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Cognitive predictors of perceptual adaptation to accented speech

Banks, B; Gowen, E; Munro, KJ; Adank, P; (2015) Cognitive predictors of perceptual adaptation to accented speech. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America , 137 (4) pp. 2015-2024. 10.1121/1.4916265. Green open access

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Abstract

The present study investigated the effects of inhibition, vocabulary knowledge, and working memory on perceptual adaptation to accented speech. One hundred young, normal-hearing adults listened to sentences spoken in a constructed, unfamiliar accent presented in speech-shaped background noise. Speech Reception Thresholds (SRTs) corresponding to 50% speech recognition accuracy provided a measurement of adaptation to the accented speech. Stroop, vocabulary knowledge, and working memory tests were performed to measure cognitive ability. Participants adapted to the unfamiliar accent as revealed by a decrease in SRTs over time. Better inhibition (lower Stroop scores) predicted greater and faster adaptation to the unfamiliar accent. Vocabulary knowledge predicted better recognition of the unfamiliar accent, while working memory had a smaller, indirect effect on speech recognition mediated by vocabulary score. Results support a top-down model for successful adaptation to, and recognition of, accented speech; they add to recent theories that allocate a prominent role for executive function to effective speech comprehension in adverse listening conditions.

Type: Article
Title: Cognitive predictors of perceptual adaptation to accented speech
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1121/1.4916265
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4916265
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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 > 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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1468564
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