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ENCODING OF TEMPORAL AND SPECTRAL CHARACTERISTICS OF COMPLEX STIMULI IN THE AUDITORY BRAINSTEM

Grant number: 11/23131-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2013
Effective date (End): December 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Speech Therapy
Principal Investigator:Eliane Schochat
Grantee:Caroline Nunes Rocha-Muniz
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina (FM). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Speech is a complex acoustic signal and its perception involves processing of several different types, such as peripheral auditory analysis and automatic extraction of sound features in the brainstem nuclei leading to classification of words and phonemes. The representation and perception of speech highly requires the auditory nervous system activity through the synchronous activity of large populations of neurons from the periphery to the cortex. These, in turn, must be sensitive to rapid changes in the spectrum at low signal-to-noise ratios and high stimulation rates. Due to their independent behavioral nature, electrophysiological tests are ideal for evaluating the neural bases of speech perception, without the interference of behavioral response subjectivity. As the auditory brainstem response (ABR) with click stimulation does not demonstrate differences between clinical populations, the use of new stimuli of different complexity in ABR assessment is being encouraged in the recent literature. The use of more complex stimuli would enhance the investigation of the auditory pathways in the brainstem and also would allow the investigation of sensory and cognitive processes embedded in behavioral performance, especially in clinical populations. Thus, this study aims to improve the knowledge of how the auditory pathways located in the brainstem encode temporal and spectral characteristics of plosive consonant-vowel /ga /, /da / and /ba / (speech sounds) in children in typical development, and also to compare these findings with those from children with auditory processing disorder, specific language impairment and phonological disorders.