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Tuesday, July 9 • 09:00 - 10:00

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One of the most important things we do every day is understand spoken language. Identifying spoken words requires the rapid integration of multiple acoustic-phonetic cues in the richly multi-dimensional and transient speech signal. Every meaningful difference in sounds (e.g. the difference between the sounds at the beginning of 'peach' and 'beach') is signalled by multiple acoustic-phonetic cues (e.g. spectral and temporal differences) and often a single cue is not enough for unambiguous perception. Furthermore, the speech signal is notoriously variable and this variability stems from many sources including the talker (e.g. differences in vocal tract size, differences in dialect) and the context (e.g. the immediately following sound, speaking style). This variability and multidimensionality in the signal are part of the central challenge that human speech perception must solve and compared to automatic systems, humans are better able to deal with the variability in particular. This talk will present an overview of challenges related to multidimensionality and variability in spoken word recognition, including sources of variability, and what is known about the solutions, including the role of plasticity. It will also introduce some recent work in my lab investigating differences between individual talkers and listeners.

avatar for Meghan Clayards

Meghan Clayards

Associate Professor, McGill University
Dr. Meghan Clayards is an Associate Professor at McGill University with a joint appointment in the Department of Linguistics and the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is also a member of the Centre for Research on Brain, Language and Music and an associate editor... Read More →

Tuesday July 9, 2019 09:00 - 10:00 EDT
Montreal Ballroom