Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

mismatch negativity Related Abstracts

3 Auditory Perception of Frequency-Modulated Sweeps and Reading Difficulties in Chinese

Authors: Hsiao-Lan Wang, Chun-Han Chiang, I-Chen Chen


In Chinese Mandarin, lexical tones play an important role to provide contrasts in word meaning. They are pitch patterns and can be quantified as the fundamental frequency (F0), expressed in Hertz (Hz). In this study, we aim to investigate the influence of frequency discrimination on Chinese children’s performance of reading abilities. Fifty participants from 3rd to 4th grades, including 24 children with reading difficulties and 26 age-matched children, were examined. A serial of cognitive, language, reading and psychoacoustic tests were administrated. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) was also employed to study children’s auditory sensitivity. In the present study, auditory frequency was measured through slide-up pitch, slide-down pitch and frequency-modulated tone. The results showed that children with Chinese reading difficulties were significantly poor at phonological awareness and auditory discrimination for the identification of frequency-modulated tone. Chinese children’s character reading performance was significantly related to lexical tone awareness and auditory perception of frequency-modulated tone. In our MEG measure, we compared the mismatch negativity (MMNm), from 100 to 200 ms, in two groups. There were no significant differences between groups during the perceptual discrimination of standard sounds, fast-up and fast-down frequencies. However, the data revealed significant cluster differences between groups in the slow-up and slow-down frequencies discrimination. In the slow-up stimulus, the cluster demonstrated an upward field map at 106-151 ms (p < .001) with a strong peak time at 127ms. The source analyses of two dipole model and localization resolution model (CLARA) from 100 to 200 ms both indicated a strong source from the left temporal area with 45.845% residual variance. Similar results were found in the slow-down stimulus with a larger upward current at 110-142 ms (p < 0.05) and a peak time at 117 ms in the left temporal area (47.857% residual variance). In short, we found a significant group difference in the MMNm while children processed frequency-modulated tones with slow temporal changes. The findings may imply that perception of sound frequency signals with slower temporal modulations was related to reading and language development in Chinese. Our study may also support the recent hypothesis of underlying non-verbal auditory temporal deficits accounting for the difficulties in literacy development seen developmental dyslexia.

Keywords: Magnetoencephalography, Chinese Mandarin, frequency modulation sweeps, mismatch negativity, reading difficulties

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2 Pitch Processing in Autistic Mandarin-Speaking Children with Hypersensitivityand Hypo-Sensitivity: An Event-Related Potential Study

Authors: Yang Zhang, Kaiying Lai, Suiping Wang, Luodi Yu, Pengmin Qin


Abnormalities in auditory processing are one of the most commonly reported sensory processing impairments in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Tonal language speaker with autism has enhanced neural sensitivity to pitch changes in pure tone. However, not all children with ASD exhibit the same performance in pitch processing due to different auditory sensitivity. The current study aimed to examine auditory change detection in ASD with different auditory sensitivity. K-means clustering method was adopted to classify ASD participants into two groups according to the auditory processing scores of the Sensory Profile, 11 autism with hypersensitivity (mean age = 11.36 ; SD = 1.46) and 18 with hypo-sensitivity (mean age = 10.64; SD = 1.89) participated in a passive auditory oddball paradigm designed for eliciting mismatch negativity (MMN) under the pure tone condition. Results revealed that compared to hypersensitive autism, the children with hypo-sensitivity showed smaller MMN responses to pure tone stimuli. These results suggest that ASD with auditory hypersensitivity and hypo-sensitivity performed differently in processing pure tone, so neural responses to pure tone hold promise for predicting the auditory sensitivity of ASD and targeted treatment in children with ASD.

Keywords: ASD, mismatch negativity, sensory profile, pitch processing, MMN

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1 The Perception and Integration of Lexical Tone and Vowel in Mandarin-speaking Children with Autism: An Event-Related Potential Study

Authors: Yang Zhang, Rui Wang, Dan Huang, Suiping Wang, Luodi Yu, Hsuan-Chih Chen


Enhanced discrimination of pure tones but diminished discrimination of speech pitch (i.e., lexical tone) were found in children with autism who speak a tonal language (Mandarin), suggesting a speech-specific impairment of pitch perception in these children. However, in tonal languages, both lexical tone and vowel are phonemic cues and integrally dependent on each other. Therefore, it is unclear whether the presence of phonemic vowel dimension contributes to the observed lexical tone deficits in Mandarin-speaking children with autism. The current study employed a multi-feature oddball paradigm to examine how vowel and tone dimensions contribute to the neural responses for syllable change detection and involuntary attentional orienting in school-age Mandarin-speaking children with autism. In the oddball sequence, syllable /da1/ served as the standard stimulus. There were three deviant stimulus conditions, representing tone-only change (TO, /da4/), vowel-only change (VO, /du1/), and change of tone and vowel simultaneously (TV, /du4/). EEG data were collected from 25 children with autism and 20 age-matched normal controls during passive listening to the stimulation. For each deviant condition, difference waveform measuring mismatch negativity (MMN) was derived from subtracting the ERP waveform to the standard sound from that to the deviant sound for each participant. Additionally, the linear summation of TO and VO difference waveforms was compared to the TV difference waveform, to examine whether neural sensitivity for TV change detection reflects simple summation or nonlinear integration of the two individual dimensions. The MMN results showed that the autism group had smaller amplitude compared with the control group in the TO and VO conditions, suggesting impaired discriminative sensitivity for both dimensions. In the control group, amplitude of the TV difference waveform approximated the linear summation of the TO and VO waveforms only in the early time window but not in the late window, suggesting a time course from dimensional summation to nonlinear integration. In the autism group, however, the nonlinear TV integration was already present in the early window. These findings suggest that speech perception atypicality in children with autism rests not only in the processing of single phonemic dimensions, but also in the dimensional integration process.

Keywords: autism, Speech Perception, mismatch negativity, event-related potentials

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