David Poeppel

David Poeppel
New York University | NYU · Department of Psychology

About

366
Publications
111,809
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29,512
Citations
Citations since 2017
112 Research Items
15156 Citations
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201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,0002,500
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,0002,500

Publications

Publications (366)
Article
Full-text available
Precisely estimating event timing is essential for survival, yet temporal distortions are ubiquitous in our daily sensory experience. Here, we tested whether the relative position, duration, and distance in time of two sequentially-organized events—standard S, with constant duration, and comparison C, with duration varying trial-by-trial—are causal...
Article
Full-text available
Speech comprehension requires the ability to temporally segment the acoustic input for higher-level linguistic analysis. Oscillation-based approaches suggest that low-frequency auditory cortex oscillations track syllable-sized acoustic information and therefore emphasize the relevance of syllabic-level acoustic processing for speech segmentation. H...
Preprint
Music and speech are complex and distinct auditory signals which are foundational to the human experience. The mechanisms underpinning each domain are widely investigated. However, how little acoustic information is in fact required to distinguish between them remains an open question. Here we test the hypothesis that a sound’s amplitude modulation...
Article
Full-text available
Speech consists of a continuously-varying acoustic signal. Yet human listeners experience it as sequences of discrete speech sounds, which are used to recognise discrete words. To examine how the human brain appropriately sequences the speech signal, we recorded two-hour magnetoencephalograms from 21 participants listening to short narratives. Our...
Preprint
Full-text available
Combining words and composing meanings is at the basis of human language. However, how the brain constructs meaning online is not well understood. We develop an approach to address this puzzle that exploits the ubiquitous operation of negation. Although negation has been extensively debated among philosophers, psychologists, logicians, and linguist...
Preprint
Full-text available
The computational complexity of the self-attention mechanism in Transformer models significantly limits their ability to generalize over long temporal durations. Memory-augmentation, or the explicit storing of past information in external memory for subsequent predictions, has become a constructive avenue for mitigating this limitation. We argue th...
Article
Cognitive, computational, and neurobiological approaches have made impressive advances in characterizing the operations that transform linguistic signals into meanings. But our understanding of how words and concepts are retained in the brain remains inadequate. How is the long-term storage of words, or in fact any representations, achieved? This p...
Article
Full-text available
Recent neurophysiological research suggests that slow cortical activity tracks hierarchical syntactic structure during online sentence processing. Here we tested an alternative hypothesis: electrophysiological activity peaks at constituent phrase as well as sentence frequencies reflect cortical tracking of overt or covert (implicit) prosodic groupi...
Chapter
Music and language processing have been repeatedly compared but similarities and differences between domains are challenging to quantify. This chapter takes a step back and focuses specifically on the role of fine-grained changes in pitch, which play a role in both domains but are not widely studied. In addition to describing the units, we provide...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research points to neurofunctional differences underlying fluent speech production in stutterers and non-stutterers. There has been considerably less work focusing on the processes that underlie stuttered speech, primarily due to the difficulty of reliably eliciting stuttering in the unnatural contexts associated with neuroimaging experiments. We u...
Preprint
Full-text available
The "MEG-MASC" dataset provides a curated set of raw magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings of 27 English speakers who listened to two hours of naturalistic stories. Each participant performed two identical sessions, involving listening to four fictional stories from the Manually Annotated Sub-Corpus (MASC) intermixed with random word lists and co...
Article
Full-text available
People of all ages display the ability to detect and learn from patterns in seemingly random stimuli. Referred to as statistical learning (SL), this process is particularly critical when learning a spoken language, helping in the identification of discrete words within a spoken phrase. Here, by considering individual differences in speech auditory-...
Article
Full-text available
While our perceptual experience seems to unfold continuously over time, episodic memory preserves distinct events for storage and recollection. Previous work shows that stability in encoding context serves to temporally bind individual items into sequential composite events. This phenomenon has been almost exclusively studied using visual and spati...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to synchronize a motor action to a rhythmic auditory stimulus is often considered an innate human skill. However, some individuals lack the ability to synchronize speech to a perceived syllabic rate. Here, we describe a simple and fast protocol to classify a single native English speaker as being or not being a speech synchronizer. This...
