Neurophysiological Feature Detectors and Speech Perception: A Discussion of Theoretical Implications The purpose of this paper is to promote consideration of a neurophysiologically oriented theory of speech perception. This theory holds that the phonological attributes of human speech are decoded by neurosensory receptive fields operating as “feature detectors” These fields are held to be innately structured to detect, and respond to, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 1971
Neurophysiological Feature Detectors and Speech Perception: A Discussion of Theoretical Implications
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • James H. Abbs
    Department of Communicative Disorders, University of Wisconsin
  • Harvey M. Sussman
    Behavioral Cybernetics Laboratory, University of Wisconsin
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 1971
Neurophysiological Feature Detectors and Speech Perception: A Discussion of Theoretical Implications
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1971, Vol. 14, 23-36. doi:10.1044/jshr.1401.23
History: Received June 16, 1969
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1971, Vol. 14, 23-36. doi:10.1044/jshr.1401.23
History: Received June 16, 1969

The purpose of this paper is to promote consideration of a neurophysiologically oriented theory of speech perception. This theory holds that the phonological attributes of human speech are decoded by neurosensory receptive fields operating as “feature detectors” These fields are held to be innately structured to detect, and respond to, the various distinguishing physical parameters of the acoustic sound stream. Neurophysiological, psychophysical, and developmental evidence is cited to support such a position. A feature detector theory appears to provide an explanation for many phenomena revealed by speech perception research.

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