Revisiting perceptual compensation for effects of reverberation in speech identifcation

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    Listeners were given the task to identify the stop-consonant [t] in the test-word "stir" when the word was embedded in a carrier sentence. Reverberation was added to the test-word, but not to the carrier, and the ability to identify the [t] decreased because the amplitude modulations associated with the [t] were smeared. When a similar amount of reverberation was also added to the carrier sentence, the listeners' ability to identify the stop-consonant was restored. This phenomenon has in previous research been considered as evidence for an extrinsic compensation mechanism for reverberation in the human auditory system [Watkins (2005). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 118, 249-262]. In the present study, the reverberant test-word was embedded in additional non-reverberant carriers, such as white noise, speech-shaped noise and amplitude modulated noise. In addition, a reference condition was included where the test-word was presented in isolation, i.e., without any carrier stimulus. In all of these conditions, the ability to identify the stop-consonant [t] was enhanced relative to the condition using the non-reverberant speech carrier. The results suggest that the non-reverberant speech carrier produces an interference effect that impedes the identification of the stop-consonant. These findings raise doubts about the existence of the compensation mechanism.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAcoustical Society of America. Journal
    Pages (from-to)3088-3094
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright (2010) Acoustical Society of America. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America.


    • Reverberation
    • White noise
    • Amplitude modulation
    • Speech


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