Thesis Defense

Laura Rachman's PhD Defense

"The “other-voice” effect: how speaker identity and language familiarity influence the way we process emotional speech"
Fri 7 December 2018,
2 p.m.
salle Stravinsky

Defense in english.

Free entry, limited seats available.

The human voice is a powerful tool to convey emotions. Humans hear voices on a daily basis and are able to rapidly extract relevant information to successfully interact with others. The theoretical aim of this dissertation is to investigate the role of familiarity on emotional voice processing. A set of behavioral and electrophysiological studies investigated how self- versus non self-produced voices influence the processing of emotional speech utterances. By contrasting self and other, familiarity is here assessed at a personal level. The results of a first set of studies show a dissociation of explicit and implicit processing of the self-voice. While explicit discrimination of an emotional self-voice and other-voice was somewhat impaired, implicit self-processing prompted a self-advantage in emotion recognition and speaker discrimination.

The results of a second set of studies show a prioritization for the non-self voice in the processing of emotional and low-level acoustic changes, reflected in faster electrophysiological (EEG) and behavioral responses.

In a third set of studies, the effect of voice familiarity on emotional voice perception is assessed at a larger sociocultural scale by comparing speech utterances in the native and a foreign language. Taken together, this disseration highlights some ways in which the ‘otherness’ of a voice - whether a non-self speaker or a foreign language speaker - is processed with a higher priority on the one hand, but with less acoustic precision on the other hand.

Laura Rachman will defend his doctoral  carried out  in the Perception and Sound Design Team (STMS - Ircam/CNRS/Sorbonne Université/Ministère de la Culture).

The jury will be composed:

Sonja Kotz, Department of Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology, Maastricht University
Pascal Belin, Institut de Neurosciences de la Timone, CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université
Disa Sauter, Department of Social Psychology, Universiteit van Amsterdam
Marie Gomot, Centre de Pédopsychiatrie, INSERM, Université de Tours
Mohamed Chetouani, Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique, Sorbonne Université
Stéphanie Dubal, Institut du Cerveau et de la Moëlle épinière, CNRS, Sorbonne Université
Jean-Julien Aucouturier, STMS - CNRS/Ircam/Sorbonne Université/Ministère de la Culture