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"Effects of cognitive load on speech perception", Sven Mattys (University of York, Department of Psychology)

Tuesday, March 09, 2021, 01:00pm

via Zoom

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Abstract: Improving the validity of speech-perception models requires an understanding of how speech is processed in everyday life. Unlike natural listening conditions that involve a degradation of the signal (e.g., noise), conditions that do not alter the integrity of the signal have been under-studied (e.g., cognitive load, CL). Drawing upon behavioral and psychophysical methods, we found that CL increases listeners’ reliance on lexical and higher-order knowledge. However, the data also show that this bias is a cascaded effect of impoverished phonetic processing under CL, not a direct consequence of CL on lexical activation. Findings of elevated auditory sound thresholds and poorer discrimination of perceived loudness and duration under CL add further support to the case for an early locus of interference. The results not only constrain our understanding of the functional architecture of speech-perception models, they also invite an analysis of sound processing within a cognitive framework where individual differences can be considered.