Speech cue normalization

Speech sounds are conveyed by a host of different speech cues such as formants, speech sound duration and pitch. Interestingly, for all of these cues it has been demonstrated that they are perceived relative to their immediate context. Most of my work has investigated perceptual normalization of formants and speech sound duration.

Below is a sample of the findings that my colleagues and me have reported:

  • Effects of preceding context on speech cues occur very early in time. In a project with Eva Reinisch we used eye-tracking to demonstrate that preceding context influences the perception of speech cues immediately. That is, listeners use context as fast as they can. see publication here. Furthermore, as part of my PhD project with James McQueeen and Holger Mitterer we used EEG to demonstrate that the perception of vowels is influenced by context during the N1 time window, which is considered to be mostly reflecting general auditory processing of incoming speech. see publication here
  • Normalizing effects on the interpretation of speech cues are broadly unaffected by background and stimulus language. That is, in a project with Rajka Smiljanić we demonstrated that listeners compensate for speech that they do not even understand. see publication here