Intelligibility of temporally degraded speech was investigated with locally time-reversed speech (LTR) and its interrupted version (ILTR). Control stimuli comprising interrupted speech (I) were also included. Speech stimuli consisted of 200 Japanese meaningful sentences. In interrupted stimuli, speech segments were alternated with either silent gaps or pink noise bursts. The noise bursts had a level of − 10, 0 or + 10 dB relative to the speech level. Segment duration varied from 20 to 160 ms for ILTR sentences, but was fixed at 160 ms for I sentences. At segment durations between 40 and 80 ms, severe reductions in intelligibility were observed for ILTR sentences, compared with LTR sentences. A substantial improvement in intelligibility (30–33%) was observed when 40-ms silent gaps in ILTR were replaced with 0- and + 10-dB noise. Noise with a level of − 10 dB had no effect on the intelligibility. These findings show that the combined effects of interruptions and temporal reversal of speech segments on intelligibility are greater than the sum of each individual effect. The results also support the idea that illusory continuity induced by high-level noise bursts improves the intelligibility of ILTR and I sentences.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Sensory Systems
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics