01. abril 2020

Asymmetric Faces - and their Effects in Psychoacoustics

Asymmetric Faces - and their Effects in Psychoacoustics

The left and right halves of a human face are usually asymmetrical. This asymmetry has a big impact on how attractive we find other people. Further, according to the latest studies, this asymmetry also has an effect on the intelligibility of speech; in some cases, a significant effect.

The air flowing from the lungs is vibrated by the larynx and any obstacle in the oral cavity (tongue, teeth, lips, nostrils). The variety of linguistic sounds results from the different positions of these organs and how their variable combinations modify these vibrations. On the one hand, asymmetry creates a different sound distribution on the horizontal axis, and, on the other hand, the difference in the shape of the face halves leads to a non-symmetrical directional characteristic. The result is a different speech intelligibility to the left and to the right of the speaker.

The consequences of this difference can be far-reaching. For example, learning success may depend on which side of the classroom a student is sitting. It could also be the explanation why in politics - especially with "non-straight-talking" speakers - the opinions of the groups differ.

As the world market leader in speech intelligibility measurements, NTi Audio has taken the latest findings on board and adapted the TalkBox. Details on the NTi Audio website.


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