Does passive sound attenuation affect responses to pitch-shifted auditory feedback?

Matthias K. Franken, Robert J. Hartsuiker, Petter Johansson, Lars Hall, Tijmen Wartenberg, Andreas Lind

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of auditory feedback in vocal production has mainly been investigated by altered auditory feedback (AAF) in real time. In response, speakers compensate by shifting their speech output in the opposite direction. Current theory suggests this is caused by a mismatch between expected and observed feedback. A methodological issue is the difficulty to fully isolate the speaker’s hearing so that only AAF is presented to their ears. As a result, participants may be presented with two simultaneous signals. If this is true, an alternative explanation is that responses to AAF depend on the contrast between the manipulated and the non-manipulated feedback. This hypothesis was tested by varying the passive sound attenuation (PSA). Participants vocalized while auditory feed- back was unexpectedly pitch shifted. The feedback was played through three pairs of headphones with varying amounts of PSA. The participants’ responses were not affected by the different levels of PSA. This suggests that across all three headphones, PSA is either good enough to make the manipulated feedback dominant, or differences in PSA are too small to affect the contribution of non-manipulated feedback. Overall, the results suggest that it is important to realize that non-manipulated auditory feedback could affect responses to AAF.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4108-4121
Number of pages14
JournalThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 4

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)
  • Communication Studies
  • Other Humanities not elsewhere specified

Free keywords

  • auditory feedback
  • feedback manipulation
  • headphones


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