Preprint
Full-text available
Speech is noisy, ambiguous and complex. Here we study how the human brain uses high-order linguistic structure to guide comprehension. Twenty-one participants listened to spoken narratives while magneto-encephalography (MEG) was recorded. Stories were annotated for word class (specifically: noun, verb, adjective) under two hypothesised sources of i...
Preprint
Full-text available
Speech imagery (the ability to generate internally quasi-perceptual experiences of speech) is a fundamental ability linked to cognitive functions such as inner speech, phonological working memory, and predictive processing. Speech imagery is also considered an ideal tool to test theories of overt speech. The study of speech imagery is challenging,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Natural and artificial audition can in principle evolve different solutions to a given problem. The constraints of the task, however, can nudge the cognitive science and engineering of audition to qualitatively converge, suggesting that a closer mutual examination would improve artificial hearing systems and process models of the mind and brain. Sp...
Preprint
Full-text available
When speech is too fast, the tracking of the acoustic signal along the auditory pathway deteriorates, leading to suboptimal speech segmentation and decoding of speech information. Thus, speech comprehension is limited by the temporal constraints of the auditory system. Previous research suggests that individual differences in auditory-motor couplin...
Article
Full-text available
Humans tend to perceptually distort (dilate/shrink) the duration of brief stimuli presented in a sequence when discriminating the duration of a second stimulus (Comparison) from the duration of a first stimulus (Standard). This type of distortion, termed “Time order error” (TOE), is an important window into the determinants of subjective perception...
Article
Full-text available
Across languages, the speech signal is characterized by a predominant modulation of the amplitude spectrum between about 4.3 and 5.5 Hz, reflecting the production and processing of linguistic information chunks (syllables and words) every ~200 ms. Interestingly, ~200 ms is also the typical duration of eye fixations during reading. Prompted by this...
Article
Full-text available
The human voice is a potent source of information to signal emotion. Nonspeech vocalizations (e.g., laughter, crying, moans, or screams), in particular, can elicit compelling affective experiences. Consensus exists that the emotional intensity of such expressions matters; however how intensity affects such signals, and their perception remains cont...
Article
Entrainment depends on sequential neural phase reset by regular stimulus onset, a temporal parameter. Entraining to sequences of identical stimuli also entails stimulus feature predictability, but this component is not readily separable from temporal regularity. To test if spectral regularities concur with temporal regularities in determining the s...
Article
Full-text available
Reconstructing intended speech from neural activity using brain-computer interfaces holds great promises for people with severe speech production deficits. While decoding overt speech has progressed, decoding imagined speech has met limited success, mainly because the associated neural signals are weak and variable compared to overt speech, hence d...
Article
The present handbook is a state-of-the-art compilation of papers from leading scholars on the mental lexicon—the representation of language in the mind/brain at the level of individual words and meaningful sub-word units. In recent years, the study of words as mental objects has grown rapidly across several fields including linguistics, psychology,...
Article
Speech perception is a collection of procedures that make possible the mapping from continuously varying acoustic input to discrete mental representations that form the basis for stored words in the mental lexicon. The chapter focuses on experiments supporting abstractionist versus episodic approaches to the representation of speech and words. Stud...
Article
Full-text available
Musical training enhances auditory-motor cortex coupling, which in turn facilitates music and speech perception. How tightly the temporal processing of music and speech are intertwined is a topic of current research. We investigated the relationship between musical sophistication (Goldsmiths Musical Sophistication index, Gold-MSI) and spontaneous s...
Preprint
Full-text available
The current work seeks to characterize a unique genre of music, elevator music (Muzak), using behavioral crowd-sourcing data from Amazon Mechanical Turk. Participants rated excerpts of elevator music along with more rewarding genres of music for pleasure, valence, familiarity, and recognition. Our results demonstrate that elevator music is rated as...
