Speech Perception and Comprehension

  • Bernd J. Kröger
  • Trevor Bekolay


In this chapter we explain how the recognition of sound features works on the acoustic-auditory level and how recognition of sound features leads to the activation of symbolic-cognitive variables such as sounds, syllables, and words. We describe how the speech information signal is compressed from a detailed acoustic-auditory representation to an efficient symbolic-cognitive representation. We also discuss why we perceive complex auditory stimuli like speech signals categorically, and why humans can easily extract invariant phonemic features from speaker-specific acoustic sound features. In addition, we introduce two theories of language perception, namely the motor theory of speech perception and the two-way theory of speech perception. Finally, we discuss the close interweaving of speech perception and speech production, and perception-related language and speech disorders.


Comprehension Motor theory Dual-route theory Speech perception Auditory processing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernd J. Kröger
    • 1
  • Trevor Bekolay
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Phoniatrics, Pedaudiology and Communications DisordersRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Applied Brain ResearchWaterlooCanada

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