The Multidimensional Battery of Prosody Perception (MBOPP)

Kyle Jasmin, Fred Dick, Adam Tierney

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Prosody can be defined as the rhythm and intonation patterns spanning words, phrases and sentences. Accurate perception of prosody is an important component of many aspects of language processing, such as parsing grammatical structures, recognizing words, and determining where emphasis may be placed. Prosody perception is important for language acquisition and can be impaired in language-related developmental disorders. However, existing assessments of prosodic perception suffer from some shortcomings. These include being unsuitable for use with typically developing adults due to ceiling effects and failing to allow the investigator to distinguish the unique contributions of individual acoustic features such as pitch and temporal cues. Here we present the Multi-Dimensional Battery of Prosody Perception (MBOPP), a novel tool for the assessment of prosody perception. It consists of two subtests: Linguistic Focus, which measures the ability to hear emphasis or sentential stress, and Phrase Boundaries, which measures the ability to hear where in a compound sentence one phrase ends, and another begins. Perception of individual acoustic dimensions (Pitch and Duration) can be examined separately, and test difficulty can be precisely calibrated by the experimenter because stimuli were created using a continuous voice morph space. We present validation analyses from a sample of 59 individuals and discuss how the battery might be deployed to examine perception of prosody in various populations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWellcome Open Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2022

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