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J Acoust Soc Am. 2017 Apr;141(4):2758. doi: 10.1121/1.4981139.

Modulation of auditory-motor learning in response to formant perturbation as a function of delayed auditory feedback.

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Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington, 1417 N.E. 42nd Street, Seattle, Washington 98105-6246, USA.
Department of Psychology, 62 Arch Street, Humphrey Hall, Room 232, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada.
National Centre for Audiology, School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Elborn College, Western University, London Ontario N6G 1H1, Canada.


The interaction of language production and perception has been substantiated by empirical studies where speakers compensate their speech articulation in response to the manipulated sound of their voice heard in real-time as auditory feedback. A recent study by Max and Maffett [(2015). Neurosci. Lett. 591, 25-29] reported an absence of compensation (i.e., auditory-motor learning) for frequency-shifted formants when auditory feedback was delayed by 100 ms. In the present study, the effect of auditory feedback delay was studied when only the first formant was manipulated while delaying auditory feedback systematically. In experiment 1, a small yet significant compensation was observed even with 100 ms of auditory delay unlike the past report. This result suggests that the tolerance of feedback delay depends on different types of auditory errors being processed. In experiment 2, it was revealed that the amount of formant compensation had an inverse linear relationship with the amount of auditory delay. One of the speculated mechanisms to account for these results is that as auditory delay increases, undelayed (and unperturbed) somatosensory feedback is given more preference for accuracy control of vowel formants.

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