The functional sensorimotor nature of speech production has been demonstrated in studies examining speech adaptation to auditory and/or somatosensory feedback manipulations. These studies have focused primarily on flexible motor processes to explain their findings, without considering modifications to sensory representations resulting from the adaptation process. The present study explores whether the perceptual representation of the /s-ʃ/ contrast may be adjusted following the alteration of auditory feedback during the production of /s/-initial words. Consistent with prior studies of speech adaptation, talkers exposed to the feedback manipulation were found to adapt their motor plans for /s/-production in order to compensate for the effects of the sensory perturbation. In addition, a shift in the /s-ʃ/ category boundary was observed that reduced the functional impact of the auditory feedback manipulation by increasing the perceptual “distance” between the category boundary and subjects’ altered /s/-stimuli—a pattern of perceptual adaptation that was not observed in two separate control groups. These results suggest that speech adaptation to altered auditory feedback is not limited to the motor domain, but rather involves changes in both motor output and auditory representations of speech sounds that together act to reduce the impact of the perturbation.
Perceptual recalibration of speech sounds following speech motor learning
Douglas M. Shiller, Marc Sato, Vincent L. Gracco, Shari R. Baum; Perceptual recalibration of speech sounds following speech motor learning. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 February 2009; 125 (2): 1103–1113. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.3058638
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