An electrophysiological correlate of the discrimination of stop consonants drawn from within and across phonetic categories was investigated by an auditory evoked response (AER) technique. Ss were presented a string of stimuli from the phonetic category [ba] (the standard stimulus) and were asked to detect the occurrence of a stimulus from the same phonetic category (within-category shift), or the occurrence of a stimulus from a different phonetic category [pa] (across-category shift). Both the across- and within-category shift stimuli differed equally from the standard stimulus in the time of onset of the first formant and in the amount of aspiration in the second and third formants. The NIP2 response of the AER was larger to the across-category shift than to the within-category shift. The within-category shift did not differ from a no-shift control. These findings suggest (1) that the AER can reflect the relative discriminability of stop consonants drawn from the same or different phonetic categories in a manner similar to other behavioral measures; (2) that the detailed acoustic representation of stop consonants is transformed into a categorized phonetic representation within 200 msec after stimulus onset.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Sensory Systems