Data_Sheet_1_Modeling Sensory Preference in Speech Motor Planning: A Bayesian Modeling Framework.PDF

Experimental studies of speech production involving compensations for auditory and somatosensory perturbations and adaptation after training suggest that both types of sensory information are considered to plan and monitor speech production. Interestingly, individual sensory preferences have been observed in this context: subjects who compensate less for somatosensory perturbations compensate more for auditory perturbations, and vice versa. We propose to integrate this sensory preference phenomenon in a model of speech motor planning using a probabilistic model in which speech units are characterized both in auditory and somatosensory terms. Sensory preference is implemented in the model according to two approaches. In the first approach, which is often used in motor control models accounting for sensory integration, sensory preference is attributed to the relative precision (i.e., inverse of the variance) of the sensory characterization of the speech motor goals associated with phonological units (which are phonemes in the context of this paper). In the second, “more original” variant, sensory preference is implemented by modulating the sensitivity of the comparison between the predicted sensory consequences of motor commands and the sensory characterizations of the phonemes. We present simulation results using these two variants, in the context of the adaptation to an auditory perturbation, implemented in a 2-dimensional biomechanical model of the tongue. Simulation results show that both variants lead to qualitatively similar results. Distinguishing them experimentally would require precise analyses of partial compensation patterns. However, the second proposed variant implements sensory preference without changing the sensory characterizations of the phonemes. This dissociates sensory preference and sensory characterizations of the phonemes, and makes the account of sensory preference more flexible. Indeed, in the second variant the sensory characterizations of the phonemes can remain stable, when sensory preference varies as a response to cognitive or attentional control. This opens new perspectives for capturing speech production variability associated with aging, disorders and speaking conditions.