ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06
5pSC24. Does the perceptual magnet effect hold for the [(small capital
Joan E. Sussman
Dept. of Commun. Disord. and Sci., State Univ. of New York at Buffalo, 122
Park Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260
Brian S. Gekas
SUNY at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260
Recent speech perception investigations [J. E. Sussman and V. J.
Lauckner-Morano, 539--562 (1995); P. Iverson and P. K. Kuhl,
563--572 (1995)] support a ``perceptual magnet effect'' [P. K. Kuhl, Percept.
Psychophys. 50, 93--107 (1991)], i.e., poor discrimination around a best
exemplar compared with discrimination around a poor example of the category. To
date, the magnet effect has been observed using the vowel [i] or consonant
categories. A magnet effect might be expected because a range of good [i]
tokens around a ``best'' exemplar would exist. However, a magnet effect may not
occur for vowels with smaller and more variable categories. Each of 10
listeners rated [(small capital eye)b] stimuli as the [(small capital eye)] in
``bib'' or not the [(small capital eye)] in ``bib.'' Then, each listener heard
the tokens he/she had labeled as [(small capital eye)] at least 50% of the time
and chose a ``best [(small capital eye)].'' Results show that [(small capital
eye)] has a smaller range (45--60 mels) around a best exemplar than [i].
Subjects chose different tokens as their ``best'' exemplar and varied in the
number of tokens located in their [(small capital eye)] categories. Finally,
results were compared to two sessions of a Change/No-change discrimination
task: One with the ``best [(small capital eye)]'' s the fixed standard, the
other with a poorer example of [(small capital eye)] as the fixed standard for
measurement of a magnet effect.