McGill Logo A new research conducted at McGill University claims that rising mastery of oral fluency could be co-coordinated by augmented capability to differentiate diverse speech sounds.

The researchers apparently verified that learning to talk may in fact alter the way we hear speech sounds.

McGill scientists Sazzad Nasir and David Ostry, Department of Psychology, apparently demonstrated that agility in sensory and motor systems could be connected. As a child learns to talk or an adult studies a new language, speech motor learning could influence the auditory processing of speech sounds.

The research included about 44 young adults. Nasir and Ostry apparently created speech learning via a robotic device that brought up a slight variation in the movement path of the jaw during speech. They supposedly discovered that over time, participants increasingly corrected for the disarticulation and generated movements that approached those observed generally. The researchers also discovered that speech motor learning apparently changed the take of speech sounds. Control subjects supposedly did not exhibit this result.

Ostry commented, “Our work proves that people hear the speech sounds differently after motor learning. This confirms speech learning affects not only the motor system but actually changes sensory function.”

He added that learning to talk makes it easier to understand the speech of others.

The research was published in the upcoming journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).