Tactual Speech Perception by Minimally Trained Deaf Subjects Research on tactual perception of speech has shown that many phonetic contrasts can be transmitted to the deaf through artificial hearing devices that stimulate the sense of touch. Past research has emphasized long-term training with tactual reception or the achievement of maximal perceptual performance. The present study demonstrates that, with ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1980
Tactual Speech Perception by Minimally Trained Deaf Subjects
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • D. Kimbrough Oller
    University of Miami, Miami, Florida
  • Shelley Lynn Payne
    University of Miami, Miami, Florida
  • William J. Gavin
    University of Miami, Miami, Florida
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1980
Tactual Speech Perception by Minimally Trained Deaf Subjects
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1980, Vol. 23, 769-778. doi:10.1044/jshr.2304.769
History: Received March 26, 1979 , Accepted September 28, 1979
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1980, Vol. 23, 769-778. doi:10.1044/jshr.2304.769
History: Received March 26, 1979; Accepted September 28, 1979

Research on tactual perception of speech has shown that many phonetic contrasts can be transmitted to the deaf through artificial hearing devices that stimulate the sense of touch. Past research has emphasized long-term training with tactual reception or the achievement of maximal perceptual performance. The present study demonstrates that, with a brief training period, deaf adolescents can attain a high level of perceptual performance with a tactual speech system in discrimination of certain hard-to-lipread word pairs pronounced by both a male and a female speaker. Thus some speech sounds previously indistinguishable by the deaf people can be immediately available for speech comprehension through the tactual vocoder; and other speech sounds will be recognized with further training. The reason that some contrasts are learned quickly and others require extensive training may be found in a pattern perception postulate proposed by Gavin (1979): word patterns that result in stimulation across a greater area of skin tend to be more discriminable than word patterns which stimulate only small areas of the skin.

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