University of Connecticut

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UConn Physics Colloquium

Friday, March 2, 2018
3:30pm – 4:30pm

Storrs Campus
Physics Building, Room PB-38

Prof. Emily Myers, Dept. of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, University of Connecticut

There’s many a slip twixt ear and lip: distortions, discontinuities, and disasters in speech perception

The sounds of speech are as complex as they are biologically important. Fine-grained differences in the acoustics of speech allow the listener to understand the difference between bears and pears, and between uncles and ankles. Over a lifetime of experience with our native language, we develop exquisite sensitivity to some acoustic contrasts, yet lose the ability to perceive other distinctions, including some speech contrasts in other languages. The result is that our perceptual experience does not veridically reflect the acoustics of the speech stream. Work from my lab and others suggests that the brain copes with the complexity of the speech signal by integrating information from context online to guide perception when the speech signal is ambiguous. Further, with sufficient training, listeners can overcome the perceptual barriers established during development and make inroads in distinguishing novel speech sound contrasts.

Coffee will be served prior to the talk, at 3:00 p.m., In Room P-103


Prof. R. Jones

Physics Department (primary), UConn Master Calendar

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