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Swinging at a Cocktail Party: Voice Familiarity Aids Speech Perception in the Presence of a Competing Voice
Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Queens University, Canada .ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7810-1333
Queens University, Canada .
Queens University, Canada .
Queens University, Canada .
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2013 (English)In: Psychological Science, ISSN 0956-7976, E-ISSN 1467-9280, Vol. 24, no 10, 1995-2004 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

People often have to listen to someone speak in the presence of competing voices. Much is known about the acoustic cues used to overcome this challenge, but almost nothing is known about the utility of cues derived from experience with particular voicescues that may be particularly important for older people and others with impaired hearing. Here, we use a version of the coordinate-response-measure procedure to show that people can exploit knowledge of a highly familiar voice (their spouses) not only to track it better in the presence of an interfering strangers voice, but also, crucially, to ignore it so as to comprehend a strangers voice more effectively. Although performance declines with increasing age when the target voice is novel, there is no decline when the target voice belongs to the listeners spouse. This finding indicates that older listeners can exploit their familiarity with a speakers voice to mitigate the effects of sensory and cognitive decline.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2013. Vol. 24, no 10, 1995-2004 p.
Keyword [en]
speech, hearing, language comprehension, aging, knowledge-based perception, auditory perceptual organization, attention, auditory perception, cognitive processes, speech perception
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100486DOI: 10.1177/0956797613482467ISI: 000325554800013OAI: diva2:662961
Available from: 2013-11-08 Created: 2013-11-08 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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