Handbook of Language and Literacy Development - a Roadmap from 0 to 60 Months

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glossary

Auditory Development (0-60 Months)click to print Print

absolute auditory thresholds – the minimum level of a sound that can be detected when the sound is presented in quiet.

acoustic – pertaining to sound, the sense of hearing or the science of sound.

amplitude modulation – changes in the amplitude of a carrier sound as a function of time.

audiologist – a health care professional who is trained to evaluate hearing loss and related disorders.

audiology – the study of hearing.

auditory brainstem response – a test that can be used to assess hearing in infants and young children using electrodes attached to the head to record electrical activity from the hearing nerve.

auditory perception – ability to identify, interpret, and attach meaning to sound.

central auditory system – the neural stages of the auditory system that come after the peripheral auditory system.

cochlea – (also called the inner ear) – A snail-shaped structure that contains the sensory organ of hearing.

conditioned play audiometry (CPA) – a test of hearing in which the child is taught to respond when a sound is heard by playing some type of game. For example, the child might be taught to put a block in a bucket every time a sound is heard.

decibel – the unit that measures the intensity or loudness of sound

detection – the ability to sense the presence of a sound..

discrimination – the ability to distinguish between sounds.

electrophysiological potentials – (auditory) the brain's electrical response to auditory stimuli.

formant transition – Formants are peaks in the amplitude spectrum of speech sounds. As the articulators move from the position required to produce one sound (e.g., a consonant) to the position required to produce another (e.g., a vowel), the frequency of the formants gradually changes, creating a formant transition. The direction and extent of the formant transition provide information about the identity of speech sounds.

frequency – the unit of measurement that is related to the pitch of a sound, measured in Hertz (Hz).

infant-directed speech – (also known as child-directed speech, baby talk) – a way of talking that uses higher, more variable pitch and exaggerated stress compared to speech directed to other adults or older children.

inner ear – the part of the ear that contains the organ of hearing (the cochlea) and the organ of balance.

intensity – the unit of measurement that is related to the loudness of a sound, measured in decibels (dB).

in utero – before birth, in the uterus.

localization – determining the location of a sound source.

middle ear – the part of the ear that includes the eardrum and the three ossicles (tiny bones).

Moro reflex – a startle reflex of young infants in which a sudden loud noise causes the infant to stretch their arms and flex their legs.

noise – any unwanted sound.

operant conditioning – a process by which a desired behavior is encouraged through positive reinforcement. Over time, the reinforcement and behavior become associated.

peripheral auditory system – the early stages of the auditory nervous system.

phoneme – the smallest phonetic unit of speech that is capable of conveying a distinction in meaning (for example, the “m” in mom).

reinforcer – a reward that maintains or strengthens a desired response.

reverberation – the persistence of sound in an enclosed space that results from multiple reflections after the sound source has stopped.

spectra – the frequency and magnitude distributions of sound waves.

temporal resolution – the precision of hearing with respect to time.