Brain, Language, & Acoustic Behavior Laboratory

Emma Baumgardt Presents at the UW-Madison Undergraduate Research Symposium

Emma Baumgardt, and undergraduate research assistant in the BLAB lab, is presenting her work on a new online speech perception study at UW-Madison’s Undergraduate Research Symposium.

The impact of sensorimotor adaptation on speech intelligibility

In a previous study, speakers were presented with altered auditory feedback that decreased their vowel contrast, and learned to oppose the perturbation by increasing their vowel space. Here, we determine whether this sensorimotor adaptation also impacts speech intelligibility, by asking participants to identify words from recordings, masked by additional noise, made before and after speakers adapted their speech to increase their vowel space. Because adaptation resulted in more acoustically distinct vowels, we hypothesize that the words produced after adaptation will be more perceptually distinct than words produced before adaptation. Because individuals with motor speech disorders have less distinct vowels and lower speech intelligibility, studying whether sensorimotor adaptation increases speech intelligibility will allow for a greater understanding of how speech intelligibility can be intentionally increased.