Sensorimotor Adaptation in Speech Production

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Science  20 Feb 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5354, pp. 1213-1216
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5354.1213

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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. The analog of this phenomenon was studied in the speech domain. By use of a device that can feed back transformed speech signals in real time, subjects were exposed to phonetically sensible, online perturbations of their own speech patterns. It was 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 phonetic contexts and to different vowels.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: houde{at}

  • Present address: University of California San Francisco, Keck Center, 513 Parnassus Avenue, S-877, San Francisco, CA 94143–0732, USA.

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