Toddlers' comprehension of noise-vocoded speech and sine-wave analogs to speech

Rochelle S. Newman, Monita Chatterjee, Giovanna Morini, Molly Nasuta

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A great deal of research has investigated listeners' ability to compensate for degraded speech signals such as noise-vocoded speech (a signal with reduced spectral structure but intact amplitude envelope information) and sine-wave analogs to speech (a signal that maintains the global dynamic spectral structure of the signal at the expense of amplitude envelope information). Nittrouer and colleagues found developmental changes in the ability to comprehend such signals, reporting that while adults perform more accurately with sine-wave analogs than with noise-vocoded speech, school-aged children show the opposite pattern (e.g., Nittrouer Lowenstein & Packer, 2009). In a series of studies, we tested toddler's comprehension of these degraded signals. 27-month-old children saw two images on each trial (e.g., cat, dog), and heard a voice instructing them which image to look at ("Find the cat!"). Sentences were presented either in full speech or were degraded. Toddlers looked at the appropriate object equally long with vocoded speech of 24 channels (60.2%) or 8 channels (62.4%) as with full speech (62.6%), but performed barely above chance with 4 channels (53.6%) and at chance for 2 channels (49.8%). Preliminary results suggest that performance with sine-wave analogs is poorer than 8-channel vocoded speech (56.1%), but testing is ongoing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number060077
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
StatePublished - 2013
Event21st International Congress on Acoustics, ICA 2013 - 165th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: Jun 2 2013Jun 7 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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