From mouth to ear: effects of sensorimotor maturity in phonological development
While there are many ways that living organisms interact and communicate, speech really sets humans apart. Phonology is the study of the sound patterns in a language and of their organisation in the brain. As to speech development, anyone who has been close to a developing infant is familiar with a progression from cooing, to babbling, to the first meaningful words. In a developmental perspective, phonology studies how the system of speech sounds is set in the infant mind. The EU-funded project INCODE is investigating phonological development in infants by asking whether the maturation of the sensorimotor system plays a relevant role in this process. While former research has revealed that sensorimotor information is recruited in speech processing from early on, it is now necessary to understand the functional role of this phenomenon.