Effects of spectral flattening on vowel identification

Judy R. Dubno, Michael Dorman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Scopus citations


    The identification of front vowels was studied in normal-hearing listeners using stimuli whose spectra had been altered to approximate the spectrum of vowels processed by auditory filters similar to those that might accompany sensorineural hearing loss. In the first experiment, front vowels were identified with greater than 95% accuracy when the first formant was specified in a normal manner and the higher frequency formants were represented by a broad, flat spectral plateau ranging from approximately 1600 to 3500 Hz. In the second experiment, the bandwidth of the first formant was systematically widened for stimuli with already flattened higher frequency formants. Normal vowel identification was preserved until the first formant was widened to six times its normal bandwidth. These results may account for the coexistence of abnormal vowel masking patterns (indicating flattened auditory spectra) and normal vowel recognition.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1503-1511
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Nov 1987

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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