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Perceptual learning of dysarthric speech : effects of familiarization and feedback Buchholz, Leah Kee


The current study investigated the presence of perceptual learning following familiarization with spastic dysarthric speech secondary to cerebral palsy. The phonemic level of speech perception was examined using the word-initial stop voicing contrast. Stimuli were produced by a male speaker with severe spastic dysarthria. Speech samples were selected from the speaker’s utterances based on negative voice-onset time (prevoicing duration). Stimuli were systematically selected to create the voicing contrast using tokens with either short prevoicing or abnormally long prevoicing durations. Thirty naïve listeners were randomly assigned to one of three familiarization groups: one group was provided written feedback during familiarization, the second group listened to the same stimuli but was not provided with feedback, and the third group listened to different stimuli, which did not contain the voicing contrast. A forced-choice testing format was used to measure listeners’ responses preceding and following familiarization. Results showed changes in listeners’ response patterns following familiarization across the three groups indicating that perceptual learning occurred. Theoretical, clinical, and design implications are explored.

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