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Effects of reverberation on perceptual segregation of competing voices

Culling, John Francis, Hodder, Kathryn I. and Toh, Chaz Yee 2003. Effects of reverberation on perceptual segregation of competing voices. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 114 (5) , pp. 2871-2876. 10.1121/1.1616922

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Abstract

Two experiments investigated the effect of reverberation on listeners’ ability to perceptually segregate two competing voices. Culling et al. [Speech Commun. 14, 71–96 (1994)] found that for competing synthetic vowels, masked identification thresholds were increased by reverberation only when combined with modulation of fundamental frequency (F0). The present investigation extended this finding to running speech. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) were measured for a male voice against a single interfering female voice within a virtual room with controlled reverberation. The two voices were either (1) co-located in virtual space at 0° azimuth or (2) separately located at ±60° azimuth. In experiment 1, target and interfering voices were either normally intonated or resynthesized with a fixed F0. In anechoic conditions, SRTs were lower for normally intonated and for spatially separated sources, while, in reverberant conditions, the SRTs were all the same. In experiment 2, additional conditions employed inverted F0 contours. Inverted F0 contours yielded higher SRTs in all conditions, regardless of reverberation. The results suggest that reverberation can seriously impair listeners’ ability to exploit differences in F0 and spatial location between competing voices. The levels of reverberation employed had no effect on speech intelligibility in quiet. © 2003 Acoustical Society of America.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Publisher: Acoustical Society of America
ISSN: 0001-4966
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:49
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/3276

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