Preprint
Full-text available
A precise estimation of event timing is essential for survival. ¹ Yet, temporal distortions are ubiquitous in our daily sensory experience. ² A specific type of temporal distortion is the time order error (TOE), which occurs when estimating the duration of events organized in a series. ³ TOEs shrink or dilate objective event duration. Understanding...
Article
Full-text available
The flexible and efficient adaptation to dynamic, rapid changes in the auditory environment likely involves generating and updating of internal models. Such models arguably exploit connections between the neocortex and the cerebellum, supporting proactive adaptation. Here we tested whether temporo-cerebellar disconnection is associated with the pro...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive neuroscience research is typically conducted in controlled laboratory environments and therefore its contribution to our understanding of learning in real-world environments is limited. In recent years, however, portable and wearable brain devices have become more readily available for classroom-based research. Complementing existing educ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Music, like language, is characterized by hierarchically organized structure that unfolds over time. Music listening therefore requires not only the tracking of notes and beats but also internally constructing high-level musical structures or phrases and anticipating incoming contents. Unlike for language, mechanistic evidence for online musical se...
Article
Full-text available
Ample evidence shows that the human brain carefully tracks acoustic temporal regularities in the input, perhaps by entraining cortical neural oscillations to the rate of the stimulation. To what extent the entrained oscillatory activity influences processing of upcoming auditory events remains debated. Here we revisit a critical finding from Hickok...
Article
Full-text available
Decoding the rich temporal dynamics of complex sounds such as speech is constrained by the underlying neuronal-processing mechanisms. Oscillatory theories suggest the existence of one optimal perceptual performance regime at auditory stimulation rates in the delta to theta range (< 10 Hz), but reduced performance in the alpha range (10–14 Hz) is co...
Article
Oscillation-based models of speech perception postulate a cortical computational principle by which decoding is performed within a window structure derived by a segmentation process. Segmentation of syllable-size chunks is realized by a theta oscillator. We provide evidence for an analogous role of a delta oscillator in the segmentation of phrase-s...
Article
Full-text available
The power and precision with which humans link language to cognition is unique to our species. By 3–4 months of age, infants have already established this link: simply listening to human language facilitates infants’ success in fundamental cognitive processes. Initially, this link to cognition is also engaged by a broader set of acoustic stimuli, i...
Article
Full-text available
Vocalizations including laughter, cries, moans, or screams constitute a potent source of information about the affective states of others. It is typically conjectured that the higher the intensity of the expressed emotion, the better the classification of affective information. However, attempts to map the relation between affective intensity and i...
Article
Objective Singers are the first judges of their own performances. Although performers usually share a precise definition of pitch accuracy, do they correctly estimate their own ability to sing in tune? This study examines the accuracy of professional singers’ self-evaluations and investigates the profiles of performers/judges. Methods Eighteen hig...
Article
Significance Biological organisms seek to reduce the uncertainty surrounding future events. Every possible event carries two distinct kinds of uncertainty: Will the event happen? And if it will happen, when exactly? It is commonly believed that the probability of whether an event occurs has a static effect on expectancy. However, here, we demonstra...
Preprint
The flexible and efficient adaptation to dynamic, rapid changes in the auditory environment likely involves generating and updating of internal models. Such models arguably exploit connections between the neocortex and the cerebellum, supporting proactive adaptation. Here we test the functional mechanisms associated with temporo-cerebellar connecti...
Preprint
Full-text available
Reconstructing intended speech from neural activity using brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) holds great promises for people with severe speech production deficits. While decoding overt speech has progressed, decoding imagined speech have met limited success, mainly because the associated neural signals are weak and variable hence difficult to decode...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence suggests that temporal predictions arising from the motor system can enhance auditory perception. However, in speech perception, we lack evidence of perception being modulated by production. Here we show a behavioural protocol that captures the existence of such auditory–motor interactions. Participants performed a syllable discrimination...
