Implicit learning and individual differences in speech recognition: an exploratory study

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Individual differences in speech recognition in challenging listening environments are pronounced. Studies suggest that implicit learning is one variable that may contribute to this variability. Here, we explored the unique contributions of three indices of implicit learning to individual differences in the recognition of challenging speech. To this end, we assessed three indices of implicit learning (perceptual, statistical, and incidental), three types of challenging speech (natural fast, vocoded, and speech in noise), and cognitive factors associated with speech recognition (vocabulary, working memory, and attention) in a group of 51 young adults. Speech recognition was modeled as a function of the cognitive factors and learning, and the unique contribution of each index of learning was statistically isolated. The three indices of learning were uncorrelated. Whereas all indices of learning had unique contributions to the recognition of natural-fast speech, only statistical learning had a unique contribution to the recognition of speech in noise and vocoded speech. These data suggest that although implicit learning may contribute to the recognition of challenging speech, the contribution may depend on the type of speech challenge and on the learning task.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1238823
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Khayr, Karawani and Banai.


  • implicit learning
  • incidental learning
  • individual differences
  • perceptual learning
  • speech recognition
  • statistical learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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