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Listeners’ perceptions of the certainty and honesty of a speaker are associated with a common prosodic signature

Goupil, L; Ponsot, E; Richardson, D; Reyes, G; Aucouturier, J-J; (2021) Listeners’ perceptions of the certainty and honesty of a speaker are associated with a common prosodic signature. Nature Communications , 12 (1) , Article 861. 10.1038/s41467-020-20649-4. Green open access

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Abstract

The success of human cooperation crucially depends on mechanisms enabling individuals to detect unreliability in their conspecifics. Yet, how such epistemic vigilance is achieved from naturalistic sensory inputs remains unclear. Here we show that listeners’ perceptions of the certainty and honesty of other speakers from their speech are based on a common prosodic signature. Using a data-driven method, we separately decode the prosodic features driving listeners’ perceptions of a speaker’s certainty and honesty across pitch, duration and loudness. We find that these two kinds of judgments rely on a common prosodic signature that is perceived independently from individuals’ conceptual knowledge and native language. Finally, we show that listeners extract this prosodic signature automatically, and that this impacts the way they memorize spoken words. These findings shed light on a unique auditory adaptation that enables human listeners to quickly detect and react to unreliability during linguistic interactions.

Type: Article
Title: Listeners’ perceptions of the certainty and honesty of a speaker are associated with a common prosodic signature
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-20649-4
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20649-4
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 Springer Nature Limited. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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 > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122201
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