UCL Division of Psychology & Language Sciences UCL Division of Psychology & Language Sciences

Paul Iverson

Status: PhD, Reader in Speech Sciences
Address: Room 331, Chandler House, UCL, Wakefield Street, London
Phone: + 44 (0) 20 7679 4237
Email: p.iverson@ucl.ac.uk
Primary Research Dept.: Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
RAE Research group: Speech and Hearing
Interests: Speech perception, language learning and development, cochlear implants, musical timbre

Research Projects

  • Auditory Specialization for Speech Perception (2008-2011)
    Individuals are born with an ability to discern speech sounds (phonemes) in all of the world's languages, but they develop through childhood so that they become specialized to perceive native-language phonemes. The aim of this study is to test our hypothesis that this specialization for native-language phonemes begins to occur in central auditory processing, at a functional level prior to linguistic categorization. The work uses behavioural measures and MEG to examine and perception of English phonemes by adult native speakers of Sinhala and Japanese
  • Second Language Vowel Perception (2005-2008)
    This project examines vowel perception and plasticity during second- language (L2) learning by adults. The study evaluates whether individuals learn to 'perceptually switch' between their L1 (first- language) and L2 vowel systems, and assesses the role of fine-grained phonetic detail in the learning process. Study 1 will use a new method to generate phonetically detailed L1 (first-language) and L2 perceptual vowel maps for native speakers of Norwegian, German, Spanish, and French. Study 2 will train matched groups of German and Spanish learners to identify English vowels and examine how their L1 and L2 vowel spaces change over time. Study 3 will train French speakers with varying English-language experience. The research will contribute to our scientific understanding of phonetic perception and plasticity, introduce methodological innovations, and help guide the development of new computer-based phonetic training methods.

Taught Courses

Selected Publications

Please note: this list only contains publication data entered before April 2010 into OnCite which has now been withdrawn.
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36 publications found.

