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

 

Interest Rates: Wheeler Hikes OCR To 3% On Inflationary Pressures, Eyes Kiwi

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler lifted the official cash rate for the second time in as many months, saying non-tradable inflationary pressures were "becoming apparent" in an economy that’s picking up pace and he's watching the impact of a strong kiwi dollar on import prices. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Equity Crowd Funding Carries Risks, High Failure Rate

Equity crowd funding, which became legal in New Zealand this month, comes with a high risk of failure based on figures showing existing forays into social capital have a success rate of less than 50 percent, one new entrant says. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Migration Rises To 11-Year High In March

The country gained a seasonally adjusted 3,800 net new migrants in March, the most since February 2003, said Statistics New Zealand. A net 400 people left for Australia in March, down from 600 in February, according to seasonally adjusted figures. More>>

ALSO:

Hugh Pavletich: New Zealand’s Bubble Economy Is Vulnerable

The recent Forbes e-edition article by Jesse Colombo assesses the New Zealand economy “ 12 Reasons Why New Zealand's Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster ”, seems to have created quite a stir, creating extensive media coverage in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Thursday Market Close: Genesis Debut Sparks Energy Rally

New Zealand stock rose after shares in the partially privatised Genesis Energy soared as much as 18 percent in its debut listing on the NZX, buoying other listed energy companies in the process. Meridian Energy, MightyRiverPower, Contact Energy and TrustPower paced gains. More>>

ALSO:

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news