Speaking or singing ?

Unveiling individual variation in the perception of the “speech-to-song illusion”

Nom du projet : Speaking or singing ? Unveiling individual variation in the perception of the “speech-to-song illusion”

source de financement : The Leverhulme Trust

Responsable : Dr Tamara Rathcke, University of Kent, UK

Responsable LPP  : Simone Falk, LPP

Partenaires : Pr Simone Dalla Bella, Université de Montréal

durée du projet : 2016-2018

Résumé :
Can speech ever sound like song ? Seemingly impossible, the « Speech-to-Song illusion » (S2S) is a striking example of a perceptual effect where a spoken phrase repeated several times shifts to being heard as sung without any change to the speech sounds. Our previous work revealed that sound acoustics play a crucial role in S2S ; but so far, the cognitive processes underpinning the transformation remain unclear. The project examines the role of the individual perceiver as not all listeners are equally likely to experience the effect. We aim to investigate healthy native and non-native populations with normally distributed characteristics such as musical training, language skills and working memory capacity, in order to unveil if, and how, these characteristics may predict listeners’ performance in S2S. The project will illuminate how the link between language and music is mediated by cognitive abilities and previous experience of the listener.