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Percept Psychophys. 2000 May;62(4):874-86.

Perceptual magnet and phoneme boundary effects in speech perception: do they arise from a common mechanism?

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University of Washington, Seattle, USA.


The question of whether sensitivity peaks at vowel boundaries (i.e., phoneme boundary effects) and sensitivity minima near excellent category exemplars (i.e., perceptual magnet effects) stem from the same stage of perceptual processing was examined in two experiments. In Experiment 1, participants gave phoneme identification and goodness ratings for 13 synthesized English /i/ and /e/ vowels. In Experiment 2, participants discriminated pairs of these vowels. Either the listeners discriminated the entire range of stimuli within each block of trials, or the range within each block was restricted to a single stimulus pair. In addition, listeners discriminated either one-step or two-step intervals along the stimulus series. The results demonstrated that sensitivity peaks at vowel boundaries were more influenced by stimulus range than were perceptual magnet effects; peaks in sensitivity near the /i/-/e/ boundary were reduced with restricted stimulus ranges and one-step intervals, but minima in discrimination near the best exemplars of /i/ were present in all conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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