Musician Effects on the Perception of Speech With Degraded Fundamental Frequency Contours in Noisy Environments (68976)

Session Information:

Session: On Demand
Room: Virtual Poster Presentation
Presentation Type:Virtual Poster Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Pitch variations of the fundamental frequency (F0) contour contributes critical information to encoding speech under noisy environments. Recent evidence suggests that musicians may confer an advantage on speech-in-noise perception due to enhanced F0 pitch discrimination abilities. However, previous studies compared speech with natural-F0 and flattened-F0 contours (i.e., monotone pitch), leaving the effects contributed from different levels of F0 contours unexamined. This study investigates whether a musician advantage exists in understanding Mandarin Chinese speech where the F0 pitch contour is degraded at different levels (i.e., conveying tone and/or intonation information). To this end, we systematically flattened the F0 contour either at the tone level, intonation level, or all levels of F0 contour pitch information to assess musician effects on speech-in-noise perception. A cohort of sixteen musicians and 17 non-musicians identified degraded-F0 Mandarin Chinese sentences masked under noise at four signal-to-noise ratios (no noise, 0, −5, and −9 dB). Pitch difference thresholds and innate musical skills associated with speech-in-noise benefits were also assessed. While speech intelligibility decreased with decreasing signal-to-noise levels for both musicians and non-musicians, we found no musician advantage in identifying any type of flattened-F0 contour speech in noise. Musicians demonstrated smaller (better) pitch discrimination thresholds, which correlated with better perception of flat-intonation speech. In addition, higher speech intelligibility was associated with better performance on innate musical skills on pitch and accent processing. These findings suggest that speech-in-noise benefits may not be contingent on the ability to process F0 pitch contours, and could instead be related to innate musical skills.

I-Hui Hsieh, National Central University, Taiwan
Yu-Jyun Guo, National Central University, Taiwan

About the Presenter(s)
Professor I-Hui Hsieh is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at National Central University in Taiwan

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00