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Why is it important?

We provide a comprehensive tool, T-RES, to assess listeners' ability to decipher the emotional content of prosodic information and semantic content, separately. The tool also gauges the ability for listeners to selectively ignore one channel while instructed to focus on the other. Most importantly, the tool measures how listeners integrate the two channels - do they weigh one channel more than the other (as found in our study), or do they weigh both similarly. This tool is important as difficulty in processing emotions in speech has been found to have a major detrimental impact on the quality of life in various populations. The discomfort and frustration resulting from impaired communication are often associated with lower quality of life, significant feelings of depression and impoverished interpersonal relations.


This paradigm in my eyes forms an interesting (and challenging) interdisciplinary collaboration of speech-language pathology, speech sciences, and psychophysics. We tried to ask questions that are relevant to all of these schools of thought using relevant methodological tools. E.g., designing a tool that can assess difficulties people experience in communication (SLP), assessing the perception of prosodic cues (speech sciences) and the integrability vs. separability of perceptual channels (psychophysics).

Dr. Boaz M. Ben-David
Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya

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This page is a summary of: Prosody and Semantics Are Separate but Not Separable Channels in the Perception of Emotional Speech: Test for Rating of Emotions in Speech, Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, February 2016, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), DOI: 10.1044/2015_jslhr-h-14-0323.
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