That voice sounds familiar: factors in speaker recognition

Humans have the ability to recognize other humans by voice alone. This is important both socially and for the robustness of speech perception. This Thesis contains a set of eight studies that investigates how different factors impact on speaker recognition and how these factors can help explain how listeners perceive and evaluate speaker identity. The first study is a review paper overviewing emotion decoding and encoding research. The second study compares the relative importance of the emotional tone in the voice and the emotional content of the message. A mismatch between these was shown to impact upon decoding speed. The third study investigates the factor dialect in speaker recognition and shows, using a bidialectal speaker as the target voice to control all other variables, that the dominance of dialect cannot be overcome. The fourth paper investigates if imitated stage dialects are as perceptually dominant as natural dialects. It was found that a professional actor could disguise his voice successfully by imitating a dialect, yet that a listener’s proficiency in a language or accent can reduce susceptibility to a dialect imitation…


1 Introduction
2 Speaker recognition background
2.1 Behavioural evidence
2.2 Neurological evidence
3 Methods
3.1 Speaker similarity judgements
3.2 Voice line-ups
4 Acoustic and perceptual factors in speaker recognition
4.1 Evaluative factors
4.1.1 Gender
4.1.2 Regional dialect
4.1.3 Foreign accents
4.1.4 Age
4.1.5 Distinctiveness
4.1.6 Disguise
4.1.7 Emotions
4.2 Measureable factors
4.2.1 Formant transitions
4.2.2 Fundamental Frequency
4.2.3 LTAS
4.3 External factors
4.3.1 Retention interval
4.3.2 Sample duration and quality
4.3.3 Speaker familiarity
4.4 Factor summary
5 Materials and Papers
5.1 UDID – Umeå disguise and imitation database
5.2 Summary of Papers
5.2.1 Paper 1 – Emotions in Speech: Judicial Implications
5.2.2 Paper 2 – Acoustic Impact on Decoding of Semantic Emotion
5.2.3 Paper 3 – On the perceptual dominance of dialect
5.2.4 Paper 4 – Dialect imitations in speaker identification
5.2.5 Paper 5 – An investigation of the effectiveness of a Swedish glide + vowel segment for speaker discrimination
5.2.6 Paper 6 – Cross-language speaker identification using spec-tral moments
5.2.7 Paper 7 – Robustness of Spectral Moments: a Study using Voice Imitations
5.2.8 Paper 8 – Effects of age and age-related hearing loss on speaker recognition or can senior citizens be reli-able earwitnesses
6 Memory models of speaker recognition
6.1 Pattern recognition model
6.2 Neurological model of speaker recognition
6.3 Prototype model of speaker identification
6.4 Discussion
7 Conclusion
8 Suggested areas for future research

Author: Eriksson, Erik J.

Source: Umea University

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