15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Cerebro-Cerebellar Connectivity Implicated with Perceptual Learning of the English /r-l/ Phonetic Contrast by Native Japanese Speakers

Daniel E. Callan, Reiko Akahane-Yamada

ATR-HIS, Japan

This study investigates the pattern of cerebro-cerebellar functional connectivity implicated with both processing and learning of the English /r-l/ phonetic contrast by native Japanese speakers. The data used in the study was from fMRI recordings of nine Japanese individuals during a /r-l/ phoneme identification task both before and after one month of feedback-based perceptual identification training. Activity patterns in the right and left cerebellum related to contrasts of interest were determined by independent component analysis. Functional networks were identified via "seed-voxel PLS," showing significant covariation between bilateral cortical speech regions and the pattern of activity identified in 1) the right cerebellum - reflecting processes present both before and after training, and 2) the left cerebellum - reflecting processes related to learning of the phonetic contrast. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that cerebro-cerebellar connectivity may facilitate /r-l/ identification performance by establishing auditory-articulatory representational mappings that constrain perception.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Callan, Daniel E. / Akahane-Yamada, Reiko (2003): "Cerebro-cerebellar connectivity implicated with perceptual learning of the English /r-l/ phonetic contrast by native Japanese speakers", In ICPhS-15, 2533-2536.