vocalization & speech

Broca's Aphasia - videos

This video from the archives of the University of Wisconsin at Madison Physiology department shows an interview with a patient with Broca's aphasia. The patient has great difficulty articulating sentences, and produces only isolated words and utterances. However, note that his utterances are "on topic", suggesting that he has little difficulty understanding the speech of his interviewer.

The McGurk Effect

The "McGurk Effect" illustrates that what our eyes see can influence what we hear. The video here below shows Prof Patricia Kuhl's demonstration of this effect. She is mouthing the syllables /ga-ga/, but the video has been dubbed with a sound track of her saying /ba-ba/. Your eyes can tell that the lips are not closed at the beginning of the syllables, and they therefore tell your brain that the syllable cannot be /ba/, even though in reality it is.

Looking for brain areas that extract meaning from speech with spectrally rotated sounds

Sophie Scott and colleagues tried to identify areas in the brain that might be involved in mapping sound to meaning using a neuroimaging approach. They used speech samples which they either vocoded , so they sounded different but were still comprehensible, or they "rotated" the speech to make it incomprehensible while keeping it "acoustically similar" to normal speech.

Human Articulators in Action - video

This movie is from the website of the Speech Production and kNowledge Group (SPAN) at the University of Southern California. It shows the vocal tract of a young lady, imaged with magnetic resonance technology, while she talks about her love of music.

Mishka, the talking dog

This youtube video shows a husky dog named "Mishka", exchanging some surprisingly verbal declarations of love with her owners. 

 

The role of Pitch in Speech

In Indo-European languages, changing the pitch of the voice usually does not change the meaning of a spoken word or sentence. We illustrate this here, using as our speech sample one of the finer samples of political rhetoric of the early 3rd millenium. (No, not Obama, Bush.

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