1. To what extent does auditory time perception contribute to phonemic differentiation and prosodic recognition in healthy individuals?
2. How do impairments in time perception affect phonemic differentiation and prosodic recognition in schizophrenia?
Language and social cognitive impairment figure prominently in schizophrenia psychopathology and are linked to both positive as well as negative symptoms. Both language and social cognition are complex neurocognitive processes. A powerful approach to understanding them comes by fractionating these processes into a series of sub processes. Research by us and others point to systemic sensory perceptual dysfunction in schizophrenia: We have been able to demonstrate how core auditory perceptual deficits of features such as pitch predict vocal emotion perception (prosody) deficits. Here, we explore how core deficiencies in the perception of time, can contribute to core language dysfunction; specifically the perception of phonemes – the atomic unit of speech, prosodic dysfunction.
This project is being done in coordination with Dr. Georgia Zellou.
•Cues that distinguish phonemes are established at a young age. The inability to correctly identify phonemes or direct attention to the proper cues could therefore be present far before the disorder itself manifests. Thus, examination of phonemic distinctions could aid in the identification of at-risk children, where early intervention is key.
•Additionally, cognitive remediation in these areas could improve overall social-cognitive functioning.