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Speech Perception, Theories of

Speech perception is the process of transforming acoustic input into a discrete representation that can be recognized as a linguistic form. Consider an example in which a group of colleagues typically comment on the weather when they ride the elevator to their office each day. Each talker will generate speech that the auditory system receives in the form of a continuously varying acoustic waveform as shown in Figure 1A. As an initial step, this waveform will be transformed by the auditory system, including auditory cortex, into a representation of its spectral components as represented in Figure 1C. Generally, theories of speech perception are not directly concerned with this transformation of acoustic information (Figure 1B, arrow) because these operations are common to the processing of ...

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