Rhythm Perception and Its Role in Perception and Learning of Dysrhythmic Speech Purpose The perception of rhythm cues plays an important role in recognizing spoken language, especially in adverse listening conditions. Indeed, this has been shown to hold true even when the rhythm cues themselves are dysrhythmic. This study investigates whether expertise in rhythm perception provides a processing advantage for perception (initial ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 2017
Rhythm Perception and Its Role in Perception and Learning of Dysrhythmic Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Stephanie A. Borrie
    Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education, Utah State University, Logan
  • Kaitlin L. Lansford
    School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Florida State University, Tallahassee
  • Tyson S. Barrett
    Department of Psychology, Utah State University, Logan
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Stephanie A. Borrie: stephanie.borrie@usu.edu
  • Editor: Julie Liss
    Editor: Julie Liss×
  • Associate Editor: Amy Neel
    Associate Editor: Amy Neel×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 2017
Rhythm Perception and Its Role in Perception and Learning of Dysrhythmic Speech
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 2017, Vol. 60, 561-570. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-16-0094
History: Received March 8, 2016 , Revised July 15, 2016 , Accepted September 11, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 2017, Vol. 60, 561-570. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-16-0094
History: Received March 8, 2016; Revised July 15, 2016; Accepted September 11, 2016
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The perception of rhythm cues plays an important role in recognizing spoken language, especially in adverse listening conditions. Indeed, this has been shown to hold true even when the rhythm cues themselves are dysrhythmic. This study investigates whether expertise in rhythm perception provides a processing advantage for perception (initial intelligibility) and learning (intelligibility improvement) of naturally dysrhythmic speech, dysarthria.

Method Fifty young adults with typical hearing participated in 3 key tests, including a rhythm perception test, a receptive vocabulary test, and a speech perception and learning test, with standard pretest, familiarization, and posttest phases. Initial intelligibility scores were calculated as the proportion of correct pretest words, while intelligibility improvement scores were calculated by subtracting this proportion from the proportion of correct posttest words.

Results Rhythm perception scores predicted intelligibility improvement scores but not initial intelligibility. On the other hand, receptive vocabulary scores predicted initial intelligibility scores but not intelligibility improvement.

Conclusions Expertise in rhythm perception appears to provide an advantage for processing dysrhythmic speech, but a familiarization experience is required for the advantage to be realized. Findings are discussed in relation to the role of rhythm in speech processing and shed light on processing models that consider the consequence of rhythm abnormalities in dysarthria.

Acknowledgments
We gratefully acknowledge research assistants Ashely Hurst and Michelle Parker in the Human Interaction Lab at Utah State University for their assistance with data collection and analysis.
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