Toronto Metropolitan University
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Feeling Voices

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-15, 21:16 authored by Paolo Ammirante, Frank RussoFrank Russo, Arla Good, Deborah FelsDeborah Fels

Two experiments investigated deaf individuals' ability to discriminate between same-sex talkers based on vibrotactile stimulation alone. Nineteen participants made same/different judgments on pairs of utterances presented to the lower back through voice coils embedded in a conforming chair. Discrimination of stimuli matched for F0, duration, and perceived magnitude was successful for pairs of spoken sentences in Experiment 1 (median percent correct = 83%) and pairs of vowel utterances in Experiment 2 (median percent correct = 75%). Greater difference in spectral tilt between “different” pairs strongly predicted their discriminability in both experiments. The current findings support the hypothesis that discrimination of complex vibrotactile stimuli involves the cortical integration of spectral information filtered through frequency-tuned skin receptors.