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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

How big was that person on the phone? Event

12:00 - 13:00
18 November 2014
Building 13 (Tizard), Room 3017 Highfield Campus University of Southampton

For more information regarding this event, please email Stefan Bleeck at .

Event details

Invitation to seminar given by Professor Rory Patterson, University of Cambridge

How big was that person on the phone?

How the ear and the brain determine Who you are as well as What you are saying.

When auditory people talk about speech perception, they often show the spectrum of a vowel sound and describe how the low-frequency peaks in the spectrum are related to voice pitch and how the higher-frequency peaks (formants) are related to vowel type. But people listening to speech do not hear a rapid sequence of pure tones corresponding to the peaks in a spectrum. They hear a man, women or child saying something, and they identify WHO is speaking at the same time as they recognize WHAT they are saying. This talk describes how the peripheral auditory system automatically produces a representation of speech that is speaker-size invariant, and how more central auditory regions segregate our perception of who is speaking from our perception of what they are saying. The model describes how the system combines information from the sound about vocal tract length and glottal pulse rate, with a small amount of contextual information about speech and speakers, to ascertain the size and sex of the speaker.


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