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Formants and speech perception

Martin Grim mgrim at cs.utwente.nl
Mon Dec 4 09:23:54 EST 1995

Hi there,

Perhaps I am posting this question in the entire wrong news group. In 
that case just ignore it.

Right now I am working on my master thesis on speech recognition with a
"new" kind of neural network (called "Little Linguistic Creature"). With
this network I try to model the ear and the brain, anatomical and functional, 
as good as possible. 

Collecting information about the anatomical part isn't such a hard task, 
but less is known about the way the brain computes speech from the signals 
delivered by the ear and the auditory pathway. The ear converts the sound 
waves to a frequency spectrum, which is send to the auditory cortex. Speech 
is known to be build up by phonemes and phonemes can be identified by their 
formants, or even by formant ratios (for speaker independency). The question 
which rises now is does the brain computes speech from the enire frequency 
spectrum, or does it use just the formants? 

Does somebody know the answer to this question (which is summarized as 
"are formants biological plausible"), or perhaps a reference of a publication 
with a discussion about this subject?

Thanks in advance,

Martin Grim
Student Computer Science - Natural Language Processing
University of Twente, The Netherlands

mgrim at cs.utwente.nl

It has been a while since my last English writing, so I hope you
will forgive all the errors I've made.

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