Document Detail

Differences in human and monkey sensitivity to acoustic cues underlying voicing contrasts.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  3121708     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Humans and monkeys were compared in their differential sensitivity to various acoustic cues underlying voicing contrasts specified by voice-onset time (VOT) in utterance-initial stop consonants. A low-uncertainty repeating standard AX procedure and positive-reinforcement operant conditioning techniques were used to measure difference limens (DLs) along a VOT continuum from--70 ms (prevoiced/ba/) to 0 ms (/ba/) to + 70 ms (/pa/). For all contrasts tested, human sensitivity was more acute than that of monkeys. For voicing lag, which spans a phonemic contrast in English, human DLs for a/ba/(standard)-to-/pa/ (target) continuum averaged 8.3 ms compared to 17 ms for monkeys. Human DLs for a/pa/-to-/ba/ continuum averaged 11 ms compared to 25 ms for monkeys. Larger species differences occurred for voicing lead, which is phonemically nondistinctive in English. Human DLs for a /ba/-to-prevoiced/ba/ continuum averaged 8.2 ms and were four times lower than monkeys (35 ms). Monkeys did not reliably discriminate prevoiced /ba/-to-/ba/, whereas humans DLs averaged 18 ms. The effects of eliminating cues in the English VOT contrasts were also examined. Removal of the aspiration noise in /pa/ greatly increased the DLs and reaction times for both humans and monkeys, but straightening out the F1 transition in /ba/ had only minor effects. Results suggest that quantitative differences in sensitivity should be considered when using monkeys to model the psychoacoustic level of human speech perception.
J M Sinnott; F S Adams
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America     Volume:  82     ISSN:  0001-4966     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Acoust. Soc. Am.     Publication Date:  1987 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1988-02-11     Completed Date:  1988-02-11     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7503051     Medline TA:  J Acoust Soc Am     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1539-47     Citation Subset:  IM    
Psychology Department, Indiana University, Bloomington 47405.
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MeSH Terms
Acoustic Stimulation
Auditory Perception*
Cercopithecus / physiology*
Cercopithecus aethiops / physiology*
Haplorhini / physiology*
Macaca / physiology*
Species Specificity
Grant Support

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