P42 The role of speech prosody in stream segregation and selective attention in a multi-talker situation
To process speech in a multi-talker environment, listeners need to segregate the mixture of incoming speech streams and focus their attention on one of them. Potentially, speech prosody could aid either of these processes, but the contribution of prosody to the processing of one speech stream out of several is still largely unknown. To address these issues, we extracted functional networks connecting brain regions from brain electric signals while participants listened to two concurrent speech streams. Prosody manipulation was applied on the attended speech stream for one group of participants and on the ignored speech stream for the other group. Speech stimuli were either synthetically F0-flattened, naturally prosody-suppressed, or intact. Our results show that speech prosody - especially the parsing cues mediated by speech rate - facilitate attentional selection, while playing a smaller role in stream segregation. These conclusions will be discussed in detail in the poster.