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Re: checking the acoustical difference

Dear Daniel,

Erich Schröger and his group has done experiments with MMN in the oddbal
paradigm, using two pairs of synthetical vowels that differed by the
same amount in the F1/F2 space, but only one pair was phonetically
different to the (German) subjects. The choice of these two pairs was
such that with a group of a different nationality (was it Hungarian? Was
it Finish?) exactly the other pair was phonetically different. If I
remember the results correctly, the MMN was elicited in both cases
(phonetically different or not), but to a larger degree if there was a
phonetical difference. Erich could surely give you the reference to this
work. It comes quite close to what you have in mind.

This having said, CV syllables might represent a nice complement to the
above study. I could think of the /ba/ - /pa/ continuum, using
differences in the regional dialects. Saxonian Germans would have a
different categorization boundary than northern Germans. There will
surely be analogous shifts of categorization boundaries in Russian dialects.


Dear listers,
Could you help me with an advice or some literature references?

I’ve two CV syllables, namely /ba/ and /va/, that are clearly perceived and elicit mismatch negativity in ERPs, when used in the odd-ball paradigm. I want to prove that the MMN that I observe is of the phonetic origin while the acoustic difference is so faint, that it won’t be noticed and won’t elicit MMN in a non-speech context.
What kind of approach would you consider to be more reasonable and why?
- take first 25 ms of the stimuli (the part where they do differ) and attach them to the same vowel-like complex tone.
- reverse stimuli spectra around certain frequency (say, 2kHz)  and present participants with the resynthesized sounds
- something else?


Daniel Kislyuk,
St.Petersburg State University
mail-to: scrofa@yandex.ru

PD Dr. Christian Kaernbach
Institut für Allgemeine Psychologie
Universität Leipzig
Seeburgstr. 14-20 Tel.: +49 341 97-35968, Fax: -35969
04 103 Leipzig Germany www.kaernbach.de