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Categorical perception of speech stimuli in children at-risk for reading difficulty
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (2004)
  • J I Breier
  • J M Fletcher
  • C Denton
  • L Gray, James Madison University
Children determined to be at risk (n=24) or not at risk (n=13) for reading difficulty listened to tokens from a voice onset time (VOT) (/ga/–/ka/) or tone series played in a continuous unbroken rhythm. Changes between tokens occurred at random intervals and children were asked to press a button as soon as they detected a change. For the VOT series, at-risk children were less sensitive than not-at-risk children to changes between tokens that crossed the phonetic boundary. Maps of group stimulus space produced using multidimensional scaling of reaction times for the VOT series indicated that at-risk children may attend less to the phonological information available in the speech stimuli and more to subtle acoustic differences between phonetically similar stimuli than not-at-risk children. Better phonological processing was associated with greater sensitivity to changes between VOT tokens that crossed the phonetic boundary and greater relative weighting of the phonological compared to the acoustic dimension across both groups.
  • Auditory perception,
  • Reading,
  • Phonology,
  • Perceptual maps
Publication Date
Citation Information
Breier, J.I., Fletcher, J.M., Denton, C., Gray, L. Categorical Perception of Speech Stimuli in Children At-Risk for Reading Difficulty. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 88:152-70, 2004.