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The effect of speaker variability on phoneme processing: A gamified crowd-science experiment

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Govaart,  Gisela
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin;
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Faculty of Philosophy, Berlin School of Mind and Brain;

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Friederici,  Angela D.
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Männel,  Claudia
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
• Department of Audiology and Phoniatrics, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin;

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Citation

Govaart, G., Bergmann, C., Friederici, A. D., & Männel, C. (2021). The effect of speaker variability on phoneme processing: A gamified crowd-science experiment. Talk presented at Group meeting ScienceAtHome, Aarhus University. online. 2021-03-18 - 2021-03-18.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-B151-4
Abstract
Listeners can effortlessly understand speech from any speaker, which is remarkable given the enormous acoustic variability and lack of invariant features corresponding to phonemes across speakers. Recently, it has been proposed that listeners use voice information to adapt to speakers (Kleinschmidt & Jaeger, 2015), which would reduce acoustic variability and explain why listeners can understand speech robustly from different speakers. In this talk, I will present a study proposal, in which we investigate whether adult listeners rely on voice information to adapt to speakers by testing the effect of speaker variability on phoneme processing. Specifically, we will examine whether there is a processing cost for listening to multiple speakers as compared to a single speaker. Given that listeners effortlessly understand different speakers, we will use a gamified crowd-science approach to increase our sample-size, in order to capture potentially subtle effects of speaker variability on phoneme processing. In the gamified experiment, participants will teach aliens how to pronounce English consonants. The better the aliens learn how to pronounce the sounds, the more the participants will discover about their adventures in outer space.