TEMPoral Organization of Speech (TEMPOS)

Members

Hans Rutger Bosker (research leader)
Ronny Bujok (PhD student)
Greta Kaufeld (PhD student)
Giulio Severijnen (PhD student)
Sophie Slaats (PhD student)
Orhun Ulusahin (PhD student)
Christina Papoutsi (intern)


Vision

How is it possible that we can have a proper conversation with someone even if that someone is talking very fast, has a strange accent, produces uhm’s all the time, or has to shout over several other talkers in a noisy café?

Having a simple conversation often seems rather easy, yet Google, Siri, and Alexa still haven’t quite mastered it. Somehow, our brain is uniquely equipped to successfully perceive the speech of those around us – even in quite challenging listening environments. In this research group, we investigate the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms that underlie the exceptional human behavior of spoken communication. We specifically focus on the TEMPoral Organization of Speech (TEMPOS), including such aspects as speech rate, speech rhythm, prosody, amplitude modulations, and neural oscillations.


The big questions

The work we do as part of the TEMPOS group contributes to a better understanding of how spoken communication can take place so smoothly. For instance, how do listeners manage to understand talkers in challenging listening conditions, such as when there are competing talkers around? What is the contribution of multimodal cues (e.g., lip movements, hand gestures) to speech perception? How do listeners ‘tune in’ to a particular talker with his or her own peculiar pronunciation habits? What is the role of context (i.e., acoustic, semantic, and situational context) in speech processing? Finally, we also develop methodological tools to facilitate research in the speech sciences.


Research projects

Some examples of ongoing research projects are:

•    Do listeners keep track of how different talkers vary in how they produce speech prosody?
Hans Rutger Bosker, Giuseppe Di Dona, James McQueen, Giulio Severijnen

•    What is the role of selective attention when listening to competing talkers (e.g., ‘cocktail party’ listening)?
Hans Rutger Bosker, Rebecca Frost, Eva Reinisch

•    How do multimodal cues, such as simple hand gestures, influence which speech sounds we hear?
Hans Rutger Bosker, Ronny Bujok, David Peeters, Wim Pouw

•    What are the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms underlying how listeners normalize speech sounds for different speech rates?
Hans Rutger Bosker, Chris Heffner, Greta Kaufeld, Eva Reinisch, Lars Riecke

•    How do signals that the temporal planning of speech has broken down (e.g., disfluencies) influence listener prediction, lexical activation, and meta-linguistic fluency judgments?
Hans Rutger Bosker, Martin Corley, Nivja de Jong

•    Developing an automated tool for fast, reliable, and accurate assessment of transcript accuracy for studies testing speech intelligibility.
Hans Rutger Bosker

 

How do we conduct our research?

To study speech production, we use speech elicitation paradigms, such as (multiple) picture naming, shadowing, reading out loud, Lombard tests, etc. To study speech perception, we use speech categorization experiments with manipulated speech signals (what’s this word?), speech-in-noise intelligibility experiments (what’s this sentence?), and psycholinguistic paradigms such as repetition priming (e.g., lexical decision task). We also use eye-tracking (visual world paradigm) to study the time-course of speech processing. Finally, we use neuroimaging methods (EEG, MEG, tACS) to uncover the neurobiological mechanisms involved in the temporal decoding of speech, with a particular focus on oscillatory dynamics.

 

Research output

For publications, see our scientific output.

For published research data, see the various projects in this OSF profile.

Practical research tools that have been developed by TEMPOS members are:

  • TSR score: Token Sort Ratio, an automated metric for assessing transcript accuracy in speech intelligibility studies. See: tokensortratio.netlify.app.
    • Bosker, H. R. (under review). Using fuzzy string matching for automated assessment of listener transcripts in speech intelligibility studies.
  • POnSS: a tool for efficient and accurate segmentation of speech data. See: https://git.io/Jexj3.
    • Rodd. J., Decuyper, C., Bosker, H. R., & ten Bosch, L. (in press). A tool for efficient and accurate segmentation of speech data: Announcing POnSS. Behavior Research Methods. doi:10.3758/s13428-020-01449-6.

 

Publicly available speech corpora developed by TEMPOS members are:

  • PiNCeR: a corpus of cued-rate multiple picture naming in Dutch. See: doi:10.31234/osf.io/wyc6h.
    • Rodd, J., Bosker, H. R., Ernestus, M., Ten Bosch, L., & Meyer, A. S. (2019). PiNCeR: a corpus of cued-rate multiple picture naming in Dutch. PsyArXiv. doi:10.31234/osf.io/wyc6h.
  • NiCLS: the Nijmegen Corpus of Lombard Speech, containing Dutch Lombard speech and matching plain speech. See: https://hdl.handle.net/1839/21ee5744-b5dc-4eed-9693-c37e871cdaf6.
    • Bosker, H. R., & Cooke, M. (2020). Enhanced amplitude modulations contribute to the Lombard intelligibility benefit: Evidence from the Nijmegen Corpus of Lombard Speech. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 147: 721. doi:10.1121/10.0000646.

 

Collaborators

Louis ten Bosch (Radboud University)
Martin Cooke (Ikerbasque, Basque Science Foundation, Spain)
Martin Corley (University of Edinburgh)
Mirjam Ernestus (Radboud University)
Chris Heffner (University at Buffalo)
Nivja de Jong (Leiden University)
James McQueen (Radboud University)
David Peeters (Tilburg University)
Wim Pouw (Radboud University)
Hugo Quené (Utrecht University)
Eva Reinisch (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Lars Riecke (Maastricht University)


Former members

Graduated PhDs:
   Merel Maslowski (2019), Joe Rodd (2020).

Interns:
   Momo Yamamura, Rik Does, Wibke Naumann, Anna Ravenschlag, Jeonga Kim, Marjolein Van Os, Marie Stadtbäumer, Rebecca Wogan, Vilde Reksnes, Myriam Weiss, Nora Kennis.

 

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