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Volume 134, Issue 6, December 2013
- SPEECH PERCEPTION 
134(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4826181View Description Hide Description
Previous studies on fusion in speech perception have demonstrated the ability of the human auditory system to group separate components of speech-like sounds together and consequently to enable the identification of speech despite the spatial separation between the components. Typically, the spatial separation has been implemented using headphone reproduction where the different components evoke auditory images at different lateral positions. In the present study, a multichannel loudspeaker system was used to investigate whether the correct vowel is identified and whether two auditory events are perceived when a noise-excited vowel is divided into two components that are spatially separated. The two components consisted of the even and odd formants. Both the amount of spatial separation between the components and the directions of the components were varied. Neither the spatial separation nor the directions of the components affected the vowel identification. Interestingly, an additional auditory event not associated with any vowel was perceived at the same time when the components were presented symmetrically in front of the listener. In such scenarios, the vowel was perceived from the direction of the odd formant components.