Illusions (Stuart Rosen )

Subject: Illusions
From:    Stuart Rosen  <stuart(at)PHONETICS.UCL.AC.UK>
Date:    Tue, 24 Feb 1998 13:07:55 +0000

I was interested to read Richard Warren's recent account of speech perception being better when the visual information matched the auditory in terms of perceived distance. This seems plausible to me in that the visual information could kick in some kind of different processing for sources near and far away. For example, this is not a million miles away from the work that Tony Watkins has been doing on normalising for room reverberation effects in speech perception. What I find harder to understand is the experiment by Driver (noted by many in recentl discussions), in which a completely illusory percept led to improved performance. Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I don't think of illusions as helping the senses much in this way. For example, in much work with improving the perception of speech in noise, it is very easy to make the speech 'sound' better, but very hard to raise its intelligibilty (and this is a situation in which the signals are being explicitly modified). Are people aware of other examples like this, in which an illusory percept improves performance objectively? -------------------------------------------- Stuart Rosen, Ph.D. Professor of Speech and Hearing Science Department of Phonetics & Linguistics University College London 4 Stephenson Way London NW1 2HE England Tel: (44 171) 380-7404 Fax: (44 171) 383-0752

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