Dr. James Sawusch
Summary of Research Interests:
My research focuses on how listeners map sound onto language. When we hear someone talking, our experience is of a discrete sequence of words. However, the sound is continuous. There are three primary projects in our research program. First, how do listeners map sound onto a language representation of phonemes and syllables. These are the units that words are built from. Second, what is the precise nature of this set of segments (phonemes and syllables) and how much detail about the sound and the talker do they include. Third, how does our knowledge of the words of our language alter our perception of the segments (phonemes and syllables) that make up the words. Experimental studies with human listeners examine both the limits of what humans can do and what they routinely do when listening (on-line, real-time processing). Computational modeling is used as an aid to understanding and explaining perception and to explore the adequacy of various theories of speech perception.
Department of Psychology, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
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