Research report 2019 - Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Brain waves synchronize to the speed of talking, influencing the way we hear words

Bosker, Hans Rutger
Abteilung "Psychology of Language"
Even though we typically have little trouble having a spoken conversation with someone else, speech in everyday communication is a noisy and highly variable signal. The same word can be pronounced in very different ways. It is therefore quite remarkable that listeners have little trouble understanding speech with all its variation. The present study has revealed a neurobiological mechanism that helps listeners understand speech produced at different speech rates, involving brainwaves synchronizing to the rhythm of speech, in turn influencing how we perceive the words in the speech signal.

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