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Speech lab

The Speech lab is specially equipped for research using and recording auditory stimuli.

Equipment and applications
The speech lab houses two soundproof booths with a monitor, microphones, headphones and loudspeakers where researchers can record auditory stimuli in preparation for experiments. Outside the booths, there are also computers and a mixing console. Software programmes such as Praat or Goldwave digitalize auditory stimuli such as speech, music and tones, and subsequently further process the sounds for use in auditory experiments. Other programmes, such as E-prime and Presentation, can be used to play auditory stimuli via loudspeakers or headphones. The soundproof booth is ideally suited for this, as there is no background noise while stimuli are recorded and test participants are not distracted by other sounds during experiments.
Speech production experiments can also be conducted in the labs. For example, the test participant can be shown a picture via a computer screen, and the time between the picture being displayed and the participant’s saying its name is measured by recording the speech signal. For this purpose, too, the soundproof booth can be used to prevent interference from background noise.

Research themes
Different types of research are conducted in the speech lab in which auditory stimuli are provided or produced, often using psycho-acoustic or psycholinguistic behavioural paradigms. This research looks at response time and the number of mistakes test participants make.
An important research theme is the recognition of spoken language. Experiments can focus on speech recognition in adults, for example, in normally developing children or in children with a developmental disorder such as dyslexia. Another research theme is speaker recognition, which may lead to interesting applications in legal psychology. Further, research is carried out into the processing of auditory illusions and objects, such as the recognition of environment sounds and music perception.
In the future, the research will be extended with studies on auditory processing in more realistic situations, i.e. the recognition and location of sounds in complex, day-to-day situations.
Last modified: Fri, 07/10/2016 - 12:26

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