PSYC Seminar: “Listening with an Accent: Perceptual Flexibility in Language Use,” Alba Tuninetti (MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour, and Development Western Sydney University), H-232, 12:40PM March 6 (EN)

Alba Tuninetti
MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour, and Development WesternSydney University

“Listening with an accent: Perceptual flexibility in language use”
Processing and understanding language are complex tasks, perpetually influenced by experience and biases we bring to the table. My research deploys a combination of behavioural and neural methods, EEG in particular, to examine how perceptual experience over the lifespan shapes and is shaped by our language environment. This talk will focus on several speech adaptation and speech training studies, carried out with adult participants (bilingual and monolingual), as well as infants. Three main conclusions can be drawn from the results of these experiments: (a) in adults, neural sensitivity to speech variability is different than behavioural sensitivity; (b) this difference between neural and behavioural sensitivity may arise during infancy, as a function of developmental biases; and (c) learning another language actively reshapes our perceptual frameworks. Implications for these results will be discussed, including how they may be applied outside of the laboratory environment, as well as the necessity of continuing to examine the influence of perceptual frameworks in understudied and remote communities.

Alba Tuninetti is a researcher at the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour & Development at Western Sydney University, and a member of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. Her work focuses on speech perception, second language learning, and bilingualism across the lifespan. Using behavioural and neural methods, she examines how variability in speech shapes and is shaped by the perceptual frameworks and biases humans bring to language processing and understanding.

DATE : Wednesday, 6 Mart 2019
TIME : 12.40-13.30
ROOM : H 232