Chris Heffner · PLASTIC: Protophoneticians in a Longitudinal Assessment of Some Trends Involving Cortices
Sometimes off-topic asides during classes lead to ridiculous ideas. This is such a time. Golestani et al. (2011) found that, unsurprisingly, expert phoneticians are weird. In this case, the weirdness in question is in terms of brain morphology. Expert phoneticians are more likely to have more or modified gyri in auditory cortex, and size of pars opercularis is positively correlated with phonetics experience. However, despite attempts in the paper to determine whether each difference between phoneticians and non-phoneticians is due to experience or inborn features, nothing does better to address such questions than a longitudinal study. Today I will lead people to question my sanity by proposing a ridiculously convoluted longitudinal study that involves GPAs, Heschl's gyri, and everyone's favorite vowels, the Turkish kind.