Preprint
Decoding the rich temporal dynamics of complex sounds such as speech is constrained by the underlying neuronal processing mechanisms. Oscillatory theories suggest the existence of one optimal perceptual performance regime at auditory stimulation rates in the delta to theta range (<10 Hz), but reduced performance in the alpha range (10-14 Hz) is con...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers, parents, and educators consistently observe a stark mismatch between biologically preferred and socially imposed sleep-wake hours in adolescents, fueling debate about high school start times. We contribute neural evidence to this debate with electroencephalogram (EEG) data collected from high school students during their regular mornin...
Article
Full-text available
When we feel connected or engaged during social behavior, are our brains in fact “in sync” in a formal, quantifiable sense? Most studies addressing this question use highly controlled tasks with homogenous subject pools. In an effort to take a more naturalistic approach, we collaborated with art institutions to crowd-source neuroscience data: Over...
Preprint
Humans perceptually distort (dilate/shrink) time when discriminating the duration of successive events. This so called "Time order error" is a powerful window into the determinants of subjective perception. We hypothesized that optimal temporal processing would occur when stimulus duration falls within the boundaries of rhythmic attention (4-8 Hz,...
Article
Rhythm is a prominent feature of music. Of the infinite possible ways of organizing events in time, musical rhythms are almost always distributed categorically. Such categories can facilitate the transmission of culture— a feature that songbirds and humans share. We compared rhythms of live performances of music to rhythms of wild thrush nightingal...
Preprint
Full-text available
A bstract Recent neurophysiological research suggests that slow cortical activity tracks hierarchical syntactic structure during online sentence processing (e.g., Ding, Melloni, Zhang, Tian, & Poeppel, 2016). Here we tested an alternative hypothesis: electrophysiological activity peaks at sentence constituent frequencies reflect cortical tracking o...
Conference Paper
This study compares three fMRI sequences with silent breaks for acoustic stimulation: conventional sparse EPI (CS-EPI), interleaved silent steady-state (ISSS) sampling and the proposed SEPIMS scheme. CS-EPI and SEPIMS yield stronger activations than ISSS for simple artificial amplitude modulated sound stimuli and complex speech-based stimuli. Const...
Conference Paper
The combination of multiband EPI with in-plane parallel imaging yields a total acceleration factor AF=MB*R, MB and R representing the slice and in-plane acceleration factors, respectively. The data quality of T2*-weighted and diffusion-weighted imaging was compared for different AF, using different combinations of MB and R, and for different head c...
Article
Understanding speech in noise is a fundamental challenge for speech comprehension. This perceptual demand is amplified in a second language: It is a common experience in bars, train stations, and other noisy environments that degraded signal quality severely compromises second language comprehension. Through a novel design, paired with a carefully...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ability to extract regularities from the environment is arguably an adaptive characteristic of intelligent systems. In the context of speech, statistical word-learning is thought to be an important mechanism for language acquisition. By taking into account individual differences in speech auditory-motor synchronization, an independent component...
Article
Rhythm is a prominent feature of music. Of the infinite possible ways of organizing events in time, musical rhythms are almost always distributed categorically. Such categories can facilitate the transmission of culture—a feature that songbirds and humans share. We compared rhythms of live performances of music to rhythms of wild thrush nightingale...
Article
Before he wrote the recent book The Brain from Inside Out, the neuroscientist György Buzsáki previewed some of the arguments in a paper written 20 years ago ("The brain-cognitive behavior problem: a retrospective"), now finally published. The principal focus of the paper is the relationship between neuroscience and psychology. The direction in whic...
Preprint
Full-text available
Oscillation-based models of speech perception postulate a cortical computational principle by which decoding is performed within a window structure derived by a segmentation process. In the syllable level segmentation is realized by a theta oscillator. We provide evidence for an analogous role of a delta oscillator at the phrasal level. We recorded...
