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Sensorimotor adaptation affects perceptual compensation for coarticulation

Schuerman, W. L., Nagarajan, S., McQueen, J. M., & Houde, J. (2017). Sensorimotor adaptation affects perceptual compensation for coarticulation. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 141(4), 2693-2704. doi:10.1121/1.4979791.
A given speech sound will be realized differently depending on the context in which it is produced. Listeners have been found to compensate perceptually for these coarticulatory effects, yet it is unclear to what extent this effect depends on actual production experience. In this study, whether changes in motor-to-sound mappings induced by adaptation to altered auditory feedback can affect perceptual compensation for coarticulation is investigated. Specifically, whether altering how the vowel [i] is produced can affect the categorization of a stimulus continuum between an alveolar and a palatal fricative whose interpretation is dependent on vocalic context is tested. It was found that participants could be sorted into three groups based on whether they tended to oppose the direction of the shifted auditory feedback, to follow it, or a mixture of the two, and that these articulatory responses, not the shifted feedback the participants heard, correlated with changes in perception. These results indicate that sensorimotor adaptation to altered feedback can affect the perception of unaltered yet coarticulatorily-dependent speech sounds, suggesting a modulatory role of sensorimotor experience on speech perception
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