Presentation by Dr. Douglas Shiller
Exploring sensory-motor relationships in children’s speech production
Abstract: The first several years of a child’s life are characterized by dramatic improvements in speaking ability, typically progressing from simple babble to intelligible speech by age four. While these developmental changes in speaking ability have been well documented, the sensory and motor processes upon which they are based remain poorly understood. In current models of speech development, a child’s perception of their own speech acoustic output (auditory feedback) is presumed to play a critical role by providing information about speech outcomes that is used to improve the planning of oral speech movements. Surprisingly, few studies have directly investigated children’s use of auditory feedback during speech production, in large part because of limitations in available research methods. Utilizing recently developed techniques for the real-time manipulation of speech auditory feedback, my colleagues and I have begun to explore the role of auditory feedback in children’s speech development by focusing directly on its role in speech motor learning. In this talk, I will describe a number of recent studies that have examined the extent to which children use auditory-feedback to improve the quality of their speech output, and how this capacity may be tied to the development of more basic auditory-perceptual and oral-motor skills.
Bio: Douglas Shiller is Assistant Professor in the School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at the University of Montreal and a researcher at the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre. His research interests lie in the area of speech production and perception, with a current focus on the role of auditory input in the development and control of speech production in healthy and disordered populations.