Temporal-envelope constancy of speech in rooms and the perceptual weighting of frequency bands
Watkins, A. J., Raimond, A. P. and Makin, S. J. (2011) Temporal-envelope constancy of speech in rooms and the perceptual weighting of frequency bands. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 130 (5). pp. 2777-2788. ISSN 0001-4966
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1121/1.3641399
Three experiments measured constancy in speech perception, using natural-speech messages or noise-band vocoder versions of them. The eight vocoder-bands had equally log-spaced center-frequencies and the shapes of corresponding “auditory” filters. Consequently, the bands had the temporal envelopes that arise in these auditory filters when the speech is played. The “sir” or “stir” test-words were distinguished by degrees of amplitude modulation, and played in the context; “next you’ll get _ to click on.” Listeners identified test-words appropriately, even in the vocoder conditions where the speech had a “noise-like” quality. Constancy was assessed by comparing the identification of test-words with low or high levels of room reflections across conditions where the context had either a low or a high level of reflections. Constancy was obtained with both the natural and the vocoded speech, indicating that the effect arises through temporal-envelope processing. Two further experiments assessed perceptual weighting of the different bands, both in the test word and in the context. The resulting weighting functions both increase monotonically with frequency, following the spectral characteristics of the test-word’s [s]. It is suggested that these two weighting functions are similar because they both come about through the perceptual grouping of the test-word’s bands.
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