Recording human evoked potentials that follow the pitch contour of a natural vowel

Abstract

We investigated whether pitch-synchronous neural activity could be recorded in humans, with a natural vowel and a vowel in which the fundamental frequency was suppressed. Small variations of speech periodicity were detected in the evoked responses using a fine structure spectrograph (FSS). A significant response (P < 0.001) was measured in all seven normal subjects even when the fundamental frequency was suppressed, and it very accurately tracked the acoustic pitch contour (normalized mean absolute error < 0.57%). Small variations in speech periodicity, which humans can detect, are therefore available to the perceptual system as pitch-synchronous neural firing. These findings suggest that the measurement of pitch-evoked responses may be a viable tool for objective speech audiometry.

DOI: 10.1109/TBME.2005.851499

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@article{Dajani2005RecordingHE, title={Recording human evoked potentials that follow the pitch contour of a natural vowel}, author={Hilmi R. Dajani and David W Purcell and Willy Wong and Hans Kunov and Terence W. Picton}, journal={IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering}, year={2005}, volume={52 9}, pages={1614-8} }