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The Benefit to Speech Intelligibility of Hearing a Familiar Voice

Domingo, Y; Holmes, E; Johnsrude, IS; (2019) The Benefit to Speech Intelligibility of Hearing a Familiar Voice. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 10.1037/xap0000247. Green open access

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Abstract

Previous experience with a voice can help listeners understand speech when a competing talker is present. Using the coordinate-response measure task (Bolia, Nelson, Ericson, & Simpson, 2000), Johnsrude et al. (2013) demonstrated that speech is more intelligible when either the target or competing (masking) talker is a long-term spouse than when both talkers are unfamiliar (termed familiar-target and familiar-masker benefits, respectively). To better understand how familiarity improves intelligibility, we measured the familiar-target and familiar-masker benefits in older and younger spouses using a more challenging matrix task, and compared the benefits listeners gain from spouses' and friends' voices. On each trial, participants heard two sentences from the Boston University Gerald (Kidd, Best, & Mason, 2008) corpus ("<name> <verb> <number> <adjective> <noun>") and reported words from the sentence beginning with a target name word. A familiar-masker benefit was not observed, but all groups showed a robust familiar-target benefit and its magnitude did not differ between spouses and friends. The familiar-target benefit was not influenced by relationship length (in the range of 1.5-52 years). Together, these results imply that the familiar-target benefit can develop from various types of relationships and has already reached a plateau around 1.5 years after meeting a new friend.

Type: Article
Title: The Benefit to Speech Intelligibility of Hearing a Familiar Voice
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/xap0000247
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xap0000247
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: speech perception, speech intelligibility, speech in noise, perceptual organization, voice familiarity
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10083754
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