Yang Zhang

Yang Zhang
University of Minnesota Twin Cities | UMN · Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences

Ph.D.

About

167
Publications
37,755
Reads
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1,918
Citations
Citations since 2016
115 Research Items
1350 Citations
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Introduction
Yang Zhang, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences and Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He specializes in speech perception and production, developmental psychology, and the social, emotional and cognitive foundations that support neural commitment and plasticity in auditory and visual domains.
Additional affiliations
July 2006 - August 2008
Tokyo Denki University
Position
  • Professor
August 2005 - November 2022
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • https://zhanglab.wikidot.com/
June 1999 - May 2001
NTT Communication Science Laboratories
Position
  • Overseas Trainee
Description
  • http://www.brl.ntt.co.jp/cs/human/

Publications

Publications (167)
Chapter
Full-text available
English as a second language (ESL) education has gained an increasingly important role in career development in science, business, and industry on the global stage. One great challenge for adult ESL learners is to reduce or eliminate “foreign accent” in their English pronunciation. Decades of behavioral and brain research have shown that language e...
Article
Full-text available
Lay abstract: Differences in understanding others' emotions and attitudes through features in speech (e.g. intonation) have been observed in individuals with autism spectrum conditions, which contribute greatly to their social communication challenges. However, some studies reported that individuals with autism spectrum condition performed compara...
Article
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The presence of vowel exaggeration in infant‐directed speech (IDS) may adapt to the age‐appropriate demands in speech and language acquisition. Previous studies have provided behavioral evidence of atypical auditory processing towards IDS in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), while the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms remain unk...
Article
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The current investigation adopted high variability phonetic training with additional audiovisual input and adaptive acoustic exaggeration to examine the role of talker variability. Sixty native Chinese-speaking adults were randomly assigned to a multiple-talker (MT) training group, a single-talker (ST) training group, and a control (CTRL) group wit...
Article
Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate infants' listening preference for emotional prosodies in spoken words and identify their acoustic correlates. Method Forty-six 3- to-12-month-old infants ( M age = 7.6 months) completed a central fixation (or look-to-listen) paradigm in which four emotional prosodies (happy, sad, angry, and neutral)...
Article
In response to uncovering brain mechanisms underlying vocal communication and searching for biomarkers for mental illnesses, speech prosody has been increasingly studied in recent years in multiple disciplines, including psycholinguistics. In this article, we provide an up-to-date synthesis of the theoretical foundation and empirical evidence to pr...
Article
Chinese developmental dyslexia (DD) research provides important insights into the language-universal and language-specific mechanisms underlying dyslexia. In this article, we review recent advances in Chinese DD. Converging behavioral evidence suggests that, while phonological and rapid automatized naming deficits are language universal, orthograph...
Article
Purpose: Pitch plays an important role in auditory perception of music and language. This study provides a systematic review with meta-analysis to investigate whether individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have enhanced pitch processing ability and to identify the potential factors associated with processing differences between ASD and neu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Talker variability has been reported to facilitate generalization and retention of speech learning, but is also shown to place demands on cognitive resources. Our recent study provided evidence that phonetically-irrelevant acoustic variability in single-talker (ST) speech is sufficient to induce equivalent amounts of learning to the use of multiple...
Preprint
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Objectives: Although pitch reception poses a great challenge for individuals with cochlear implants (CIs), formal auditory training (e.g., high variability phonetic training, HVPT) has been shown to provide direct benefits in pitch-related perceptual performances such as lexical tone recognition for CI users. As lexical tones in spoken language are...
Preprint
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Purpose: This study aimed to examine how aging and modifications of critical acoustic parameters may affect the perception of whispered speech as a degraded signal. Method: Forty Mandarin-speaking adults were included in the study. Part 1 of the study compared the perception of Mandarin lexical tones, vowels, and syllables in older and younger adul...
Preprint
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How language mediates emotional perception and experience is poorly understood. The present event-related potential (ERP) study examined the explicit and implicit processing of emotional speech to differentiate the relative influences of communication channel, emotion category and task type in the prosodic salience effect. Thirty participants (15 w...
Article
Purpose Cochlear implants (CIs) provide significant benefits for profoundly deaf children in their language and cognitive development. However, it remains unclear whether Mandarin-speaking young children with early implantation can develop age-equivalent phonological awareness (PA) skill and working memory (WM) capacity as their normal hearing (NH)...
Article
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Children with autism often show atypical brain lateralization for speech and language processing, however, it is unclear what linguistic component contributes to this phenomenon. Here we measured event-related potential (ERP) responses in 21 school-age autistic children and 25 age-matched neurotypical (NT) peers during listening to word-level proso...
