Measuring vowel percepts in human listeners with behavioral response-triggered averaging

Brimijoin, W. O., Tilbury, E., Akeroyd, M. A. and Porr, B. (2016) Measuring vowel percepts in human listeners with behavioral response-triggered averaging. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 139(4), p. 1990. (doi:10.1121/1.4949822)

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Abstract

A vowel can be largely defined by the frequencies of its first two formants, but the absolute frequencies for a given vowel vary from talker to talker and utterance to utterance. Given this variability, it is unclear what criteria listeners use to identify vowels. To estimate the vowel features for which people listen, we adapted a noise-based reverse-correlation method from auditory neurophysiological studies and vision research (Gold et al., 1999). Listeners presented with the stimulus, which had a random spectrum with levels in 60 frequency bins changing every 0.5 s, were asked to press a key whenever they heard the vowels [a] or [i:]. Reverse-correlation was used to average the spectrum of the noise prior to each key press, thus estimating the features of the vowels for which the participants were listening. The formant frequencies of these reverse-correlated vowels were similar to those of their respective whispered vowels. The success of this response-triggered technique suggests that it may prove useful for estimating other internal representations, including perceptual phenomena like tinnitus. References: Gold, J., Bennett, P. J., and Sekuler, A. B. (1999). “Identification of band-pass filtered faces and letters by human and ideal observers,” Vis. Res. 39(21), 3537–3560.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Brimijoin, Dr William and Porr, Dr Bernd and Akeroyd, Dr Michael
Authors: Brimijoin, W. O., Tilbury, E., Akeroyd, M. A., and Porr, B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Publisher:Acoustical Society of America
ISSN:0001-4966
ISSN (Online):1520-8524
Published Online:01 April 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Acoustical Society of America
First Published:First published in Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 139(4): 1990
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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