Acoustic cues and listening strategies for phoneme perception

This research axis builds upon the recent development of the « Auditory Classification Image » method, and aims at using this method to explore speech perception, particularly phoneme comprehension. By conducting psycholinguistic experiments on various phonetic contrasts, acoustic conditions, and groups of participant, we have demonstrated that phonemic percepts do not correspond to single acoustic cues but rather to multiple and redundant cues in the speech signal. These first results lay the groundwork for the creation of an « atlas » of phoneme perception.

Furthermore, this research explores the variability of listening strategies for phoneme perception: adaption to specific listening conditions (external factors) as well as interindividual differences (internal factors).

Administrative details

Collaborators: Alejandro Osses, Maria Giavazzi


NSCo Doctoral School, L. Varnet’s thesis scholarship (2012-2015)

Agence Nationale de la Recherche, projet ANR-20-CE28-0004 « Exploration des représentations phonétiques et de leur adaptabilité par la méthode des Images de Classification Auditive rapides » (2021-2023)

Selected publications and presentations:


Varnet, L., Knoblauch, K., Meunier, F., Hoen M. (2013). Using auditory classification images for the identification of fine acoustic cues used in speech perception. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7:865. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00865. (article)

Varnet, L., Knoblauch, K., Serniclaes, W., Meunier, F., Hoen M. (2015). A Psychophysical Imaging Method Evidencing Auditory Cue Extraction during Speech Perception: A Group Analysis of Auditory Classification Images. PLoS ONE, 10(3):e0118009. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.011800. (article)
Osses Vecchi, A. & Varnet, L. (2021). Consonant-in-noise discrimination using an auditory model with different speech-based decision devices. DAGA proceedings (article)
Osses Vecchi, A. & Varnet, L. (subm). A microscopic investigation of the effect of random envelope fluctuations on phoneme-in-noise perception (preprint)
Varnet, L. Presentation to the Hearing Institute (2021, Paris): « New methodologies for studying listening strategies in phoneme categorization tasks » (slides)
Varnet, L. Presentation to the Laboratoire de Psychologie et NeuroCognition (2023, Grenoble):  » Using reverse correlation to study speech perception » (slides)
Varnet, L. Presentation to ARO 2022: « Auditory Classification Images: A Psychophysical Paradigm to Explore Listening Strategies in Phoneme Perception » (slides, video)


Varnet, L. (2015). Identification des indices acoustiques utilisés dans la compréhension de la parole dégradée. Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1. (thèse)
Varnet, L. Présentation à la Fête de la Science (2020, ENS Paris): « Observer l’esprit humain sans neuroimagerie » (vidéo)
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