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Is desynchrony tolerance adaptable in the perceptual organization of speech?

Authors
  • Remez, Robert E
  • Ferro, Daria F
  • Dubowski, Kathryn R
  • Meer, Judith
  • Broder, Robin S
  • Davids, Morgana L
Type
Published Article
Journal
Attention Perception & Psychophysics
Publisher
Springer - Psychonomic Society
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2010
Volume
72
Issue
8
Pages
2054–2058
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3758/APP.72.8.2054
PMID: 21097850
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Speech signal components that are desynchronized from the veridical temporal pattern lose intelligibility. In contrast, audiovisual presentations with large desynchrony in visible and audible speech streams are perceived without loss of integration. Under such conditions, the limit of desynchrony that permits audiovisual integration is also adaptable. A new project directly investigated the potential for adaptation to consistent desynchrony with unimodal auditory sine-wave speech. Listeners transcribed sentences that are highly intelligible, with veridical temporal properties. Desynchronized variants were created by leading or lagging the tone analog of the second formant relative to the rest of the tones composing the sentences, in 50-msec steps, ranging from 250-msec lead to 250-msec lag. In blocked trials, listeners only tolerated desynchronies <50 msec, and exhibited no gain in intelligibility to consistent desynchrony. Unimodal auditory and bimodal audiovisual forms of perceptual integration evidently exhibit different temporal characteristics, an indication of distinct perceptual functions.

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