Assessing cerebral representations of short and long vowel categories by NIRS

Yasuyo Minagawa-Kawai, Koichi Mori, Izumi Furuya, Ryoko Hayashi, Yutaka Sato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


The present study examined cerebral representations of Japanese long and short vowel categories with near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) by measuring the hemodynamic changes. Results showed that NIRS could capture phoneme-specific information. The left side of the auditory area showed large hemodynamic changes only for contrasting stimuli between which the phonemic boundary was estimated, but not for stimuli differing by an equal duration but belonging to the same phoneme category. Left dominance in phoneme processing was also confirmed for the across-category stimuli. These findings indicate that the Japanese vowel contrast based only on duration differences is dealt with in the same language-dominant hemisphere as other spectrally varying phonemic categories, and that the cortical activities related to its processing can be detected with NIRS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-584
Number of pages4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Apr 16
Externally publishedYes


  • Categorical perception
  • Long and short vowels
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Phoneme perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing cerebral representations of short and long vowel categories by NIRS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this