Listeners’ perceptions of the certainty and honesty of a speaker are associated with a common prosodic signature

Article


Goupil, L., Ponsot, E., Richardson, D., Reyes, G. and Aucouturier, J. 2021. Listeners’ perceptions of the certainty and honesty of a speaker are associated with a common prosodic signature. Nature Communications. 12 (Art. 861). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20649-4
AuthorsGoupil, L., Ponsot, E., Richardson, D., Reyes, G. and Aucouturier, J.
Abstract

The success of human cooperation crucially depends on mechanisms enabling individuals to detect unreliability in their conspecifics. Yet, how such epistemic vigilance is achieved from naturalistic sensory inputs remains unclear. Here we show that listeners’ perceptions of the certainty and honesty of other speakers from their speech are based on a common prosodic signature. Using a data-driven method, we separately decode the prosodic features driving listeners’ perceptions of a speaker’s certainty and honesty across pitch, duration and loudness. We find that these two kinds of judgments rely on a common prosodic signature that is perceived independently from individuals’ conceptual knowledge and native language. Finally, we show that listeners extract this prosodic signature automatically, and that this impacts the way they memorize spoken words. These findings shed light on a unique auditory adaptation that enables human listeners to quickly detect and react to unreliability during linguistic interactions.

JournalNature Communications
Journal citation12 (Art. 861)
ISSN2041-1723
Year2021
PublisherNature Research
Publisher's version
License
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Anyone
Supplemental file
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Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20649-4
Publication dates
Online08 Feb 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted20 Nov 2020
Deposited15 Feb 2021
FunderEuropean Research Council
Horizon 2020
Front-Cog
Copyright holder© 2021 The Authors
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