A second chance for a first impression: Sensitivity to cumulative input statistics for lexically guided perceptual learning
Psychonomic Bulletin and Review
Listeners use lexical knowledge to modify the mapping from acoustics to speech sounds, but the timecourse of experience that informs lexically guided perceptual learning is unknown. Some data suggest that learning is contingent on initial exposure to atypical productions, while other data suggest that learning reflects only the most recent exposure. Here we seek to reconcile these findings by assessing the type and timecourse of exposure that promote robust lexcially guided perceptual learning. In three experiments, listeners (n = 560) heard 20 critical productions interspersed among 200 trials during an exposure phase and then categorized items from an ashi–asi continuum in a test phase. In Experiment 1, critical productions consisted of ambiguous fricatives embedded in either /s/- or /ʃ/-biasing contexts. Learning was observed; the /s/-bias group showed more asi responses compared to the /ʃ/-bias group. In Experiment 2, listeners heard ambiguous and clear productions in a consistent context. Order and lexical bias were manipulated between-subjects, and perceptual learning occurred regardless of the order in which the clear and ambiguous productions were heard. In Experiment 3, listeners heard ambiguous fricatives in both /s/- and /ʃ/-biasing contexts. Order differed between two exposure groups, and no difference between groups was observed at test. Moreover, the results showed a monotonic decrease in learning across experiments, in line with decreasing exposure to stable lexically biasing contexts, and were replicated across novel stimulus sets. In contrast to previous findings showing that either initial or most recent experience are critical for lexically guided perceptual learning, the current results suggest that perceptual learning reflects cumulative experience with a talker’s input over time.
National Science Foundation
Language comprehension, Perceptual learning, Speech perception
Christina Y. Tzeng, Lynne C. Nygaard, and Rachel M. Theodore. "A second chance for a first impression: Sensitivity to cumulative input statistics for lexically guided perceptual learning" Psychonomic Bulletin and Review (2021): 1003-1014. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-020-01840-6