  • Iverson,P. (Forthcoming). Encoding, decoding, and acquisition. in Cohn,A.C., Fougeron,C., Huffman,M. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Laboratory Phonology. Oxford University Press
  • Iverson,P., Pinet,M., Evans,B.G. (Forthcoming). Auditory training for experienced and inexperienced second-language learners: Native French speakers learning English vowels. Applied Psycholinguistics . ISSN: 0142-7164
  • Pinet,M., Iverson,P. (Forthcoming). Talker-listener accent interactions in speech-in-noise recognition: Effects of prosodic manipulation as a function of language experience. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America . ISSN: 0001-4966
  • Hattori,K., Iverson,P. (2009). English /r/-/l/ category assimilation by Japanese adults: Individual differences and the link to identification accuracy. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 125(1), 469-479. ISSN: 0001-4966 PDF link
  • Iverson,P., Evans,B.G. (2009). Learning English vowels with different first-language vowel systems II: Auditory training for native Spanish and German speakers. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 122(5), 2842-2854. ISSN: 0001-4966
  • Leff,A.P., Iverson,P., Schofield,T.M., Kilner,J.M., Crinion,J.T., Friston,K.J., Price,C.J. (2009). Vowel-specific mismatch responses in the anterior superior temporal gyrus: An fMRI study. Cortex 45(4), 517-526. ISSN: 0010-9452 PubMed link [DOI link]
  • Schofield,T.M., Iverson,P., Kiebel,S.J., Stephan,K.E., Kilner,J.M., Friston,K.J., Crinion,J.T., Price,C.J., Leff,A.P. (2009). Changing meaning causes coupling changes within higher levels of the cortical hierarchy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 106(28), 11765-11770. ISSN: 0027-8424 PubMed link [DOI link]
  • Ylinen,S., Uther,M., Latvala,A., Vepsäläinen,S., Iverson,P., Akahane-Yamada,R.,Näätänen,R. (2009). Training the brain to weight speech cues differently: a study of Finnish second-language users of English. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 1-14. ISSN: 0898-929X [Online]
  • Zhang,Y., Kuhl,P.K., Imada,T., Iverson,P., Pruitt,J., Stevens,E.B., Kawakatsu,M., Tohkura,Y., Nemoto,I. (2009). Neural Signatures of Phonetic Learning in Adulthood: A Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Study. Neuroimage 46, 226-240. ISSN: 1053-8119 PDF link
  • Iverson,P., Ekanayake,D., Hamann,S., Sennema,A., Evans,B.G. (2008). Category and perceptual interference in second-language phoneme learning: An examination of English /w/-/v/ learning by Sinhala, German, and Dutch speakers. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 34(5), 1305-1316. ISSN: 0096-1523 PDF link
  • Evans,B.G., Iverson,P. (2007). Plasticity in vowel perception and production: A study of accent change in young adults. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 121(6), 3814-3826. ISSN: 0001-4966 PDF link [DOI link]
  • Hattori,K., Iverson,P. (2007). Examination of similarity between English /r/, /l/, and Japanese flap: An investigation of best exemplars by English and Japanese speakers. 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Saarbrücken, Germany, 1777-1780 PDF link
  • Iverson,P., Evans,B.G. (2007). Auditory training of English vowels for first-language speakers of Spanish and German. 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Saarbrücken, Germany, 1625-1628 PDF link
  • Iverson,P., Evans,B.G. (2007). Learning English vowels with different first-language vowel systems: Perception of formant targets, formant movement, and duration. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 122(5), 2842-2854. ISSN: 0001-4966 PDF link [DOI link]
  • Rosen,S., Iverson,P. (2007). Constructing adequate non-speech analogues: what is special about speech anyway? Developmental Science 10(2), 165-168. ISSN: 1363-755X PDF link
  • Iverson,P., Smith,C.A., Evans,B.G. (2006). Vowel recognition via cochlear implants and noise vocoders: Effects of formant movement and duration. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 120(6), 3998-4006. ISSN: 0001-4966 PDF link [DOI link]
  • Kuhl,P.K., Stevens,E., Hayashi,A., Deguchi,T., Kiritani,S., Iverson,P. (2006). Infants show a facilitation effect for native language phonetic perception between 6 and 12 months. Developmental Science 9(2), 13-21. ISSN: 1363-755X PDF link [DOI link]
  • Iverson,P., Hazan,V., Bannister,K. (2005). Phonetic training with acoustic cue manipulations: A comparison of methods for teaching English /r/-/l/ to Japanese adults. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 118, 3267-3278. ISSN: 0001-4966 PDF link [DOI link]
  • Evans,B.G., Iverson,P. (2004). Vowel normalization for accent: an investigation of best exemplar locations in northern and southern British English sentences. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 115(1), 352-361. ISSN: 0001-4966 PDF link [DOI link]
  • Evans,B.G., Iverson,P. (2003). Vowel normalization for accent: a comparison of northern and southern British English speakers. Proceedings of the 15th International Conference of Phonetic Sciences, Barcelona PDF link
  • Iverson,P. (2003). Evaluating the function of phonetic perceptual phenomena within speech recognition: An examination of the perception of /d/–/t/ by adult cochlear implant users. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 113, 1056-1064. ISSN: 0001-4966 PDF link [DOI link]
  • Iverson,P., Evans,B.G. (2003). A goodness optimization method for investigating phonetic categorization. Proceedings of the the 15th International Conference of Phonetic Sciences, Barcelona PDF link
  • Iverson,P., Kuhl,P.K., Akahane-Yamada,R., Diesch,E., Tohkura,Y., Kettermann,A., Siebert,C. (2003). A perceptual interference account of acquisition difficulties for non-native phonemes. Cognition 87, B47-B57. ISSN: 0010-0277 PDF link [DOI link]
  • Iverson,P, Bradlow,A.R. (2002). The recognition of clear speech by adult cochlear implant users. Temporal Integration in the Perception of Speech, Hawkins,S, Nguyen,N (ed.) , 78-78 PDF link
  • Iverson,P. (2002). A choice theory method for evaluating audiovisual phoneme recognition. Speech, Hearing and Language: work in progress 14, 85-92. ISSN: 1470-8507 PDF link
  • Iverson,P., Kuhl,P.K. (2000). Perceptual magnet and phoneme boundary effects in speech perception: Do they arise from a common mechanism? Perception and Psychophysics 62, 874-886. ISSN: 0031-5117 PubMed link
  • Zhang,Y., Kuhl,P.K., Imada,T., Iverson,P., Pruitt,,J., Kotani,M., Stevens,E. (2000). Neural plasticity revealed in perceptual training of a Japanese adult listener to learn American /l-r/ contrast: a whole-head magnetoencephalography study. Sixth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing, , 3, 953-956
  • Diesch,E., Iverson,P., Kettermann,A., Siebert,C. (1999). Measuring the perceptual magnet effect in the perception of German /i/ Psychological Research 62, 1-19. ISSN: 0340-0727 PubMed link
  • Schellenberg,E. G., Iverson,P., McKinnon,M. C. (1999). Name that tune: Identifying popular recordings from brief excerpts. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 6, 641-646. ISSN: 1069-9384 PubMed link
  • Bernstein,L. E., Iverson,P., Auer,E. T. (1997). Elucidating the complex relationships between phonetic perception and word recognition in audiovisual speech perception. Proceedings of the ESCA/ESCOP Workshop on Audio-Visual Speech Processing, Grenoble, France:ESCA, 88-92
  • Iverson,P., Kuhl,P. K. (1996). Influences of phonetic identification and category goodness on American listeners' perception of /r/ and /l/ Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 92, 1130-1140. ISSN: 0001-4966 PubMed link
  • Iverson,P. (1995). Auditory stream segregation by musical timbre: Effects of static and dynamic acoustic attributes. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 21, 751-763. ISSN: 0096-1523 PubMed link
  • Iverson,P., Kuhl,P.K. (1995). Mapping the perceptual magnet effect for speech using signal detection theory and multidimensional scaling. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 97, 553-562. ISSN: 0001-4966 PDF link
  • Kuhl,P. K., Iverson,P. (1995). Linguistic experience and the "perceptual magnet effect." in Strange, W. (ed.) Speech perception and linguistic experience: Issues in cross-language research. Baltimore, MD: York Press, 121-154
  • Iverson,P., Krumhansl,C.L. (1993). Isolating the dynamic attributes of musical timbre. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 94, 2595-2603. ISSN: 0001-4966 PDF link
  • Krumhansl,C.L., Iverson,P. (1992). Perceptual interactions between musical pitch and timbre. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 18, 739-751. ISSN: 0096-1523 PubMed link

Current PhD Students

  • Georgina Oliver
  • Melanie Preece-Pinet
  • Dong-jin Shin
  • Anita Wagner

Completed PhD Students

  • Bronwen G. Evans
    Plasticity in speech perception and production: A study of accent change in young adults (2005)
  • Kota Hatori

(Possibly incomplete list)

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