Electrophysiological Correlates of Familiar Voice Recognition

Julien Plante-Hébert, Victor J. Boucher, Boutheina Jemel


Our previous work using voice lineups has established that listeners can recognize with near-perfect accuracy the voice of familiar individuals. In a forensic perspective, however, there are limitations to the application of voice lineups in that some witnesses may not wish to recognize the familiar voice of a parent or close friend or else provide unreliable responses. Considering this problem, the present study aimed to isolate the electrophysiological markers of voice familiarity. We recorded the evoked response potentials (ERPs) of 11 participants as they listened to a set of similar voices in varying utterances (standards of voice line ups were used in selecting voices). Within the presented set, only one voice was familiar to the listener (the voice of a parent, close friend, etc.). The ERPs showed a marked difference for heard familiar voices compared to an unfamiliar set. These are the first findings of a neural marker of voice recognition based on voices that are actually familiar to a listener and which take into account utterances rather than isolated vowels. The present results thus indicate that protocols of near-perfect voice recognition can be devised without using behavioral responses.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1392

Cite as: Plante-Hébert, J., Boucher, V.J., Jemel, B. (2017) Electrophysiological Correlates of Familiar Voice Recognition. Proc. Interspeech 2017, 3907-3910, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1392.


@inproceedings{Plante-Hébert2017,
  author={Julien Plante-Hébert and Victor J. Boucher and Boutheina Jemel},
  title={Electrophysiological Correlates of Familiar Voice Recognition},
  year=2017,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2017},
  pages={3907--3910},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1392},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1392}
}