Developmental changes in mismatch responses to Mandarin consonants and lexical tones from early to middle childhood

Huei Mei Liu, Yuchun Chen, Feng Ming Tsao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to use mismatch responses (MMRs) to explore the dynamic changes of Mandarin speech perception abilities from early to middle childhood. Twenty preschoolers, 18 school-aged children, and 26 adults participated in this study. Two sets of synthesized speech stimuli varying in Mandarin consonant (alveolo-palatal affricate vs. fricative) and lexical tone features (rising vs. contour tone) were used to examine the developmental course of speech perception abilities. The results indicated that only the adult group demonstrated typical early mismatch negativity (MMN) responses, suggesting that the ability to discriminate specific speech cues in Mandarin consonant and lexical tone is a continuing process in preschool- and school-aged children. Additionally, distinct MMR patterns provided evidence indicating diverse developmental courses to different speech characteristics. By incorporating data from the two speech conditions, we propose using MMR profiles consisting of mismatch negativity (MMN), positive mismatch response (p-MMR), and late discriminative negativity (LDN) as possible brain indices to investigate speech perception development.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere95587
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Apr 22

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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