Special Lecture: "Musical Rhythm and Language Development"

Special Lecture: "Musical Rhythm and Language Development"

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Special Lecture: Musical Rhythm and Language Development

Thursday, Nov. 13, 4:10 p.m.
Room 241, Kennedy Center/One Magnolia Circle

J. Devin McAuley, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
Director, Interdisciplinary Cognitive Science Program
Michigan State University

The importance of rhythmic ability for normal development of language skills, in speech and in print, is increasingly well-documented. The broad range of neurodevelopmental disorders that implicate rhythm and/or temporal processing as a core deficit is indeed quite striking. These include developmental stuttering, developmental dyslexia, and specific language impairment (SLI), among others. Although rhythm appears to play a central role in normal language development, the specific nature of rhythm and/or temporal processing deficits in different language disorders is not yet clear. In the domain of developmental stuttering, an intriguing fact is that individuals who stutter are fluent when singing, or speaking in synchrony with an external pacing mechanism such as a metronome. These clinical findings suggest that people who stutter may have a core neural deficit in rhythm processing that is reduced with external rhythmic support. This talk will describe research from McAuley's group investigating rhythm processing in developmental stuttering, where they have combined behavioral and neuroimaging studies of rhythm perception in children with parallel studies in songbirds, which under controlled conditions can be induced to stutter. Findings support the hypothesis that developmental stuttering involves a core deficit in rhythm perception. Implications for development of novel rhythm-based interventions will be discussed.

Given in conjunction with the biennial meeting of the Society of Music Perception & Cognition, scheduled for Aug. 1-5, 2015, at Vanderbilt University. http://vkc.mc.vanderbilt.edu/smpc2015/

Last Updated: 11/13/2014 5:08:38 PM

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