We examined the frequency specificity of amplitude envelope patterns in 4 frequency bands, which universally appeared through factor analyses applied to power fluctuations of critical-band filtered speech sounds in 8 different languages/dialects [Ueda and Nakajima (2017). Sci. Rep., 7 (42468)]. A series of 3 perceptual experiments with noise-vocoded speech of Japanese sentences was conducted. Nearly perfect (92–94%) mora recognition was achieved, without any extensive training, in a control condition in which 4-band noise-vocoded speech was employed (Experiments 1–3). Blending amplitude envelope patterns of the frequency bands, which resulted in reducing the number of amplitude envelope patterns while keeping the average spectral levels unchanged, revealed a clear deteriorating effect on intelligibility (Experiment 1). Exchanging amplitude envelope patterns brought generally detrimental effects on intelligibility, especially when involving the 2 lowest bands (≲1850 Hz; Experiment 2). Exchanging spectral levels averaged in time had a small but significant deteriorating effect on intelligibility in a few conditions (Experiment 3). Frequency specificity in low-frequency-band envelope patterns thus turned out to be conspicuous in speech perception.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Sensory Systems
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics