A specialization for speech perception.

  title={A specialization for speech perception.},
  author={Alvin M. Liberman and Ignatius G. Mattingly},
  volume={243 4890},
The processes that underlie perception of consonants and vowels are specifically phonetic, distinct from those that localize sources and assign auditory qualities to the sound from each source. This specialization, or module, increases the rate of information flow, establishes the parity between sender and receiver that every communication system must have, and provides for the natural development of phonetic structures in the species and in the individual. The phonetic module has certain… 
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These findings falsify a general auditory account of auditory perceptual organization, showing that phonetic perceptual organization is achieved by specific sensitivity to the acoustic modulations characteristic of speech signals.
Plausibility , Parsimony , and Theories of Speech *
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Functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed different brain activation patterns in listening to speech and nonspeech sounds across different levels of complexity, consistent with the existence of a specialized speech system which bypasses more typical processes at the earliest cortical level.
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The involvement of the left temporoparietal region in autonomous, modular processes of speech perception is suggested, as the result of an enhanced negativity when the target was presented among non-speech stimuli.
Human Cortical Dynamics Determined by Speech Fundamental Frequency
It seems that the fundamental frequency F0 and its harmonics determine the temporal dynamics of speech processing in human auditory cortex and that speech specificity arises out of cortical sensitivity to the complex acoustic structure determined by the human sound production apparatus.
Auditory Neural Processing of Speech
Overall, phonetic features are prominently and robustly encoded in neural responses, suggesting that the auditory system shows predispositions for the particular set of acoustic features used for phonetic contrasts.
Effects of language experience on pre-categorical perception: Distinguishing general from specialized processes in speech perception.
The results of the present experiments support the view that phonological categories are an important source of cross-language differences, but also show that these differences can extend to stimuli that do not clearly sound like speech.
When Theories of Speech Meet the Real World
Speech has the corollary advantage that it is managed by a module biologically adapted to circumvent limitations of tongue and ear by automatically coarticulating the constituent gestures and coping with the complex acoustic consequences.


Integration of featural information in speech perception.
A model for the identification of speech sounds is proposed that assumes that the acoustic cues are perceived independently, and provides a good description of the data, including these boundary changes, while still maintaining complete noninteraction at the feature evaluation stage of processing.
Duplex perception of cues for stop consonants: Evidence for a phonetic mode
The results show that the silence cue affects the formant transitions differently when the transitions support the perception of stop consonants, and when, on the other, they are perceived as nonspeech chirps, which indicates that the effectiveness of the Silence cue is owing to distinctively phonetic processes.
Perceiving vowels in the presence of another sound: constraints on formant perception.
  • C. Darwin
  • Physics, Linguistics
    The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
  • 1984
Two experiments show that formants may only be estimated after properties of the sound wave have been grouped into different apparent sound sources, and illustrates a general auditory mechanism for performing perceptual grouping.
Auditory and linguistic processes in speech perception: inferences from six fusions in dichotic listening.
The present paper examines six fusions of speech perception, which can be exemplified using the syllable /da/ as in dot, and which occur at three, perhaps four, different levels of perceptual analysis.
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A system for precategorical storage of acoustic information is described. Material in this store is subject to overwriting and to decay with time. Precategorical Acoustic Storage (PAS) receives
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When one harmonic of a vowel starts before and stops after the others, its contribution to the vowel's phonetic quality is reduced. Two experiments demonstrate that this reduction cannot be