Compensatory and adaptive responses to real-time formant shifts in adults and children

Terband, Hayo and Van Brenk, Frits; (2015) Compensatory and adaptive responses to real-time formant shifts in adults and children. In: Proceedings of ICPhS 2015. University of Glasgow, GBR. ISBN 978-0-85261-941-4 (

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Auditory feedback plays an important role in speech motor learning. Previous studies investigating auditory feedback in speech development suggest that crucial steps are made in the development of auditory-motor integration around the age of 4. The present study investigated compensatory and adaptive responses to auditory perturbation in 4 to 9 year-old children compared to young adults (aged 19 – 29 years). Auditory feedback was perturbed by real-time shifting the first and second formant (F1 and F2) of the vowel /e:/ during the production of CVC words in a fivestep paradigm (familiarization; baseline; ramp; hold; release). Results showed that the children were able to compensate and adapt in a similar or larger degree compared to the young adults, even though the proportion of speakers displaying a consistent compensatory response was higher in the group of adults. In contrast to previous reports, results did not show differences in token-to-token variability between children and adults.


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