Professor Lori Holt (Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Psychology and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition) will deliver the 2014 Frances Ingemann Lecture.
The lecture will take place on Thursday, March 6th at 4:00 pm in 3139 Wescoe.
"Speech, melodies and invaders from space: What speech reveals about how the auditory system uses the past to interpret the present"
The ease of everyday conversation masks the cognitive and perceptual challenges of translating from acoustic signal to meaning. Long relegated as a special perceptual system, it appeared that speech could tell us very little about more general issues of auditory processing. The latest research guides us away from this classic way of thinking about speech. I will illustrate how perceptual challenges from human speech perception illuminate how experience shapes auditory perception at different time scales - from the influence of a single precursor sound, to distributions of sounds across seconds, to statistical regularities in acoustics experienced across multiple training sessions. For each phenomenon, I will make connections with the neurobiological mechanisms that may underlie experience-dependent effects in audition in hopes of stimulating discussion about what the challenges of speech perception contribute to understanding of auditory processing, more generally.