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

 

NASA: Seven Earth-Size Planets Around A Single Star

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Transport Case: Men Guilty Of Corruption And Bribery Will Spend Time In Jail

Two men who were found guilty of corruption and bribery in a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) trial have been sentenced in the Auckland High Court today... The pair are guilty of corruption and bribery offences relating to more than $1 million of bribes which took place between 2005 and 2013 at Rodney District Council and Auckland Transport. More>>

ALSO:

Hager Raid: Westpac Wrong To Release Bank Records To Police

The Privacy Commissioner has censured Westpac Banking Corp for releasing without a court order more than 10 months of bank records belonging to the political activist and journalist Nicky Hager during a police investigation into leaked information published in Hager's 2014 pre-election book, 'Dirty Politics'. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Crown Accounts: Government Ekes Out Six-Month Surplus Of $9M

The New Zealand government eked out a tiny surplus in the first six months of the fiscal year as growth in domestic consumption lifted the goods and services tax take, while uncertainties over the Kaikoura earthquake costs meant expenses were less than expected. More>>

ALSO:

Almost 400 Jobs: Shock At Cadbury's Dunedin Factory Closure

Workers at Cadbury in Dunedin are reeling after learning this morning that the iconic Cadbury factory is to close, with the loss of almost 400 jobs... “The company had reported it was doing well and this has come out of the blue,” says Chas. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news