Voice and Speech perception in normal and impaired hearing, by Deniz Baskent
Who is talking? Where are they from? Are they happy?
Hearing the voice of a speaker, we can immediately infer all these details about them, even before we can make sense of what they are saying. Voice is therefore considered as “auditory face.” Further, voice cues can also directly help better understanding speech. For example, when two or more people are talking at the same time, it helps the perceptual system to lock on the voice cues of the target talker and separate it from the other voices in the background.
Despite the importance of voice for speaker identification and speech perception, voice perception is an understudied topic for hearing impairment, a knowledge gap we aim to fill in our lab. For cochlear implants, our recent research has shown that perception of voice cues greatly differs than normal hearing, and perhaps leads to further difficulties for understanding speech. To understand the underlying mechanisms and the changes to them as a result of hearing impairment, we study voice and speech perception with varying populations (children, older individuals, musicians, early-deafened late-implanted cochlear implant users, and similar).
D. Baskent’s web site: http://www.dbaskent.org/