Indiana University

The Speech Research Laboratory is a part of the Psychological and Brain Sciences department at Indiana University in Bloomington.
1101 E. 10th Street
Bloomington, IN 47405

Archive for October, 2013

28th Oct 2013

Speech Research Lab Meeting – November 1 – Bill Shofner

For this week’s SRL meeting, we welcome Dr. Bill Shofner, Associate Professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. Dr. Shofner directs the auditory physiology laboratory; his research is focused on understanding how the physical features of complex sounds are encoded or represented in the auditory nervous system and how these representations are then related to the perceptual attributes of the sound. The title and abstract for his talk are provided below, click the following link for a recent publication to provide background: Processing Pitch in a Nonhuman Mammal (Chinchilla laniger). All are welcome and invited to attend.

Where: Psychology Conference Room 128

When: Friday, November 1, 2013  – 1:30pm

Auditory Perception of Pitch and Speech with Degraded Acoustic Cues: A Comparative Approach


Noise-vocoders have been used as a simulation of hearing with a cochlear implant.  We have been using noise-vocoding as a tool for degrading the acoustic features of complex sounds to study auditory perception, such as pitch perception.  Whether the mechanisms giving rise to pitch reflect spectral (place) or temporal (time) cues is still equivocal, because generally sounds having strong harmonic structures also have strong periodic structures.  We have found that when a harmonic tone complex is passed through a noise-vocoder, the resulting sound can have a harmonic structure with large peak-to-valley ratios, but little or no periodicity in the temporal structure.  We used noise-vocoded versions of harmonic complex tones to study pitch perception in chinchillas and human listeners. The results suggest that spectral cues contribute little if any to pitch perception in chinchillas, but spectral cues can contribute substantially to pitch perception in human listeners.  We are currently pursuing studies comparing recognition of noise-vocoded speech sounds in humans and chinchillas.  The results of these studies will be discussed in terms of cochlear tuning in humans and non-human mammals.

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21st Oct 2013

Speech Research Lab Meeting – October 25th – Charles Lin

For this week’s SRL meeting, we welcome Charles Lin, assistant professor of Chinese linguistics at the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and adjunct assistant professor at the Department of Linguistics and the Cognitive Science Program. He directs the Language and Cognition Lab here at IU, where research on the interface between grammar and cognition is conducted. The title and abstract for his talk are below, all are invited to attend.

Where: Psychology conference room 128

When: Friday, October 25, 2013; 1:30pm **Postponed, new date TDB**

Title: Phonetic orthography and the perception of Chinese syllables

Abstract: Mandarin Chinese, a non-alphabetic language with logographic orthography, provides an intriguing typological case for studying the relation between phonetic orthography and speech perception. Two phonetic orthographic systems have been created to represent Mandarin syllables: Pinyin (adopted in China) uses roman alphabets to represent individual phonemes, and Zhuyin (adopted in Taiwan) uses non-alphabetic symbols to represent onsets, medials, and rimes. This talk presents several experiments comparing the perception of Mandarin syllables by Pinyin and Zhuyin users and discusses how one’s knowledge of phonetic orthography influences the performance on phonological tasks.

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