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Active listening

Friston, KJ; Sajid, N; Quiroga-Martinez, DR; Parr, T; Price, CJ; Holmes, E; (2020) Active listening. Hearing Research , Article 107998. 10.1016/j.heares.2020.107998. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

This paper introduces active listening, as a unified framework for synthesising and recognising speech. The notion of active listening inherits from active inference, which considers perception and action under one universal imperative: to maximise the evidence for our (generative) models of the world. First, we describe a generative model of spoken words that simulates (i) how discrete lexical, prosodic, and speaker attributes give rise to continuous acoustic signals; and conversely (ii) how continuous acoustic signals are recognised as words. The 'active' aspect involves (covertly) segmenting spoken sentences and borrows ideas from active vision. It casts speech segmentation as the selection of internal actions, corresponding to the placement of word boundaries. Practically, word boundaries are selected that maximise the evidence for an internal model of how individual words are generated. We establish face validity by simulating speech recognition and showing how the inferred content of a sentence depends on prior beliefs and background noise. Finally, we consider predictive validity by associating neuronal or physiological responses, such as the mismatch negativity and P300, with belief updating under active listening, which is greatest in the absence of accurate prior beliefs about what will be heard next.

Type: Article
Title: Active listening
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.heares.2020.107998
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heares.2020.107998
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Audition, Segmentation, Variational Bayes, Voice, active inference, active listening, speech recognition
UCL classification: UCL
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 > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic 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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10107904
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