Coherence masking protection for speech in children and adultsReport as inadecuate

Coherence masking protection for speech in children and adults - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics

, Volume 73, Issue 8, pp 2606–2623

First Online: 24 September 2011


In three experiments, we tested the hypothesis that children are more obliged than adults to fuse components of speech signals and asked whether the principle of harmonicity could explain the effect or whether it is, instead, due to children’s implementing speech-based mechanisms. Coherence masking protection CMP was used, which involves labeling a phonetically relevant formant the target presented in noise, either alone or in combination with a stable spectral band the cosignal that provides no additional information about phonetic identity and is well outside the critical band of the target. Adults and children 8 and 5 years old heard stimuli that were either synthetic speech or hybrids consisting of sine wave targets and synthetic cosignals. The target and cosignal either shared a common harmonic structure or did not. An adaptive procedure located listeners’ thresholds for accurate labeling. Lower thresholds when the cosignal is present indicate CMP. Younger children demonstrated CMP effects that were both larger in magnitude and less susceptible to disruptions in harmonicity than those observed for adults. The conclusion was that children are obliged to integrate spectral components of speech signals, a perceptual strategy based on their recognition of when all components come from the same generator.

KeywordsPerceptual learning Psycholinguistics Speech perception  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Susan Nittrouer - Eric Tarr


Related documents