The project is part of a new research program “It takes two to communicate: Voice perception and linguistic content” funded by a VICI grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), with additional support from a VENI grant from the NWO and funds from the Heinsius Houbolt Foundation.
Talker voice differences represent a significant component of speech communication. Importantly, talkers’ voices convey information about the talker, such as aspects of their identity (sex, age, place of origin) and emotional state (are they angry? happy?). Talkers’ voices can also directly contribute to speech comprehension in noise, by allowing listeners to track and separate a talker’s voice from interfering talkers (cocktail-party listening). Although voice perception and speech comprehension appear to be linked, the nature of this link and its consequences for hearing-impaired individuals, with or without hearing devices, are not fully understood.
This project will investigate the perception of talker voice information and linguistic information for speech comprehension. The goals of the project are to 1) better understand the interaction of talker voice and linguistic information in speech comprehension, 2) identify the role of voice perception in speech comprehension, and 3) explore the effects of long-term experience and learning in voice perception in diverse listener populations. These goals will be obtained using an interdisciplinary approach, implementing psychoacoustic, psycholinguistic behavioral, and neuroimaging techniques.
The project will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Deniz Baskent, along with research group members Dr. Etienne Gaudrain and Dr. Terrin N. Tamati. For more information about Prof. Dr. Deniz Baskent and the research group, please see www.dbaskent.org
. For information about the department and UMCG, visit www.rug.nl/research/otorhinolaryngology