infant accent discrimination: An fNIRS study
Cristia, A., Minagawa-Kawai, Y., Egorova, N., Gervain, J., Filippin, L., Cabrol, D., & Dupoux, E.
Neural correlates of infant accent discrimination: An fNIRS study. Developmental Science, 17
(4), 628-635. doi:10.1111/desc.12160.
The present study investigated the neural correlates of infant discrimination of very similar linguistic
varieties (Quebecois and Parisian French) using functional Near InfraRed Spectroscopy. In line with
previous behavioral and electrophysiological data, there was no evidence that 3-month-olds
discriminated the two regional accents, whereas 5-month-olds did, with the locus of discrimination in left anterior perisylvian regions. These neuroimaging results suggest that a developing language
network relying crucially on left perisylvian cortices sustains infants' discrimination of similar linguistic varieties within this early period of infancy.