NACS Seminar: Dr. Thomas Park
The Cognitive Demands Imposed by Noisy and Ambiguous Speech
When speech is heard in the presence of background sound, or when hearing is impaired, the sensory information at the ear is often too ambiguous to support speech recognition by itself. Two active areas of research, using behavioural and neuroimaging measures, are relevant to how we manage to recognize speech in challenging situations. First, I will review recent literature related to the different cognitive demands imposed during naturalistic perception of speech, and how different types of knowledge (such as the meaningful context within which an utterance is heard, or familiarity with someone’s voice, or familiarity with the reverberation characteristics of a particular space) may mitigate these. I will present recent work that illustrates the importance of different sources of knowledge, and how these may act to facilitate speech understanding. I will also survey evidence indicating the critical role that selective attention plays in speech perception in noisy environments. Finally, I will conclude by describing how listening effort – a concept that has recently become more popular since it may relate to important individual differences in speech listening that are unexplained by intelligibility-performance measures - can be understood in relation to different cognitive demands imposed during perception of noisy and ambiguous speech.
Dr. Thomas Park is a Professor and Associate Head of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
This event is open to the public.
This seminar is cosponsored by the Brain and Behavior Initiative (BBI).