Room reflections and constancy in speech-like sounds: within-band effects
Watkins, A. J., Raimond, A. and Makin, S. J. (2010) Room reflections and constancy in speech-like sounds: within-band effects. In: The Neurophysiological Bases of Auditory Perception. Springer, New York, pp. 439-447. ISBN 978144195686-641
To link to this article DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-5686-6_41
The experiment asks whether constancy in hearing precedes or follows grouping. Listeners heard speech-like sounds comprising 8 auditory-filter shaped noise-bands that had temporal envelopes corresponding to those arising in these filters when a speech message is played. The „context‟ words in the message were “next you‟ll get _to click on”, into which a “sir” or “stir” test word was inserted. These test words were from an 11-step continuum that was formed by amplitude modulation. Listeners identified the test words appropriately and quite consistently, even though they had the „robotic‟ quality typical of this type of 8-band speech. The speech-like effects of these sounds appears to be a consequence of auditory grouping. Constancy was assessed by comparing the influence of room reflections on the test word across conditions where the context had either the same level of reflections, or where it had a much lower level. Constancy effects were obtained with these 8-band sounds, but only in „matched‟ conditions, where the room reflections were in the same bands in both the context and the test word. This was not the case in a comparison „mismatched‟ condition, and here, no constancy effects were found. It would appear that this type of constancy in hearing precedes the across-channel grouping whose effects are so apparent in these sounds. This result is discussed in terms of the ubiquity of grouping across different levels of representation.