Categorical perception

Bill Turkel bill at HIVNET.UBC.CA
Fri Apr 25 21:19:53 UTC 1997

> From bates at CRL.UCSD.EDU Fri Apr 25 14:13:46 1997

> Patricia Kuhl, Keith Kluender and others have shown since the 1970's that
> several other mammals and birds are able not only to hear phonological
> contrasts like "ba" vs. "ga", but they also hear them categorically, with
> boundaries similar to those that prevail in humans.  The weight of evidence
> suggests that the innate contribution to speech processing may NOT be
> specific to speech or to humans.  On the contrary, it looks rather as
> though speech has evolved to take advantage of pre-existing properties of
> the mammalian (and perhaps avian) auditory system. -liz bates

Categorical perception may even be a property of invertebrates:

Wyttenbach, May & Hoy (1996) Categorical perception of sound frequency
        by crickets.  Science 273:1542-1544


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