Magnetic brain responses to speech sounds were measured in 10 healthy neonates. The stimulation consisted of a frequent vowel sound [a:] with a steady pitch contour, which was occasionally replaced by the vowel [i:] with a steady pitch, or the vowel [a:] with a rising pitch, manifesting a change of intonation.The magnetic mismatch-negativity response (MMNm) was obtained and successfully modelled to the speech sound quality change in all infants and to the intonation change in 6 infants. The present results indicate that auditory-cortex speech-sound discrimination may well be studied with magnetic recordings as early as in newborn infants.
- Mismatch negativity
- Speech sound