Poster B1, Sunday, March 25, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Impact of talker adaptation on speech processing and working memory
Sung-Joo Lim1, Jessica Tin1, Barbara Shinn-Cunningham1, Tyler Perrachione1; 1Boston University
Perceptual adaptation to talkers is known to facilitate immediate recognition of speech. However, it is unclear whether and how talker adaptation also facilitates maintenance of speech information in working memory. Using electroencephalography (EEG) during a delayed recall of digit span task, we investigated whether talker adaptation facilitates working memory performance. We also investigated whether neural oscillatory power in the alpha frequency range (~10 Hz) reflects facilitatory effects of talker adaptation during both speech encoding and working memory retention. On each trial, listeners encoded a sequence of seven randomly ordered digits and recalled them in order after a 5-s retention delay. Digit sequences were spoken by either a single talker or multiple, random talkers, and were presented at either faster or slower speech rates (0-ms vs. 500-ms inter-digit intervals). Listeners responded faster and more accurately for sequences spoken by a single talker compared to multiple talkers at both presentation rates. Especially for the faster presentation rate, listeners were significantly more efficient (i.e., faster and more accurate) in recalling sequences spoken by a single talker than multiple talkers. Processing digit sequences spoken by a single vs. multiple talkers also elicited reduced parietal alpha power during both speech encoding and working memory retention, particularly for the faster presentation rate. These results suggest that talker adaptation reduces cognitive effort during both speech encoding and memory retention, thereby producing more efficient working memory for speech information, especially when listeners must process speech rapidly.
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Auditory