Relative contribution of envelope and fine structure to the subcortical encoding of noise-degraded speech


Brainstem frequency-following responses (FFR) were elicited to the speech token /ama/ in noise containing only envelope (ENV) or fine structure (TFS) cues to assess the relative contribution of these temporal features to the neural encoding of degraded speech. Successive cue removal weakened FFRs with noise having the most deleterious effect on TFS coding. Neuro-acoustic and response-to-response correlations revealed speech-FFRs are dominated by stimulus ENV for clean speech, with TFS making a stronger contribution in moderate noise levels. Results suggest that the relative weighting of temporal ENV and TFS cues to the neural transcription of speech depends critically on the degree of noise in the soundscape.

Publication Title

Journal of the Acoustical Society of America