Brain and Music Group

Children and Music

We aim to shed light on atypical language development such as Specific Language Impairment (SLI) which will lead us to the design of new diagnostic tools or treatments.

Children and Music

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What is our project about?

This is a research project about language development with particular interest in language difficulties in children of pre-school age. Within this study we explore how the brain of the children processes sound sequences with frequent and less-frequent sounds. This is a very crucial process which occurs during language acquisition. However, the way the brain distinguishes frequent from less-frequent events is poorly understood. Therefore, to fill this gap, we will use a new paradigm to investigate and compare the processing of frequent and less-frequent sounds in preschool children with typical development and with specific language impairment with EEG. We will compare learning effects between children with typical and atypical language development and in particular, we will be able to identify dysfunctional brain processes in children with specific language impairment.

What we intend to achieve with this project?

Our aims are to bring a better understanding in the condition of children with specific language impairment and potentially identify early diagnosis methods and possible treatment methods.

Specific language impairment affects approximately 7% of children's population. Children with statistical language impairment "have difficulty acquiring and using language in the absence of hearing, intellectual, emotional, or neurological impairments" and show impaired implicit learning effects or auditory perceptual abilities. There is a notion that specific language impairment reflects an impairment of implicit learning which is crucial for language learning. Our study will contribute to this topic since our experiment presents auditory stimuli within an implicit learning task.

"There are good reasons to study SLI. First, of course, a better understanding of this type of deficit might lead to more accurate methods of identification and more effective methods of treatment. An increase in prevention, too, might be a long-term result of research."

Laurence B. Leonard, Professor in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University.

Can you participate in our study?

The criteria for the participation of your child in the study include:
- 4 to 5 years old
- no hearing problems
- no history of neurological or psychiatric disorder

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested or if you have any questions. We will be happy to answer you!