Speech Prosody 2006

Dresden, Germany
May 2-5, 2006

Development of the Brain Mechanism for Understanding Speakersí Intents from Speech

Satoshi Imaizumi (1), Yuki Noguchi (1), Midori Homma (1), Kazuko Yamasaki (1), Masaharu Maruishi (2), Hiroyuki Muranaka (2)

(1) Prefectural University of Hiroshima, Japan
(2) Hiroshima Prefectural Rehabilitation Center, Hiroshima, Japan

To clarify how the brain understands the speakerís mind for verbal acts, fMRI images obtained from 24 subjects and behavioral data obtained from 339 subjects were analyzed when they judged the linguistic meanings or emotional manners of spoken phrases. The target phrases had linguistically positive or negative meanings and were uttered warmheartedly or coldheartedly by a woman speaker. The results of the fMRI analyses suggest that neural resources responsible for the speakersí mind reading are distributed over the superior temporal sulci, inferior frontal regions, medial frontal regions and posterior cerebellum. The correct judgment of the speaker intentions significantly increased with age for the phrases with inconsistent linguistic and emotional valences. Female children showed faster development than male children. The neural mechanism to interpret speakerís real intensions from spoken phrases develops slowly during the school age.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Imaizumi, Satoshi / Noguchi, Yuki / Homma, Midori / Yamasaki, Kazuko / Maruishi, Masaharu / Muranaka, Hiroyuki (2006): "Development of the brain mechanism for understanding speakers≤ intents from speech", In SP-2006, paper 188.