ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06

2aSC3. Perceiving talking faces.

Dominic W. Massaro

Michael M. Cohen

Dept. of Psychol., Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Speech perception has been studied extensively in the last decades. It has been learned that people use many sources of information in perceiving and understanding speech. This talk focuses on the important contribution of visible information given in the talker's face in face-to-face communication. This visible speech is particularly helpful when the auditory speech is degraded due to noise, bandwidth filtering, or hearing impairment. Although the influence of visible speech is substantial when auditory speech is degraded, visible speech also contributes to performance even when paired with intelligible speech sounds. The importance of visible speech is most directly observed when conflicting visible speech is presented with intelligible auditory speech. These studies use a synthetic talking face to achieve control over the visible speech and to study those visible aspects that are informative. The talking head can be heard, communicates paralinguistic as well as linguistic information, and is controlled by a text-to-speech system. A fuzzy logical model of perception (FLMP) has been shown to provide an accurate description of how people evaluate and integrate audible and visible speech in a broad range of experimental studies. Demonstrations of the talking head and various psychological phenomena will be provided. [Work supported by NIDCD.]