13th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Portland, OR, USA
September 9-13, 2012

Extrinsic Normalization for Vocal Tracts Depends on the Signal, Not on Attention

Matthias Sjerps (1), James M. McQueen (1,2), Holger Mitterer (1)

(1) Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
(2) Behavioural Science Institute and Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Centre for Cognition, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

When perceiving vowels, listeners adjust to speaker-specific vocal-tract characteristics (such as F1) through "extrinsic vowel normalization". This effect is observed as a shift in the location of categorization boundaries of vowel continua. Similar effects have been found with nonspeech. Non-speech materials, however, have consistently led to smaller effect-sizes, perhaps because a of lack of attention to non-speech. The present study investigated this possibility. Non-speech materials that had previously been shown to elicit reduced normalization effects were tested again, with the addition of an attention manipulation. The results show that increased attention does not lead to increased normalization effects, suggesting that vowel normalization is mainly determined by bottom-up signal characteristics.

Index Terms: vowel normalization, speech perception, attention

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Sjerps, Matthias / McQueen, James M. / Mitterer, Holger (2012): "Extrinsic normalization for vocal tracts depends on the signal, not on attention", In INTERSPEECH-2012, 394-397.