Cendra Agulhon



Streaming by ZOOM


29 Mar 2021


11 h 00 min - 12 h 00 min


INCC Seminar Series

Interaction between auditory and speech processing during early development, by Laurianne Cabrera

Summary:  Interaction between auditory and speech processing during early development

Learning a language requires to identify the acoustic properties of the speech signal that have a functional role. The signal of speech is a highly complex acoustic signal, whose spectral and temporal properties convey linguistic information: phonetic information such as consonants and vowels, and melody, like intonation and rhythm.

Despite the long maturation of the auditory structures, infants show a remarkable capacity to rapidly and efficiently learn what acoustic information is important for their native language(s). How is such an immature auditory system able to process such highly complex acoustic information in speech?

We are now fully aware that during the first year of life perceptual mechanisms for speech evolve under the influence of the environmental language. However, the nature of these mechanisms that are shaped by the exposure to a language is still undetermined. In a series of experimental studies, we explored the role of the auditory mechanisms in this perceptual attunement for the native language.

For this purpose, we used a psychoacoustic model describing how the auditory system extracts the spectral and temporal modulation components of the speech signal. Using this auditory approach, we explored how infants rely on the spectro-temporal modulations of speech to make phonetic distinctions.

We used behavioural techniques between 6 months and 10 months of age to investigate how exposure to the native language influences this processing. We also used neuroimaging techniques, combining electroencephalography and optical imaging, with neonates to explore how the brain is processing the spectro-temporal components of speech when infants have yet limited experience with the auditory world.

Investigating speech perceptual organization from an auditory perspective will add to our understanding of how the auditory system analyses and organizes the acoustic information of speech sounds during development.

Short Biography:

Laurianne Cabrera is a CNRS Researcher at the INCC since 2017 in Paris. She works in the Language and Cognition Team at the INCC BabyLab.

Her main research interest concerns the relationship between audition and speech perception during development. She uses a psychoacoustical approach describing the acoustic components of the speech signal to understand how babies, children and adults perceive speech sounds and acquire a language. She uses both behavioral and brain imaging techniques (EEG and fNIRS) to explore the effect of age, native language and hearing loss on the processing of speech acoustic cues.


2010-2013 PhD in Cognitive Psychology (Paris, France)

2014 Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Infant Hearing Lab, (Seattle, USA)

2015 Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception (Paris, France)

2015-2017 Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow (Individual Fellowship) at the Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences, UCL (London, UK)

To join the Zoom meeting:

ID of the ZOOM meeting : 827 2514 1616

Code: 335977