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Ph.D thesis (M/F) - From speech perception in babies to vocabulary acquisition in children

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Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : UMR7309-LAUPRE0-001
Workplace : AIX EN PROVENCE
Date of publication : Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Scientific Responsible name : Laurent Prévot
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

The Ph.D project entitled "From speech perception in babies to vocabulary acquisition in children" aims to determine how the development speech sound encoding influences the emergence of conceptual and lexical representations in babies. Therefore, this Ph.D falls within the fields of developmental neuroscience, neurolinguistics, and computational linguistics. Specifically, this project will (i) study the development of speech sound encoding and new word learning in a longitudinal manner using electrophysiological and behavioral measurements, and (ii) determine the information (phonological, lexical, syntactic, and prosodic) contained in daily parent-child interactions predicting the emergence of new words through the use of daily audio recordings from children environment.
Thanks to the development of innovative signal processing methods allowing to study cortical and sub-cortical activity in parallel combined with the analysis of parent-child interactions, this project will enable us to build an integrative neurodevelopmental and computational model of early linguistic functions.
The Ph.D. thesis will be organized around 3 main stages: 1) Collection of behavioural, electrophysiological and parent-child conversational data in 6-, 8-, 10-, and 24- months old infants; 2) identification of behavioural and electrophysiological markers of speech perception and new word learning using innovative signal processing methods (phase-amplitude coupling; connectivity); and 3) creation of an integrative neurodevelopmental and computational model of early linguistic functions.

Work Context

The Ph.D. is funded by a 3-year doctoral contract in the context of the CNRS call for projects “80 PRIME”. The funding will ensure the acquisition of a laptop for the Ph.D. student, professional travels for training and international conferences. The candidate will be fluent in French and wil join the "Representations and Dynamics" team (co-directed by Chotiga Pattamadilok and Yohann Meynadier) of the Laboratoire Parole et Langage, and the project will be carried out under the direction of Clément François and Laurent Prévot in collaboration with two research laboratories of Aix Marseille University: the LIS and the LPC. The candidate will enroll in the doctoral school 356 "Cognition, Language, Education". The babylab of the H2C2 platform located on the same campus as the Babilou nursery in Aix-en-Provence will be used.
The student's office will be located at the Laboratoire Parole et Langage but a significant amount of work will take place at the data collection sites: in particular, the Babilou crèche in Aix-en-Provence.
Finally, regular meetings in Marseille are planned with the CoCoDev (Computational Communication and Development) project team recently created at the ILCB (Institute of Language, Communication and the Brain).

Additional Information

Ph.D. grant, call CNRS 80 PRIME

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