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Sine-wave-analog speech bears the same relation to a recording of
real speech as a cartoon does to a photograph of a real face.
The interesting thing, from a psychologist's point of view
is that the recognition can be accomplished in either case.
Something important must have been retained in the cartoon.
The recognition also points to the flexibility of the recognition
system. Sine-wave analog speech is a useful experimental
tool because it allows some aspects of speech to
be retained while others are discarded. I believe that the
sudden "snap" from hearing it as noises to hearing it as speech
represents the switching in of speech schemas, either due to
their elicitation by properties of the signal or to suggestion
by the experimenter. The heavy contribution of top-down processes
without a lot of bottom-up support makes this an interesting stimulus.