Article
Purpose: Systematic review and meta-analysis are regarded as standard and valuable tools for providing an objective and reproducible synthesis of research findings in the literature. Their increasing popularity has led to heightened expectations for comprehensiveness and rigor in conducting scientific reviews and analyses. The purpose of this tuto...
Preprint
Purpose: Pitch plays an important role in auditory perception of music and language. This study provides a systematic review with meta-analysis to investigate whether individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have enhanced pitch processing ability and identify the potential factors associated with processing differences between ASD and neurot...
Article
Full-text available
The worldwide rising trend of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) calls for innovative and efficacious techniques for assessment and treatment. Virtual reality (VR) technology gains support from rehabilitation and pedagogical theories and offers a variety of capabilities in educational and interventional contexts with affordable products. VR is attracti...
Article
No PDF available ABSTRACT Prelinguallydeafened Mandarin-speaking children with cochlear implants (CI) encounter a significant challenge in perceiving lexical tones accurately due to their limited language experience and insufficient pitch information provided by CI devices. To facilitate their tonal perception, we examined the role of pitch gesture...
Article
No PDF available ABSTRACT This study examined how talker gender information may influence second language speech perception. The participants were ten right-handed male Japanese adults with normal hearing. The speech stimuli were two minimal pairs of English words, “heed-hod” and “head-had”, recorded from twenty male and twenty female native Englis...
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No PDF available ABSTRACT This study investigated the efficacy of a modified high variability phonetic training (HVPT) protocol in second language learning. The target Mandarin lexical tones in the training stimuli were acoustically exaggerated at four levels in terms of duration, pitch range, and pitch contour. Seven audiovisual perceptual trainin...
Article
Purpose Numerous studies have identified individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with deficits in unichannel emotion perception and multisensory integration. However, only limited research is available on multichannel emotion perception in ASD. The purpose of this review was to seek conceptual clarification, identify knowledge gaps, and sug...
Preprint
Virtual reality (VR) technology gains theoretical support from rehabilitation and pedagogical theories and offers a variety of capabilities in educational and interventional contexts with affordable products. VR is attracting increasing attention in the medical and healthcare industry as it provides fully interactive three-dimensional simulations o...
Article
Purpose High-variability phonetic training (HVPT) has been found to be effective on adult second language (L2) learning, but results are mixed in regards to the benefit of multiple talkers over single talker. This study provides a systematic review with meta-analysis to investigate the talker variability effect in nonnative phonetic learning and th...
Article
Purpose Although acquisition of Chinese lexical tones by second language (L2) learners has been intensively investigated, very few studies focused on categorical perception (CP) of lexical tones by highly proficient L2 learners. This study was designed to address this issue with behavioral and electrophysiological measures. Method Behavioral ident...
Article
Purpose This study aimed to examine whether abstract knowledge of word-level linguistic prosody is independent of or integrated with phonetic knowledge. Method Event-related potential (ERP) responses were measured from 18 adult listeners while they listened to native and nonnative word-level prosody in speech and in nonspeech. The prosodic phonolo...
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No PDF available ABSTRACT Emotional prosody is crucial in early communication, but the developmental trend and the emergence of sex differences in infants’ emotional processing remain unclear. This report compared 46 infants’ behavioral and neurophysiological responses to four vocal emotions (happy, angry, sad, and neutral). We used a central fixat...
Article
No PDF available ABSTRACT The “Perceptual Magnet Effect” (PME) is characterized by perceptual warping in favor of stronger assimilation near the prototypical sound against other nonprotypical variants. This ERP study adopted a modified oddball paradigm to examine the PME predictions. The participants were 18 normal adults. The stimuli were computer...
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No PDF available ABSTRACT The present study employed electrophysiological and behavioral measures to examine the modulatory effects of communication channels, emotion categories and attentional requirements on the timing, neural oscillatory activities and behavioral performances of emotional speech processing. Thirty participants (15 women and 15 m...
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No PDF available ABSTRACT Our recent training study demonstrated that acoustic variability, independent of talker variability, promotes nonnative phonetic learning with an enhanced audiovisual adaptive protocol of high variability phonetic training (HVPT). In this follow-up study, we further investigated how cognitive factors may contribute to the...
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CONFERENCE ABSTRACT Human speech contains not only the linguistic content but also important information about speaker identity and affect. This study employed whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) to examine how brain activities were modulated by selective listening of phoneme, affect and gender information with different degrees of task diffic...
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Purpose This study aimed to examine the Stroop effects of verbal and nonverbal cues and their relative impacts on gender differences in unisensory and multisensory emotion perception. Method Experiment 1 investigated how well 88 normal Chinese adults (43 women and 45 men) could identify emotions conveyed through face, prosody and semantics as thre...
