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The Perception for Action Control Theory (PACT): a perceptuo-motor theory of speech perception

Abstract : It is an old-standing debate in the field of speech communication to determine whether speech perception involves auditory or multisensory representations and processing, independently on any procedural knowledge about the production of speech units or on the contrary if it is based on a recoding of the sensory input in terms of articulatory gestures, as posited in the Motor Theory of Speech Perception. The discovery of mirror neurons in the last 15 years has strongly renewed the interest for motor theories. However, while these neurophysiological data clearly reinforce the plausibility of the role of motor properties in perception, it could lead in our view to incorrectly de-emphasise the role of perceptual shaping, crucial in speech communication. The so-called Perception-for-Action-Control Theory (PACT) aims at defining a theoretical framework connecting in a principled way perceptual shaping and motor procedural knowledge in speech multisensory processing in the human brain. In this paper, the theory is presented in details. It is described how this theory fits with behavioural and linguistic data, concerning firstly vowel systems in human languages, and secondly the perceptual organization of the speech scene. Finally a neuro-computational framework is presented in connection with recent data on the possible functional role of the motor system in speech perception.
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Contributor : Jean-Luc Schwartz <>
Submitted on : Monday, December 21, 2009 - 9:31:55 AM
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Jean-Luc Schwartz, Anahita Basirat, Lucie Ménard, Marc Sato. The Perception for Action Control Theory (PACT): a perceptuo-motor theory of speech perception. Journal of Neurolinguistics, Elsevier, 2012, 25 (5), pp.336-354. ⟨10.1016/j.jneuroling.2009.12.004⟩. ⟨hal-00442367⟩

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