Have a Question? Contact the Humanities Office or an Academic Unit


Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2013/2014

Term: 2

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Catherine Anderson

Email: canders@mcmaster.ca

Office: Togo Salmon Hall 503

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 26241


Office Hours: Monday 2:30-4:00; Friday 9:30-11:00

Course Objectives:

Throughout the course, students will develop skills in:

  • reading and understanding scientific literature concerning speech perception
  • evaluation empirical evidence for theoretical proposals
  • designing and conducting experimental research in psycholinguistics
  • honouring principles of research ethics with human participants
  • recording and editing auditory stimuli
  • presenting and writing about scientific findings


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

A list of readings from the primary literature is provided on Avenue.  

Students should bring a set of audio headphones to every class.  

Method of Assessment:

Seminar presentation of an assigned research paper 20% seminar dates determined during first class
written summary of seminar presentation 10% one week after seminar presentation
stimulus preparation 10% 4 Feb 2014
data collection 10% 11 March 2014
data analysis 10% 18 March 2014
conference-style abstract of study results 10% 1 April 2014
journal-style paper reporting the study 30% 14 April 2014





Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Because the entire course depends on each team member completing their share of the collaborative work, it is crucial to honour scheduled due dates.  If a student's portion of a collaborative task is late, the student receives 0 for that portion of the collaborative task.  Individual assignments submitted within two working days of the due date are penalized 25% of the value of the assignment.  Assignments submitted within five working days of the due date are penalized 50%.  Assignments are not accepted more than one week after the due date.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request per term. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (NORMALLY WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS) regarding the nature of the accommodation. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 request per term, you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office/Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Week 2 (14.Jan)

Background reading for everyone

Samuel, A. G., & Kraljic, T. (2009). Perceptual learning for speech. Attention, perception & psychophysics, 71(6), 1207–1218.

Mattys, S. L., Davis, M. H., Bradlow, A. R., & Scott, S. K. (2012). Speech recognition in adverse conditions: A review. Language and Cognitive Processes, 27(7-8), 953–978. 

Goldinger, S. D. (1998). Echoes of Echoes? An episodic theory of lexical access. Psychological Review, 105(2), 251–279.  

Week 3 (21.Jan)

Talker variability as a source of difficulty

Creelman, C. D. (1957). Case of the unknown talker. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 29, 655.

Mullennix, J. W., Pisoni, D. B., & Martin, C. S. (1989). Some effects of talker variability on spoken word recognition. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 85(1), 365–78.


Week 4 (28.Jan)

Adapting to Talker Variability in Speech

Norris, D., McQueen, J. M., & Cutler, A. (2003). Perceptual learning in speech. Cognitive Psychology, 47(2), 204–238.


Week 5 (4.Feb)

Adapting to Talker Variability in Speech

Magnuson, J. S., & Nusbaum, H. C. (2007). Acoustic differences, listener expectations, and the perceptual accommodation of talker variability. Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance, 33(2), 391–409.

Kraljic, T., Brennan, S. E., & Samuel, A. G. (2008). Accommodating variation: dialects, idiolects, and speech processing. Cognition, 107(1), 54–81.

Maye, J., Aslin, R. N., & Tanenhaus, M. K. (2008). The weckud wetch of the wast: lexical adaptation to a novel accent. Cognitive science, 32(3), 543–62.

Week 6 (11.Feb)

Adapting to Non-Standard Speech

McGarr, N. S. (1983). The intelligibility of deaf speech to experienced and inexperienced listeners. Journal of speech and hearing research, 26, 451–458.

Bent, T., Buchwald, A., & Pisoni, D. B. (2009). Perceptual adaptation and intelligibility of multiple talkers for two types of degraded speech. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 126(5), 2660–9.

Week 7 (25.Feb)

Adapting to Non-Native Accents

Munro, M. J., & Derwing, T. M. (1995). Processing time, accent, and comprehensibility in the perception of native and foreign-accented speech. Language and Speech, 38(3), 289–306.

Clarke, C. M., & Garrett, M. F. (2004). Rapid adaptation to foreign-accented English. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 116(6), 3647.

Week 8 (4.March)

Adapting to Non-Native Accents

Adank, P., Evans, B. G., Stuart-Smith, J., & Scott, S. K. (2009). Comprehension of familiar and unfamiliar native accents under adverse listening conditions. Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance, 35(2), 520–9.

Bradlow, A. R., & Bent, T. (2008). Perceptual adaptation to non-native speech. Cognition, 106(2), 707–29.

Baese-Berk, M. M., Bradlow, A. R., & Wright, B.A. (2013). Accent-independent adaptation to foreign accented speech. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 133(3), EL174–80.

Week 9 (11.March)

How long does perceptual adaptation last?

Lively, S. E., Pisoni, D. B., Yamada, R. a, Tohkura, Y., & Yamada, T. (1994). Training Japanese listeners to identify English /r/ and /l/. III. Long-term retention of new phonetic categories. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 96(4), 2076–87.

Eisner, F., & McQueen, J. M. (2005). The specificity of perceptual learning in speech processing. Perception & psychophysics, 67(2), 224–38.

Fenn, K. M., Nusbaum, H. C., & Margoliash, D. (2003). Consolidation during sleep of perceptual learning of spoken language. Nature, 425(October), 614–616.

Other Course Information:

In this course we will be using Avenue. Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.