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Purpose The nature of gender differences in emotion processing has remained unclear due to the discrepancies in existing literature. This study examined the modulatory effects of emotion categories and communication channels on gender differences in verbal and nonverbal emotion perception. Method Eighty-eight participants (43 females and 45 males)...
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Theories of reading comprehension emphasize decoding and listening comprehension as two essential components. The current study aimed to investigate how Chinese character decoding and context-driven auditory semantic integration contribute to reading comprehension in Chinese middle school students. Seventy-five middle school students were tested. C...
Preprint
Full-text available
Theories of reading comprehension emphasize decoding and listening comprehension as two essential components. The current study aimed to investigate how Chinese character decoding and context-driven auditory semantic integration contribute to reading comprehension in Chinese middle school students. Seventy-five middle school students were tested. C...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Lexical tone perception is known to be persistently difficult for individuals with cochlear implants (CIs). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of high-variability phonetic training (HVPT) in improving Mandarin tone perception for native-speaking children with CIs. Method A total of 28 Mandarin-speaking pediatric CI reci...
Article
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The current study compared the language-familiarity effect on voice recognition by blind listeners and sighted individuals. Both groups performed better on the recognition of native voices than nonnative voices, but the language-familiarity effect is smaller in the blind than in the sighted group, with blind individuals performing better than their...
Article
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Compared with the large number of studies on reading of children with hearing loss (HL) in alphabetic languages, there are only a very limited number of studies on reading of Chinese-speaking children with HL. It remains unclear how phonological, orthographic, and semantic skills contribute to reading fluency of Chinese school-age children with HL....
Article
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Previous work has shown that children with dyslexia are impaired in speech recognition in adverse listening conditions. Our study further examined how semantic context and fundamental frequency (F0) contours contribute to word recognition against interfering speech in dyslexic and non-dyslexic children. Thirty-two children with dyslexia and 35 chro...
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Purpose Pitch reception poses challenges for individuals with cochlear implants (CIs), and adding a hearing aid (HA) in the nonimplanted ear is potentially beneficial. The current study used fine-scale synthetic speech stimuli to investigate the bimodal benefit for lexical tone categorization in Mandarin-speaking kindergarteners using a CI and an H...
Article
No PDF available ABSTRACT Emotional prosody is an important social cue that conveys the speaker's intention. Proper recognition of emotional prosody facilitates the interpretation of spoken language. Previous event-related potential (ERP) studies successfully documented an early negative (mismatch negativity, MMN) and a later positive (P3a) involun...
Article
No PDF available ABSTRACT Prosodic aspects of speech are considered more salient than linguistic features in prenatal listening environment. The literature on early prosodic speech perception has been largely focused on the role of infant-directed speech in language development. While emotional prosody is also ubiquitous and contains diverse social...
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The current study examined whether the blind are superior to sighted listeners in voice recognition. Three subject groups, including 17 congenitally blind, 18 late blind, and 18 sighted, showed no significant differences in the immediate voice recognition test. In the delayed test conducted two weeks later, however, both congenitally blind and late...
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Purpose: Spoken language is inherently multimodal and multidimensional in natural settings, but very little is known about how second language (L2) learners undertake multilayered speech signals with both phonetic and affective cues. This study investigated how late L2 learners undertake parallel processing of linguistic and affective information i...
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This electrophysiological study investigated the role of the medial olivocochlear (MOC) efferents in listening in noise. Both ears of eleven normal-hearing adult participants were tested. The physiological tests consisted of transient-evoked otoacoustic emission (TEOAE) inhibition and the measurement of cortical event-related potentials (ERPs). The...
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Multisensory integration (MSI) of emotion has been increasingly recognized as an essential element of schizophrenic patients’ impairments, leading to the breakdown of their interpersonal functioning. The present review provides an updated synopsis of schizophrenics’ MSI abilities in emotion processing by examining relevant behavioral and neurologic...
Article
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This study used the Musical Ear Test [Wallentin, Nielsen, Friis-Olivarius, Vuust, and Vuust (2010). Learn. Indiv. Diff. 20, 188–196] to compare musical aptitude of native Japanese and Chinese speakers. Although the two groups had similar overall accuracy, they showed significant differences in subtest performance. Specifically, the Chinese speakers...
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Background: Cortical auditory event-related potentials are a potentially useful clinical tool to objectively assess speech outcomes with rehabilitative devices. Whether hearing aids reliably encode the spectrotemporal characteristics of fricative stimuli in different phonological contexts and whether these differences result in distinct neural resp...