January 2013: Listen up! CBU researchers at the Science Museum in London
What’s the difference between a bear and a pear? Knowing which one is hiding at the bottom of your fruit bowl is clearly important in everyday life! Being able to hear the small acoustic differences between spoken words is just as important. Listeners need to distinguish between the sounds in these words to understand speech. Although hearing the difference feels easy and effortless in your native language it can be very difficult to hear similar differences between spoken words in a second language; particularly if you learn that language in adulthood.
In order to learn more about the listening skills that children and adults use in understanding speech, a group of MRC scientists led by Matt Davis and Sam Evans will be running simple tests of speech perception at the Science Museum in London. The experiment will be set-up every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday in the “Who Am I” gallery of the museum between the 16th January and 30th March 2013. Museum visitors can do a simple listening test to assess their ability to hear small differences between spoken words. They will also learn about how CBU scientists use Magnetic Resonance Imaging and other methods to study what goes on in the brain and in the mouth when people are speaking and listening.
You can read more about this project here.