On the perception of speech sounds as biologically significant signals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


This paper reviews some of the major evidence and arguments currently available to support the view that human speech perception may require the use of specialized neural mechanisms for perceptual analysis. Experiments using synthetically produced speech signals with adults are briefly summarized and extensions of these results to infants and other organisms are reviewed with an emphasis towards detailing those aspects of speech perception that may require some need for specialized species-specific processors. Finally, some comments on the role of early experience in perceptual development are provided as an attempt to identify promising areas of new research in speech perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-350
Number of pages21
JournalBrain, Behavior and Evolution
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1979


  • Discrimination
  • Feature detectors
  • Identification
  • Perceptual constancy
  • Perceptual development
  • Species-specific acoustic signals
  • Speech mode
  • Speech perception
  • Synthetic speech

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Neuroscience(all)

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