A1 Journal article (refereed)
Brain event-related potentials to phoneme contrasts and their correlation to reading skills in school-age children (2018)

Hämäläinen, J., Landi, N., Loberg, O., Lohvansuu, K., Pugh, K., & Leppänen, P. H. (2018). Brain event-related potentials to phoneme contrasts and their correlation to reading skills in school-age children. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 42(3), 357-372. https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025417728582

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsHämäläinen, Jarmo; Landi, Nicole; Loberg, Otto; Lohvansuu, Kaisa; Pugh, Kenneth; Leppänen, Paavo H.T.

Journal or seriesInternational Journal of Behavioral Development



Publication year2018


Issue number3

Pages range357-372

PublisherSage Publications Ltd.

Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open access

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/57833


Development of reading skills has been shown to be tightly linked to phonological processing skills and to some extent to speech perception abilities. Although speech perception is also known to play a role in reading development, it is not clear which processes underlie this connection. Using event-related potentials (ERPs) we investigated the speech processing mechanisms for common and uncommon sound contrasts (/ba/-/da/-/ga/ and /ata/-/at: a/) with respect to the native language of school-age children in Finland and the US. In addition, a comprehensive behavioral test battery of reading and phonological processing was administered. ERPs revealed that the children could discriminate between the speech sound contrasts (place of articulation and phoneme length) regardless of their native language. No differences emerged between the Finnish and US children in their change detection responses. The brain responses to the phoneme length contrast, however, correlated robustly with reading scores in the US children, with larger responses being linked to poorer reading skills. Finnish children also showed correlations between the reading and phonological measures and ERP responses, but the pattern of results was not as clear as for the US children. The results indicate that speech perception is linked to reading skills and this link is more robust for uncommon speech sound contrasts.

Keywordsreadingdyslexialiteracyreading disordersphonologyEEG

Free keywordschildren; cross-linguistic; event-related potentials; speech

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Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2018

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-08-01 at 15:40