14 October: How Does My Brain Hear Your Voice?

14 January 2008

Professor Sophie Scott – UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

The human voice is the most complex sound with which we routinely deal, and human speech is arguably unparalleled in nature. Nonetheless, our brains seem to effortlessly pull information from the speech stream, extracting the meaning of what we hear as well as information about the speaker, such as their mood and identity. How do our brains do this, and how does this interact with the brain systems for controlling our speech output? Can we learn anything by looking at how non-human primates process sound? And can we learn anything by looking at exceptional listeners, such as phoneticians and professional voice artists?

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