When the environment is noisy, speech perception takes place in under-optimal listening conditions. Young adults with normal hearing are efficient at processing such a degraded speech signal thanks to efficient auditory and linguistic perceptual mechanisms. However, this perceptual robustness is only attained at the end of childhood. How do infants cope with noise in the very early phases of language acquisition? Do they rely on any of the factors that are at play in adulthood? Very little is known on these points.
In this project in collaboration with Irene Lorenzini (INCC), we aim at shading light on speech-in-noise perception in early infancy. Data acquisition will take place at the BabyLab INCC, where the participants (3-month-old infants) will undertake a procedure composed by: an EEG recording (electroencephalography measuring the Amplitude Modulation Following response) and a behavioral task (assessment of speech-in-noise perception as determined with the observer-based technique). Home recordings documenting the linguistic environment of the participants will also be carried out using the LENA system.