The Social Life of Voices: Studying the perception and production of vocal identity and traits

If you would like to attend the meeting, please contact Zoe Woodhead at for the link.

The human voice is an essentially social signal, yet it is mainly studied as a channel for linguistic communication. My lab’s research aims to redress this imbalance in the fields of cognitive psychology and neuroscience, through a programme of research that investigates voices as auditory representations of the self and other people. In my talk, I will give an overview of this ongoing work. I will describe our findings on voice perception, concerning how we recognize and discriminate identity from voices, how identities are learned, and the differences between familiar and unfamiliar voice processing. I will also give examples of how explicit and implicit evaluations of vocal traits and personality are (not) influenced by listener knowledge and talker characteristics. Finally, I will introduce some of our work on voice production and ownership, using examples from recent studies of volitional trait expression and self-voice biases in perception.