Preprint
Researchers, parents, and educators consistently observe a stark mismatch between biologically preferred and socially imposed sleep-wake hours in adolescents, fueling debate about high school start times. We contribute neural evidence to this debate with electroencephalogram (EEG) data collected from high school students during their regular mornin...
Article
The recognition of spoken language has typically been studied by focusing on either words or their constituent elements (for example, low-level features or phonemes). More recently, the ‘temporal mesoscale’ of speech has been explored, specifically regularities in the envelope of the acoustic signal that correlate with syllabic information and that...
Preprint
Full-text available
Can neural activity reveal syntactic structure building processes and their violations? To verify this, we recorded electroencephalographic and behavioral data as participants discriminated concatenated isochronous sentence chains containing only grammatical sentences (regular trials) from those containing ungrammatical sentences (irregular trials)...
Preprint
Full-text available
Listeners experience speech as a sequence of discrete words. However, the real input is a continuously varying acoustic signal that blends words and phonemes into one another. Here we recorded two-hour magnetoencephalograms from 21 subjects listening to stories, in order to investigate how the brain concurrently solves three competing demands: 1) p...
Article
The timing of acoustic events is central to human speech and music. Tempo tends to be slower in aesthetic contexts: rates in poetic speech and music are slower than non-poetic, running speech. We tested whether a general aesthetic preference for slower rates can account for this, using birdsong as a stimulus: it structurally resembles human sequenc...
Article
Full-text available
Speech perception is mediated by both left and right auditory cortices but with differential sensitivity to specific acoustic information contained in the speech signal. A detailed description of this functional asymmetry is missing, and the underlying models are widely debated. We analyzed cortical responses from 96 epilepsy patients with electrod...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in modulation rate are important cues for parsing acoustic signals, such as speech. We parametrically controlled modulation rate via the correlation coefficient (r) of amplitude spectra across fixed frequency channels between adjacent time frames: broadband modulation spectra are biased towards slow modulate rates with increasing r, and vic...
Chapter
Synopsis Auditory entrainment is a fundamental neural mechanism subserving auditory perception. It has been deployed to study a wide range of problems in temporal processing. We examine the concept of entrainment, compare it to similar phenomena, and then take a systemic view, examining the functional roles of auditory entrainment at the cortical l...
Chapter
Synopsis Auditory entrainment is a fundamental neural mechanism subserving auditory perception. It has been deployed to study a wide range of problems in temporal processing. We examine the concept of entrainment, compare it to similar phenomena, and then take a systemic view, examining the functional roles of auditory entrainment at the cortical l...
Article
Full-text available
Humans anticipate events signaled by sensory cues. It is commonly assumed that two uncertainty parameters modulate the brain's capacity to predict: the hazard rate (HR) of event probability and the uncertainty in time estimation which increases with elapsed time. We investigate both assumptions by presenting event probability density functions (PDF...
Article
Full-text available
Natural sounds contain acoustic dynamics ranging from tens to hundreds of milliseconds. How does the human auditory system encode acoustic information over wide-ranging timescales to achieve sound recognition? Previous work (Teng et al. 2017) demonstrated a temporal coding preference for the theta and gamma ranges, but it remains unclear how acoust...
Preprint
Full-text available
When we feel connected or engaged during social behavior, are our brains in fact in sync in a formal, quantifiable sense? Most studies addressing this question use highly controlled tasks with homogenous subject pools. In an effort to take a more naturalistic approach, we collaborated with art institutions to crowd-source neuroscience data: Over th...
Article
Full-text available
Segmenting the continuous speech stream into units for further perceptual and linguistic analyses is fundamental to speech recognition. The speech amplitude envelope (SE) has long been considered a fundamental temporal cue for segmenting speech. Does the temporal fine structure (TFS), a significant part of speech signals often considered to contain...
Article
Full-text available
The lateralization of neuronal processing underpinning hearing, speech, language, and music is widely studied, vigorously debated, and still not understood in a satisfactory manner. One set of hypotheses focuses on the temporal structure of perceptual experience and links auditory cortex asymmetries to underlying differences in neural populations w...