Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Document Type


Date of this Version



Behavior Research Methods 42:3 (2010), pp. 791-797; doi:10.3758/BRM.42.3.791


Copyright © 2010 The Psychonomic Society, Inc. Used by permission.


Investigations of speech often involve the identification of inspiratory loci in continuous recordings of speech. The present study investigates the accuracy of perceptually determined and acoustically determined inspiratory loci. While wearing a circumferentially vented mask connected to a pneumotach, 16 participants read two passages. The perceptually determined and acoustically determined inspiratory loci were compared with the actual loci of inspiration, which were determined aerodynamically. The results showed that (1) agreement across all three judges was the most accurate of the approaches considered here for detecting inspiratory loci based on listening; (2) the most accurate pause duration threshold for detecting inspiratory loci was 250 msec; and (3) the perceptually based breath-group determination was more accurate than the acoustically based determination of pause duration. Inconsistencies among perceptually determined, acoustically determined, and aerodynamically determined inspiratory loci are not negligible and, therefore, need to be considered when researchers design experiments on breath groups in speech.