Perceptual Adaptation of Voice Gender Discrimination With Spectrally Shifted Vowels PurposeTo determine whether perceptual adaptation improves voice gender discrimination of spectrally shifted vowels and, if so, which acoustic cues contribute to the improvement.MethodVoice gender discrimination was measured for 10 normal-hearing subjects, during 5 days of adaptation to spectrally shifted vowels, produced by processing the speech of 5 male and 5 ... Research Note
Research Note  |   August 01, 2011
Perceptual Adaptation of Voice Gender Discrimination With Spectrally Shifted Vowels
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Tianhao Li
    House Ear Institute, Los Angeles, CA
    House Ear Institute, Los Angeles, CA
  • Qian-Jie Fu
    House Ear Institute, Los Angeles, CA
    House Ear Institute, Los Angeles, CA
  • Correspondence to Tianhao Li: tianhaol@gmail.com
  • Editor: Robert Schlauch
    Editor: Robert Schlauch×
  • Associate Editor: Christopher Turner
    Associate Editor: Christopher Turner×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing
Research Note   |   August 01, 2011
Perceptual Adaptation of Voice Gender Discrimination With Spectrally Shifted Vowels
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2011, Vol. 54, 1240-1245. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/10-0168)
History: Received June 17, 2010 , Revised November 18, 2010 , Accepted November 18, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2011, Vol. 54, 1240-1245. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/10-0168)
History: Received June 17, 2010; Revised November 18, 2010; Accepted November 18, 2010

PurposeTo determine whether perceptual adaptation improves voice gender discrimination of spectrally shifted vowels and, if so, which acoustic cues contribute to the improvement.

MethodVoice gender discrimination was measured for 10 normal-hearing subjects, during 5 days of adaptation to spectrally shifted vowels, produced by processing the speech of 5 male and 5 female talkers with 16-channel sine-wave vocoders. The subjects were randomly divided into 2 groups; one subjected to 50-Hz, and the other to 200-Hz, temporal envelope cutoff frequencies. No preview or feedback was provided.

ResultsThere was significant adaptation in voice gender discrimination with the 200-Hz cutoff frequency, but significant improvement was observed only for 3 female talkers with F0 > 180 Hz and 3 male talkers with F0 < 170 Hz. There was no significant adaptation with the 50-Hz cutoff frequency.

ConclusionsTemporal envelope cues are important for voice gender discrimination under spectral shift conditions with perceptual adaptation, but spectral shift may limit the exclusive use of spectral information and/or the use of formant structure on voice gender discrimination. The results have implications for cochlear implant users and for understanding voice gender discrimination.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant DC004792. We would like to thank all subjects for their time and attention.
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