You know what you're going to say before you say it, right? Not necessarily, research suggests. A study from researchers at Lund University in Sweden shows that auditory feedback plays an important role in helping us determine what we're saying as we speak. The study is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
"Our results indicate that speakers listen to their own voices to help specify the meaning of what they are saying," says researcher Andreas Lind of Lund University, lead author of the study.
Theories about how we produce speech often assume that we start with a clear, preverbal idea of what to say that goes through different levels of encoding to finally become an utterance. But the findings from this study support an alternative model in which speech is more than just a dutiful translation of this preverbal message:
"These findings suggest that the meaning of an utterance is not entirely internal to the speaker, but that it is also determined by the feedback we receive from our utterances, and from the inferences we draw from the wider conversational context," Lind explains.
For the study, Lind and colleagues recruited Swedish participants to complete a classic Stroop test, which provided a controlled linguistic setting. During the Stroop test, participants were presented with various color words (e.g., "red" or "green") one at a time on a screen and were tasked with naming the color of the font that each word was printed in, rather than the color that the word itself signified.
The participants wore headphones that provided real-time auditory feedback as they took the test unbeknownst to them, the researchers had rigged the feedback using a voice-triggered playback system. This system allowed the researchers to substitute specific phonologically similar but semantically distinct words ("grey", "green") in real time, a technique they call "Real-ti
|Contact: Anna Mikulak|
Association for Psychological Science