Discriminative responses to tones, harmonics, and syllables in the left hemisphere were measured with magnetoencephalography in neonates, 6-month-old infants, and 12-month-old infants using the oddball paradigm. Real-time head position tracking, signal space separation, and head position standardization were applied to secure quality data for source localization. Minimum current estimates were calculated to characterize infants' cortical activities for detecting sound changes. The activation patterns observed in the superior temporal and inferior frontal regions provide initial evidence for the developmental emergence early in life of a perceptual–motor link for speech perception that may depend on experience.
aInstitute for Learning and Brain Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
bDepartment of Speech–Language–Hearing Sciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
cDepartment of Psychology & Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA
dBioMag Laboratory, Helsinki University Central Hospital and
eElekta Neuromag Oy, Helsinki, Finland
Correspondence and requests for reprints to Patricia K. Kuhl, Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
Sponsorship: Funding was provided by an NIH grant to PKK (HD 37954), an NSF Science of Learning Center grant to the University of Washington, LIFE Center, the Talaris Research Institute, and the Apex Foundation, the family foundation of Bruce and Jolene McCaw.
Received 3 April 2006; accepted 18 April 2006
Disclaimer: The authors declare that they have no competing financial interests.