Adaptation in Speech Motor Control

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 10 (NIPS 1997)

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John Houde, Michael Jordan


Human subjects are known to adapt their motor behavior to a shift of the visual field brought about by wearing prism glasses over their eyes. We have studied the analog of this effect in speech. U sing a device that can feed back transformed speech signals in real time, we exposed subjects to alterations of their own speech feedback. We found that speakers learn to adjust their production of a vowel to compensate for feedback alterations that change the vowel's perceived phonetic identity; moreover, the effect generalizes across consonant contexts and to different vowels.