Across-formant integration and speech intelligibility: effects of acoustic source properties in the presence and absence of a contralateral interferer

Robert J. Summers, Peter J. Bailey, Brian Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The role of source properties in across-formant integration was explored using three-formant (F1+F2+F3) analogues of natural sentences (targets). In experiment 1, F1+F3 were harmonic analogues (H1+H3) generated using a monotonous buzz source and second-order resonators; in experiment 2, F1+F3 were tonal analogues (T1+T3). F2 could take either form (H2 or T2). Target formants were always presented monaurally; the receiving ear was assigned randomly on each trial. In some conditions, only the target was present; in others, a competitor for F2 (F2C) was presented contralaterally. Buzz-excited or tonal competitors were created using the time-reversed frequency and amplitude contours of F2. Listeners must reject F2C to optimize keyword recognition. Whether or not a competitor was present, there was no effect of source mismatch between F1+F3 and F2. The impact of adding F2C was modest when it was tonal but large when it was harmonic, irrespective of whether F2C matched F1+F3. This pattern was maintained when harmonic and tonal counterparts were loudness-matched (experiment 3). Source type and competition, rather than acoustic similarity, governed the phonetic contribution of a formant. Contrary to earlier research using dichotic targets, requiring across-ear integration to optimize intelligibility, H2C was an equally effective informational masker for H2 as for T2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1227-1238
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume140
Issue number2
Early online date19 Aug 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016 Author(s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Funding: ESRC ES/K004905/1

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