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Effects of stimulus response compatibility on covert imitation of vowels

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>07/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Issue number5
Volume80
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)1290-1299
StatePublished
Early online date13/03/18
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

When we observe someone else speaking, we tend to automatically activate the corresponding speech motor patterns. When listening, we therefore covertly imitate the observed speech. Simulation theories of speech perception propose that covert imitation of speech motor patterns supports speech perception. Covert imitation of speech has been studied with interference
paradigms, including the stimulus–response compatibility paradigm (SRC). The SRC paradigm measures covert imitation by comparing articulation of a prompt following exposure to a distracter. Responses tend to be faster for congruent than for incongruent distracters; thus, showing evidence of covert imitation. Simulation accounts propose a key role for covert imitation
in speech perception. However, covert imitation has thus far only been demonstrated for a select class of speech sounds, namely consonants, and it is unclear whether covert imitation extends to vowels. We aimed to demonstrate that covert imitation effects as measured with the SRC paradigm extend to vowels, in two experiments. We examined whether covert imitation occurs for vowels in a consonant–vowel–consonant context in visual, audio, and audiovisual modalities. We presented the prompt at four time points to examine how covert imitation varied over the distracter’s duration. The results of both experiments clearly demonstrated covert imitation effects for vowels, thus supporting simulation theories of speech perception. Covert imitation was not affected by stimulus modality and was maximal for later time points.