Hemispheric differences in the effects of context on vowel perception
SourceBrain and Language, 120, 3, (2012), pp. 401-405
Article / Letter to editor
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Brain and Language
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 1: Language and Communication; Learning and Plasticity; Psycholinguistics
Listeners perceive speech sounds relative to context. Contextual influences might differ over hemispheres if different types of auditory processing are lateralized. Hemispheric differences in contextual influences on vowel perception were investigated by presenting speech targets and both speech and non-speech contexts to listeners’ right or left ears (contexts and targets either to the same or to opposite ears). Listeners performed a discrimination task. Vowel perception was influenced by acoustic properties of the context signals. The strength of this influence depended on laterality of target presentation, and on the speech/non-speech status of the context signal. We conclude that contrastive contextual influences on vowel perception are stronger when targets are processed predominately by the right hemisphere. In the left hemisphere, contrastive effects are smaller and largely restricted to speech contexts.
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