Formant interaction as a cue to vowel perception: A case report

Kazuyo Tanji, K. Suzuki, J. Okuda, H. Shimizu, H. Seki, I. Kimura, K. Endo, K. Hirayama, T. Fujii, A. Yamadori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accumulating evidence indicates that cerebral processing of consonants and vowels is separable. It has been shown that disordered temporal acuity leads to disturbed consonant perception in cases with pure word deafness. In contrast, there has been no clear explanation of how vowel perception is impaired. We examined a patient with auditory agnosia, who showed a differential ability to identify the five Japanese vowels after bilateral cerebral lesions. He correctly identified the vowel [a] in more than 70% of auditory presentations, whereas he identified [i] in only about 30% of presentations. The difference between the first and second formant frequencies "F2 - F1" and an artificially defined value "F1 - (F2 - F1)" for each vowel correlated significantly with the percentage of correct identifications. These findings support the hypothesis that vowel perception is based on formant interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-355
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Auditory agnosia
  • Auditory area
  • Auditory evoked field
  • Heschl's gyrus
  • Pure word deafness
  • Wernicke's area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


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