You are here: Home Publications Normal-hearing listeners' and cochlear implant users' perception of pitch cues in emotional speech

Normal-hearing listeners' and cochlear implant users' perception of pitch cues in emotional speech

Gilbers, S., Fuller, C., Gilbers, D., Broersma, M., Goudbeek, M., Free, R., & Başkent, D. (2015). Normal-hearing listeners' and cochlear implant users' perception of pitch cues in emotional speech. i-Perception, 6(5), 1-19. doi:0.1177/0301006615599139.
In cochlear implants (CIs), acoustic speech cues, especially for pitch, are delivered in a degraded form. This study's aim is to assess whether due to degraded pitch cues, normal-hearing listeners and CI users employ different perceptual strategies to recognize vocal emotions, and, if so, how these differ. Voice actors were recorded pronouncing a nonce word in four different emotions: anger, sadness, joy, and relief. These recordings' pitch cues were phonetically analyzed. The recordings were used to test 20 normal-hearing listeners' and 20 CI users' emotion recognition. In congruence with previous studies, high-arousal emotions had a higher mean pitch, wider pitch range, and more dominant pitches than low-arousal emotions. Regarding pitch, speakers did not differentiate emotions based on valence but on arousal. Normal-hearing listeners outperformed CI users in emotion recognition, even when presented with CI simulated stimuli. However, only normal-hearing listeners recognized one particular actor's emotions worse than the other actors'. The groups behaved differently when presented with similar input, showing that they had to employ differing strategies. Considering the respective speaker's deviating pronunciation, it appears that for normal-hearing listeners, mean pitch is a more salient cue than pitch range, whereas CI users are biased toward pitch range cues
About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.

 

Street address
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands


Mailing address
P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
Fax:        +31-24-3521213
E-mail:   


Public Outreach Officer
Charlotte Horn