Idiosyncratic use of bottom-up and top-down information leads to differences in speech perception flexibility: Converging evidence from ERPs and eye-tracking
Kapnoula, Efthymia C.
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Efthymia C. Kapnoula, Bob McMurray, Idiosyncratic use of bottom-up and top-down information leads to differences in speech perception flexibility: Converging evidence from ERPs and eye-tracking, Brain and Language, Volume 223, 2021, 105031, ISSN 0093-934X, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2021.105031
Listeners generally categorize speech sounds in a gradient manner. However, recent work, using a visual analogue scaling (VAS) task, suggests that some listeners show more categorical performance, leading to less flexible cue integration and poorer recovery from misperceptions (Kapnoula et al., 2017, 2021). We asked how individual differences in speech gradiency can be reconciled with the well-established gradiency in the modal listener, showing how VAS performance relates to both Visual World Paradigm and EEG measures of gradiency. We also investigated three potential sources of these individual differences: inhibitory control; lexical inhibition; and early cue encoding. We used the N1 ERP component to track pre-categorical encoding of Voice Onset Time (VOT). The N1 linearly tracked VOT, reflecting a fundamentally gradient speech perception; however, for less gradient listeners, this linearity was disrupted near the boundary. Thus, while all listeners are gradient, they may show idiosyncratic encoding of specific cues, affecting downstream processing.