This grant supports the Independent Phase of an NIH Pathway to Independence Career Development Award. The aim of this research is to reveal the fundamental mechanisms that underlie comprehension of spoken language. An understanding of how speech is coded in the brain has significant implications for the development of new diagnostic and rehabilitative strategies for language disorders (e.g., aphasia, dyslexia, autism, etc.). Abnormal perception of phonemes (the smallest units of sound that can differentiate meaning) is a central component to language disability in all of these conditions. This project will examine the mechanisms of categorical speech processing, especially at the phoneme level, by utilizing neurophysiological recordings obtained during neurosurgical procedures.