Lexical information drives perceptual learning of distorted speech: Evidence from the comprehension of noise-vocoded sentences
Davis, M. H., Johnsrude, I. S., Hervais-Adelman, A., Taylor, K., & McGettigan, C.
Lexical information drives perceptual learning of distorted speech: Evidence from the comprehension of noise-vocoded sentences. Journal of Experimental Psychology-General, 134
(2), 222-241. doi:10.1037/0096-3422.214.171.124.
Speech comprehension is resistant to acoustic distortion in the input, reflecting listeners' ability to adjust perceptual processes to match the speech input. For noise-vocoded sentences, a manipulation that removes spectral detail from speech, listeners' reporting improved from near 0% to 70% correct over 30 sentences (Experiment 1). Learning was enhanced if listeners heard distorted sentences while they knew the identity of the undistorted target (Experiments 2 and 3). Learning was absent when listeners were trained with nonword sentences (Experiments 4 and 5), although the meaning of the training sentences did not affect learning (Experiment 5). Perceptual learning of noise-vocoded speech depends on higher level information, consistent with top-down, lexically driven learning. Similar processes may facilitate comprehension of speech in an unfamiliar accent or following cochlear implantation.