Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Can seeing a face change the way we speak?

Can seeing a face change the way we speak? UC researcher asks

February 6, 2013

A University of Canterbury (UC) speech research project has found people speak differently when they talk to different people.

UC student Nicole Mehrtens helped Dr Kauyumari Sanchez research a phenomenon known as the chameleon effect. This is the tendency people have to subtly imitate the person with whom they are interacting. It is something that people all do at different times, whether they realise it or not, she said.

``For example, you may have noticed that while having dinner with someone you tend to drink at the same time and mirror the other person’s body movements such as tapping your foot.

``Why do we do this? Well, imitation has been found to establish rapport between people. We like people who are similar to us, whether it is through acting or even talking similarly. We might not consciously decide to copy another person so they like us, but it does happen.

``The outcomes of this research will help people who are blind or deaf, and for people learning a second language,’’ Mehrtens said.

She will present this research, supervised by Dr Sanchez, at a public summer scholarship event on campus on February 8.

The findings will help UC’s New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain and Behaviour work toward establishing a vocal fingerprint which will be particularly useful for speech recognition systems, and possibly in criminal justice settings.

``We looked at how people articulate their words to sound similar but with a novel twist.

Although we typically think of speech as sounds, more and more research is finding that it also includes visual components, such as how the face moves to articulate words.

``We wanted to see if people would be equally influenced in how they articulate their words when presented with auditory versus visual speech, from hearing or seeing such as lip-reading. If it is the case that people automatically imitate the face or voice of a talker, then it would suggest that auditory and visual speech might carry the same information.

``We hope, in future, to see if speech information carries social implications. The wider reason that we are interested is based on dialect formation. Dialect formation starts from somewhere.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Trade Plans: Prime Minister's Speech To International Business Forum

"The work to improve public services, build infrastructure, and solve social problems is possible only because we have enjoyed sustained, solid economic growth. A big reason for that is the Government’s consistent agenda of economic reform, and our determination to open up more opportunities for trade with the world." More>>

ALSO:

Media: TVNZ Flags Job Cuts To Arrest Profit Decline

Chief executive Kevin Kenrick said the changes were aimed at creating "a sustainable future video content business for TVNZ in an ever-changing media market." More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: Wheeler Keeps OCR At 1.75%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate unchanged at 1.75 percent, as expected, and reiterated his view that the benchmark rate doesn't need shifting for the foreseeable future. More>>

ALSO:

f work for Pumpkin Patch staff

Retail: Pumpkin Patch Brand, IP Sold To Catch Group

The receivers of failed children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch have confirmed that the company's brand and intellectual property have been sold to Australian online retailer Catch Group. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news