Perceptual and cognitive factors affecting speech understanding

B. Schneider

Abstract


To understand speech in noisy situations, listeners must not only `extract' the speech signal from the background noise, but also determine the meaning of the words and phrases in the extracted signal, integrate this information with past knowledge, and store it for future use. Psychoacousticians, audiologists, and auditory physiologists typically have directed their efforts towards understanding the perceptual processes that are involved in signal extraction. Linguists and cognitive scientists on the other hand, have focussed their efforts on how the words and phrases in the speech signal are processed linguistically, and how this processed information is integrated with past knowledge and stored in memory for future use. The endeavours of both groups have enhanced our understanding of how listeners process speech signals. However, for the most part, both groups have ignored the complex and often subtle interactions (indicated by the presence of a feedback loop) that occur between these two levels of processing. Perceptual and cognitive factors are discussed

Keywords


hearing; psychology; speech intelligibility; psychoacoustics; speech understanding; noisy situations; listeners; speech signal; words; phrases; auditory physiologists; perceptual processes; signal extraction; cognitive scientists; processed information; feedback loop; cognitive factors

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