The influence of noise on phonological competition during spoken word recognition
Brouwer, S., & Bradlow, A. R.
The influence of noise on phonological competition during spoken word recognition. In W.-S. Lee, & E. Zee (Eds.
), Proceedings of the 17th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences 2011 [ICPhS XVII]
(pp. 364-367). Hong Kong: Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, City University of Hong Kong.
Listeners’ interactions often take place in
auditorily challenging conditions. We examined
how noise affects phonological competition during
spoken word recognition. In a visual-world
experiment, which allows us to examine the timecourse
of recognition, English participants listened
to target words in quiet and in noise while they
saw four pictures on the screen: a target (e.g.
candle), an onset overlap competitor (e.g. candy),
an offset overlap competitor (e.g. sandal), and a
distractor. The results showed that, while all
competitors were relatively quickly suppressed in
quiet listening conditions, listeners experienced
persistent competition in noise from the offset
competitor but not from the onset competitor. This
suggests that listeners’ phonological competitor
activation persists for longer in noise than in quiet
and that listeners are able to deactivate some
unwanted competition when listening to speech in
noise. The well-attested competition pattern in
quiet was not replicated. Possible methodological
explanations for this result are discussed.