Effects of stimulus variability and adult aging on adaptation to time-compressed speech

Julie D. Golomb, Jonathan E. Peelle, Arthur Wingfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


With as few as 10-20 sentences of exposure, listeners are able to adapt to speech that is highly distorted compared to that which is encountered in everyday conversation. The current study examines the extent to which adaptation to time-compressed speech can be impeded by disrupting the continuity of the exposure sentences, and whether this differs between young and older adult listeners when they are equated for starting accuracy. In separate sessions conducted one week apart, the degree of adaptation was assessed in four exposure conditions, all of which involved exposure to the same number of time-compressed sentences. A continuous exposure condition involved presentation of the time-compressed sentences without interruption. Two alternation conditions alternated time-compressed speech and uncompressed speech by single sentences or groups of four sentences. A fourth condition presented sentences that were separated by a period of silence but no uncompressed speech. For all conditions, neither young nor older adults' overall level of learning was influenced by disruptions to the exposure sentences. In addition, participants' performance showed reliable improvement across the first and subsequent sessions. These results support robust learning mechanisms in speech perception that remain functional throughout the lifespan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1701-1708
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2007


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