Language and Linguistics 'Brown Bag Lunch Talk': Week 3 with Dr Laurel Lawyer, University of Essex

"Overhearing: Assessing continuous speech processing in adults, normal hearing children, and children with cochlear implants"

  • Thu 18 Oct 18

    12:00 - 13:00

  • Colchester Campus


  • Event speaker

    Dr Laurel Lawyer, University of Essex

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Language and Linguistics Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Language and Linguistics, Department of

  • Contact details

We are releasing a brand new set of events called 'Brown Bag Lunch Talks' where our very own lecturers bring their research to an audience!

This week we have Dr Laurel Lawyer taking the stage to discuss what she has been researching recently!

Bring your own lunch along, 12-1pm, 1N.4.1: do not miss out!


We find ourselves surrounded by speech, and as listeners we are adept at 'tuning out' irrelevant information to focus only on the signals of interest.  However, we know that some elements of speech perception are automatic regardless of attention, for instance sensitivity to phonetically relevant contrasts (cf. Shtyrov, 2010).  In this talk, I will present data from a recent EEG paradigm investigating the degree to which unattended continuous speech is processed in adults, with particular focus on lexical and sentential processing. 

This provides a look into linguistic processes that may be selectively engaged for overheard speech, and which may also be important in typical language acquisition.  Indeed, overheard speech has been suggested as a useful source of information for the acquisition of single words (Akhtar, 2005) as well as higher-level functions such as narrative development (Blum-Kulka and Snow, 2002).  To address potential developmental aspects of overheard speech perception, I also present data from a longitudinal study which looks at whether the processing of unattended speech differs in normal hearing children, and in children with cochlear implants.


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