Prosodic processing by children: An fMRI study

Elena Plante, Scott K. Holland, Vince J. Schmithorst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Prosodic information in the speech signal carries information about linguistic structure as well as emotional content. Although children are known to use prosodic information from infancy onward to assist linguistic decoding, the brain correlates of this skill in childhood have not yet been the subject of study. Brain activation associated with processing of linguistic prosody was examined in a study of 284 normally developing children between the ages of 5 and 18 years. Children listened to low-pass filtered sentences and were asked to detect those that matched a target sentence. fMRI scanning revealed multiple regions of activation that predicted behavioral performance, independent of age-related changes in activation. Likewise, age-related changes in task activation were found that were independent of differences in task accuracy. The overall pattern of activation is interpreted in light of task demands and factors that may underlie age-related changes in task performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-342
Number of pages11
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Brain
  • Children
  • Language
  • Prosody
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing


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