Speakers' Acceptance of Real-Time Speech Exchange Indicates That We Use Auditory Feedback to Specify the Meaning of What We Say.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Speech is usually assumed to start with a clearly defined preverbal message, which provides a benchmark for self-monitoring and a robust sense of agency for one's utterances. However, an alternative hypothesis states that speakers often have no detailed preview of what they are about to say, and that they instead use auditory feedback to infer the meaning of their words. In the experiment reported here, participants performed a Stroop color-naming task while we covertly manipulated their auditory feedback in real time so that they said one thing but heard themselves saying something else. Under ideal timing conditions, two thirds of these semantic exchanges went undetected by the participants, and in 85% of all nondetected exchanges, the inserted words were experienced as self-produced. These findings indicate that the sense of agency for speech has a strong inferential component, and that auditory feedback of one's own voice acts as a pathway for semantic monitoring, potentially overriding other feedback loops.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics
  • Computer Vision and Robotics (Autonomous Systems)
  • Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)


  • speech production, sense of agency, voice manipulation, self-monitoring
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1198-1205
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch