On the early neural perceptual integrality of tones and vowels

Tsun Man William CHOI, Xiuli TONG, Feng GU, Xiuhong TONG, Lena WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The current study adopted the MMN additivity approach to examine the pre-attentive perceptual integration of vowels and tones. Twenty Cantonese listeners participated in the ERP experiment. Using the passive oddball paradigm, we elicited tone-MMN, vowel-MMN and double-MMN in the speech condition; and fundamental frequency-MMN, formant frequency-MMN and double-MMN in the non-speech condition. In both conditions, the double-MMNs were significantly smaller in amplitude than the sum of single feature MMNs. Morphological comparisons showed no significant difference in the latency and topographic patterns between vowel-MMN and tone-MMN, and marginal significant differences between formant frequency-MMN and fundamental frequency-MMN. Collectively, results reflect the perceptual integration of tones and vowels at the phonological level, and partial integration of fundamental frequency and formant frequency at the auditory level. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-23
JournalJournal of Neurolinguistics
Early online dateSept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


Choi, W., Tong, X., Gu, F., Tong, X., & Wong, L. (2017). On the early neural perceptual integrality of tones and vowels. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 41, 11-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroling.2016.09.003


  • Vowel
  • Tone
  • Perception
  • Integral processing
  • MMN
  • MMN additivity
  • TTRACE model


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