Rhythmic Priming Enhances Speech Production Abilities: Evidence From Prelingually Deaf Children

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Abstract

Objective:

Following recent findings that rhythmic priming can enhance speech perception, the aim of this experiment was to investigate whether this extends to speech production.

Method:

The authors measured the influence of rhythmic priming on phonological production abilities in 14 hearing impaired children with hearing devices. Children had to repeat sentences that were or were not preceded by a rhythmical prime. In addition, this rhythmic prime either matched or mismatched the meter (i.e., stress contrasts) of the sentence.

Results:

Matching conditions resulted in a greater phonological accuracy of spoken sentences compared to baseline and mismatching conditions. Cochlear implant users were also more sensitive to rhythmic priming than hearing aid users.

Conclusions:

These results suggest that musical rhythmic priming can enhance phonological production in HI children via an enhanced perception of the target sentence. Overall, these findings suggest that musical rhythm engages domain-general expectations which can enhance both in perception and production of speech.

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