12th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Florence, Italy
August 27-31. 2011

Reaction Time and Decision Difficulty in the Perception of Intonation

Katrin Schneider (1), Grzegorz Dogil (1), Bernd Möbius (2)

(1) Universität Stuttgart, Germany
(2) Universität des Saarlandes, Germany

An experiment was carried out to test the Categorical Perception as well as possible Perceptual Magnet Effects in the two boundary tone categories L% and H% in German, corresponding to statement vs. question interpretation, respectively. Additionally, reaction times (RT) were logged during all subtests to see if they support the results. Analyses revealed that RTs always increased with rising difficulty of the perceptual task, and decreased when the decision process was easy. Task-specific results showed that RT also correlated with the number of possible answers during a perceptual decision, i.e. more answer alternatives resulted in longer RT. Furthermore, female subjects generally reacted faster during all perceptual tasks, although this did not necessarily correlate with the accuracy of the results. Nevertheless, the results confirmed the usefulness of RT to support the analyses and the interpretation of perceptual data.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Schneider, Katrin / Dogil, Grzegorz / Möbius, Bernd (2011): "Reaction time and decision difficulty in the perception of intonation", In INTERSPEECH-2011, 2221-2224.